|John F Kennedy Hive Infiltration|
Assault on JFK Hive
|Timeframe||February, 17 2006|
|Location(s) involved||John F. Kennedy Hive, Trans-Pacific Salt Plains|
|Outcome||Human victory: successful destruction of BETA Hive Reactor|
|Empire of Japan
John F. Kennedy Hive
|Ikaruga Takatsugu (IJ-IRG)
||- - -|
|Relatively light to moderate.||Near total annihilation of BETA; Hive rendered inoperable.|
Prior to the tensions rising between the US/Japan and Canada/France alliance, the US was deeply concerned with the growing presence of BETA in the location where the John F. Kennedy was lost. All signs pointed to a hive being established, which would threaten humanity's last bastion of survival in North America.
In the aftermath of NORAD and the resulting peace treaty, the US made one of their conditions include the unconditional support and integration of the French and Canadian militaries into the newly created United Nations, for use in their planned JFK Hive capture operation.
The hive itself had been observed to have undergone abnormal growth, similar to Yokohama. While it was observed to be at Phase 2 via satellite imaging, it was estimated that it was at least Phase 3, if not Phase 4 in its underground tunnel structure.
With this, it meant laser class production could begin, which would doom any large scale offensive against the BETA. Plans to assault the hive were moved up to February 2006.
On February 14th, the US and Japanese forces assembled at the harbor in Seattle where the Naval Expeditionary Force had been prepared to transport them to the hive. Captain Komaki gave a speech about the Empire's dedication to the destruction of the BETA and the defense of its people.
In attendance was the Shogun, Koubuin Yuuhi. Many civilians also showed up to cheer the soldiers on. Most of the children from Miono's orphanage, likeIchiro, came to cheer her and the others in Wardog on. With them was Ogami Ritsuko, still confined to a wheelchair.
During the expedition's time at sea, the multi-phase assault was explained to the assembled pilots. Thanks to the position of the JFK hive being near the sea, the full firepower of the naval fleet could be brought to bear. They would act as part of phase one, which was the saturation of the heavy metal cloud using AL Warheads.
After a sufficient cloud had been created to cover the pilots, the second phase would begin as the fleet would switch to conventional shells. A beachhead would be established by a small, elite force of TSF units. Included were the VMF-318 Black Knives and A-6Js of the Imperial Marines.
After establishing a secure beachhead, the main force of TSFs would launch and begin Laserjagd tactics in order to cut down the dangerous anti-air class. By the end of Phase 2, it was hoped that over 70% of the laser class would be destroyed. It would be necessary for the success of Phase 3, which included the use of nuclear weaponry.
With the reclamation of OSP-1400, a SHADOW system command satellite, the UN forces had access to tactical nuclear warheads from orbit. Many of the pilots in attendance were surprised by that, since nuclear weaponry had rarely been used in hive infiltration operations.
The reason being was that, prior to Operation Babylon, the main strategy for humanity was to capture hives without doing damage to the land, so that it could quickly be repurposed for living space. Nuclear fallout would take too long for the land to be liveable again, and so the powerful weapons were relegated to space defense.
Considering the position of the JFK hive in the uninhabitable salt plains, that problem was avoided. With the use of nuclear weaponry, over 90% of the smaller strains would be destroyed. Unfortunately, contact with the satellite crew was intermittent and the launch could come without warning, so the plan was stuck in a tight time frame.
Should the nuclear weaponry fail, or if it was believed the BETA presence was still too powerful, the use of Orbital Divers would be approved of. The remnants of the UN Diver Corps had moved into position above the JFK hive and was prepared to support the ground forces with an orbital assault.
It was a risky maneuver and was considered only as a last resort. There were concerns that given their prolonged exposure to the lack of gravity and general inactivity, the pilots would be fatigued and out of practice. There was a chance they would not be able to survive the vicious re-entry period. Therefore, Komaki reiterated that it was only to be in the worst case scenario.
Regardless, after the nuclear weapons had been deployed, phase 3 would proceed into the final portion: the infiltration. At least 33 gates had been confirmed in the battle area by satellites for potential use. Due to the accelerated growth, none of the hive models could be associated with the infiltration planning, and so there was no optimal route that could be planned. Their best bet was to capture a gate close to the monument.
After securing a hive gate for entrance, two units kept in reserve, namely the Imperial Royal Guard's Horn Company and the 66th Tactical Armored Battalion, would launch and proceed as the vanguard for the infiltration. A portion of the main force would split off and support them, while the rest remained above ground and finish off the remaining BETA and setup a supply line.
The primary objective of the infiltration was the destruction of the hive reactor. Studies from Operation 21st, the attack on Sadogashima prior to Operation Babylon, showed that the BETA would retreat after the destruction of a reactor. The goal was to withdraw immediately after the destruction of the reactor to preserve the remains of humanity's military force.
Phase 1: Bombardment
The day of the assault was February 17th, 2006. Everything went according to plan as the combined UN fleet bombarded the JFK hive and created a heavy metal cloud for anti-laser cover. Soon enough, the cloud had reached a sustainable percentage and the beachhead units were ordered to prepare for immediate launch.
Phase 2: Beachhead
The Salamanders successfully made landfall, their A-6Js made short work of the surrounding BETA. Lilia's Black Knives arrived with great speed behind them as the Marine Corps led the assault. French and Canadian forces landed at their own beaches and began to engage the surrounding BETA.
With great success, the beachhead was quickly established. The rest of the ground forces, including Wardog squadron, were sent in. The BETA were pushed back with the organized attack, and casualties remained low as the TSFs pushed farther in.
Complications began to arise as, despite the great effort of the ground units, less than 70% of the laser class had been destroyed. The time was near for the nuclear weaponry to be dropped, and so all units were given orders to withdraw.
The US marines provided cover for the rest of the units to retreat and were some of the last to escape. With their best efforts, over 63% of friendly forces were able to evacuate to safety before the bomb hit. Hibiki ordered his squadron to use the nearby hills and mountains as cover from the blast.
Phase 3: The Bomb
After the first blast, preliminary reports told that the hive monument had survived the blast, displeasing the admiral in charge of the fleet. A second nuclear weapon was on its way, along with another wave of bombardment and dummy shells. The amount of laser class beams had significantly lowered by that time, and after the second bomb dropped, the amount of BETA on the surface was neglible.
Unexpectedly, the fleet soon received a report that the US had authorized the use of orbital divers in the wake of the nuclear attack. The admiral quickly ordered the fleet to resume anti-laser warhead bombardment, as the original heavy metal cloud had largely been dispersed.
Soon enough, the orbital divers dropped in and experienced heavy casualties in the initial wave. Ellen Aice was particularly distraught over what she considered a slaughter, as the divers were disorganized and sluggish in their landing which left them easy to pick off by laser class. Even with the initial difficulty, the divers successfully landed and began their primary objective, which was to secure and enter through a hive gate.
It was reported by Python squadron, a group of orbital divers, that they made the first successful entry into the hive at Gate 24.
With that, the Imperial Guard and the US Army F-22As launched. Takeru Shirogane, callsign "Horn 3", was ordered to take his platoon and act as the vanguard. Wardog joined the Black Knives in the attempt to secure the 17th gate. Soon after, the French and Canadian units under command of Bernadette and Captain Ironside arrived to support them. Before they entered the hive, the pilots refuel and resupply. Captain Komaki with Pheasant squadron and Lieutenant Matsukaze and Crane squadron remained on the surface and established a logistics and supply base.
The Marine squadron finished resupplying first, only taking the minimum amount of propellent and ammunition necessary because of Lilia's almost incessant desire to get back to the fight. The French and Canadians followed her inside, bidding Hibiki and the others to hurry along.
Final Phase: Infiltration
Hibiki led his squadron into the hive gate in an attempt to link up with the others. They soon found Lilia and a US Army F-15 squadron under siege by a large group of BETA. The French and Canadian Rafales were present, but even with the reinforcements they were stuck in a stalemate.
After buying enough time, the 66th Tactical Armored unit arrived, under the command of Major Alfred Walken. He ordered the assembled TSFs to hug the sides of the tunnel, and the F22-As launched a barrage of explosive pellets that ripped into the enemy line.
With a moment to rest, the now united force of TSFs were placed under Walken's command and he explained their formation for hive infiltration. There was some concern, raised by Ellen Aice, about the French being ordered into the vanguard position while the Japanese and Americans remained in the back. She was quickly rebuked by the French Captain, Bernadette, who said that the glory of being part of the vanguard belonged to the French alone.
The Canadian commander suggested to Walken that his men be moved from the middle of the formation to the front with the French. He argued that they had completed military exercises with the French, and their numbers combined would create a stable sized unit appropriate for the vanguard position. Walken relented, and gave overall command of the combined force to Bernadette.
The group pushed deeper into the hive, fighting through waves of BETA. Eventually, the French and Canadian TSFs became damaged and the pilots were fatigued. Bernadette reluctantly requested they be allowed to withdraw, disappointed they could not reach the reactor. They bid their goodbyes and wished the remaining forces good luck.
The US/Japanese forces pushed forward alone and detected that the reactor was close. With that discovery, a large BETA unit assaulted their position and forced them to fall back. In the ensuing combat, Yuzuka's TSF suffered significant damage. Before their formation buckled under the pressure, a beam of light shot into the BETA formation from behind the TSFs.
Ikaruga and his Imperial Guard made their presence known and attacked the remaining BETA. Takeru was sent forward as part of the vanguard, and he ripped into the BETA line single-handedly. That was the first display of the completed EML-99X Electromagnetic Induction Launcher, fresh out of operational testing in Hawaii.
Makabe, Ikaruga's second-in-command, alerted Walken that they brought supply containers with them and bid the other forces to resupply while the Imperial Guard advanced. Walken had no choice but to accept their offer.
Yuzuka was ordered by Hibiki to return to Captain Komaki's position and withdraw from the battle: the damage to her TSF too great to continue. She was vehemently against leaving Hibiki, but was comforted by Ellen and Miono who promised to watch him for her.
After resupplying, the rest of the infiltration group linked up with the Imperial Guard and pressed forward. Walken reminded Makabe that his unit and the other US forces were not under Ikaruga's command structure, and could only be in the position of equal allies. This was in response to Makabe's take-charge stance in the infiltration team. Ikaruga said that it was no problem, as they were both seeking to accomplish the same objective.
The large group of TSFs came across a large chamber referred to as the "master hall", where hundreds of pillars of lights were seen. Upon further inspection, the observers made a ghastly discovery: they were the remains of humans that had been captured by the BETA. One of the pilots of the 66th, Lieutenant Hill, quickly surmised that it was the remains of the JFK crew after being captured by the BETA. Walken wondered if it was some sort of research experiment to learn about humans.
Takeru was ordered to get a video feed of the entire chamber for later research. Though no life signs were detected, Lilia was significantly unnerved by seeing Will's and Melvina's corpses in the BETA pods. Ikaruga wondered if it was possible to take a sample back with them, but Takeru explains that similar research on BETA captives had already been done at Yokohama and that it would be a waste of resources to take any of the pods since the occupants were already dead.
One of the Black Knives pilots volunteered to take the pods back, but he was denied by Walken. The marine argued that it was not a matter of research samples, but that they could not willingly leave their dead comrades behind.
Lilia was no longer able to contain herself and began to indescriminately fire on the pods, destroying the entire room while screaming obscenities and other curses at the BETA. Ellen suggested that someone should stop her, and Hibiki agreed, but Takeru told them there is no point. There was no value in the pods, and that the best thing they could use them for was to let them be destroyed so Lilia could get some peace.
Finally, they arrived directly above the reactor chamber. The plan was to use an S-11 to destroy the reactor, so that they could take advantage of the timed fuse to escape. If that plan failed, Walken explained the Americans brought a tactical nuclear device, but that it would be difficult to escape the blast zone if they were forced to use it. Ikaruga was confident that they would succeed and ordered the floor to be blown up.
Multiple S-11s were planted and exploded to create a large hole in the tunnel. Takeru took the lead again with the other Japanese forces following close behind. Walken and the American entered next, with Makabe and Ikaruga staying back to prepare the EML cannon for another shot.
Despite their initial charge, the TSFs got swamped in the sheer amount of BETA inhabiting the chamber. Casualties began to mount as Imperial Guards and a Black Knives pilot were overwhelmed and destroyed. Lieutenant Hill of the 66th defeated the BETA surrounding a downed and panicking Miono, but he is soon killed by a Destroyer-class.
Takeru launched forward and shouted that he would continue to fight to save his friends and return to his old world. Ikaruga fired another round of his EML cannon, signaling a renewed attack as a path had been cleared to the reactor. Ellen's TSF fell and Miono stopped to cover her from the surrounding BETA.
Takeru beckoned Hibiki forward as the both of them headed straight for the reactor. Hibiki planted his S-11 and everyone is ordered to pick up the wounded and retreat. Ellen's TSF is gathered up by Lilia and Miono, and Takeru and Hibiki barely escape the blast radius.
With the destruction of the reactor, the BETA lost most of their aggressive nature and retreated into the sea bed. Ikaruga and his men emerged from the hive gate to a cheering conglomerate of the surviving UN forces. He and Makabe shared a conversation relating to the G-elements they managed to recover from the reactor before its destruction, and how it was lower than their expectations. Ikaruga said there was little they could do to improve the outcome, and that it was unfortunate Yokohama had been destroyed. However, if they kept "her" researching, the fruits of their labors would be unimaginable.
Hibiki and Yuzuka tearfully reunited aboard their aircraft carrier after the fight. Lilia mourned her comrades, and promised them that she would not stop until their revenge was complete. The remaining pilots celebrated their victory over the BETA.
- Hibiki explained that 70% of the IJMDF forces in Seattle had been requisitioned for the JFK hive Operation. The entire first battalion and select members of the second battalion had been chosen to partake in the attack.
- The US had overall command of the multi-national force, excluding Ikaruga's single company of Imperial Guard. This was not due to prejudice but the lack of time to setup a new command structure.
- Meiya, as Shogun, received up-to-date reports during the battle and knew exactly when the hive had been successfully infiltrated. She showed great concern over a particular soldier, a certain bratty savior, and awaited good news of his victory and safe return.
- Some interesting units that made cameos, but otherwise had no speaking parts, were the JA44 Zerberus Battalion, and an unidentified unit of UN-painted Type-94 Shiranui.