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Darkness


Lord Zephyr
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*private*

3/22

The Grassy Plains Navy Ship Apocalypse, one of the nations last Battleships and the remnants of now lost technology, sailed into what remained of the Mombasa harbor with Royal Guard Captain Merlin Athrawes at the helm. The port, normally only used for commercial purposes, had been hastily converted to accompany the warships Grassy Plains N Such had remaining during the time of crisis. Half of the navy was now disintegrated, being in port when the bombs fell. Two of the missiles launched on that fateful day were aimed at Mombasa, one aimed for the direct center of the city and the other for naval base south of the city. The brave officers at the helm of their base's missile defense control chose to focus their efforts on destroying the missile aimed at the city rather than save themselves. The force of the missile hitting the base still took its toll on the city, and many people died anyway, but it could be rebuilt unlike the radioactive crater to the south.

The rest of Grassy Plains N Such suffered just as much if not more. There was no more capital at Nairobi and what wasn't a crater was utterly destroyed. Kisumu was destroyed and most of the smaller cities surrounding it had some amount of damage done to them. The only major city in the nation that didn't suffer any immediate damage from the nukes was Kampala, whose SDI caught the nuke in time, but as Matthew promised Kampala was taken over by Commander Zhao and the other commanders of Matthew's "special forces" hidden in the weapons research facility and military complex beneath Lake Victoria. It was where Merlin was heading now and why he wasn't by Alexander's side like a good captain of the Royal Guard should be. He didn't like running around being away from Alexander for very long, but Alex had convinced him that the best way he could help protect him at this point was to hunt down his enemies stating, "If the other guards can't handle protecting me while your occupied, then what's the point of you training them anyway?" And did hunt the rebels, viscously, from disposing of Colonel Washington to scouring the waters for a rouge nuclear submarine he had been slowly and steadily eliminating the leaders of the now defunct personal army of Matthew's.

The other members of the Royal Guard were working furiously as well, and were spread dangerously thing because of it. Keeping down uprisings spurred on by Matthew's people, destroying nukes in their silo's before they could be launched, and of course protecting the King from assassination attempts. Abraham's army helped where it could but we're mostly no match for the extremely well trained soldiers in Matthew's army. The small amount of "special forces" not loyal to Matthew, now deemed Abraham's Guard, helped a great deal, aiding the guard in their missions and being almost as effective at it as his guards were as well.

The ship docked in port and Merlin went ashore, his right hand resting naturally in the hilt of his sword in the style of a samurai. A second tier soldier in the army stood at the beginning of the pier with his weapon ready. He was looking across the bay, where a bridge should be and a destroyed building on the other side, still on fire.

[IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p199/Lord_Actious/H3ODST_ONIBldgCinematic.jpg[/IMG]

Merlin walked up to him and asked what happened.

"Sir," he saluted, "there was a terrorist attack, and then an accidental ordinance detonation. A few rebels blew up the bridge and tried to hold out on the island until some choppers could come pick them up with the cargo that was in there. We intercepted their radio chatter and the choppers. We were just about to assault it and retake it when the building exploded. Hazops has already taken a look at it, it's clear now."

Merlin nodded, "How many KIA?"

"The terrorists are dead, though I don't think all of them were SF. We had four KIA and two WIA. The four KIA were part of the squad defending the depot, the rest of the squad escaped. A few civilian workers died as well."

Merlin dismissed the soldier but he didn't move, just stared at the burning building as if deep in thought. Merlin shook his head and moved on, thinking about what this incident implied. [i]If the terrorists can still launch attacks this far away from their HQ in Kampala, what have we been doing? We've eliminated nearly all of Washington's troops and taken out over five thousand special forces troops already and a good chunk of those we're officers. There were only a few thousand registered troops in the army, so how many did Matthew have hidden in his base?[/i]

Merlin sighed and hopped on the chopper waiting for him at the other end of the harbor. He would find out soon enough how many troops there were left when he assaulted their command center.

Edited by Lord Zephyr
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*Sometime after the nukings*

A dark gloom had settled in over Grassy Plains N Such, or so it seemed to Alexander. The clouds appeared to linger for day's on end with only brief ray's of light peaking through every now and then. Just one of the many gifts Matthew had given him when he took over the nation. Another gift he stood on as he looked to the sky. The rubble that was now Nairobi, and the similar scenes across the nation. He did the best he could, but with the infrastructure crippled and limited resources the best he managed was to defend himself from the echo's of Matthew's last actions.

[i]What a fitting situation for a new ruler to be in. Just in office and several million of your subjects die along with most of your infrastructure, half of your army defects, the one remaining city you have left is in control of the enemy, and the people are still dying of radiation sickness and attacks by and on the rebels. The people will love you after this.[/i] he thought. Ah the radiation was a problem, It would linger for years and years unless he could get a proper clean up done. Other nations could do it, but he felt it was too dangerous to let any other nation send aid yet. He was protected from the radiation of course, his armor did that job. He was protected from a lot of things now, he had to be. The five Royal Guards around him were just a small part of the hundred man team that was protecting him at all times.

It's not like he didn't have protection before, even on the island where nobody could get to him he had at least Merlin near him at all times. And Merlin was as good as the hundred troops surrounding him now, perhaps better. Not to mention he had been trained by Merlin since his father died, not his real father, his uncle the previous King Zephyr. "Ah father what have I gotten myself into?" he sighed.

He took a look around at the desolate landscape. Buildings meant to last for lifetimes knocked down like tree's by a lumberjack. Concrete pillars with rebar sticking out of them gave the only monument to those who died here. He would fix that in time if he got that chance. He would try to fix everything if he could. But first there was one more place to visit.

He activated his helmets com, "Get me a chopper, I want to go see the crater before we leave." In minutes three choppers flew in and picked Alexander up and flew in the direction of the crater. You couldn't miss it, as soon as they gained a significant amount of height they saw the flatlands surrounding the blast area, area's where buildings just weren't leveled, they were gone. "My god..." Alexander whispered. The area of disintegration was nearly 60 km wide, when Abraham said these were city killers he wasn't kidding. Alexander stared at the hole for a long time, and the only thought he could think of was, "This shouldn't happen to anyone for any reason at all."

A rumble broke his concentration and one of the guards came in over the com, "Sir, there is a storm coming, we should get grounded immediately."

Alexander looked briefly again at the crater and nodded to his pilot, "Take us back then."

Edited by Lord Zephyr
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The burning building glinted off the soldiers face mask. The guard who had approached him was one of the new Royal Guards brought in by their new King. He scoffed at the idea of a King. Of course he didn't believe in the whole General Mao scheme Abraham set up, in fact he admired him for it. It showed that he really didn't want to rule. If anything he could still be proud of the fact that stepping aside when the King came in showed it even more. The soldiers hadn't been told much when that King came to power. There was a scuffle, and ultimately the Prime Minister betrayed Abraham. It ended with that man who he just talked to killing Matthew. Then everything went to hell.

One Month Prior:

Siti Razreal sat by her new commander, some lieutenant dragged up by command on the spot to fill her old Lt's position when he got promoted after the nuking. The whole nation geared up for war in a matter of minutes and was knocked down in a matter of day's. Now the military no longer had the infrastructure to upkeep the advanced weaponry they had developed, so they worked with what they had. She'd been in it since she graduated from secondary school, before the new tech was introduced, so she could fight without the auto-aim. The majority of the army now however, which consisted of reserves brought on to fight, were trained specifically for the new tech to help them. Another bonus on this blossomed FUBAR situation.

She sighed and turned to her new CO, "So LT, you got a name?"

He turned his head for a moment, stated "Styvyn." and turned his attention back to whatever it was before.

"So are you Lieutenant Stiven, what the hell kind of name is stiven anyway?" Siti was slightly perturbed at the short answer.

He turned his head again, "It's Styvyn, just say it like Steven, and my last name is Actious. Lieutenant Actious if you want to be formal."

Again he turned his head back to what he was doing before. This annoyed Siti to no end. She was about to say something, "Hey, there's no reason to give me the cold shoulder y'know just because your the CO. It really-"

Another soldier behind her jabbed her in the ribs with his arm, "Can it Siti, you didn't read his profile did you, he's CO because his former CO got cooked and he was next in line. Watch your mouth, he seems the sensitive type."

A few of the soldiers in the squad chuckled. Siti looked noticeably cowed. "Jeez sarge, you didn't have to hit me so hard." She said while rubbing her rib cage.

The Lieutenant looked up from his work again and sighed. "I suppose I haven't introduced myself properly to you yet. I am Lieutenant Styvyn N. Actious. I am your new CO. As you may or may not be aware the Army is currently lacking in officers so they promoted me when my commander was killed in action. Your former CO was promoted for the same reasons. I sent you all a copy of the mission file, I hoped you read it. For those who didn't basically we're fighting back some of the best troops in our former army and whatever they can scrap off the bottom. At the moment we're heading for Mombasa, our last major city not occupied by the enemy and currently the capital of GPNS."

"So basically we're $%&@ed and if you go down the sarge is up for promotion." The entire squad laughed this time.

"Laugh now I suppose, and I don't plan on going down any time soon, so sarge don't put a bullseye on my back."

Another laugh, "I don't plan on it, then the next guy will just pick it up and put it on my back."

OOC: TBC...

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  • 2 weeks later...

After hours of flight from the temporary HQ set up outside of the Nairobi crater the squad finally made it to Mombassa. They landed at another temporary military base on a temporary landing pad next to one of the few structures still standing, the Old Mombasa Hospital. It was established as their "new" military hospital and virtually every soldier with a serious injury had to come here for treatment. The Lieutenants new squad was taken from the "front lines" of the northern cities not destroyed by the Kisumu nuke to help with the recent rebel stirrings in Mombasa. He was told it was more of a moral trip, to keep the people's spirits up, but he knew the real reason behind the relocation.

Sure Mombasa was the nations last semi in tact stronghold, but for the same reasons the army shouldn't be needing to reinforce it if this was just a "rebellion" as the King liked to put it. Though they tried to keep the reports on the down low he had seen it with his own eye's, civilians being led by actual soldiers. Civilians with the same tech that the Military's Special Forces had. He didn't know much about the special forces, and he knew that they split among both sides, but he did know that a large portion of them disappeared when the King came to power. With this information he could guess that they we're behind the rebellion. Loyal to Matthew perhaps?

He shrugged and tried to focus on the Major standing in front of him.

"Lieutenant, are you listening to me!?" The major yelled.

[i]Jeez, this guy should have stayed a drill sergeant.[/i] he thought. "Yes, sir."

"Good, now here's the grid I want you to patrol." He outlined the area with his finger on a map. "Civilians are in the area, but it's designated a cold area for now. You'll be teamed up with Squads Charlie, Delta, and Epcot. If you run into trouble signal them first and they should be on top of you within five minutes. Is that all clear Lieutenant?"

"Crystal, sir."

"Good, your Jeeps are in the Garage. Number one and two."

He saluted the officer and went back to his squad. "Pack it up, our orders are to patrol this section of Mombasa. Civilians are present so keep your safeties on. We have some jeeps so I need a couple of drivers and gunner's."

Four of the soldiers stood up, two stepped forward first. "Private Stillwell, sir, Oscar and I are usually the drivers." The Oscar chimed in, "Private Oscar Ayim, sir."

Actious nodded to the both of them, "Alright, and you two?"

The next two stepped up. "Corporal Gabriel Jalloh. Official gunner of Squad Foxtrot."

"Lance Corporal Blyds Madaki. Not officially better gunner of Squad Foxtrot. But everyone knows it." The remark brought on a couple of chuckles.

Styvyn shook his head, sighed, and got his squad ready to go, "Lets go already, you can decide who gets shotgun when we get there. But I get first dibs."

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  • 2 weeks later...

The suburban district Actious was driving through had a couple of quirks to it. It looked like a battlezone, there was debris everywhere. Several houses had collapses roofs. Others seemed as if they had sunk into the ground. Not a single window was left unbroken. Other than that everything seemed to be working. There were telephone poles that had been hastily fixed and rewired, plumbing probably worked as there wasn't any waste littered everywhere. In general this neighborhood seemed relatively unscathed compared to other parts of the city. This made the other quirk a little unsettling. The people around him stopped whatever they were doing and just stared at him and his squad. It didn't seem malicious, but it seem like they expected something... from them? They passed a black mother and her two children, who she huddled close to her. She said something to the kids and they ran inside. She stayed a little longer, and then went herself.

Styvyn looked back now and noticed that others had done the same thing. The streets behind him were now abandoned when before they were relatively populated. This made him nervous and he radioed the other jeep, "Keep your eye's peeled, somethings seems... fishy."

The sergeant spoke over the other jeeps radio. "Fishy? What you've got a," he paused for effect, "bad feeling about this."

Several of the crew of Actious's jeep chuckled at the overused cliche. "Would you not say that please. I had overused cliche's, especially that one."

They continued on for a while until they came to a couple of trucks parked on the sides of the road. They were just big enough that the armored jeeps couldn't fit through. Two men stood in front of one truck with its hood up.

Actious cursed. Thought about letting Blyds and Gabriel open up with their guns, but sighed and told the his truck to stop, but the other to go around if they could find a way. "Gabriel you stay on the gun, you two, be my backup, Stillwell keep the engine going. At the first sign of trouble I want you to run over those truck got it?"

"Yes sir." Stillwell nodded.

"You two on either side of the trucks, make sure no one sneaks up on me." The lieutenant sighed again. The two men apparently hadn't noticed him walking up until he knocked on the raised hood.

"Excuse me sirs, may I ask you to move one of your trucks momentarily so my jeep can get through?"

The man who responded first was black, but rather skinny and also the closest to Styvyn. "Why certainly officer, just as soon as you get out of our country." The man pulled a gun out of his baggy overall, but it was an assault rifle and Actious closed the range too quickly for him to use it. He wrestled over the gun for a few seconds while the second man, a tall white and rather muscular male smiled and pulled out what looked like a detonator in one hand and a pistol in the other. His backup scrambled to get to him, but he pushed the button on the detonator and both trucks exploded, but only half of the truck he was in front of did. Behind the trucks his jeep also took a hit from below.

His squadmate on the half exploded truck survived the blast, but was disoriented and had trouble getting back up. The white man aimed his pistol and shot him twice in the chest and once in the head. Styvyn yelled, "NO!" wrenched the rifle out of the black mans hands and beat him across the face with it. He was about to turn to the white man, but he was already upon him and grabbed Styvyn's arm with his left hand, and delivered a savage punch with his right. Actious saw stars and his helmet flew off. The white man raised his pistol to dispatch him, but a quick burst of LMG fire from the Jeep made him duck for cover. His other jeep swerved through a fence and its gunner opened up on the man, who was now in front of the half burning car. Two of his squad members came and got him into the second jeep and the first just crashed through the debris of the trucks and the convoy was off and moving again.

The lieutenant was regaining his wits and queried the sergeant, "Sergeant, status report."

"Both your guards are dead, the first jeep took minor damage from a buried land mine apparently. We drove over a few trying to get to you. We saw the smoke and heard gunfire on the other side of a fence, so we just drove through it."

A blast rocked the jeep off its wheels briefly but it kept moving. "Rockets on the rooftops!" Madaki screamed over the sound of his gun firing. More explosions, several misses causing craters to form on the once usable paved road.

"Backup?" Styvyn iunquired.

"Already called, we've got two birds coming in and the other six convoys as well. Might want to delay those birds with the rockets though." The sergeant responded

"Alert them to rockets but keep 'em coming."

"Acknowledged." The sergeant grabbed the radio and informed the birds of the AA.

"Also alert command that I think there's special forces here. One of the guys acted like a recruited terrorist, but the other knew what he was doing."

The sergeant nodded and relayed it.

Siti, who was in the second car, giggled a bit.

"What the F**k do you find funny in this Siti." A soldier commented.

"His nose, the Lieutenant got decked through his helmet."

Styvyn hadn't noticed it yet but his nose hurt like hell, and his helmet was off. He looked at his nose and saw red. "Sh*t."

The medic climbed into the back with Styvyn and started treating the wound. He heard more gunfire outside the jeep and heard sergeant say, "The calvary has arrived." Another thing he noticed was no more explosions. "Rockets have stopped, did we get them?"

"That or they're waiting for the birds. Or if we're lucky just out of ammo." Siti said.

He heard the whine of choppers and bursts of minigun fire. Blyds yelled, "Yeeeeehaaaaaw, big brother owns the skies. Listen to that minigun purr." He followed this with a burst from his own gun. "Try not to hit anyone without a gun Blyds." Siti remarked. Blyds just laughed maniacally.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two soldiers down Squad Foxtrot spent the rest of the day hunting down the rebels along with the other four squads. By the end of the day they caught fifteen, the most out of any group. Command commended their performance and promoted all of them. Lieutenant Actious was now Captain Actious. A few day's later he was briefed on his next assignment.

Actious sat in a briefing room with the Major who commanded him before. "At O' Four hundred hours yesterday the captain guarding this weapons depot
[IMG]http://images.wikia.com/halo/images/3/33/Alphabase_new_1.png[/IMG]
was assassinated by the enemy. For this and other reasons we believe that the depot is about to come under attack by the rebel forces. You are being assigned to guard it. You have four squads, including your old squad and all the weapons you think you require to defend it. Command will be monitoring air traffic and we'll be on the ready to respond to any situation that arises."

Actious frowned at this, "Sir, if I may speak freely?"

"This is your assignment, go ahead."

"I see a few problems with this. Why would they assassinate the captain and not immediately attack the base? It makes it kind of obvious that thats what they're targeting, and if not its a diversion for something bigger."

"The captain was one of a few targets that were attacked in the past few days, the only reason this one is significant is his link to the depot."

"Who killed the captain then."

"Whoever it was got away. Obviously one of the damned special forces freaks."

"Great..." Actious muttered.

________

"Squad one, you will be with me patrolling the outside of the warehouse. Squad's two and three will be in the courtyard." Actious read from a list of people he'd assigned to different squads. "Squad four," he looked at the Sergeant, Stillwell, Jalloh, and Ayim, the four of his former squad he assigned to his new squad four. "You will guard the interior of the facility. You have your assignments, be on alert, this is a prime target and I've been informed that the rebels have it in their sights. If you see anything alert me and we'll have command send the entire damned army if we have to. Dismissed."

He stopped the sergeant just before he left, "Sarge, you're our last line of defense, and most of the supplies are explosives. If it looks like there's no other choice you have permission to use them. Just don't set the fuse too short."

The sergeant nodded, saluted, and left with his squad. Actious turned towards his own squad, he picked the four remaining members of his old squad and six others that seemed appropriate. Siti and Blyds we're among them. Blyds had saved his life and for some reason he enjoyed Siti's snarkiness. He assigned the sergeant to squad four because he trusted him to guard his rear, because this was a one way trip if there was an attack, and if the enemy got behind him they were done with this mission.

________

A few hours later...

"Squads check in."

"Squad two, nothing to report."

"Squad three, same."

"..."

A pause, then "Squad one check in."

More silence, then "Squad one check, everything is fine."

A problem, that wasn't sarges voice. "Squad two and three can you check on squad one, seems they have a comm malfunction."

Actious turned to his own squad, "Somethings up, we're moving in."

He turned towards the bridge and started running for it, his squad in tow, but was stopped just before it as it exploded.

"Captain, get down!" Blyds tackled Actious to the ground, the rest of his squad hit the deck as debris flew everywhere. Their armor protected them from most of it.

The Captain turned on his comm again, "Squad two and three, DO NOT ENTER, repeat do not enter the building, guard the front entrance and keep anyone from coming out. I'll contact command."

Just before he switched comms another voice spoke to him, "It's too late Captain, we've subdued your soldiers already, we'll be holding them hostage until our rides get here and we can take your munitions out. I suggest you just wait it out, we've destroyed the entrance and if we see any helicopter but our own we'll kill all of the men."

[i]!@#$@#$ !@#$.[/i] Actious thought. "Command, be advised the depot has been taken, all my soldiers are either traitors or hostages. Be on the lookout for their transportation."

"Roger that captain, we've targeted their transports and sent a team to take them out."

Actious winced, he hoped somebody had the foresight to not broadcast this to the traitors in his squad too.

"We'll be sending you reinforcements ASAP. ETA five minutes."

"Be advised, don't land inside the complex, they'll kill my men if you do."

A moment of silence, "Aknowledged."

The Captain thought about what he had just said, [i]If there we're traitors inside the complex then...[/i] He turned and faced his squad, gun at the ready.

"It is traitors who now have my squads captive, does anyone here want to claim that title too?" He hoped to god none of the six men he picked raised there hands.

Blyds moved next to Actious with his rifle out, facing the rest of the squad. "Any takers? Don't worry we got your back, sir."

Siti had her gun at the ready and moved towards Actious and Blyds. "I'd volunteer, but I'd hate to steel anybody else's thunder."

Actious nodded to his comrades, and looked anxiously at the other two from his squad, they backpedaled away from the rest of the group and took up positions behind and to the side of the remaining six.

Finally, after nearly a minute's standoff, one of the remaining soldiers came forward. "Look, we may be new to your group, but none of us are traitors." He looked around. "Can we put the guns down now?"

Actious sighed, "Good then, good, set up positions around the entrance and we're going to wait for reinforcements to get here. We don't have the numbers or firepower to take these guys on at the moment, much less the method."

And they waited.

________

A few minutes prior.

The sergeant tried to make friendly with his new squad, but they avoided him like the plague. They had been acting suspicious for the past hour and a half and it was starting to worry the sarge. He stuck next to his squad mates and mulled over what the captain had said.

It was getting close to the check in time, sarge activated his comm and broadcast to the other soldiers. "Check in time, any word?" Silence. "God damn it, where are those $%&@s. Insubordinate sonsa!@#$%*es." He tried again. "Respond soldiers, is there any disturbance, just say something god damn it." More silence. "Stillwell go look for them, take Jalloh with you. Oscar your with me."

They split up in opposite directions. The Sergeant and Oscar walked through an isle of ammunition. "Sarge, I got a b-."

"SHUT THE $%&@ UP OSCAR." The sarge turned around to see Oscar slumping to the floor as one of the missing soldiers stood behind him. He had the tinting on his helmet off and the sarge could see his smile. Suddenly aware of the situation he ducked and kicked back, knocking his attacker down. He heard the Captain ask for a check in and keyed his comm, but before he could say anything a third attacker knocked him out.

_______

An hour later.

The sarge woke up coughing, bound to Oscar, still unconscious. One of the traitors leaned against a box off explosives, his helmet missing, grinning his face off. They were in the center of the warehouse where a freight elevator moved supplies from a lower storage area to the top and vice versa. He could see Jalloh and Stillwell tied up as well on the other side of the elevator. The traitor noticed his movement. "Ah awake are we. Those were some nice reflexes you showed back there. Still pitiful that ten of us managed to take out twenty of you." He laughed.

[i]Twenty, !@#$ that meant the other two squads had been captured or killed too.[/i] he thought.

Thirty minutes later Jalloh woke up, Stillwell soon after. They started bantering in hopes of angering their guard. He took no notice.

An hour later Oscar woke up, and another traitor walked into the area. "The transports are late. They shouldn't be." The first one nodded and pulled out a pistol. A third traitor walked in with news. "They are getting ready to mount an attack." The three left.

"Sarge, do you have a plan?" Oscar said.

"Sort of a plan, sort of orders. Nudge me over to that console."

"B-but sarge thats on an explosive!"

"Thats the idea son."

Oscar froze for a second, "Right. Ok." And the two moved towards the console.

Jalloh and Stillwell spoke up, "Sarge don't we get a say in this?"

"You can try to hop towards the exit if you want." The pair remained silent after that.

The sarge armed one of the explosives, if not rather awkwardly, and waited, ready to push the button. Three of the traitors walked in soon after pistols ready, but sarge was ready too, and as soon as he saw them he pushed the button.

________

Captain Actious was among the first in the courtyard of the complex. They had opted for an amphibious strike, swimming the river that surrounded the complex and climbing the walls. Before they were detected they took out the four guards guarding the the second and third squad. The remaining six were inside the complex with what was left of squad four. He hoped they were still alive. Helicopters that had been circling the area moved in and got ready to defend the extraction team. Then the building exploded. It began as a rumble, but as the chain reaction grew it consumed all of the explosives. Three of the traitors bodies were found buried under rubble and positively identified as special forces, the three inside the building were too charred to confirm. No more remains we're found.

Actious was angry. At himself, at the traitors, but one thing pissed him off more than all the others. His commander's reaction.

"Good job Actious, your actions lead to the death of ten special forces with minimal casualties. You have the rest of the day off, but tomorrow your moving again. We need a new major on the front-lines and you're our top candidate."

Later Actious stood at the entrance to the now destroyed bridge. Hazops had determined that the explosive were layed days in advance. Siti and Blyd were upset about it, but they weren't angry at Actious, they too were angry at command. To fill vacant positions they made Siti Captain and Blyds a sergeant. Styvyn went to Siti with Blyds and they comforted her. He learned that their squad had been together since before the rebellion. People came and went but the core had stayed together for over four years. Siti even turned down two command positions just to stay in the squad. Now only Siti and Blyds were left. Actious made sure they were under his command.

Now he stood before the destroyed bridge next to the Mombasa port. A Royal Guard Captain asked him what happened. He responded harsher than he usually would have, but wasn't he justified? It was because of these !@#$%^&* that most of his squad was dead. He shook his head and stared at the still burning building. Thinking of what was to come.

Edited by Lord Zephyr
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  • 2 weeks later...

In the previous regime the war council was held in a bunker somewhere in Nairobi with state of the art technology at it's general's fingertips. When Abraham walked into the converted hotel in Mombasa he saw several groups generals and upper tier officers crowded around a laptop, parts of the lobby on the floor, and an old projector rescued from a near-by school projecting an image of some front of the war. The rebellion took a lot from his nation, technology, infrastructure... people. Yet Abraham never once blamed Alexander for it. Many people did, but those people never knew Matthew. When Matthew made up his mind there was virtually no stopping him, if Alexander hadn't bitten he would've found someone else that would have. He was happy that Alexander was the kind of man he could trust to run the nation the way he thought it should be run, and not someone like Colonel Washington.

He took his place at a wooden table brought here from the Kerguelens by Alexander along with the other five top brass. Alexander hadn't arrived himself yet, but conversation's were still taking place.

"I'm telling you it's only a matter of time before the rebels try to infiltrate the protectorate No-, er Aeon, gave us. I wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't already sent their propagandists in to infiltrate and spread distrust."

"I want to move our forces up there as well, but there's the minor problem of the entire enemy army in our way. It's not like we can somehow just teleport up there and the rebels are bound to see us from miles away. You know our depleted forces wont last long in direct combat against those monster's."

"What if we go through Aeon? They wouldn't risk attacking us on Aeon's soil would they?"

Several of the Generals looked at each other and mumbled, "We would need to ask Aeon, and that would take a few days, we may not have that long."

"What about to the south then?"

"Same problem, this time with Novak, and I doubt they'd be willing to do anything for us on a whim."

"Abraham whats your opinion?"

Abraham answered, "If I sent a message alerting them to our movements before we move out I doubt they will mind a week or so's intrusion of our forces. In fact they might even offer protection. My worst fears are the population here in Mombasa being attacked by the rebels while we aren't protecting them."

"Then we take them with us, all citizens of the GPNS are combat trained, if we have extra guns they can help."

"Theres problems with that too though, a percentage of the populace don't take too kindly to the Zephyrs, and there are most likely Agents among them that will alert the rebel army to our positions at all times. We could even be attacked before we get to the Aeon border."

Alexander chose this moment to appear, walking into the room with his entourage of body guards, including Merlin. "Gentlemen, I see you have already started discussions. I'd hate to interrupt, but I have a proposal that I would like you to consider. First, these." Someone removed whatever was on the projector and put up a sketch of and armored bus. "Abraham explain what these are and how many we have."

Abraham chuckled and then said, "Well there are a few who already heard of this project, but these were put in development long ago, and then put aside for more important projects. The Turtle Troop Transports were designed to carry a large amount of troops into and out of battle as safely as possible. The final designs were actually finished and put into production, but we never got around to mass producing them. Currently there are about a thousand in storage here in Mombassa, the rest are either destroyed or at Kisumu. Each transport can hold up to twenty men, not including the driver and two gunners. They are very good at soaking up copious amounts of damage and server very well as portable bunkers, command centers, and emergency medical centers."

"Very good, currently we have just under twenty five thousand active troops. With the few citizens we can tack on that will come with us we will probably have close to twenty eight thousand to thirty thousand. The majority of our troops will ride in the transports, the rest can go in jeeps or tanks. The transports will surround the tanks and jeeps, and we'll have a few jeeps scouting. Any suggestions?"

"Yes, we were currently discussing the possibility of going through Aeon."

Alexander nods, "Good, that will give us added protection. Abraham?"

"I'll make it happen then."

Abraham walked towards his "office" and accessed the computer. It was amazing the charisma that Alexander had presented. His suggestion had been the best yet, though he wondered where he got that sketch, and the other Generals took it as an order. Whether that was a good thing or bad Abraham decided not to dwell on it. They all knew that Matthews forces would attack them regardless of what they did. They also all knew that they couldn't stay here, as much as he wanted to remain in his own nation. He sent the message on to Aeon and returned to the meeting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The King stood on the top of a tank at the front of the convoy headed northeast for the Aeon border. The convoy was surrounded by a wall of turtle troop transports protecting the lighter armored jeeps with civilians in them. The tanks drove at the front of the convoy ready to fire at anything blocking their path. At least twenty light reconnaissance vehicles searched around the convoy in each direction and one of the tech guys managed to link up with one of their satellites that is watching the convoy make its journey. "Well Abraham what's the word from Aeon? Do we have permission to cross the border?"

"Yes, any they will be providing air support which we desperately need with only three mobile SAMs in the group."

"I doubt those will help, their guidance systems are screwed up from radiation, that and we're going up against Matthews personal jets. The invisible ones if I remember from the old designs left over from Novous I inherited from my uncle."

The Imperial Guard Captain Merlin intervened the conversation. "The SRFJ-91 is what your referring too my liege. And its not completely invisible, the cloaking device gives off an immense amount of heat that almost works to its advantage because it expands its thermal imprint by so much. It's about a 60% chance of a good heat seeking missile of hitting them if they don't deploy flares and if the pilot is bad, which none of Matthews are. They mostly use the cloaking devices for flying at high altitudes undetected and dogfights after missiles are depleted. Otherwise they are invisible to radar, can travel up to speeds of mach six, and have expert pilots at the helm."

Alexander nodded. "Merlin you are a valuable tactical asset, now relay that information to the Aeon pilots and the ten planes we still have."

"Yes sir, of course."

________________________________________

Twenty LRV's were spread out to the west of the convoy about a mile apart each within radio contact. Major Actious sat in his [url=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100408173256/halo/images/thumb/b/b0/Halo_Reach_Warthog.png/621px-Halo_Reach_Warthog.png]LRV[/url] around the middle of the reconnaissance team, looking for any signs of enemy forces. "E.T.A. to Aeon territory one and a half hours from this point, no sign of enemy forces, Scouts whats the situation?" A stream of 'All clears.' and 'Situation normals' flowed into the majors helmet. He had been assigned the all important job of protecting the western flank of the convoy, the most likely attack point for the rebel forces.

The planned route took them northwest around Nairobi on what was left of the highways, and then into Aeon territory before they were too close to the Kampala rebel capital. There was one short stop in Nakuru to refuel and let the civilians rest for an hour. That was when they were most susceptible, not yet in Aeon territory and close enough to Kampala that a major strike could be made. What worried Actious the most was the control over the air that the Rebels had. He had fought them enough to know that they had some serious tech, tech even beyond that of GPnS's at its peak, and tech that could beat the tar out of the used and battered tech that they had now.

On his LRV he had his second in command, Captain Siti Razreal manning the gun. Blyds was driving another vehicle. He hated most of his command and loved most of his troops, but he grew particularly fond of his original squad. He wanted one of them at his back at all times.

The LRV accelerated across the relatively flat surfaces of the eastern coastal areas of Kenya. Actious scanned the horizon with his binoculars looking for any sign of the enemy. The sun was rising, the day had just started. It would be a long day.

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A mass of grey and white tunics adorned every inch of the terminal as the men and women of COMbined FORces COMmand : Juba [b](COMFORJ)[/b] went about their business within the largest post-Nod military installation in East Africa. It housed officials, the newly reassigned Head Quarters of the former [s]Nod[/s] Nascent Militant Command (NMC), Air Militant Command (AMC), Monastic Order of Medicine (MOM) and even liaisons from nearby Militant Naval Command : Lamu [b](MNCL)[/b]. With Addis Ababa destroyed, and Adahunat airbase being too close to the frontier, COMFORJ or 'Com-Forge' as members of the Militancy referred to the integrated HQ, served its new masters, the Aeon, quite admirably as the administrative headquarters of the Aeon Militancy as a whole.

The occupants milled about, talking back and forth in the characteristic hushed and reserved tones of a citizen of Nod-turned-Aeon. Others had lined up, brandishing digital identification that could be easily verified by the ever-present armed security detail.

Life in post-Nod East Africa was tenuous, to say the least, especially within the Militancy. The loss and declaration of the end of the Nodic state struck everyone hard, despite the loving and spiritually fulfilling promise the Princess' [i]Word[/i] bestowed upon its followers. Many held the Princess close to their hearts, and accepted Her, and only Her to be the absolute head of the new Militancy. But there were always the voices, chattering away in the dark.


Crusader Karen had heard the voices, but was nonchalant. They stayed in the shadows, while the rest of her brothers and sisters, the young officer thought, basked in the Light that was the Princess. A duffel bag carefully strung over her shoulder, so as not to wrinkle the ornate embroidery of her tunic's pauldrons, Karen strode into the terminal with a much practiced look of serenity and calm as she glanced about, soaking in all the wonder of the wide open space. A recent graduate of the hastily created Officer's Caste of House Sidamo, ruling House of the Aeon, Karen made note of the guards, as well as the ornate facade that served to hide the facility's previous ownership from view. The result was a pleasing mix of warm hues, wide open spaces and natural lighting combined with the artificial efficiency and blueish-green glow of the tinted high resolution LCD displays that projected important information to those who sought it. One would be able to bask in the glow of a mild African sun one minute, only to be immersed in a faint blue light that made skin take on pallid hues the next. Combined with the high collared and open necked dress tunics, it made everything seem antiseptic and unusually clean.

A quiet, yet insistent tone sounded from beneath her loose sleeve, and Karen raised her forearm inquisitively. A part of her own personal Electronic Voice Assistant, the screen was lit up much like a contemporary 21st century smartphone. The screen was synchronized to the actual processing, data storage and receiving/transmitting unit stored on her waist. Wrapped snugly, yet comfortably around her leg was a military grade and EM-proofed coaxial cable connected to power cells imbedded in her boots. A device issued to all Aeon commanding classes of Knight and above, her EVA unit was responsible for enabling the command and control duties that were characteristic of all frontline Aeon officers. The Aeon had taken the Nodic battlenet (while others would say stole) and ran with it, enabling battlenet nodes, previously larger vehicle mounted devices, to be man portable. This instance of Karen's EVA WAS limited by battery and storage capacity, however, and thus needed to be synched with her Armored Command Unit (ACU) quite frequently in order to be up to date.

It was a topological overview of the terminal, she saw.

Along with all Aeon personnel present with their own personal EVAs transmitting, realized by blue dots that buzzed about, was a dot marked Initiate Celene. High-lighted with a bright green to contrast the buzzing blue, Celene's dot steered Karen a ways away, past a number of checkpoints. Taking the time to browse through the itinerary attached to Celene's label, as the armed security waved Karen through, she exited the terminal, walking at a leisurely pace past the open terrace leading to an adjacent briefing room in the compound.

[img]http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/Infantry/Daydream_Believer_ver_2_by_Tabnir.jpg?t=1306815167[/img]

To her left, she saw the looming shape of the Order of Medicine's administrative building. Serving as a place of instruction, practice, and both physical and spiritual healing, the building housed a large number of the members of the Monastic Order of Medicine. Despite her Brothers' almost holy reverence of the Order as a whole, possibly out of some sort of phallocentric tyranny, Karen had long concluded, she could not help but feel that the Order was made of action-oriented young women, much like herself, yet lacking the bite to carry out the most important deeds necessary for their nation.

She never made those feelings known, however - the Order was the only vector through which any professional medical attention could be sought throughout Nod and now Aeon. It served a crucial role in both Nod and Aeon's collective societies, as post traumatic stress disorder and other debilitating mental and physical ailments were ever a lingering threat over East Africa's militaristic lifestyle. Indeed, the Order served as most likely the closest thing to a state religion or denomination possible in Nod, and also acted as a secondary 'party' if you will, to the Militancy and the Executive Ministry of old.

Brushing her golden hair absentmindedly as she gazed at the structure in thought, she heard a placid and almost impersonal voice call out.

"Crusader Karen, it is an honour to meet you, Sister," the woman, whose hair - cropped and held together tightly in a bun - contrasted with Karen's own locks, said, offering a hand. This was the liason who she was here to meet. With a nod and smile, Karen accepted, shaking kindly in an exchange of pleasantries.

She had forgotten where she was, as she caught up with the Initiate. Karen and Celene had roomed together in the academy, and for a moment everything felt right at home. A sudden mechanical whirr threw Karen out of that warm bubble, however, as a nearby [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=77405&view=findpost&p=2478678"]'Partisan' SHORAD[/url] emplacement began its noisy recycling and motivator testing routines. Karen and Celene frowned as the weapon, the white coloured warheads of its multiple multi-purpose missiles shining in the otherwise cheery sun, stood out amongst the impeccably trimmed and decorated shrubbery that dotted the grassy clearing around it. It was only after another emplacement, this time a 'Guardian' SHORAD, began its own routine did the two enter the briefing room.

"Any idea about what i've been summoned to do, Sister?" Karen asked as the two navigated a maze of arched doorways and corridors. The walls of this place had been built like a bunker, yet were covered in a facade of earthy, terracotta coloured limestone. It was as if every inch of this cold, hardened military structure was being dolled up for the Princess. Celene and Karen adored it, as they were trained and rose through the ranks under the comparatively sheltered Aeon military. Whether or not Nodic veterans and officers that now served the Princess appreciated the beautification was another thing entirely.

"I believe it is a simple public relations campaign to the West, Sister," Celene answered as they passed a pair of Elite Cadre. The hulking men were easily the size of her ACU, Karen thought appreciatively as she gazed at their converted armor. [url="http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/EliteCadre.jpg?t=1306819850"]While under Nod[/url], these men would be dressed in onyx, highlighted only by the blood red of their Cranial Protection Suite (CPS). The Princess' re-modellers had even visited the Elite Cadre, it seemed - the onyx was now a bone white, the blood red much less biting and a decorative red feather trim made them look like medieval knights. The pair gave a nod and respectful salute to the women as they strode past.

"The Avatar HAS expressed his intent to fully realize the Shield of the Aeon, after all" Celene finished as she entered a nearby doorway. She was referring to the GPn'S. The Aeon capital of Amhara relied on the steadfast defense of its flank by the GPn'Sers, and the Avatar had ordered full co-operation be given to the budding power, eventually bringing the two nations closer to military, economic and social equality.

"I must leave you now, Sister" Celene paused outside of an entrance leading to a smaller conference hall. As she stood at attention beside the door, Karen glanced through the one-way glass behind the Initiate. There lay one of several 'chapel' like chambers, with a pedestal at the forefront, rows of black-steel pews before it. Prolific under the rule of Nod, they seemed little more than an afterthought, or an inconvenient truth under ownership of the Aeon.

Did the Executive Minister give one of his rousing, vitriolic sermons to masses of men like the Elite Cadre she had encountered earlier, here? In that chamber? Did he bay for the blood of his enemies, call down the thunder and order the deaths of thousands with the air she breathed right now? She shook the thoughts of wonder out of her head as she strode in to receive her orders.

After what seemed like hours of even more intrusive security measures, she had finally reached her destination. One of the several valves connected to the Heart of the Aeon's command super structure. The lighting was blueish-green, even here, and the buzz of men and women behind consoles and infront of digital displays reminded Karen of the terminal. Groups of young men and women, much like herself she thought as she recognized the familiar rank and insignia of other ACU 'pilots' entered and exited the chamber briskly, weaving past desks and EVA terminals to exit. She knew not of their intentions, merely noting the troop movements to herself for later use.

Heading towards her final destination, Karen spotted a figure behind a desk situated in the corner of all the ordered chaos. A single star pinned to her tunic, [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=73203&view=findpost&p=1957134"]Christina De Falco[/url] merely glanced with a raised eyebrow at Karen from paper work she had been intent on moments before. The woman would be quite beautiful, Karen surmised, had her features not been continuously set in a martinet's frown. Without raising her eyebrows again, De Falco merely spoke at the paper she continued to read.

"[i]Crusader[/i] Oneiros," the woman spoke, not bothering with handshakes, salutes or other pleasantries. A veteran and Officer under Nod, De Falco was rumored to be part of the large influx of Italians from Italiana and Italica, Il Duce's own daughter. She looked uncomfortable in her Aeon tunic, and seemed to have trouble taking the Aeon ranking monikers seriously, soon discarding them entirely in their conversation.

"Hypersonic aircraft," De Falco blurted out, without rhyme or reason, almost to herself. She looked up as if noticing Karen a second time, only to see the young Crusader at attention, a hand placed firmly across her forehead in a salute. Scrunching her lips together lightly, De Falco changed her pace, as if pitying the young girl before her.

"In any case, I am Christina De Falco, Cavalier of the AMC here at Com-Forge. You will be running a combined AMC and NMC operation so you are under my jurisdiction."

De Falco rose from her seat, slowly walking towards a nearby display. Gazing intently at what Karen guessed was an EVA unit, De Falco tapped a key which caused the arm mounted display to emit a conical beam of pale blue light. The cone expanded out and upwards, ending in a globe like shape, with which she began manipulating much like one would a keyboard. Satisfied with whatever it was she was doing, she paused, allowing the device to synchronize with the wall mounted display.

"We live in a... strange world. The Shield of Aeon has chinks in its armor even before its been forged in the steel mill. Civil war threatens to inflame the GPn'S, and, I might add," she said with an obvious annoyance, "our protectorate, Darfur, which the Princess has lovingly gifted the GPn'S with, in all her loving glory no doubt."

The screen changed to scenes of disturbing civil unrest within the GPn'S. A particularly prolific scene of a hell-blasted landscape, similar to the Great Scar where Addis Ababa used to stand, caused a number of emotions to bubble up within Karen. Blinking, she fought down the urges that threatened to choke her. She had to be strong, professional.

"You are to immediately depart to Nyeri, bring a Company-sized group of our Brothers in the NMC. At least, until the Princess decides to name them something different, I suppose, in all her benevolent wisdom. Reinforce the garrison at the outpost, move towards the objectives your EVA displays and link up with a loyalist convoy as it heads to Juba. "

Karen found it quite unnerving how the Cavalier seemed to disrespect the Princess at every turn. She merely stared at the dark haired woman as she rattled off the mission objectives with an air of skepticism as she paced back and forth, fiddling with her EVA unit as she did so. Karen decided that she liked her. Sure, the Aeon preferred the reserved, maddeningly placid for their commanding officers - no doubt a tribute or emulation of some sort for their beloved Princess - yet Karen found De Falco's brisk, almost brusque manner to be quite the refresher.

"Now, I am well aware that you are most eager to utilize your Armored Command Unit to its fullest extent - and I will quickly add that it is imperative that you do so for both your sake, and for those of your immediate subordinates - but I warn you. Forget all feelings of omni-presence or invulnerability while you are operating that machine. You would moreso than not become a victim of a bullet fired from an infantry man than you would from a tank or aircraft. You must always treat intelligence as unreliable as best - no matter what the battlenet or EVA suggests. To do otherwise is your own peril."

"I will do as you say, Cavalier" Karen said, bowing as she did so. A look of distaste flashed across De Falco's visage, as she dismissively returned to her desk.

"Oneiros, Iniate Celene will brief you on the details of your mission, she awaits you outside the compound. Do not fail me."

Taking Cavalier De Falco's famous last words to her subordinates as a cue to leave, Karen placed her hand dutifully across her forehead in a neat salute, holding it as she spun on her heels 180 degrees to leave.

[...]



"The mission is quite simple, Crusader," Celene spoke to Karen from across the minimalistic, yet comfortable desk. Arranged around the desk were photographs of what Karen assumed were friends and family of the Initiate. Her eyes lingered for a moment upon a picture of a number of smiling young faces clad in a similar ACU pilot uniform to Karen's - a large portion of which were female. With a faint smile she looked upon her own face within the digital picture frame. She was much younger, had a little more weight and sported a terrible looking haircut.

"The GPn'S is asking for help in reinforcing a convoy headed for new holdings in our former Special Administration Zone, Darfur. They will spend the majority of their trek in Aeon held territory for both expediency and protection, yet will need an escort into Aeon proper," Celene had plugged her EVA into a holographic display set in the center of the desk, which now emitted a topological map of South-West Aeon, as well as the GPn'S. A large series of green-blue dots representing the convoy was seen several hundred kilometers from Nakaru, with EVA displaying a predicted route in yellow towards Juba.

"They don't seem to need much of our help, Sister" Karen remarked at the image of the sizeable and armed convoy.

"You would be correct, Sister," Celene responded, manipulating a number of projected 'keys' with her fingers with a fluid grace, causing the spherical mass to flatten out. Several smaller rectangular squares flashed from several different locations on the map of light, highlighting parts of the convoy and surrounding terrain, zooming in to see real time and projected scenarios of each.

"of course, there is the information we received here," she finished. As if responding to some unseen command, the topological display vanished with a flash, reforming itself instantly into what Karen could describe as possibly THE ugliest aircraft she had ever had the displeasure of laying her eyes on.

With stubby wings, an elongated trapezodial airframe and an obtrusive air intake, the phantom slowly rotated above the holographic display. A number of features of the rough schematic had been compiled by EVA on the fly, and were dutifully pointed out by the unit upon the model itself.

"From information gleaned by the GPn'S. It seems separatist forces have truly remarkable capabilities - even when compared to our own," Celene motioned to the 'aircraft' and continued. "Dubbed the SRFJ-91, this aircraft can apparently sustain manned, air breathing flight for extended periods at speeds [i]reaching mach 6[/i]."

Karen balked at such a statement, "You mean [i]without[/i] turning their pilots into mush? I apologize, Sister, but really this seems a bit farfetched."

Celene cocked her head to the side, shooting a friendly finger at Karen as if in a friendly debate, "Not if you'll consider the rumors surrounding that civil war in North America."

Karen frowned at the stub-winged aircraft as Celene continued, "It also appears to have some sort of primitive plasma stealth capability. The aircraft somehow utilizes ionized gas as a way to totally reshape and nullify the Radar Cross Section of the mothership, completely eliminating a chance at radar detection."

"How can we hope to defeat such a surreal enemy, Celene?"

"The aircraft does have a weakness, a by-product, if you will, from both these remarkable characteristics - Infrared signatures are apparently off the charts when these airframes are in flight. We are indeed fortunate that a large portion of the AMC's search, detection and track systems utilize a combinatory IR/Radar/Electro-optical approach. If our intelligence is correct, our forces may have a chance to combat these creations."

"I will need a number of anti-air assets then," Karen mused lightly, crossing her legs under the chair under her as she rested her chin on clasped hands. Karen simply watched as Celene manipulated the display again, this time showing a real time inventory of the arsenal placed at Karen's command.

"Cavalier De Falco has made it her express intent that you are to have whatever you wish at your disposal, despite the apparent low-risk this public relations mission shall bring, so as to keep up appearances" Celene said.

"Mustered for your immediate usage is approximately a battalion's worth of our brethren from the NMC. They shall be deployed alongside yourself at Garissa, approximately 125 km east of the convoys present position. This information has been relayed to the GPn'S, and they will await your arrival before resuming their journey. Garissa currently houses a sizeable portion of our Brothers and Sisters within the AMC, who shall be on standby."

Karen nodded, eager to test the functionality of her ACU in the heat of battle.

"I shall act as a liason here at Com-Forge with Garissa. Although EVA will take care of the individual assignments and orders necessary in the transfer, these aircraft shall be at your beck and call for fire support and interdiction once you land."

Karen stood up, staring at Celene with an intent look upon her face.

"Understood Initiate, now where is my ACU?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

The convoy arrived at Nakuru towards the evening of the day. It rolled into the city and began the tedious process of refueling while its occupants stretched and got ready for the last leg of the journey. Throughout the whole city there was a tense feeling. Many of the soldiers knew it, a few of the civilians did as well. The feeling of something big looming over the city, it was the feeling of an upcoming battle.

The terrain was hilly in the more mountainous region of GPnS. Actious told his scouts to be wary of every hill they crest, as that one could be the one hiding the enemy. They had already had several skirmishes with rebel scouts. They had lost all of them and this made Actious move his scouts in pairs that could provide cover for each other in the event of an attack. He could only ignore that the sarge was in one of the skirmishes.

The Main purpose of scouting now was to find the enemy's main camp. They knew there was going to be an attack and that forces had to be nearby, but Actious doubted any of the scouts would find them. The rebels rarely attacked head on like the generals seemed to think they would. They were covert, always in hiding waiting for the right time to strike. They were trained to fight while outnumbered because the original Special Forces were so small. If he was in command he would get requisitions to search people’s houses for weapons and materials. However the good king wouldn’t allow that. Understandable from his standpoint, but he felt that Abraham could have done it and kept the people with him.

It was quite possible that the rebels were behind the scouts in the city already, mingling with the population. It was even more possible that the whole city was a trap. They only had a few hundred troops garrisoned at the city before the convoy arrived. It was all they could spare while defending Mombasa. It was hard for the main force to detect the rebel hideouts in Mombasa, how could the Generals expect the few they left here to stop them from getting in.

The more Actious thought the less he liked. He stopped the LRV just short of a hill again. His driver stayed behind in the LRV while he and Siti scouted about the ridge. He just barely got the warning from the other LRV to head for cover before his LRV exploded into fragments of metal. He ran for the nearest piece of cover, a boulder just big enough to hide two people, and radioed back to the other LRV.

“Do you have eyes on the enemy alpha two?”

The other LRV charged over the last hill and gunned down a pair of men running for a jeep parked on the side of a street. “Yea we had eyes on them, but we were out of range to engage before they got the rocket off.”

So, he thought, We won one skirmish. he looked at the flaming remains of his car. Kinda, but that’s still 3-1. He grimaced under his helmet and turned to his second.

“Siti you ok?”

“Yea, just a little shaken. When do we get that break they promised us when we got to Nakuru?”

“Now, I’m calling us back to base. I don’t give a $%&@ what they say we aren’t going to find anything out here.”
Siti nodded and Actious turned on his battalion com. “Attention all west scouts, we’re headed back to base. Meet up at Njoro Road and we’ll take that to downtown. Alpha two do you think you could give us a ride?”

“It’ll be a stretch but if you don’t mind sitting under the gun we can fit you two.”

“Roger that.” He turned to Siti, “Let’s get out of here.”

__________________________________


A runner from the com station that was set up in one of the Turtle Transports ran up to the King and his entourage of guards. “Sir, west scouts are coming back in. They report the loss of four LRVs, and ten men. No sign of the enemy except two dead rocketeers that attacked one of the cars.”

Alexander sighed, “Right, send out another fleet of LRVs to cover their position while they take a break.” He turned to Merlin,

“Why haven’t I appointed a Grand General yet? I know I put myself in charge of the mission, but you think some of the other Generals would be able to handle stuff like that.”

Merlin stroked his goatee as he pondered the question. “Well, most of the current Generals were brevet appointments. The nuclear attacks took out a lot of the top brass, the rest are working for the rebels. Add to that the assassinations that have been targeting the leadership and I know of several Generals that were Captains before the war started. There simply isn’t the talent among them anymore to qualify for the position of Grand General.”

Alexander chuckled, “Perhaps I should enact the security clause then.”

Merlin raised his eyebrow, “The one that states that in the event of a military coup, the Royal Guard shall take over the position of military leadership and the Head Captain be appointed Grand General?”

“The very same one you used in the battle for Raochin.

“... Those were desperate times Alexander. At that point I was the only command left. Your father had killed the high command, and somebody needed to bring order to the split lowers.”

“Are these not desperate times Merlin?”

“Yes, but you are still alive now. This is your trial Alexander, I can only give you advice, protect you, and guide you. I won’t be your Grand General, and I don’t think any of the other captains would accept the position either.”

“I know Merlin, in time I suppose somebody will rise to rake that position. In the meantime how are the Guards and special forces efforts to scout the city for any rebel hideouts?”

“It’s a bit hard without being able to search people’s homes; there are many abandoned places for them to hide as well. However we’ve managed to take out three weapons depots, and we rooted out one of their hideouts with only two casualties.”

“And how many Generals know that we’ve done this already?”

“None except Jihara lord.”

“And how many have suggested that we do that.”

“None of the Generals, however I received this from a Major out in the field a few hours before we entered the city.”

“Who?”

“Major Styvyn Actious, sir.”

“Actious… why does that sound familiar.”

“Your great grandfather’s last name was Actious.”

“Any relation?”

“Seeing as he lived in a completely different part of the world, probably not. But he is the only one that suggested that we search the homes and even amongst ourselves for the enemy. He seems to have quite the record, and he was in charge of the squad at the Mombasa weapons storage facility debacle.”

“I’d like to see him, where is he now?”

“A part of the west scouts coming in now. I’ll send him over.”


The Major had been rushed from his fleet of LRVs as soon as he got back to base. He was briefed that the king wanted to see him for whatever reason. This would be the first time he actually met the king face to face. He wasn’t surprised, he expected to be led to a bunker somewhere that was set up in Nakuru for the explicit purpose of protecting important people. Completely safe while the rest of them faced the dangers of being encamped in hostile territories.

When he actually saw where the king was he was surprised. Out in the open, dealing with a gas vendor, albeit surrounded by Guards in shining clear-white armor resembling of diamonds, and in the armor himself. The only noticeable difference was the head of his armor was painted gold. It was a blatant violation of all the security measure he had imagined he’d have to go through. His respect for the king rose a single point.

He walked towards the group and was stopped by the guards. They asked for identification. He gave it to them “Major Styvyn Actious, the King apparently wanted to see me.”

They nodded and let him pass. He stood patiently while the king argued with the gas vendor.

“Look, I’ll pay you triple the standing price per gallon if you let us use your gas.”

“N-, did you say triple?”

“Yes, triple, we need the extra fuel to get this done faster.”

“I-, I guess I can’t refuse that.”

The king nodded. “Very good. Bring the trucks in.”

Merlin tapped the king on the shoulder. “My lord, Major Actious is here to see you as requested.”

“Very good, thank you Merlin.”

[i]Merlin… like… the wizard?[/i] Actious thought. “Sir,” he saluted.

“At ease, I understand that you submitted a suggestion to your commanding officer before we got to the city.”

“Yes, sir.”

“In it you suggested we search the city for rebels already here, inside the city is that correct?”

“Yes sir.” Actious braced for some sort of scolding for doubting the integrity of whatever.

“You are the only one to suggest this beyond the commander of the special ops of GPnS and my Royal guards. Congratulations, you’re a colonel now.”

Actious was shocked to say the least.

“Now, we are halfway done refueling, it will be at least another hour before they are done and a little longer for the Aeon reinforcements to show up and give us backup. What do you recommend?”

Styvyn thought for a moment. “This is an opportune moment for the enemy to attack. I would suggest moving the civilians out in a smaller convoy into Aeon territory and putting the remaining forces on High Alert for the remainder of refueling process. I also wouldn’t wait for the Aeon reinforcements to rendezvous with us and move out as soon as we were done refueling. In addition to increasing the searches of the city itself for enemy hideouts.”

The King nodded, “I’ll talk it over with the war council then. In the mean time you need a Brigade to be in charge of.” The king motioned for an assistant. “Find an opening for the colonel will you?” The aid nodded and went to do that. The king turned back to Styvyn. “Good luck, we're all gonna need it for this fight.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

“Merlin, could you update me on the status of the two convoys?” Alexander said as he stood next to one of the tanks lined up at the head of the convoy. Merlin was with a squad of Royal guards as a part of the increased search efforts looking for enemy hiding spots.

“The civilian’s convoys are almost across the Aeon border, they shouldn’t be messed with. We are 90% done refueling and the last trucks will be lining up with the rest of the convoy in a few minutes. We’re wrapping up our last search efforts here as well. If they are going to attack, it will be soon.”

“Keep everyone on high alert then.”

“Yes, my lord.”

_______________________________

The special forces Matthew had brewed in his underground labs were an entirely different breed of soldier than any other. They were trained to take on numbers ten times their size and not just do damage, but win. They were given every advantage that Matthews technology could give them, better armor, light bending technology, specialized weapons, and more information on the territory and enemy than the enemy had themselves. These soldiers weren’t just trained; they were specifically bred to do this.

Because of this they approached each mission approximately the same way. The first step was infiltration. They would send in propaganda agents months or even years in advance to earn the local populations trust and use that to their advantage. Succeeding or failing at that the agents would then set up specific hiding spots, well hidden, usually stocked with advanced weaponry. And if the mission was particularly important they might bring in builders to dig out an outpost that could house hundreds of troops unknown to the forces above.

The next step was simple, deploy troops and wait for opportune moment to strike. Each mission was designed around this base to provide the Special Forces with all that they could to succeed. In this mission, Commander Zhao had known exactly where the GPnS forces had to go. He had planned for every possible scenario and almost strained even the massive forces of the Agents to their limits planting and planning.

Nakuru had four outposts buried filled with soldiers, and the forces had been working nonstop setting up their trap. They had spies all over the GPnS army that would sabotage vehicles and assassinate leaders. There were two factors however, that were unaccounted for, the Royal Guards, and the approaching Aeon forces.

Commander Zhao would not be on the forefront of this battle. He watched it from the depths of Matthew’s base. He planned to make his focus on the Royal guards, but there was a problem, they currently outnumbered his forces in the area and were as good as and in some cases better than his troops and more heavily armored. If successful the Aeon forces would not even be a factor.

Once the trap went off his supersonic jets would take off, be there in six minutes, drop their load and cripple the remaining forces. He was confident that the forces he had left could destroy the remains. He had only fifteen of the jets, but that was more than enough to drop off enough of the advanced highly concentrated explosives that would wreak havoc on the armored convoy. They would then be free to engage and neutralize any air support that Aeon would send.

___________________________________

The convoy began moving out. There were so many vehicles that the process of getting out of the city was going to take a long time, and that would be without delays.

And there would be delays.

At the front of the column was a regiment of tanks, closely followed by the long wall of turtle transports with a few tanks for heavy cover fire inserted in between the columns if necessary. The roads were wide enough to fit two of the bus like transports side by side somewhat comfortably. Each one had two turrets that faced outward, all of them manned. It looked impressive and impenetrable.

After being promoted to Colonel, Actious was put on the front of the convoy with the tanks. He had never worked with tanks before, but he had been briefly trained by the few tank commanders that were competent enough to actually instruct someone. He saw a delay up ahead already. Two trucks were parked on the road. One of them had its hood up, as if they were being repaired.

He suddenly had a sense of Déjà vu. He handed the binoculars to the commander next to him. “Take a look.” he said.

The commanders name was Jordan, a veteran of the only battle ever fought by the GPnS army. He has worked his way up over the years after the battle and now was one of the most decorated tank commanders in the army. He merely shrugged when he looked through the binoculars. “Just some stalled trucks, if they don’t move we can just run them over.”

Actious shook his head, “No, we can’t. I’ve seen this before, back in Mombasa. I bet those trucks are loaded with explosives, if we try to ram them we’ll probably end up toast.”

“Then we’ll blast em with the cannons.”

Actious didn’t respond to that, but his frown was visible through his facemask. He contacted Merlin through his helmets COM. “Captain Athrawes, I have two trucks obstructing the pathway, I think they are loaded with explosives, could you send some scouts up to confirm?”

“Yes of course.” Came the reply.

He heard the engines of two of the heavy jeeps coming up from behind. It was also his idea to make the scouts mostly Royal guards, so they could have a strong quick response force. He got another sense of Déjà vu and felt the urge to contact Siti, who was still assigned to scout duty, actually filling in his position as the head of the scouts.

“Siti, this is Actious, are you seeing this?”

“Yea I’m coming up on your tail right now. Got the call and we were the closest. Don’t worry, the guards said they don’t want regular soldiers going into danger situations like these right now. So I get to chill in the Hummer while they go get themselves blown up.”

“Be careful.”

“Yea. I will.”

Actious brought up his binoculars again and watched the events unfold. It made him wish he had gone with Jordan’s suggestion. Five of the Royal guards in their white crystal armor approached the vehicles. It didn’t seem to go so bad at first, one of the guards approached the two men looking at the engine of the car with the hood up. Neither of them pulled out guns and they appeared to be having a conversation. The guard nodded to two of the other guards and they began to search one car. He saw one of the men look at the other and his heart sunk. The first man attacked the guard lieutenant, but the captain was more than a match for him and wrestled him off quick enough to get to the next guy, but he already had the detonator out. The two guards searching the first car leapt out of the way with lightning speed, but the explosion was huge, clearly meant to do some serious damage to a tank or even one of the transports.

The rumbling didn’t stop though. That explosion set off a chain reaction of underground explosives going off all around the convoy, destroying roads and creating a giant ditch around the main road. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, they actually dug out tunnels to collapse the area around the road way, creating a ditch large enough to prevent the turtle transports from escaping.

When the smoke finally cleared he could see the guards rushing to get their injured fellow guards out. Actious rubbed his eyes a bit when he saw that the three guard closest to the explosion were [i]still alive[/i]. The Lieutenant was badly hurt though, chunks of his armor were actually coming off. He was amazed, the explosion was probably the biggest he’d ever seen next to the nukes when they fell…

He shook his head and regained his concentration. The radio was alive with chatter as well as his personal COM. He wondered what was happening with the rest of the convoy. “This is Colonel Actious what’s going on at the back? We’ve been immobilized at the front, craters and ditches everywhere, the transports will never make it across. Do we have any bridges we could bring up here?”

A voice came over the com he vaguely recognized as one of the Generals. “We’re being attacked by special forces.” An explosion interrupted him for a moment. “We’ve managed to hole up in the transports and are trying to fire on the enemy, but we can’t see any of them for more than a few seconds. They keep popping up everywhere. Damn it this whole city was a trap!”

“Roger, try to hold them off sir, I’m going to contact Alexander in a moment.” A thought occurred to him. Why blockade the convoy in? They certainly could have collapsed the roadways themselves and achieve about the same success. Unless they couldn’t do that for the entire road, making trapping the convoy easier to follow it up with something. [i]!@#$[/i] he thought and brought up a COM to the King, “King Alexander I must advise that we are about to be bombed, and we need the Aeon reinforcements now.”

“This is Merlin, the king is tied down at the moment, now what do you need?”

“Aircraft, get the Aeon air here NOW or we’re all toast. I have reason to believe they will be sending bombers to finish us off and this is just a distraction until they get here.” Gunfire could be heard in the background from both Merlins COM and his external hearing. One of the Colonels tanks took a hit from a rocket and caused Actious to duck into his. ”Do you copy Captain?”

“Yes Colonel I do, We’ll see what we can do.”

Actious heard screams in the background, and remembered briefly the fables about the Captains of the Royal Guard, shuddered, and tried to organize his tanks to get out of there.

Edited by Lord Zephyr
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  • 3 weeks later...

[b][u]Several Hours Prior, Temple of Preparation, COMbined FORces Command: Juba (COMFOR-J)[/u][/b]

Karen squinted at the bright white lights of the Temple of Preparation. Laying in only her ICS or Internal Coalescent Skin, a skin-tight body glove with embedded sensory equipment as well as specific points for interfacing with her Armored Command Unit, the Crusader's gaze soon rested upon a mechanical hub that suddenly ejected from the ceiling. Emitting a hiss and burst of steam, Karen pursed her lips as she checked the readings on a now wrist mounted EVA unit. Armored Command Unit - Model 22 or ACU-022 was in the green, its parts fully accounted for in the temple's inventory the small display showed.

[center][color="blue"][url="http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/Infantry/MantisZeroSuit_SS9.jpg?t=1311221519"][img]http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/Infantry/th_MantisZeroSuit_SS9.jpg[/img]
[/url][/color][/center]


Exhaling at the sounds of a number of mechanical whines and clicks, she rose from her leisurely position. Striding confidently to a central dais beneath the hub, she smiled as she met the lumbering form of her ACU. As if on cue, Karen noted several light emitting diodes flicker before turning solid on the still incomplete suit of armor that awaited her. They turned a brilliant shade of aqua-blue - incidentally the same colour that several LEDs on her ICS had suddenly become. The two systems had already begun the automatic handshaking routine that would ensure Karen's complete command and control over the unwieldy battle armor, as well as the troops, vehicles and aircraft the armor would enable her to subordinate, as per the written directives of the Nascent Militant Command of the Aeon, Avatar-of-War Marxon, as well as the beloved Princess - [i]Gloria in excelsis regis filia[/i].

Muttering a short prayer, she mounted the dais in one fluid motion before sliding carefully into her cupola near the top of the ACU, where the torso would lie on the mammoth. In response, the hub above her lowered and a number of dexterous manipulator arms extended down towards her. At this, the whines grew in both volume and pitch - a screeching chorus that made her double check to make sure her arms were in the appropriate locations.
[b]
<<Crusader - Oneiros, Karen >>[/b] the cold, impersonal voice of the Preparation facility's EVA chirped over loudspeakers, cutting through the din of the machinery crystal clear.

[b]<<Aeon Military Status - Pending...>>[/b]

The arms descended upon her, and her world became a series of flashes, whirrs, bangs and clinks.

An arm loomed closely infront her, within its mechanical grasp the first component of a hardened torso covering. In a simultaneous thump, the arm impacted her incomplete suit just as another arm did from behind. In an almost vice-like grip that seemed miraculously safe for Karen, the two arms held in place as smaller tendrils drilled together the two halves into the base of the armor. Beneath her view, more articulator arms worked at her 'legs', clamping in place armored plating and connecting servo motors to power couplings before sealing everything in an EMP-proofed shell.

Grunting as she felt an impact above and behind her head, Karen looked up to see the hub already at work installing carefully designed and secured electronic components, relays, transmitters and receivers. Yes, the ACU was a frontline combat unit, but its role within the Aeon command structure was paramount. It was a conduit of command and control, able to bestow upon its operator unprecedented, and sometimes overwhelming volumes of data. It was a reason an overwhelming majority of Aeon NMC ACU pilots were female - brute strength was favored less due to the powered nature of the ACU, and a high degree of self- and spatial-awareness seemed to be all that was required.

The ACU operated for the most part as a mobile node for the former Nodic and now present-day Aeon Battle Net. Utilizing communications methodology designed to be impossible to detect, the ACU transmitted and received data via point-to-point laser, free-space optical communication as well as a high resolution multi-spectrum electro-optical/infrared search and track target designator coupled with a miniaturized version of the Air Militant Command's (AMC) TASS or Target Acquisition System Software. Using a multi-beam, multi-path (MB-MP) communications architecture, the ACU's transmissions and requisitions were extremely secure and precise when working alone or in tandem with the network of surveillance and observation drone hardware that was promised to every Aeon Crusader.

The sensation of a number of uninvasive interface modules being activated along her ICS shook Karen from her musings. Looking at 'her' arms, which were now several inches thicker and encased in armored plating, she extended her fingers to accept an offered mechanical component held aloft by a manipulator arm. She clasped the handle-like object tightly in her palm, after which a number of tendrils went to work sealing the device to the rest of her armor. Soon, her hand was encased in what would be seen as the forearm of the ACU - carefully willing her mind to move the bulky gauntlet that stood as her new hand, she smiled as months of preparation came to fruition - even as the tendrils ceased their work, the mechanical hand moved, rotating in place with an unnatural grace for something as large as it was.

[center][color="blue"][url="http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/PAX.jpg?t=1311221473"][img]http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/th_PAX.jpg[/img]
[/url][/color][/center]

Prior to the induction of the ACU as a formal part of the Aeon military, Nod had a complete monopoly on Powered Armors - seen in the wide spread TACARM [url="http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/EliteCadre.jpg?t=1311135527"]PCA[/url] and much less known TACARM [url="http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww106/mofailla/Infantry/pilot_render_01-2.jpg?t=1311135182"]MIS[/url]. Yet the ACU was far from similar to its Nodic brethren, and had differing origins. Fittingly, the Nodic suits were purely built and bred for battle, while the Aeon held a more... gentle purpose. Built around a free-form solution to conventional prosthetics, Aeon tech priests and priestesses, as they would soon be mockingly called had high-jacked Nodic technology for the benefit of the greater good. The PCA and MIS utilized the operator's movements and mimicked them in a careful balancing act to induce stunning strength and speed. The ACU? Controlled by the brain, or rather signals fired by the brain even after limbs are aputated, the ACU's gift of amplified strength motor control was given by first sensing an operator's brain signal to move an arm 'up', for example, translate that by internal laser to a receiver within the ACU's structural network, where it is then compared to other signals in a database to correspond to a certain movement.

The rest of the mechanical hardware that made up the ACU took it from there, that was assured. The greatest strength was the ability to tailor make any ACU to any pilot given the correct dimensions of the pilot's body, as well as the pilot's own brain signal database. A pilot could not operate an ACU with a database installed that did not belong to them. Should the enemy capture an ACU intact after all its failsafes have operated, any test pilot would be crushed under the strength he tried to steal from the Aeon.

As the armored canopy slammed down upon Karen's head, her world became a brillant shade of blue neon lighting. Her tactical display came to life as her EVA unit was given its full potential within the massive processing power of the ACU's internal electronics. Carefully running through her suits diagnostics, the Crusader set to work, ignoring all unimportant external and internal stimuli in order to become one with her ACU, the faithful steed she would ride into battle.

[b]<<Aeon Military Status - ...Active>>[/b]

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[b][u]Enroute to Loyalist Convoy's Last Known Position, Outskirts of Nakuru, GPn'S[/u][/b]



<<Hang on, we're in for some chop>>

As Brother-Acolyte Spehss heard the impersonal voice of the pilot over the crew compartment address system, he winced as many rhythmic bumps and jerks made his stomach do flip flops. Muttering a silent curse at the woman, who he had long suspected had taken to the Aeon stereotype that all former Nodic militants that now fought under the Princess' banner were nothing more than bloodthirsty fringe-yokels, he yanked his straps harder around his pauldrons.

<<Seven minutes to priority fire zone, [i]Brothers[/i].>>

Spehss shook his head again. [i]'!@#$%*[/i]' he thought. He heard that tinge around that word - he was sure she was one of them now. He was a Nodic warrior at heart, born and bred for conquering the Brotherhood's foes wherever they tread. Spehss loathed the fact that his life was now in the hands of this wretched Aeon witch.

His heart started pounding in his ear lobes as the Brother-Zealot in charge of B-Section started the pre-drop routine of checking everyone's gear, ensuring quick release harnesses were secured and weapons in place. Spehss knew this landing would be hot, and would most likely come alongside the incoming fire support sorties headed from Garissa.

Spehss had misgivings over fighting for the Aeon, it was certain. But every time dissent or question bubbled to the surface, Spehss found an odd comfort in the thought of the Princess and her vision for East Africa. It was a vision that always seemed to wash over his sinning heart and mind like the sea on rock. But this... Crusader Karen... there were no women formally part of the Nod Militant Command he fought under prior to the Princess' grace illuminating Nod, and he felt uneasy following orders of a mere girl in a tin suit.

"Hey, Mahreens, where's that air support we're supposed to have?" Spehss suddenly remembered as he asked his seatmate.

"EVA says the ETA is seven seconds out Spehss. I think we're getting heavy stu-"

The roaring sound of multiple flights of AN-1 'Krieg' Fast Close Air Support crafts soaring above them drowned out both men's ears until their EVAs promptly cut in with the gentle sound of rushing water to protect their hearing. The reports of their mildly supersonic flight were potentially deafening in this close proximity - even over the din of the cluster of tilt-rotor Liberator Assault crafts they rode in on.The war cries of those flying chariots still in their minds, the men of B-Section got to work. Soon their own war cries would drown out the night.

"Heh, there's your close air support."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Karen scowled underneath the stare of a dozen different readings adorning the interior of the ACU's fully enclosed cockpit. Her pale skin took on a pallid blue hue as she tried to take in the extrasensory information that was regurgitated by her EVA. With ACU piloting being the breakthrough it was, Karen found it to be a mixed blessing. The information she held at her fingertips cut through much of the fog of war - data and intelligence from across several services under her command was enlightening - yet one could easily be overwhelmed with sensory overload if not properly trained. It was easy to lose oneself amongst the flow and ebb, and that lack of spatial awareness often spelled disaster.

The first of several picket units outbound from Garissa clearly outlined the loyalist's plight - Matthew's forces, or rather those forces that were detectable had begun to envelop the convoy. Tanks were confined to terribly close quarters and were under fire from a number of different sources. In her perch, alone aboard a Harbinger Assault transport dedicated for her personal transportation, Karen merely nodded at the carnage laid before her. She did not want to over-micromanage anything this time, especially with friendly fire coming into play.

And so the chess master set to work, shuffling her pawns across a clearly defined board.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[u][b]Priority Fire Zone Actual, Outskirts of Nakaru, 30,000 ft[/b][/u]


Former Commander Air Group [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=96792&view=findpost&p=2573151"]Clarissa Venport[/url] shuddered as her F-23 reached its maximum supercruise speed of mach 2.2.

<<Angel Actual, this is Angel One. Confirm sighting?>> she called to her wing mate flying a couple dozen meters below and to her right.

<<Confirmed, Actual, target bearing delta zeruh-niner>> came the cool reply.

With the A-1's inbound to pound separatist positions engaging the convoy, Clarissa's wing was charged with seeking out, identifying and possibly even destroying the rumored hypersonic phantoms the Crusader had briefed her on. This was Clarissa's suicidal clemency mission, much like the strike on the Monagesque ports was the [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=96792&view=findpost&p=2643862"]original[/url] Angel One's.

She had returned to her homeland a changed woman - a bright career in the AMC tarnished, her selfless act of sacrifice demonized by the Princess she had come to love. She was just as fervent as the most zealous Aeon Acolyte! Why did the Princess hate her so?!

The former CAG, and the survivors of the nuclear strike against Monaco - Operation Break the World - were personally brought before the Princess and her entourage, Clarissa remembered it well. They were scolded, reprimanded and informed that their actions were not becoming of those that wished to follow in the Princess' way of peace. They had made a sin against the beloved Femessiah, and had to cleanse their filthy souls with good deeds - a trial by fire.

They would seek these super-aircraft, destroy them and bring their wrecked and ruined bodies home. Perhaps then the Princess would love them again.

With this thought held firmly in place, Clarissa tightened her gaze upon her [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=65298&view=findpost&p=2529307"]IIDU[/url] sensors, looking for the one hope she had for redemption.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spehss eagerly took in the sight and sound of the convoy as it neared into view. His HUD lit up with the approaching mass of vehicles. The battle became real and visceral, very very fast. He saw plumes of smoke that clawed at the sky, and distant clouds of particularly violent detonations ripple across the landscape. Even in this distance, his eyes watched as tracer fire danced to and fro, scything through the air in all directions.

Mahreens leaned over, an unnecessary gesture made out of habit. "We're supposed to defend the convoy, Brother!"

"Is that the !@#$@#$ convoy? I'm not here to baby sit, I'm here to kill" came the fervent reply.

Mahreens and Spehss sat ramrod straight as the Brother-Zealot neared. They would be landing soon and the two would lead their subordinates to glorious victory. The battle would be over in moments, this pathetic separatist incursion crushed before the war even started, Spehss salivated at the thought that his warriors would be of the first to spread the word of the Princess.

[b]<<There is no time to waste!>>[/b] came his cries as he strode through the compartment.

[b]<<Brothers! [color="#2E8B57"][url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeCfod1XT7E"]Spehss! Mahreens![/url][/color] Today the enemy is at our door. We know our duty and we will do it! We fight for our honor, as blood followers of the Aeon, and we fight in the name of the Femessiah!>>[/b]

The carapaced men in the cramped tilt rotor nodded silently, clasping at their weapons with vise-grips.

[b]<<If we die this day, we die in [i]glory![/i] We die heros deaths, but we shall not [i]die![/i] No, it is the enemy that will taste death and defeat!>>[/b]

<<One minute to priority fire zone, all blood followers, prepare to debark>> came the mechanical voice of the aircraft's onboard EVA, interrupting the noble Zealot.

[b]<<As you know, most of our brethren are stationed in Garissa, prepared to deepstrike! We shall carve a perimeter around this convoy, with the dead and dying should our enemies be so foolish. We have in place numerous assets, allowing for multiple, sim-multaneous and devastating defensive landings in support of the Shield of Aeon. We will descend upon the foe! We will overwhelm them! Leave none alive! >>[/b]

The loud reports of the chin mounted cannons of nearby Liberators sounded, pounding into Separatist positions as they appeared. Spehss nodded, eager to add his cleansing flame to the cacophony of death.

[b]<<Meanwhile, our air force will guarantee the full defense of our approach. We are the blood followers of the Aeon! We are the Princess' fury!>>[/b]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aeon forces would tear into visible threats to the convoy from the air, as Crusader Karen would attempt to liase with any semblance of command and control the GPn'S convoy had at its disposal. Should the convoy lack such a battle net, Karen would immediately task her EVA with utilizing Initiate Celene back at COMFOR-J as a liason officer with the commanding officer of the convoy.

Meanwhile, air superiority assets would comb the skies for separatist aircraft, utilizing both passive and active measures to ensure that they would be the first to see, or be engaged by these so-called hypersonic aircraft Matthew had at his disposal.

Air assault forces numbering a battalion's worth of the Aeon's finest would land in support of the convoy, where light armor and elite infantry would serve as both shield and sword for the battered GPn'S forces in the area.

Edited by Executive Minister
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  • 2 months later...

OOC: Yes, I'm still alive.

IC: Explosions racked the Turtle transports from all angles. The rebel troops were heavily armed in High tech armor, Similar to the armor the Royal Guards wore. Merlin was worried that Matthew finally gave away the secret of his shield technology, but it was quickly put down when he saw one of the Royal Guards put a heavy round from the Royal guards standard Revolver into a rebels head shattering the helmet’s visor and spraying blood over the wall behind him.

Even the royal guards were having a hard time fighting the experimental squadrons. Merlin led a squad of pure Royal Guard Lieutenants. A ferocious force to behold for any regular troops, but almost a fair fight for the experimental troops who outnumbered them.

Almost.

In fact it would be if not for one factor, or man rather. Merlin Athrawes, the Legend himself. He punched through a wall of a building, grabbed the man behind it and pulled him through the wall, breaking his neck and killing him in the process. He then ran through the opening, katana at the ready and started to murder every soldier in the building. The lieutenants followed him through the hole, used to this kind of thing from the legendary captain, and cleaned up after him.

One walked up to him and saluted, “This building is secure sir, inform the fourth squadron tanks that they can break through now without fear of rockets.”

He nodded and relayed the message, while simultaneously receiving a message from the King and several Commanders, including Actious, who managed to get his tanks loose and has started to knock down buildings with rebel troops in them.


The king fired one of the GPnS’s standard assault rifles out of the window of a turtle troop transport, surrounded by a mix of Royal guards and regular troops firing the same. He stopped, reloaded and received a message over his COM.

“Aeon forces are in the area sir. I’ll link them to you immediately.”

“Roger that, hold on the link, I want them to talk to someone else, I’ll tell you in a minute.” He switched over to the his private COM link with Merlin. “Merlin, Aeon reinforcements are here. I want you to link up with their commander, coordinate with them, and see if you can get access to their tactical satellites in the area and provide us some intel on those aircraft. You’ll be in command of our forces for now, but only because you have the best COM network.”

“Yes sire, anything else? Is your section still ok?”

“Yes Merlin, though there seems to be a high concentration of enemy soldiers here, I think they might know I’m in here, though we haven’t given our presence away as the command station yet.”

“I’m heading there next. Hold out as long as you can. We have three minutes left according to my calculations. I hope Aeons air force can stop them.”

“… So do I.”


Actious’s tanks were much more mobile than the transports and were able to break free from the trap. they moved around the city locating and destroying targets for the military. He made it his priority to get as many of the troops out of the transports as he could, and he stressed that importance to Merlin over the COM, who agreed. The transports and machinery could be replaced in time, but the soldiers would be much harder. He had lost five tanks already and most had some sort of damage done to them.

He couldn’t help but look skyward however, waiting for signs of Aeon reinforcements… Or for the Hypersonic aircraft, though they could have already passed and he wouldn’t hear it until the bombs hit.

A voice spoke over his helmets COM, “Colonel, this is Merlin, I need you to direct Aeon ground forces to where they need it the most. Give them as much cover fire as they need.”

“Roger that Merlin.” He replied and then switched the wavelength to Aeons radio frequencies. “This is Colonel Actious, tank commander of the GPnS forces in the area. I’ve been told to direct your ground forces to heavy fire areas and provide cover with the tanks. Right now our main objective on the ground is to get the soldiers out of the Transports, I’m sure you have a better idea where the enemy is from the air than I do down here, so my tanks will be ready to move wherever you need them.”

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  • 1 month later...

OOC: I'm tired of trying to work this into something I like, so here.

Took a lot longer than I wanted, but here's the next part. I'm not to sure on some of this stuff. I know I never got to finish my RP with Matthew so some of that genetics stuff is kind of unexplained. I've never really RPed air fights before so I'm not too sure how that's gonna go either.


Commander Zhao watched the battle unfold in the safety of the former head of internal affairs laboratory on a holographic display. The plan so far had gone without a hitch. Zephyr had managed to get the civilians out, which was a pity, but he effectively trapped his military for another few hours. And now they were quite literally trapped. He had sent almost half of the entire underground laboratories work force to set up the trap in time and it had worked beautifully. He chuckled a bit at the stupidity of whoever thought to use the turtle transports when it was Matthew who made them. His soldiers knew their only real weakness, which was their immobility across steep terrain.

The hypersonic jets were on their and he tracked their progress across GPnS. He noticed another force entering the area, the presumed Aeon reinforcements. A minor detail, his soldiers could take care of any that survived, and there was no way the Aeon pilots would be able to take on Matthews super jets. He couldn’t help but chuckle again, the battle was already won.


In order to pilot the hypersonic jets each pilot was given a special suit that would help them withstand the high G’s associated with going that fast, in addition to Matthews special breeding programs which gave them higher tolerance of high G’s than normal humans. Each member of Matthews’s society was literally bred and lived to do whatever job was assigned to them. This made the pilots of the hypersonic jets some of the best in the world.

Ten jets were loaded with high explosive specially designed high explosive bombs that would be launched and guided by computer. Five other jets were loaded with AA weapons to deal with the Aeon air forces. Not that they would need it, the aircraft with the bombs would fly in much higher than the AA aircraft, and at hypersonic speeds they would be gone long before any aircraft could pick up on them. The AA aircraft were simply a distraction to draw the attention of the Aeon air.

The pilots would not have much to say, their mission was simple. “Approaching target. Bombs armed, get ready to drop.”

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  • 1 month later...

The battle for Nakuru was the turning point of the civil war for Abraham and Alexander’s forces. Thanks to the help from Aeon, the hypersonic jets of Matthew’s were defeated, and with the leadership of one Colonel Actious, the Royal Guard and Aeon forces, rooted out Matthew’s Special Forces from Nakuru. Now to the northern territories of GPnS, given as a gift from Aeon to help rebuild the south, Alexander and his army tried to use the cities untouched infrastructures to fuel his battered war machine to make an attack on the rebel capital of Kampala possible.

The people however, were not as receptive as Alexander could hope. Matthew’s goals included getting those territories, and Commander Zhao took advantage of the propaganda agents sent there early on and set the peoples opinion against Alexander. Even with the charismatic Abraham winning the people over was hard, and in most cities an impossibility. Most people in high positions were either in the propaganda agents pocket, or agents themselves.

With nowhere else to turn, the now Grand General Actious suggested Alexander once again enlist the help of Aeon. With their support they charged into Kampala and took the city from Commander Zhao’s weakened forces. But Zhao was not defeated. The final assault would take place on Matthew’s Laboratories, deep under Lake Victoria. The Royal Guard captain Merlin would lead the elite Royal Guards, what remained of Abraham’s loyal special forces, and the now battle worn veterans of GPnS’s standard armies.

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Actious stood in his dress uniform, now brandishing the rank of Grand General. He would be the first of that position to not be a part of the royal family, and also the first to not wear special armor. Having never been trained or fitted, as well as not having the infrastructure to make a new set, he would go without it for the remainder of the war. He stood before a Captain in regular full armor with her helmet off on the edge of Lake Victoria.

“Are you sure you want to go down there Siti? You know I will not be there to have your back.”

“I’ll be fine General. I’m still one of the best soldiers we have, no matter how good the Royal Guards are. Not to mention we’ll be in the midst of them as well.”

“Being next to the Royal Guard does not guarantee immunity to bullets, and don’t call me General.”

“Fine Styvyn, but my decision remains. I will go. I will be fine.”

Actious sighed. He knew he wouldn’t get Siti to budge on her decision, but he had to try. Now that he was General he knew a lot more than her, and a lot of it was classified. He knew that Matthew’s laboratories were more like underground cities. There were millions of people living down there, each devoted to the task they were bred and raised to do. All of them loyal to Matthew. They wouldn’t get that far down though. They had limited intel on the facilities, only what Abraham had seen. The plan was to reach the command center and kill Commander Zhao before he can do any more damage. With the command center taken over the other troops would lose all their advantages and be easily overtaken.

“Look Styvyn, I have to go get my troops ready. You take care of yourself too now. Remember you’re the head of the military. You’ll have assassin’s and enemies coming after you before you know it, and I won’t be there to get your back either.”

“I will.” He paused and looked at her face for a moment. “Good luck then.” He hugged her, they saluted, and she left. He watched her go, and went to the command post to monitor the progress.


Merlin led a squad of Royal guards deep into the research complex. The other captains would be doing the same. This would be the toughest challenge the guards had faced yet. The interior of the complex was lined with deadly turrets, the facility itself could change to whatever Zhao desired, and at any corner there could be Special Forces. Merlin found himself just destroying walls himself, making a path straight to the elevator shaft, and then prying open the doors and leading his team deeper into the complex.

“This is Merlin, I’m putting a beacon on the elevator, I want all squads to just smash or blow their way to it. Otherwise you’ll be stuck in a labyrinth. I’m taking my squad deeper.”

The squad of ten royal guards descended the shaft. Letting bullets ping off their armor and shooting down the shaft at turret emplacements. Once at the desired level Merlin set charges on the door and the rest of the squad got clear. With speeds beyond any person is capable, Merlin propelled himself through the opening and tore a path through the waiting special forces and automated turrets. His sword flashed red and sparked yellow as he cut a bloody path through Commander Zhao’s best. The royal guards behind him stormed through the entrance after him and finished off the stunned guards.

“The command center should be up ahead, the other troops are just getting to the shaft. We’ll wait here and guard the shaft until the rest come down.”

[hr]


Commander Zhao was, for the first time in his life, terrified. He knew the Royal Guards were good, but nothing he threw at them could stop them. He wasn’t sure he’d even managed to kill one of them. He worked with Matthew’s now failing AI to try anything to stop them.

“What if we collapsed the top layer’s?” Zhao asked.
The AI glowed, processing, and then replied, “That would weaken the structure of the complex, the weight of the dirt and water above use would eventually cause a cascading effect, burying the top fifty layers. The workers would never be able to dig out of it before oxygen ran out.”

“How much time do we have?”

“The lead squadron is at the main elevator shaft and is currently destroying the door.”

“Others?”

“The squads with royal guards are starting to break through the labyrinth, we have several of the regular infantry pinned down in sealed off corridors. They are wearing full armor however, and have called for Royal Guard backup, which will arrive before their suits will run out of oxygen.”

“What about the heavy blast doors?”

“We have a limited amount of them, most are situated around the command center. Also the Lead squad is descending the elevator shaft now.”

“Meet them with turrets.”

The structure of the complex appeared on the holo-table. Zhao watched a blue dot signifying the royal guards descending the shaft. It showed red dots indicating turrets firing up at them. He patiently watched as the blue dot slowed. “Show me some cameras, I want to see what’s happening.” One of the view screens on the command center wall showed the turrets firing up at the white figures descending in the darkness. It was the view from the turrets. He watched as bullets hit the targets, but just bounced off of the armors hard spots. And then one by one the turrets fell to precision shots by the guards.

“Damn it, get someone to cut their cables.”

“All squads are preoccupied commander.”

“Un-occupy one then.”

“I’m sorry commander there is no one that will reach the shaft before another squad of royal guards.”

Commander Zhao couldn’t believe this. He almost refused to.

“Commander the lead squad is stopping. They are on our level. We have an ambush ready for them.”

“Show me.” He barked.

A view of a grey hallway appeared. There was nothing in it but barriers and several heavy weapons emplacements. Further analysis showed nearly twenty special forces troops, all with advanced camouflaged armor waiting in ambush. The elevator’s blast shields went down. It would take a lot to break through them. Unfortunately he knew they brought a lot.

A moment passed. The door blew open and the soldiers opened up. Tons of fire and explosives poured into the door, but just before that a white blur crossed the length of the hallway, faster than the camera could capture its image clearly. Half of the soldiers lying in wait appeared on the camera with lacerations cutting through nearly their entire bodies. The rest were turning to fire on the white blur when the rest of the guards came through the doorway and fired on the ones still invisible, using their heat signatures to take them out.

“That’s it then. I’m afraid I must initiate Ultima protocol.” The AI said.

The commander was for once, slow to respond to this. He had never seen anything like that. It was inhuman. “We still have squads in here damn it. They haven’t reached the command center. We can still take down that- that monster.”

“My simulations say otherwise. If we gathered all remaining squads together in the most strategic position remaining, I calculate only a 40% chance we can take just the Captain down. Also note that there is a captain at the head of each royal guard squad.”

“But that means that [i]all[/i] the captains are down here. Can we get one of the propaganda agents at the King?”

“No, our communications with the outside are being blocked.” A timer appeared on one of the view screens. Zhao knew what it was but he still asked.

“What is that?”

“It’s a countdown timer, it’s the minimum time it will take for each of the fusion reactors to go critical and then explode.”

“I have to get out of here.”

“I’m sorry commander. Ultima protocol prevents me from letting anyone leave the complex.”

“That’s it then… At least we’ll take down every Royal Guard Captain. That will significantly decrease Alexander’s strength. Maybe one of the Agents out there can take him out.”

The commander sat down in one of the consoles chairs. Classical music began to play through the speakers in the command center. Zhao noted, “O Fortuna, fitting I suppose.”

“Matthew was a fan of classical music, this was one of his favorites. Seeing as this is the end of his final project, I was thinking it would be a nice send off.”

[i]Indeed it is[/i] Zhao thought, [i]Indeed it is.[/i]

[hr]


“Captain we’ve posted guards at the top of the elevator shaft and are working to defeat the remaining enemy troops on the top level. Should we proceed to the command center?”

Merlin stood amongst the other guards, a fellow captain had moved his squad down to the command center’s level to help secure the elevator shaft. No further opposition came to meet them at the elevator after he and his troops dispatched the welcome party. Curious. It was possible that Zhao had finally run out of troops, or he was planning an ambush somewhere else. He turned to the other captain, “I’ll take my squad up ahead, have the rest of the teams secure the first floor and make sure the exit remains open. We don’t want to be trapped down here. You squad should stay here and fortify the shaft, make sure they don’t retake it.”

Merlin charged ahead, the rest of his squad followed. Surprisingly the path to the command center was the same as they had originally mapped. Merlin thought he would have to bust through walls again. [i]Something is wrong. They aren’t even sending turrets after us.[/i] The team was outside the command centers door. Merlin had the other guard’s plant similar explosives on the door, and similar to the elevator merlin burst through the door, ready to kill anything in sight. But all he saw was the countdown timer and Commander Zhao sitting in his chair.

“Welcome, and I suppose goodbye.” Zhao said.

Merlin walked up to him sword ready, but he was already alerting the rest of the army through his COM. “It’s a trap, they’ve rigged the place to explode. Get everyone out now.”

Zhao stood up, “Go ahead then, kill me, we’ll all be dead soon.”

Merlin obliged. Zhao’s head rolled, but Merlin was already sprinting out of the room before his head even hit the ground. His guards were at the elevator shaft, waiting for him. They climbed up the shaft, Merlin trying not to be too much quicker than his brethren. Once at the top he radioed for a status report. “How many troops are still in here?”

“Most of the regular troops are out, as well as the royal guards. There are several squads still pinned down by enemy forces.”

“Where are they?”

“I’ll mark their location on your HUD.”

Three blips popped up on his visor. Two were relatively close by, only fifty meters. One however was stuck nearly two hundred meters out. He noticed two friendlies headed for the closest ones, captains coming to save those squads. Which left the furthest one to him. He ran a quick calculation against how much time they had left. He had enough time to get there, but not back. [i]Damn it Merlin you can’t save everyone.[/i] He grimaced and clenched his teeth. With one final salute in the direction of the lost soldier’s he took off.

[hr]

Siti and her squad were boned, and she knew it. They had followed some special forces, “chased” as she put it, to the current !@#$hole they were in now. And right when they call for reinforcements the !@#$ hits the fan and the order was given to evacuate. Using the broken walls as cover she ordered her squad to try and make it out, but to her and the rest of their dismay, their exit had been blocked.

“Damn it someone get explosives on that wall.”

“We don’t have enough left to get through Captain.”

“Just !@#$@#$ do it.”

The demo nodded and placed the shaped charges. Shots whizzed over their head. Some automated turrets had them pinned down, and beyond them were some of the last Special Forces making sure they couldn’t get past the turrets. The squad got as clear as they could and the demo set the charges off. The smoke cleared and the wall was damaged heavily, but remained intact and impassable.

“!@#$!” Siti exclaimed. She toggled her radio again. “This is Bravo squadron, where’s our back up? We can’t bust through these walls and we’re pinned down. How much time do we have left? Hello?”

There was silence, and then a voice. “You’re too deep Bravo. I’m… sorry. Nobody can reach you in time.”

The squad noticeably got quieter, even over the sound of gunfire. Siti took a moment as well, and then finally replied, “Roger command, glad we get to go out with a bang.”

She watched her soldier’s, a few slumped against the wall. One even took off his helmet. “Well !@#$ are we giving up that easy guys? Do we have any grenade’s left?”

“No, we used em all trying to take out those turrets.”

The demo chirped in, “Even if we did all they would do is blow off some of our arms and legs.”

Siti ran the situation through her head over and over again. One of her men stood, took a few bullets to the back, screamed and started hitting the damaged wall with the butt of his gun. The was spattered with his blood as the turrets ate into his shoulders and head. After a few seconds he stopped and slumped against the wall, smearing blood as he slid down.

“!@#$, guess we’re choosing how we die now. Anyone else wanna be turret dinner?” Siti looked around. Her voice still had a bit of bite to it, but now it was laced with sorrow. One of her soldiers shrugged, vaulted over the cover they were using, and screamed as he ran at the turrets. He made it past them, and then fell. His armor riddled with bullets.

Now leaning against the wall herself, she heard her com ping on and a familiar voice came on. “Siti,” It was the Grand General. She felt honored. “I-“

“Stow it Styvyn. Even as the damn commander of the military there’s nothing you can do about this now.”

His voice was shaky, but he did not cry. “I know. I just had to say goodbye. Goodbye to the last member of my original squad… Goodbye to the person I lov-“

“Shut up Lieutenant Actious. You’re making me sad.” She hiccupped, “Well sadder.” She felt an involuntary tear roll down her cheek. “I-I love you too. Goodbye.”

[hr]

The four fusion reactors powering the underground facility went critical. The resulting explosion would cause significant damage to the city of Kampala and the surrounding areas. The initial blast would feel like a high magnitude earthquake, and Lake Victoria would become a tsunami across an already devastated city. Most of the soldiers would be able to evacuate the area. Some of the civilian’s would make it out too, but on such a short notice not much could be done. The last Major city in GPnS falls.

Edited by Lord Zephyr
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