Story


The stage: Venus, near the end of 21st century. It’s been several years since the race to exploit resources, and the suceeding collapse of the bubble economy. The mega-conglomerate, Venus Material Inc. (VMI) is at a standoff with the Sentinels of Terra, an organization formed by the world’s superpowers to keep conflicting interests in check. Now, the situation approaches what was — in a century past — a “cold war”, just like the last century.

On an airfield in the suburbs of Terra Structure #3 is the base of the Raiders, a civilian group that undertakes various jobs. To complete these dangerous tasks, a special license to own and utilize weaponry is required — Ellea Southline, the Raiders’ driver, is an owner of said license. One day, she is asked to retrieve a certain object from inside a laboratory now occupied by an armed group. She manages to slip through the enemy and get the object. However, on her way back, the Raiders squad is attacked by an unknown force in a demilitarized zone. They send out a distress signal, but both VMI and the Sentinels show up, quickly turning into a firefight. The situation escalates into all-out war.

World


The second planet from the sun, whose orbital radius and diameter are similar enough to Earth’s that it’s referred to as Earth’s sister planet. In the latter half of the 20th century, studies find many artificially created structures on the surface of Venus, as well as an abundance of natural underground resources. Every country on Earth now dedicates its efforts in earnest to conduct further studies into Venus; the nations aim to acquire greater influence, with the shortage of natural resources becoming apparent at the turn of the 21st century. With the results of the Venus surveys and the successful implementation of a rope-way between Earth and outer space — an orbital elevator — profits from mining Venus’s resources begin to pour in. The way is paved to the large scale development of Venus.
The many large structures discovered on Venus are referred to as “Ruins”. Who built them, and for what purpose, are still a mystery. The structures’ size and shape hold similarities to those from modern Earth; there are some who argue that these ruins are the remains from some form of highly advanced ancient civilization. They contest that no man could have built these, and that some alien beings must have constructed them to observe Earth. It has been discovered that a multitude of special composite materials were used in the construction of the ruins, which greatly contributed to the development of the orbital elevator. It is also believed that countless unknown technologies reside in these ruins, and so humanity as a whole has begun to investigate these ruins.
Humanity, having hit the limit of Earth’s natural resources, begins its large scale development of Venus in search of resources. With research of the Ruins as the focus, both the United Nations and Venus Material Inc., a resource harvesting company, send a great deal of workers to Venus. By the 21st century, development on the planet has advanced to the point where even civilians can carry out normal lives. With vast quantities of natural resources present in the ground, an explosion of growth follows as the 2070s roll in. However, with the worsening military situation and sudden tightening of loans and credit, the bubble collapses. Several hundred thousand “Venus Refugees” become separated from Earth, both financially, and physically.
By the mid-21st century, energy problems have been solved through the advancement of technology. What remained, however, was the exhausting of underground resources. Humanity began to focus its sights on finding resources from other stars. Once it is discovered that areas around the ruins located on Venus have copious amounts of these underground resources, humanity begins to mobilize to exploit these resources. With so much to gain from both the resources and the ruins themselves, the United Nations and VMI both vie for a greater slice of the pie.
An enormous amount of funding begins to pour in to assist in the development and exploitation of Venus’s resources and ruins, leading to a boom in the economy. Even those who have nothing to do with the planet’s resources ride the wave of immigration and development, leading to the rapid deterioration of the environment. History repeats itself, as the bubble economy bursts, leading public order to quickly spiral out of control. The autonomous government is now in a predicament, desperately trying to preserve what’s left of the peace, and handle the many immigrants still on the planet.

Organizations


A military group under UN-affiliated countries, it was established to help maintain the power balance on Venus. The local populace often refer to them as the “Sentinels”. Although Venus has autonomous sectors from various countries from Earth, they are not recognized as sovereign states. There is a fear that the one country may control, or merge with another country. To keep the power in balance and to prevent any needless conflict, the military and police forces of each country joined together to form the Sentinels. Initially, this was more of a symbolic peace treaty, but as business conglomerates and mafia syndicates began to grow in power, leading to frequent skirmishes. On Venus’s modern landscape, they now, as their name suggests, keep the peace.
Following the collapse of the bubble economy, Venus Material Inc. acquired numerous other companies, becoming a vast, mega-conglomerate. The company has been around since the very start of Venus’s development; while a long-established firm, some say it has expanded to the point where it holds sway over Venus’s entire economy. Not only is it involved in resources and energy, but also in cars, aerospace, precision machinery, construction, finance, real estate, and a wide array of other ventures. VMI has even forcibly stationed a private police force in an area, with many citizens holding the firm in contempt. However, the fact of the matter is that Venus’s society can no longer function properly without VMI in the equation. The government also places a great deal of trust in VMI.
The Sentinels’ goal is to constantly maintain the power balance between each and every country. Considering VMI alone could serve to be Venus’s de facto ruler, the firm is a nuisance to the Sentinels. Although the possession of arms for self-defense is permitted on Venus, VMI’s private police surpasses this limit, leading to difficulties handling them in recent confrontations. The area directly outside the territory under VMI’s jurisdiction has been considered a demilitarized zone, holding the group’s advance at bay. The two forces are now at a standoff with each other, leading to Venus’s current state of military affairs.

Environment


As much as Venus resembles Earth, its environment is far too harsh for humans to live in. To improve the efficiency of mining resources, as well as alter the environment to make it more livable, massive “Terra Structures” were stationed in 5 different areas, with a majority of these making use of existing Ruins. With the construction of various forms public transportation along the Terra Structures, mankind uses them as a launchpad to mine resources and conduct studies on the Ruins.
Named so by the residents of Venus, these aggressive mechanical lifeforms have been found to appear in and around the ruins quite often. In order to protect yourself from sudden Watchdog attacks while mining or investigating, some level of armament when carrying out your duties while on Venus.
At the onset of Venus’s development, the planet was considered in the realm of “outer space”. There was no room for mere outsiders, so even security wasn’t needed. However, that all changed with the development of the orbital elevator, and the wave of mass immigration that it brought. As each day passes, the disparity of the rich and poor within the Terra Structures becomes more and more apparent, with the public order worsening as well. Although some degree of armament is permitted due to the presence of the Watchdogs, the deterioration of public order has also led both the Sentinels and VMI to bolster their own armaments, escalating the situation due to the increasing threat from the other party, leading to a cold war situation.
With the Sentinels and VMI locked in a cold war, each side’s land, air, and sea forces could already be considered an army. Because the Sentinels are using scientific investigation as its primary front, and VMI is a privately owned company, both parties find it difficult to strengthen their forces on a larger scale. By employing civilians — registered drivers — as private contractors, they can unofficially add these mercenaries to their own forces.

Raiders


Raiders are very small, highly agile jet fighters. With conflicts breaking out at the turn of the 21st century, the battlegrounds moved from full-scale, all-out wars into guerrilla warfare conducted in cities and mountains; conventional tactics were unable to cope with this shift. To combat the change, a different type of weapon was developed: the Raider. By sacrificing the aircraft’s capabilities for supersonic flight, and equipping of ultra-long-range missiles, the size was drastically decreased, and made much more accessible for anyone to pilot.

Raiders are usually designated with a code “R-xx”, such as R-10, R-27, etc.

Although highly dependent on the type of craft, Raiders have a fairly short cruising range of a few thousand kilometers. To be able to deploy into a combat zone, they require a nearby airfield — even an improvised one — for maintenance. When fully loaded, they are still light, running up to about 4 tons, allowing them to land even on highways. Some Raider models are even equipped with special landing gear that allows them to land on rough, swampy terrain; having just a bulldozer clear enough flat ground is enough for them to land.

In many aspects, Raiders can be considered more similar to helicopters, or even armored vehicles, rather than fighter craft. Hence, there are many units that are stationed not with the air force, but the army.

A Raider’s primary armament is composed of a machine gun and small missiles. Because they were designed for finding and taking out enemies hidden in urban and mountainous areas, combat is generally conducted within eyesight of the opponent. Being equipped with a fairly high caliber machine gun, it’s posited that the gun can be used to take out enemy forces without the use of missiles. Its combat speed is around 300km/h, which is fairly slow, but because it’s designed to go up close against enemy soldiers, the speed is sufficient to dodge auto-cannons and shoulder-mounted missiles — a clear advantage over conventional helicopters and tanks. Using radio communications in coordination with a highly advanced integrated weapons system, it can automatically distinguish friend and foe, making radar unnecessary. In most cases, it is piloted by a single person.

Furthermore, Raiders are not equipped with stealth systems, the use of which was commonplace at the time. However, they fly at a low enough altitude to be seen by the naked eye and are very small craft with an overall length of less than 10m, making it difficult to be spotted by radar in the first place. Adding to this, Raiders are meant to be used against opponents employing guerrilla tactics — radar detection countermeasures were never considered in the first place.

The primary impetus for the development of the Raider was to bring costs down for aerial weapons systems. To cut costs, they used the same parts as civilian aircraft, allowing for a craft to be produced at a similar budget to a small civilian jet. Because of the lower cost, Raiders were used not only by the military, but also by police organizations; the demand resulted in mass production, making them even cheaper. Raiders can also used by private firms for survey and observation, and by the rich as a luxury — such craft, with the weapons removed, are now publicly available.
Those operating a Raider are referred to, not as “pilots”, but as “drivers”. There are many theories as to why. When Raiders were acquired by private firms, their use required a different license than existing aircraft. In order to make the distinction, the use of the term was coined — or so one theory goes.
Raiders are often used in navigating Venus’s Ruins and Terra Structures. While originally developed for use in Earth’s cities, it was found that they had the same advantages when it comes to flying through such complex areas in Venus. Craft for civilian use are primarily unarmed. However, in order to protect yourself from the Watchdogs, you can take a short course to earn a license, allowing you to own and operate an armed Raider.

Characters


Ellea Southline

Driver name: SONIC-VENUS. When she was 3, she and her father moved to Venus. She’s a specially licensed driver who not only handles investigations and deliveries, but also dangerous work like combat against armed organizations — a real jack of all trades. Ellea is registered with the Sentinels as a pilot, and is looking for information on her father, Joege Southline — one of the Sentinels’ top pilots and an aviation engineer.

Lisa Southline

Ellea’s cousin, whom she treats like an older sister. Having moved to Venus for her studies, she now works at the North Side Airfield — also her home — manning the air controls and working as an operator. During combat missions, Lisa manages tactics; she is also a top-class hacker who provides Ellea support through information warfare. Collecting different types of black tea is one of her hobbies, sometimes having Ellea going out and collecting them for her; she has a room where she stores her collection.

Nobuyuki Sasaki

A friend of Joege’s, and a former mechanic of the Sentinels. His colleagues place a great deal of trust in his expertise in aeronautic and vehicular engineering. After Joege’s sudden disappearance, he retired early and now spends his time managing the North Side Airfield, and serving as Ellea’s guardian.

Joege Southline

Ellea’s father and Lisa’s uncle; he was a pilot with the Sentinels until 5 years ago, where he went missing due to an accident while on a mission. They refuse to release any information regarding the accident, so his last whereabouts or his physical safety are both unknown.

Sai Chen

A civilian driver from the Raiders, and a mercenary who focuses solely on combat missions. This kind of driver specializes in pinpoint anti-personnel missions — in other words, assassinations — and will not hesitate for a moment when offered a job. They are an essential part of Venus’s dark political power struggles; and it’s an open secret that both the government and private entities make use of their services.

Juria Loily

Another fellow driver from the Raiders, born and raised on Venus, and works together with Sai. One can find themselves in conflict with another driver from the Raiders due to work, which is why she doesn’t like to interact much with her colleagues. Much about her is unknown because of this.

Screenshots


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