The Crystite WarsEdit

The following is a deposition from European Union fleet Lieutenant Commander, Orestes Nostromo, speaking on his experience as an F-85 Remora pilot during the Crystite Wars. It was taken by a newspaper reporter towards the end of the Crystite Wars.

Aris Holden - Historian

I remember some of my childhood in Athens, before the Firefall. The memories are only glimpses though. I remember my mother. I remember her taking me to the Parthenon, the Temple of Hephaestus, Mount Lycabettus. She wanted to show me the masterpieces of my ancestors. I remember the Olympic Stadium where my father would often take me to watch old football matches.

My family could trace its history in Athens nearly all the way to antiquity. So I'm sure you can imagine how tragic it was that my father and I were on holiday in London when the Firefall began. And with the War of Reunification and the invasion of Greece by Ivan [ed. Ivan is the slur used by the EU forces during the Crystite Wars to describe Russian forces], you can imagine how it felt for my father and I, knowing that we would not return home to our family.

I think it was around that time that my vendetta against Ivan began to grow. From that point on, I counted down the days until my eighteenth birthday. As soon as I could, I wanted to join the EU military and perhaps one day get a chance to liberate Greece.

Of course, that chance came during the Crystite Wars. At the Battle of Athens.

At the time I was a bomb-chaser aboard the E.U.S. Morningstar. Bomb-chasers were just like the old spitfire pilots that escorted bombers back in the twentieth century. The only differences were that we were escorting a mindless bomb and we were doing it at a couple thousand knots straight down. It was a ten-thousand-kilometer plunge from orbit towards the hard earth.

During Athens, I was flying an F-85 Remora. It was a cozy little two-man fighter that had a reinforced heat shield and secondary turret. It was great for bomb-chasing. My gunner was Ulmer McTish, a fiery little Irishman that could shoot the toes off a housecat with that turret. He was a good man, a good guy to have riding behind you.

The bomb we were chasing was headed straight for an Ivan missile battery in the middle of Athens and our job was to keep any sort of missile or bogie from shooting that bomb down prematurely. We were the first stage of the attack, if we didn't do our job in downing that battery, the jarheads riding the infantry bombs would be dead before they got their boots on dirt.

The Morningstar was already under attack the moment we were launched from our bay. From that point on, it was a ten thousand kilometer run towards the atmosphere and our road was filled with nothing but bogies and counter-missile attacks. Ulmer did a hell of a job keeping them off, I got a chance to take a few out myself. Our wingman, a guy named Briggs, did better than the both of us.

Day8 nostromo

We made it to the blind dive with the bomb still falling on course. The blind dive was the point when you hit the atmosphere, when the plasma exploding off your ship is so bright, you can't see a thing. The moment we came out of the blind dive, however, that's when the real chaos began.

We found ourselves under fire from anti-air defenses, Pav-90 Valkyries, counter-missiles and even a few air mines. We had about a minute left in the chase at that point, but it seemed like the better part of an hour. We were spraying our gunfire like it was going out of business. Ulmer watched for any incoming projectiles to our sides, Briggs and I just worried about plowing an open path in front of us.

When the bomb was close enough, I broke off from the bomb hitting about ten G. I radioed for Briggs to check on. But. [ed. Nostromo appears visibly upset at this point]

After a bomb is delivered, since usually this put you in the middle of enemy territory, the job of a bomb-chaser instantly became doing as much damage as possible before making a run to friendly airspace. As our squadron leader said, "If you still got ammo, you still got a job to do."

So, Ulmer and I broke into combat with Ivan Valkyries.

We found a few decent dogfights. I downed four Ivans that day, almost made Ace. Ulmer downed a lot more. The battle over Athens was something out of this world. It reminded me of that old story, Clash of the Titans. It was truly an apocalyptic scene.

When we were out of ammo, I turned towards our pickup rendezvous. The route it was on took us right passed the Parthenon. I wanted to see it, after all those years, you know. As we passed over, all I saw was rubble. An Ivan Valkyrie had crashed right through it.

It was impossible to tell, but sometimes I dread to think that it was one of the Valkyries I was dog fighting that day.

As I'm sure you know, the Battle of Athens ended with the eventual liberation of Greece. About a year later, when I got a chance for leave, I returned to Athens to see the city again.

But, of all the places I visited with my parents, all that remained was Mount Lycabettus. Everything else had been destroyed during its liberation. After only a few days, I left and returned to duty early.

It was no longer the home I remembered, to this day, I haven't returned.

-Did you ever reunite with your mother and family?

During that trip, I went back to the house I grew up in...

[Nostromo pauses]

Or. where it used to be.

Twelve Days of Firefall

Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - Day 6 - Day 7 - Day 8 - Day 9 - Day 10 - Day 11 - Day 12