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"As they say in my house, there's a thin line between bravery and stupidity."
― Count[1]

Count is an Osean Air Defense Force fighter pilot and a member of the Long Range Strategic Strike Group, as well as a former member of the Spare Squadron.

The self-proclaimed leader of the Spare Squadron, he often inflated his kill reports, garnering significant attention from the base commander D. McKinsey.[2]

His propensity for exaggerating his own feats, most especially his kill count has made out an impression of him being something of a pathological liar, as seen during his time as a member of Spare Squadron, where none of his fellow squad mates and even AWACS Bandog regarded any information he gave out to be trustworthy and reliable.

Biography

Spare Squadron

At some point prior to the Lighthouse War, Count spread rumors that he came from a noble family, hence his nickname.[2] He was later convicted of fraud and was incarcerated. At the war's outbreak, he was transferred to the 444th Air Base's Spare Squadron in Zapland.[3]

As Erusea began attacking the fake base next to the 444th base, Count and the rest of Spare Squadron were repeatedly deployed in order to make the base look legit.[4] On July 1, 2019, Count and the squadron engaged multiple bombers after contact with their superior Colonel D. McKinsey was lost, and was thrown in solitary along with the rest of the unit for disobeying orders.[5]

On July 4, 2019, Count participated in Operation One Pair where he assisted in crippling Erusean bases situated in Roca Roja.[6]

On July 12, 2019, he participated in Operation Two Pairs over the Yinshi Valley, where he assisted the Cyclops and Strider Squadrons. He retreated out of the operation area alongside several other pilots when Sol Squadron entered the airspace.[1]

On July 22, 2019, Count took part in Operation Three of a Kind, where he attacked the oil depot at Artiglio Port. He later assisted in tracking down several tank trucks that were attempting to flee the area, attracting several drones when he was near Erusean territory.[7]

During Operation Flush over the Waiapolo Mountains, Count assisted in destroying radar sites in the area. As a formation of drones posing as an Osean squadron entered the area, Count and the squadron proceeded to engage them once they were identified as hostile, while avoiding Helios projectiles. Following the dogfight, Count was ordered by AWACS Bandog to shoot down the last enemy who was posing as an ally, only to be revealed as fellow Spare Squadron member Full Band, who was tagged by the AWACS as hostile.[8]

On August 5, 2019, Count and Trigger were personally handpicked by the General Staff Office to escort Colonel McKinsey over Bulgurdarest. He escorted the transport carrying the commander, while Trigger destroyed any SAM sites and incoming aircraft, as well as an unidentified aircraft.[3]

Following Operation Full House, Count and Trigger were transferred to the Long Range Strategic Strike Group and joined the ranks of Cyclops and Strider Squadrons, as Cyclops 2 and Strider 1 respectively.[9]

Long Range Strategic Strike Group

Count's first mission as a member of the LRSSG was Operation Siren's Song on August 10, 2019, where Cyclops and Strider Squadrons raided Snider's Top and attacked the primary Erusean Navy resupply junction, destroying the valley resupply base, marine aircraft launching platform, and the Njord Fleet.[9]

On August 19, 2019, Count, took part in Operation Dragon Breath, where Cyclops and Strider Squadrons were deployed to provide air support for OGDF major Deanna McOnie's research group tasked with repairing the previously disabled eighth Stonehenge turret in order to shoot down Arsenal Bird "Liberty". As the Arsenal Bird entered the area, Count defended the turret from invading UAVs while Trigger and Wiseman attacked the Arsenal Bird's central propellers.[10]

Following the operation, Cyclops Squadron was placed on standby, while Count was transferred to Strider Squadron as Strider 2, replacing Skald. On September 2, 2019, he assisted in destroying Erusea's IRBM silos by coordinating with OADF bombers in Sierraplata.[11]

Prior to the culminating attack on Farbanti, Count took part in Operation Werewolf, where he flew through Cape Rainy's ravine and assisted Basilisk Team in a night raid on the Erusean base in the area.[12]

After Operation Werewolf's success, Cyclops Squadron was brought back into action, and Count and Skald were returned to their original positions. On September 19, 2019, Count engaged Erusean forces in Farbanti during Operation Giant's Step. Sometime later in the operation, Sol Squadron arrived and engaged the two squadrons. During the dogfight, Wiseman was shot down and killed by Mister X, forcing leadership of the unit to transferred to Count, who was hesitant to lead. Following the destruction of Usea's satellite network, AWACS Long Caster ordered both squadrons to make an emergency landing at Gardos Air Base.[13]

Following the operation, the squadrons were reorganized, and Count was permanently assigned to Strider Squadron as Strider 2 again. On October 1, 2019, the LRSSG was deployed to escort Erusean general Édouard Labarthe out of Anchorhead Bay. Count assisted in defending the transport from Erusean Radical forces.[14]

On October 10, 2019, Count participated in Operation Reflux in Tyler Island to provide air support for retreating Osean troops. He later assisted in preventing Erusean conservative forces from bombing the island and shooting down escaping SSTO shuttles.[15]

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After Operation Reflux, the LRSSG found themselves lacking in both a communication network and more importantly, supplies. Under the guise of an official mission, Count flew in the Cyclops Squadron alongside Strider Squadron as usual towards the autonomous state of Shilage to raid supplies from Shilage Castle, which had been turned into an impromptu storage facility during Operation Beehive. When the LRSSG were close to neutralizing the rather weak defenses around the area, Sol Squadron reappeared and challenged the two squadrons once again, now loyally affiliated to their origin as a squadron of the Voslagian Air Force. When Wit, aka Sol 2, taunted the LRSSG over an open channel about them "talking bold" even after "one of their leaders got killed", Count was incensed at the Voslagian's callous words, and as they fought over Shilage Castle, Count made angry remarks about wanting to kill and destroy every single Sol Squadron member, mocking their "pride" as "knights" in the sky.

Just when the LRSSG was about to defeat Sol Squadron, however, Mihaly A. Shilage intervened in his new X-02S Strike Wyvern equipped with the powerful "Arclight" EML railgun, and challenged Trigger to a one-on-one duel in the skies. During the dogfight, Count compared Mihaly's flight patterns to the "drone they shot down over Bulgurdarest" earlier in the war, causing Jaeger to chime in stating that it was likely that the advanced UAV from before was more or less likely based off the old ace's flight patterns and not vice versa.

In the final stages of the war, Count was among the last to retreat after Operation Daredevil when the pair of super-advanced UCAVs Hugin and Munin arrived and started shooting down the new Osea-Erusea coalition force's aircraft. Count noticed Princess D'Elise jumping down from the Space Elevator, and when he saw one of the Ravens flying towards her general direction, Count swerved in between the UCAV and the Princess, taking a direct hit on a missile presumably meant for the girl. With his plane heavily damaged from the defensive maneuver, Count is directed by AWACS Long Caster to the derelict OFS Admiral Andersen to land, escorted by his old partner Trigger, in which he manages to succeed, subsequently guiding Trigger's landing process.

In the early hours of the next day, after a grueling battle between what little remained of the Osea-Erusea coalition force's aircraft and the ADF-11Fs, in which several pilots, Wit/Sol 2 among them, are shot down and killed, Count follows Trigger towards the latter's pursuit of the last ADF-11 towards the tunnel leading upwards to the Space Elevator in order to prevent it from transmitting the combat data it had received over both the course of the war and in the recent dogfight, managing to glean Trigger's flight data as well. Count kept up with Trigger relatively well, up until the ADF-11 managed to sneak behind the two pilots, shooting up Count's engines, damaging its ability to generate more thrust. Upon arrival of the subterranean base of the Space Elevator, Count attempted a belly landing while urging Trigger to escape the structure through the Elevator windbreak.

During his landing process, Count's last transmissions abruptly end in a crash and a cut-off of his transmission feed, presumed KIA. This causes a concerned Húxiān to call his position out, and, after a period of silence that followed Trigger flying out of the tall windbreak, reveals that he survived the crash and watched his partner fly out into the blue skies above, saying that it was probably his fate to watch from down below, with Húxiān reciprocating the sentiment.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mission 07: "First Contact", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://ace7.acecombat.jp/clm/column03.php
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mission 10: "Transfer Orders", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  4. Cutscene 05: "Fetid Air", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  5. Mission 05: "444", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  6. Mission 06: "Long Day", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  7. Mission 08: "Pipeline Destruction", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  8. Mission 09: "Faceless Soldier", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mission 11: "Fleet Destruction", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  10. Mission 12: "Stonehenge Defensive", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  11. Mission 13: "Bunker Buster", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  12. Mission 14: "Cape Rainy Assault", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  13. Mission 15: "Battle for Farbanti", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  14. Mission 16: "Last Hope", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  15. Mission 17: "Homeward", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
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