|Lightning Speed Waltz|
|Topic Started: Jun 3 2012, 10:13 AM (297 Views)|
|Katyusha||Jun 3 2012, 10:13 AM Post #1|
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your first hop. Single combat. The hard deck for this run will be set at 10,000 feet. The variable fighters you will be facing are faster and more maneouverable, just like the enemy units. First up, Nomake. Lt. Takamachi will be the instructor.
The VF-19 screamed overhead at just short of Mach 1. Cruising at just over 20,000 feet, the advanced variable fighter circled around the designated area. A white and blue dart over the tranquil Pacific, the exercise was actually over 100km east by southeast of the Island itself for two equally important reasons. One was pilot safety and ease of retrieval, considering there would be no mountains to crash into there, and secondly, it was a known blind spot in Earth's sensor nets due to the curvature of the Earth and the locations of their primary ground based networks.
This made it ideal for combat training - a move which might be seen as provocative by the Federation itself, and the SMS had no intentions of attracting attention with this endeavour.
The rules of the battle were simple. Get a firing lock on your opponent to achieve victory, through whatever maneouvres you felt were necessary, and do not fly below 10,000 ft. Long range weapon systems were also disabled, as the point was to teach close combat maneouvering. The first match, primarily as a demonstration to other pilots, was a simple battle of two transforming mecha - the VF-19 Excalibur, and the Wing Zero.
Spotting her opponent at the Horizon as it glinted in the bright morning sun, she reefed the Forward-Swept winged fighter into a 4g turn to intercept, raising the throttle to zone-4 as she did so.
C'mon Nomake... Miyuki thought to herself, ...show me what you got.
Edited by Katyusha, Jun 3 2012, 10:14 AM.
|Nomake Wan||Jun 4 2012, 06:02 AM Post #2|
...The variable fighters you will be facing are faster and more maneouverable, just like the enemy units...
That Takamachi woman, Nomake thought with a frown behind his helmeted full flight suit. He had only come to observe but lo and behold Miyuki Takamachi had had the Wing Zero transported to the ARMD-1 for a training exercise. Even though he was one of the most experienced pilots the HDF had, he was first up? And on top of that, what does she mean 'faster and more maneouverable like the enemies'? I think she's underestimating us, Zero. In the One Year War he had fought hard with suits that were sub-par compared to others he had the honor of seeing, without the benefit of psychic powers. Even his academy buddy Zak Barton--a Newtype, he discovered--had gotten himself a Gundam early in his deployment while Nomake remained in a simple Powered GM. That white-and-orange prototype remained his assignment until the EFSF ran out of spare parts and was forced to switch him to a mass-production Gundam[G]. It had 'Gundam' in the name, certainly, but compared to other Gundams and even to the enemy forces it was still below the average. That suit lasted until its untimely capture by Zeon forces led by Delta Sonata Troy, though that operation did result in the acquisition of the Blue Destiny.
At the beginning of this multi-dimensional war it was clear that the Blue Destiny, even, was not an efficient machine. At its core it was built on the same frame as his old Gundam[G] using many components found in the most basic GM or Strike Dagger. Only its EXAM System made it significantly different from other mass-production models and even that was troublesome and risky to use. No... it wasn't until Delta bestowed upon him the Wing Zero that Nomake truly felt appreciated. Not until the Zero did he feel like he could stretch his arms and use his abilities to the fullest. In this Gundam he had yet to lose. Today was not about to be the start of a losing streak, not if he had anything to say about it.
The rules of this battle were simple. Both Miyuki's VF-19 and Nomake's Wing Zero were outfitted with the EFSF Standardized Simulation Program, disabling both units' live weaponry and superimposing weapons fire onto their monitor screens. The minimum altitude for the engagement was 10,000 feet, a very high limit considering most of their combat took place either on ground or close to it. On top of that, both units started in their respective aircraft-like configurations. It appeared that whatever the Instructor had in mind, it looked like an old-fashioned dogfight. Well... if that's how you want it, Takamachi, I'll play along.
Tracking the VF-19's turn with his eyes, Nomake gently banked the Wing Zero to bring his nose to bear on the variable fighter's projected trajectory and thumbed the main weapon switch. In Neo Bird Mode his weapon selection was limited to air-to-ground machine cannons, vernier-mounted vulcan guns and of course the twin buster rifles. Not a lot of options, but considering their distance the first shot wouldn't matter. Those flimsy little chicken-planes didn't have any comparable beam weaponry so as long as I keep my distance the match is all mine. Flit around all you like, Takamachi, you're going down!
|Katyusha||Jun 4 2012, 12:34 PM Post #3|
The reasons for the high altitude floor would soon be apparent. Even as a simple exercise, both were still high performance machines, and the amount of room needed to turn or break out of a dive at high speed...
She kept the throttle right where it was - there was no need to increase rate of acceleration just yet. The variable fighter broke the mach 1 barrier just as the Wing Zero began it's turn. Rather than a merge pass, Nomake had decided to use lead pursuit and tried to cut off her turn.
Not even having committed to her attack just yet, a wide 4-g turn was a long orbit intercept ending behind the target, while Nomake's maneouvre forced his unit to pull more gees than she did in order to strike at her before she finished. The VF pilot moved the stick slightly to the side, reversing her turn and going low to convert the attempted intercept into a one circle fight. In such a battle, a more controlled turn with a superior turn radius was superior, wasting the Zero's attempt at a turn rate advantage...
|Nomake Wan||Jun 5 2012, 07:26 AM Post #4|
Predictably, the first shot missed. It didn't bother Nomake or Zero any; unless you had a solid ground position and the element of surprise, chances were high that the first shot of any long-range engagement would miss. Since it didn't waste very much energy to do, what the shot could do even if it didn't impact was direct an opponent in a certain direction in a best-case scenario. Miyuki didn't bother, simply changing her turn to avoid the shot easily and come around below and behind. Without panic he simply ended his turn and brought the Zero's nose up, bringing her into a climb and punching the throttles to full. A fairly basic maneuver, not intended to actually aggressively attack the variable fighter. Just a momentary break from the original trajectory.
Well, let's see what she does now. Well, Ms. Takamachi, your move.
|Katyusha||Jun 7 2012, 08:08 PM Post #5|
Continuing to maintain her turn rate, the VF showed no interest in a hurried pursuit as it leisurely finished it's semi-circle towards the Mobile Suit, pitching the nose up just slightly to bring it to bear. The reasons the SMS pilot kept her throttle where it was, and seemed in no rush to test it's limits against the Wing Zero were soon made evident in the pursuit.
...The variable fighter was closing.
Capable of maintaining over Mach 5 without afterburning at her current altitude, the Excalibur's thrust per engine actually began to approach the total thrust of the Wing Zero going flat out.
Don't you remember, Nomake? The enemy units are faster and more maneouverable.
Selecting the Bifors High Maneouverability Missiles, a familiar beeping filled the Excalibur's cockpit as weapons bagan tracking the speeding mobile suit, quickly replaced by a loud 'growl' as they locked on...
|Nomake Wan||Jun 8 2012, 11:14 AM Post #6|
A sensation. Rather than a traditional old fighter aircraft screeching loudly in the cockpit at detecting a missile lock attempt the Zero System simply fed the raw battle information to Nomake and let him feel the imminent danger. Having never directly faced a variable fighter the Zero System was still learning about their capabilities and so its precognitive possibility-searching algorithm was hindered but the longer they were engaged in combat, the easier it would be to predict. Back to the present Nomake had to decide quickly--he could feel the radar lock boring into him like a laser. With a deft man-handling of controls the Wing Zero's 'wings' pivoted upward and the main frame of the suit spun around, transforming it into mobile suit mode while inverting it, sending the suit from making a steep climb to entering a sharp descent. The maneuver was taxing on the body and even with the pilot suit trying to maintain even blood flow he could feel darkness creeping into his vision. Maneuvers like that were much more effective in space. Here on Earth where gravity was the ever-present master they were strenuous.
The nice thing about going inverted was not only that it reversed the direction of travel, it also instantly turned the skirmish into a head-to-head. Since the Wing Zero had had its 'back' to the VF-19 while in Neo Bird mode its transformation would normally have kept that position. Since the inverted dive flipped its body around the other way the Gundam was now facing its opponent while falling head-first towards the ocean. Without knowing whether the split-second of missile lock had been enough to end their exercise and not wanting to give up, now Nomake had a full twin buster rifle to play with. From this angle there were no obstacles so he took aim and lined up his own shot.
The difference between missiles and a buster rifle being, of course, that missiles were tiny. The beam his Gundam was capable of firing had a much wider blast radius and thus gave a huge advantage when it came to getting a lock on a target. Zero, don't be slower than she is... you've got to be faster...
|Katyusha||Jun 8 2012, 03:19 PM Post #7|
Like before, the attack seemed uncommitted as a simple roll broke the nose off target back to level flight, the blue dart blasted through the air under the MS and away in supersonic blur at Mach 3.7, zooming past to avoid engagement with a combination of sheer speed and high angle-off-tail. It seemed like, rather than her opponent trying to force a decision early on, she was taking her time an simply forcing her opponent to react to a series of uncommitted attacks, waiting for them to make a mistake...
With another quick pull of the stick, the thrust vector nozzles rapidly moved in concert with the ailerons and rollorons to bring the fighter into a zooming climb to get above and behind the mobile suit. Unlike those of most Mobile Suit pilots, the Pilot Suits of the SMS were specifically built to counteract high-gee stress of manned maneouvering...
|Nomake Wan||Jun 12 2012, 04:28 PM Post #8|
The VF didn't attack--or rather, it didn't engage its targeting system for the training exercise--as it made a sudden pass zipping right underneath the descending Gundam. Nomake immediately arrested the descent by flipping right-side-up and letting free a blast from the wing binders. Now he hovered solely on the smaller thrusters attached directly to the Wing Zero's back and watched the VF-19 soar skyward. Perhaps I'm going about this the wrong way. If I can't be faster... maybe I shouldn't try. This could go in circles forever... so I should focus just on what she's doing. Don't try to outrun her... just outgun her. Zero... let's do this.
Now were this a real battle outside Hatsunejima, the maneuver he was about to try would have been ill-advised and would more than likely result in more damage to friendlies than it would enemies. It would be foolish to try it anywhere but in open space surrounded by enemies let alone next to an island on Earth. Since this was merely a simulation and no rules about collateral damage had been set--just a minimum altitude--he could get away with it. Splitting the twin buster rifle into two separate rifles he spread the Gundam's arms apart and switched thrust settings. Now the large wing binders' thrusters were keeping the Gundam aloft while its main thrust nozzles pivoted to the right. Holding down the triggers for the rifles the Wing Zero spun right, sweeping the area with fire.
Track her movement, Zero... keep the rifles' elevation just ahead of her path...
|Katyusha||Jun 20 2012, 03:36 PM Post #9|
The thrust vector nozzles on the Excalibur moved about as the fighter began to jink mid-climb. By the way the Wing Zero was firing, the MS' targeting computer had not yet sufficiently compensated for the Variable Fighter's movements to perform aimed shots, and at this range, even a few inches difference could make a shot miss by dozens of metres. The sweeping path he'd used to compensate resulted in wide, fairly predictable arcs with blindspots in coverage necessitated by distance.
"...That idiot..." Miyuki breathed quietly to herself as she navigated around Nomake's fields of fire.
Such a maneouvre on his part was reckless, not just because of the risk of friendly fire, but because he'd halted his movement in order to perform the attack. In open combat, especially in aerial combat, all combatants lived by a simple axiom: Speed is life.
And he was a sitting duck.
STEALTH SYSTEM: ACTIVE
A simple flipping of a switch engaged the unit's active stealth functions, dropping contact from electronic sensor systems, while her left hand moved the throttle sidewards to near vertical before pulling back hard. The fighter seemingly spun out of control for a moment, starting to drop out of the sky as it rapidly shifted into it's humanoid Battroid mode.
>>GU-15 POD [200RD]
MODE: CCIP - AUTO
As it began tumbling erratically downwards, the unit took aim with it's gunpod. With only a single target point to calculate adjustment for, it was an easy lineup of shots as she squeezed the trigger, letting loose a barrage of simulate rounds.
|Nomake Wan||Jun 25 2012, 03:35 PM Post #10|
While radar and traditional sensors may have lost track of the relatively small variable fighter the Wing Zero had something most suits did not--a Sensor Eye. The large green-colored object in the Gundam's center torso was a core component of the Zero System, accumulating visual information in all three dimensions with greater accuracy than traditional head-mounted sensors. The cockpit display itself was fed via the head-mounted sensors as per normal but the Zero System--and part of the traditional FCS--were fed through the Sensor Eye. So when radar dropped the VF-19 the Zero System felt little more than a momentary twitch. It could still see the enemy clear as day and told as much to the pilot.
Nomake, meanwhile, couldn't even interpret the change in stealth. To his system-washed senses there was just tracking and firing. Since it was evading the rolling buster rifle attack, that meant it would likely go to make a strike while it thought the Zero was vulnerable. Staying in one place and firing wide arcs was a good plan if you were surrounded, not as good if you have but one expert target. In fact, standing still at all without cover or the element of surprise was suicidal. So he knew Miyuki would come. She couldn't pass up such a juicy opportunity.
So, that meant this moment had to be his chance to turn it around. She was finally doing something predictable, something that not only the Zero System but his own reflexes had seen coming. With that in mind, preparations had already been made for the next maneuver. Cutting his rifles he adjusted the wing vernier thrust to be biased left, the Gundam rolling right as it lost the ability to hover in a static position. As soon as the initial roll was complete both the wing verniers and main thrusters were pushed to their maximum rating, the Wing Zero rocketing skyward towards the falling battroid. To keep from being splashed by GU-15 fire the shoulders opened to reveal yet more small thrusters that fired randomly, blasting the Gundam violently left and right. The effect would have been much more pronounced in space--where his suit was designed to fight at its best--but in an atmosphere with all engines blaring a sudden burst of horizontal vernier was still enough to push a meter or so each way.
Now, normally the head of a mobile suit--especially Gundams--could tilt upwards and spray an enemy with head vulcan fire. The Wing Zero lacked such weapons, however, replacing them with shoulder-mounted vulcans with more ammunition and a higher caliber than what would be possible in a head mount. The inability to attack targets outside of a forward arc was thought of by the designers, however, who remedied that condition by adding smaller-caliber guns to the tops of each wing vernier. So it was with these smaller wing vulcans that Nomake sprayed the VF-19's path, a simple spray-and-pray followed up by blasts from the individual buster rifles. Why combine them if Miyuki was just going to dodge? Better to be able to fire off consecutive smaller shots to adjust for changes in trajectory.
Well, this was it. The distance between them closed at blinding speed, each laying down as much fire as they could...
|Katyusha||Jul 30 2012, 12:48 PM Post #11|
...But the VF-19 didn't commit.
After the initial barrage, Excalibur's engines ignited again, stopping the downward fall and taking it up and sideways away from the stream of machine gun fire.
At the dozens of kilometres range that seperate them, a mistake in aiming by a centimeter was sufficient to throw off a shot by dozens of metres. Even if aim was true, bullets took time to travel, able to move only at finite speed. The more travel time required, the greater the probability of a miss. This was an inherent limitation in the physics of gunfire, faithfully replicated by the simulation equipment.
But not all gunfire was equal.
With a height advantage, the the bullet's need to travel only downwards at a constant speed far exceeded the performance envelope of a round that had to fight against gravity.
Still in battroid mode, the Variable fighter's climb and dance kept it away from the gunfire, as simple movements side to side kept the unit away from the Rifle's beam blasts. Several more bursts errupted from the Gunpod while it maneouvred, inviting the Mobile Suit higher...
"Is that your limit then, Zero Suit Nomake?" Miyuki asked coyly over the comm line
|Nomake Wan||Jul 30 2012, 01:43 PM Post #12|
"Zero Suit!?" Nomake repeated by mistake after hearing it over the comm. That name... it wasn't exactly a nickname, nor was it something he heard frequently. It wasn't like being ridiculed at every post as some piss-poor pilot might before succumbing to depressing and killing themselves or others. No, that name... was one he'd only heard once, maybe twice. By a mechanic, the same one who had given him the Gundam[G] after losing one too many Powered GMs. 'Zero Suit Nomake', not a reference to the Wing Zero at all, nor a reference to having 'zero skills', but much simpler. A reference to having zero mobile suits come back in one piece, if at all. Every sortie meant either a major overhaul or a complete unit replacement. While his luck in the Blue Destiny had actually been better than any of his previous suits even it hadn't escaped heavy damage. The Wing Zero, too, had needed extensive repairs to its leg sections and beam rifles on more than one occasion. So while the BD-1 and Wing Zero certainly exempted themselves from being destroyed outright or captured, no prior mobile suit he had piloted was so lucky.
Zero Suit Nomake.
"Tch!" he hissed back, recombining the twin buster rifle and storing it under the left arm's shield. He stopped ascending and hovered, staring up at the stream of flame which was all that remained of the Variable Fighter visually. He still had to dodge laterally and even so, simulated gunpod rounds splashed against his shoulder armor and one hit the top of his torso. It wasn't enough to destroy but they were technically the first hits of the battle. He couldn't be annoyed with that, though. He was annoyed with the gap in performance. No enemy unit had this kind of speed, not a single one that he'd fought. Takamachi was toying with him. In fact, he had to wonder if anyone in the training program had the ability to land a hit on that thing. The Wing Zero was one of the most powerful suits they had and Nomake was an ace! Despite that, he had yet to even get a single hit. Not one. What chance did anyone else have?
If I were smart, I'd probably just give up at this point. Unless she makes a mistake there's no way I'm going to win, he thought to himself despite the Zero System constantly bombarding him with possibilities for winning scenarios. Most of them involved a failure in piloting on Miyuki's part, after all. They involved predictions that so far hadn't been accurate. There were ways, sure... but when faced with something that could go from breathing down your neck to flying into low earth orbit in mere seconds, what was there to be done, really?
He glanced down at the ocean below. The rules of this match were such that neither of them could go below 10,000 feet. I get it now. If we could go below that, you'd be forced to get on our level. You don't want us to have that advantage, do you? Well, all right. Let's try it your way, one last time. Can't look like a quitter in front of the trainees! Ejecting the Twin Buster Rifle and letting it fall earthward Nomake opened up the thrust to maximum once more and set to following the VF-19's trajectory as best it could. The shoulder and primary verniers were used to push left or right, moving away from gunpod fire as it came with mere inches either way to spare. Yet, he didn't fire back. All his focus was just on dodging and trying his best to get closer despite desperately fighting against gravity.
The Wing Zero reaching up to its shoulder and pulling out a small white cylindrical object made it rather obvious why that was.
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