Discussion in 'Worldbuilding' started by DonMegel, May 10, 2006.
Is this about a certain convo we had earlier Cyber?
So Megel, got any more for us?
Thats pretty sweet Letuce, thank you.
As for more installments, if I wrote instead of modeled those cockpits I think Krenzo may try to kill me.
They will come though, have you read the Empires II story?
-- 13 --
Somehow I enjoy the darkness, its enveloping omnipresence seems to saturate every part of me and sooth my tortured soul within its veil of eternity. Its seemingly endless expanses fill every crevasse and alcove as if a tangible liquid had been poured into the tiny space. My eyes dart to and fro, blinking once, twice, a third time in an effort to widen my pupils and soak up any rays of illumination brave enough to strike out within this sea of ink. With surprise I find I am relived that they have failed. No light has entered, no light can enter and so I remain drowning within the comforting warmth of endless, formless, tasteless nothing.
From this void I very gradually become aware of an outsider, an intruder into my fortress of solitude. I had never thought hell was a social arena, perhaps these were the worms spoken of in the Book sent to eat my flesh for ever and always. Slowly I began to realize the intruder was not merely touching some extension of my mind, perhaps my waist or legs if they still existed, but was rather placing a great deal of pressure, more and more as time passed. Time, of course, is a loose concept when devoid of even the most basic form of outside stimulation. For a very short time I tried counting in steady rhythm to mark seconds and minutes; I got to 48 before my intruder, weary of being ignored, redoubled his efforts and began to exert not only pressure but a much sharper sensation, almost like…pain.
Out of habit I looked down, I think, but was greeted with only more nothing. For the first time I began to be displeased with my comforting deluge of darkness for it was robbing me of my ability to confront my unwanted guest. My eyes blinked a couple more times, their pupils surely the size of half dollars, vainly struggling to soak up any semblance of light within their new, darkened world. My leg, by this time I have decided it is my leg under attack, begins to throb under the unyielding assault of pressure and pain. I find my self becoming angry at who, or what, ever has dared disturb my eternal slumber. I try to send my hand in search of this villain only to discover it refuses to respond, not that I could see any progress one way or the other. While irritated, I still feel the utmost comfort and peace surrounded by my endless fortress of night, its weight even begins to slow my breathing and lull me to sleep. I decide to succumb but only after dispatching my guest. I try to move my other arm. Nothing. Gradually I become aware that only my eyes are capable of moving with the rest of my extremities rendered immobile by the darkness. My irritation grows as what ever is boring into my leg accelerates its pace, soon spreading familiar warmth that slow begins running up towards my spine.
I begin to wonder if I can bleed to death in hell and if so, what happens then? I can’t say I want to leave, even with the crushing pain I am nestled so comfortably and peacefully in a vast sensory void. Nothing to bother, nothing think about, nothing to kill. Hell was supposed to be hot, too, I remember, with wailing. I pause and strain to here. At first I observe only the deafening drone of silence but, after a time, the very edge of perception begins to pick up a slight, muffled, groan.
There it is. Not nearly so horrifying as I had imagined but the Book said nothing of volume, just of wailing. I sigh. My thoughts begin to explore their new eternal home. I touch on the pain and the growing pool of blood before moving on, what could I do about it? I begin thinking about the recent, or so I reason is recent, past. I really had expected a bright light or a cloud or a man in black to usher in my damnation. All I really remember is a low rumbling roar, vibrations, heat, and then nothing, hell. I search my limited knowledge of scriptures for such a reference, perhaps God smote me or an Angle, but fail to recall anything of the sort. I curse my self for not reading more closely but then realize that if I had I would be in a far brighter, comfortable place without sharp stabbing pains in my leg. The thought makes me smile, an unfamiliar gesture.
But what makes such a roar, a rumble, the heat, the vibrations? I was on the ground. I was dirty. I was near a rock face. It was very shiny I remember, like northern obsidian, like…the Badlands. That’s right, I was in the badlands, covered in blood. But, but it wasn’t mine. I think back struggling to solidify images and sensations from the milky haze. The roar, the rumble, the vibrations, and then hell. I was looking at a man, he was on the ground and full of holes, large, fleshy, torn looking holes. I looked past him, down the canyon and saw more like him only…only more alive and moving. They all had sticks, black rods of some sort, in their hands that began to flash at me, they all belched fire and I jumped to the ground. They were shooting at me.
The roar, the rumble, the vibrations. They came just then. My thoughts begin to come into focus around this singular event. I heard to roar distantly at first, then closer, then every where all at once. It was almost immediately joined by the rumble, the vibrations, I could feel the sound as it pulsed through the glassy stone and oily soil, as it pulsed through me. I remember looking up but not why. It was there, the source, the Angle, the demon, my reaper.
Imperial Hellcat’s streaked in from the north releasing their devastating payloads. I smile again at the irony of a machine dubbed the Hellcat sending me to its namesake, albeit without the cats. The Hellcat is an older ground attack aircraft but still effective it would seem, doing its deadly work with skill, surprise and precession.
Subtle moans, louder than before, break me from my musings. Again the sounds permeate my senses, coming now in more frequent waves. Still they sound less like wailing of torture and more like the earthly groaning of stone and flesh. It occurs to me that I will soon be put to labor in hell, working night and day to furnish the fires that burn deep within the earth, never to again know this peaceful darkness.
I suddenly feel the darkness shift, or more accurately the pressure of the darkness suppressing my limbs and body. The moans grow even more frequent and louder, each noise now altering the weight around me. I assume my time in the waiting room has ended and my real eternal damnation on the verge of beginning. With a strange calm I take the last few moments of peace to soak up my surroundings, or lack there of, trying to memorize every aspect of this blissful paradise of nothing so that I might recall it during the remainder of my tortured eternity.
Above my head the darkness explodes amidst the loudest and clearest moan so far. As the pressure vanishes so to does my peaceful slumber in darkness. Piercing white light pours in through the opening, at once filling every nook and cranny and displacing the cherished ink that now must retreat to safer voids and await the time when its nemesis once again is blocked by rock or steel. With great difficulty and pain my eyes adjust to their much beloved light. I squint and attempt to take in what manor of demon has come to put me to work within the caldrons of hell. For the first time since arriving in hell I am gripped with the iron fist of pure, un adulterated terror. The form standing over me was no demon, I was not dead.
Colonel Boggs flashed an icy smile, “Well hello there”
Hooray for revive skill!
-- 14 --
-- Contested Area around Koln A.K.A. “No man’s land” --
“Affirmative Baker 10, grid 19 is clear. Proceeded to grid 23 and ascending to 21 thou. Over”
“We read you Foxtrot. Be advised, sporadic radar contacts in your area. Proceed with caution.”
Malinkovick “Link” Masterson quickly glanced down to his own radar display only to find it chirping happily with friendly contacts. Out of habit more so than an actual attempt to fix anything he reached over and gave the top of the unit a sharp bang. The Mark IV Raven had been the state of the art in fighter technology a quarter of a century ago but 25 years of storage had a habit of rendering even the most advanced systems buggy and unusual. The square LCD only flickered in response to the abuse and continued to chirp its merry tune.
Link sighed. “Understood Baker, Foxtrot out.”
A quick flip of a toggle loaded the radio preset for the rest of foxtrot. “Alright fellas, heads up. Looks like Brandy might finally be showing her head.”
Since the war’s onset nearly a year ago the only Brenodi aircraft to actively participate in their nation’s war effort had been transports with Hellcats only just begging to make precise strikes on the northern front outside the Badlands. This was perfectly fine with the resurgent Jekotian as it had taken nearly as long to dust off their buried fighters and gun ships, make subtle repairs, train pilots and deploy at least semi operational squadrons. Still, it had surprised High Command and Link personally that the Empire had failed to match Northern Faction aerial deployments in the south and in the straits with at least fighters of their own. It wasn’t that anyone wanted Brandy to show up, no one really knew how the state of the art Temptress III Imperial fighters would perform against the 25 year old Ravens, but in war the absence of action could often be more intimidating than its presence.
“Link” the earpiece buzzed with the Commander’s call sign. “I keep getting lit up by something” a pause filled with cracked static, “nothing continuous, just spotty.”
Link glanced at his own scratched HUD and then out and around his speeding aircraft. All clear. None the less, Brenodi missile sites had been advancing steadily into the area; it made sense to get into the clouds.
“I read you Flag,” the Commander responded after only a moment of thought, “Prolly just AA coming online. Let’s head to 23 thou. Follow my lead.”
Mired within the wispy gray clouds swirling thousands of feet about war torn Koln pass, the wing of battered Northern Faction fighters rose quickly into the fiery red sky of the setting evening sun. Like a soaring wing of massive steel geese, each ship of war shot up in a tight “V,” pouring a bit more fuel into their churning jet engines and tilting their oversized flaps ever so slightly up. In the time it took the seven pilots to check their gauges and then their relative position they had arrived at their new altitude above the clouds.
Link arched his head to find yet another layer of clouds a few thousand feet further above, scattered, gray and angry. “Keep an eye on the weather boys” Link radioed unnecessarily. Although no one in the fledgling Northern Faction air force could be considered an Ace or even terribly experienced, each man knew how to push his airframe and knew what to avoid. High altitude hail storms fell under the latter.
The explosion to Link’s left threw shrapnel through the air at nearly five times the speed of sound, littering the surrounding aircraft with dents and holes. Before a collective curse could be shouted three more explosions tore through the dwindling flight and shoved the survivors out of formation.
Fear and adrenalin bathing his shaky words, Link began barking out orders while shoving his Raven’s stick and throttle forward. “Break right! Drop to the clouds!”
Another two explosions told the Commander his orders were falling on deaf ears. They had been ambushed and it was every man for themselves.
With massive amounts of fuel pouring from the aged afterburners, Link’s Raven shot up to its top speed barely avoiding a streaking missile. Even in her prime, the Mark IV Raven could never boast an incredible top speed but made up the disadvantage with incredible maneuverability and one of them most rugged airframes ever to lift off the ground. Link would need ever advantage he could get.
As metal and plastic shuttered beneath him the irritating buzz of the missile lock indicator filled his ears. Out of instinct more than training, Link jerked his aircraft hard over, still racing downward picking up speed. In dog fighting, or any aerial combat, speed equaled life. With a grunt Commander Masterson slammed into the side of the cockpit, pinned against the assorted gauges and knobs by a multitude of G-forces. Quickly he began tensing his legs and lower body in order to keep all of his blood from draining away from his brain and causing a more severe loss of vision than what he was already experiencing. The “G-suit” each pilot was issued also helped to prevent such a fate by filling with compressed air and cutting off blood supply to their legs; Link’s was broken.
As the alarm had prophesied, a flash of fire and steel streaked past the banking aircraft only moments after the move. Immediately Link reversed his course and cut sharply in the opposite direction hoping to catch a glance of his attackers. His on board radar, oblivious to its impending doom, continued to happily chirp away with contacts, both friendly and non; the latter now outnumbering the former by 3 to 1.
Squinting through the dark tunnel vision of a high G turn, Link was able to make out a pair of Temptress II Imperial fighters bobbing in and out of the clouds above him, banking wide to reestablish missile lock. The Temptress II was the successor to the vaunted Temptress from the last Great War that continually dominated the skies and for which the Raven series had been designed. Indeed, the Mark IV finally surpassed its Brenodi rival but arrived too late to save the faltering Jekotian Empire. Nearly twenty- five years later the countless advantages boasted by the Mark IV had been reduced to maneuverability and toughness; the Temptress II being superior in nearly every other way, especially in the area of armament, which was a principle concern for the young Commander.
Now powering up from the thin cloud layer, wispy clouds would do nothing to deter radar guided missiles, Link was faced with a dilemma. With a pair of bogies sweeping wide he could neither bank away from them nor angle down as both moves would bring his opponents onto his six and, in turn, missile lock. Turning into the advancing fighters was little better as they were descending from a higher altitude forcing the slower Raven to have to climb to meet them and thus bleeding off valuable speed. All of this of course flashed through Masterson’s mind in a fraction of a second, the amount of time life and death decisions are measured in, before he decided to turn under the intruders, dive to pick up speed then make a sharp turn to come in on their rear. It was a move more experienced pilots would have anticipated but experience was one thing friend had in common with foe; neither had much.
The entire maneuver took a tawdry handful of seconds to complete and after another round of groans and near fatal blackouts the old bird arrived at her master’s destination safely behind the shimmering blue flames of the Brenodi aft. Almost instantly another irritating but welcome sound alerted Link that his own missiles had achieved lock and wished to be released into the wild blue. With a giddy smirk he flipped up the master arm switch and gave it a couple jolts then banked high as the streaking warheads galloped towards their mark.
Brilliantly the two would be assassins erupted into an expanding ball of flame and steel before falling quickly to the earth below. Link, hoping his kills would give him time to breath, began scanning the horizon for a safe avenue of escape. Before his gaze could traverse the small cockpit windows the prophetic little missile lock alarm blared once again its message of doom. The instinctual bank hard to the right came too late this time and one of the incoming warheads exploded no less than eight feet from the Raven’s belly, spraying shrapnel in all directions. Link’s Raven vaulted violently up and over, directly opposite of the blast, and then rolled wing over wing before nosing over towards the earth. In shock he checked his gauges and readings, looking for what damage had been done by the nearly fatal impact. Franticly he searched for the instrument emitting the high pitched squeal that must surely mean death before realizing it was his own ears ringing from the explosion. Briefly he smiled at this tiny victory and began wrestling the wounded fighter out of her developing spin.
Here the Jekotian fighter began to show its strength. With oversized, forward facing ailerons, massive air breaks and large, in-flight deployable lift fans, the plane could be forced into almost any position, maneuver or path with only the pilot’s endurance limiting the motion. At 18,000 feet the Raven once again flew straight and true and, amazingly, none the worse for ware. Underneath large shards of shrapnel remained embedded deep within her armor and super structure but had failed to disable system that was without back up or auxiliary.
Link again assessed the situation. The hornet’s nest of Brenodi fighters could easily overwhelm him with missiles. Little was known about the performance of the Temptress II, so new was her design, but it had been widely published that she boasted a pair of over mounted rotary missile batteries capable of unleashing no less than four “Rebel Killer’s” each or six smaller but less potent heat seekers. Link’s mark IV on the other hand had been equipped mostly with extra ammunition for his massive rotary cannons for dealing with Brenodi transports; the only enemy aircraft seen until this point. The 25mm hailstorm of lead would tear through the Temptresses like tin-foil but would need to be significantly closer than is required for missile lock. Any attempt to go low and run could easily be countered from above by the remaining bogies and attacking “up-hill” down played any advantage the outnumbered Raven could boast. Link didn’t like his options.
The Commander finally decided his only real option was to move in close and engage the fighter’s within gun range were his own craft’s superior maneuverability could triumph over the Temptress’s speed and firepower. The move also carried the added possibility of disrupting the Brenodi pilots who, in all likely hood, were also experiencing their first enemy encounter, and then escaping in the confusion.
With some hope, but mostly desperate determination, Link pushed the throttle forward and began climbing in a very wide but steep corkscrew. The strange pattern allowed him to gain altitude while loosing the minimum amount of speed and keeping the most number of options open for engaging. After only climbing a thousand feet one of the Brenodi pilots decided the resilient little Raven was an easy kill and nosed over to engage.
Masterson didn’t need the fortune telling missile alarm to notice the pair of streaks piercing the air in his direction. Not terribly surprised by the move, he inverted his plane, nosed down at a 30 degree angle relative to the incoming, and jammed the afterburner; the idea being to get under the missiles tracking systems before they came too close to avoid. With a violent shutter the massive pair of engines flanking the Raven’s fuselage roared to life, belching fire and thrusting the whole craft towards the earth at nearly the speed of sound. As planned, the now lost missiles flew harmlessly by, much to their patron’s disappointment, and began circling below the fight in an attempt to find their prey.
Seeing an opportunity, Link banked hard to the right, sweeping his aircraft up and around in a loop to come up behind the still descending Temptress, who had failed to adjust his course, so sure was he of a kill. The Brenodi’s lapse in judgment lasted only a moment; quickly he pulled his aircraft into his own banking turn just as a steady stream of tracer fire raked across his right wing tip. With tiny pieces of charcoal grey aluminum tearing free, the Temptress shook off the minor scrape and began to race upward towards his wingmen above, the Raven close behind. Slowly the superior speed of the wounded fighter began to pull it further from the Raven’s talons, within moments it would be out of gun range and soon after with its friend’s in the clouds. Link had other plans.
Depressing the trigger, Commander “Link” Masterson saturated the air with fiery lead in the hopes of landing at least a crippling blow on his fleeing victim. Remembering his flight training, the enemy pilot wiggled from side to side to avoid the fire storm but the sheer volume of rounds made such an effort superfluous and dozens found their mark. After only three seconds of sustained fire the Temptress had taken enough damage to burst into flame and begin breaking apart. With what Link could only imagine as shock and shame, her pilot rocketed out of his disintegrating airframe atop a pillar of thrust.
The ever practical missile alarm refused to allow Link to enjoy his third kill, insisting instead that the comrades of the vanquished foe demanded revenge. Following the wounded Temptress had taken Link into the lowest levels of the Brenodi hornets nest and had stirred up an accordingly vicious response. At least five missiles left their cozy rotating magazines and raced toward the lone Raven below. Not thinking his aircraft could survive nearly a half dozen direct hits, Link hit the afterburner once more and angled his plane slightly to the right in the hopes of getting in-between the two groups of projectiles. The risky maneuver was a success in that Link came through it alive but not before one missile had detonated hear his wing and another ramming straight into his starboard lift fan.
Like a bee swatted in mid air, his now smoking Raven tumbled wildly, its forward momentum still carrying it higher into the crowded air. All around him klaxons screamed, each demanding his attention for their own personal system or device. Link could hear the stomach wrenching sound of steel tearing through aluminum, no doubt the remains of the lift fan slicing into the unarmored inner lining. Although the Raven still responded quickly to his input, she shuttered violently, no doubt the result of some sort of metal torn loose by the impact but refusing to let go and fall to the earth, the resulting disruption in wind stream shimmying up and down the frame.
Ignoring the symphony of alarms, Commander Masterson put the rudder to the wall adjusted the ailerons to regain attitude control. Surely to the amazement of the Brenodi now below him, the Raven slid into straight and level flight, albeit a bit squirrelly and constantly vibrating. Now for the first time with a superior position, Link twisted his fighter and pulled back around to find three aircraft at various angles, directions and altitudes below him, each no doubt pondering their next move. Link didn’t need to ponder. Link knew.
With the force of a flacon swooping down on its prey from above, the injured Raven plowed the course of a twisted “J” taking it across all three dazed aircraft. As each one came into range Link squeezed off a few dozen rounds whose tracers proclaimed several hits. With their backs pierced with 25mm holes two of the impressive Imperial aircraft shattered within an expanding plume of fire, while the third, pulling into the attack, received only glancing blows and escaped with one engine smoking.
Realizing his fuel was beginning to run low and seeing he had created the confusion he had hoped for, Link pulled out of his power dive and sped towards home, skimming the deck at 8,000 feet. To his surprise none of the remaining Brenodi fighters gave chase. Unbeknownst to him they too had begun to notice a lack of fuel but also had developed a slight fear of the apparently invincible Northern Faction pilot in his beat up red fighter.
Upon arriving at the collection of bunkers and air pads that passed for an airbase, Commander Masterson was forced to make a hard landing in a near by pond out of respect for his missing starboard fan. After recovering his fighter, Link and the ground crew began counting the scorch marks, wounds and holes from the 10 minute encounter with Imperial air power; they stopped at 108. Of the seven Mark IV Raven’s that took off that day only three, including Link, returned, the others having buggered out while the Commander distracted the attackers.
After almost a year of fighting and absolute dominance of the air the Northern Faction finally had some competition.
Hooray for aircrafts!
The Empire of the Black Rose
|Chapter 1| "Orders"
Although the Imperial Palace is a sight to behold, it was a sight that General Wright was all too familiar with. The top floor was unbelievably open large windows allowed an almost blinding volume of light into the dark room. One could easily confuse the large corridor that he waited in with some sort of temple or church.
Adrian Wright, at the age of 32 he is the youngest man to ever make it into the Brenodi High Command. A very skilled and very gifted leader, he advanced through the ranks at blazing speeds for amazing leadership and fighting skills. He had recently finished up a very successful northern campaign pushing the Northern Faction rebels out of his frigid home region of Glycen, nicknamed “The Imperial Wallet”, Glycen was by far the most resource rich region in the empire. Removing the rebels from that region was no small task and secured an enormous amount of military resources for the war effort for the time being. And as expected The Empress wanted another private briefing after another successful campaign.
Following a long standing military tradition within his family, the minute Adrian became of age he joined the empire’s armed forces. He now commands the 84th Grenadiers, a heavy infantry division. The 84th specializes in CQB and Urban Combat as well as places of extreme conditions and terrain such as tundra’s, deserts, mountains and the like. Adrian has long earned the trust and respect of his men, and he never doubts his men’s ability.
“Sorry for the delay General”
Startled, I quickly turn around and soluted her.
“Ah, Your majesty”
Wearing a rather odd but very attractive dress, one should not let her age fool you. At the age of 26, the empress is highly intelligent and is a very strong leader. When it comes to war she has proven to be very underhanded, but when she is it’s always for the greater good. She is so much like her mother it boggles the mind, the late empress was exactly the same.
“I am very pleased with your performance in Glycen, please; let us proceed my briefing room.” She said in a very emotionless fashion
Keep in mind that she is not just a figure head as most seem to believe. She keeps the Senate in check and although the senate handles most of the politics and law making, The Empress is still Commander-in-Chief of this empire. She has direct control over Brenodi High Command and with it the majority of the Brenodi Armed forces. With a few exceptions of the senates guard dogs; The 6th Infantry, the 86th and the 108th, just to name a few, all nothing more than pets of the senate. However, unlike most of the divisions in the military, the 84th is one of the few that answers directly to her majesty.
The briefing room is pretty much a large two floor command center, with an unnecessarily large holo-projecter in the center of the room, with various stations and monitors dotting both floors. The room, as expected was dead empty.
“The rebels are irritatingly persistent… Although you’ve been able to secure valuable resources for the war effort, we are taking heavy losses in the southern front.” She began to slant her eyes in complete displeasement.
“The casualty rate is absurdly high there.” She faced me with that same disgruntled look on her face.
“However” She added
“I have a more important task for you, Adrian”
“The rebels have been amassing in the eastern desert region, more particularly in the cities that dot the area.” The look on her began to return to a more neutral expression
“My family has always made it an agenda to return the shattered people of this planet into a global empire once more, a quarter of a century ago we made that agenda a reality, an incomplete reality but one none the less. Now these barbarians are trying to destroy this reality under false beliefs and illusions of Jektotian patriotism.”
With a deep stare, her light blue eyes seemed like they were staring into my very soul.
“Take care of the amassing rebel forces, I will send a larger force to deal with the Northern Factionalist in the south and a few divisions to guard the northern mountain regions.”
Without question I replied
Her expression shifted to a more relived look as she began to leave
“Good luck Adrian”
I nodded in reply
God, I hate the desert, the sand fucks with vehicles, jams guns, and badly degrades visibility. It’s no wonder these barbarians are gathering in such a fitting hell hole. Luckily the tactics remain largely the same as they do in polar region fighting; this is mainly because the desert is just a shittier version of a tundra with heat instead of cold. Even worse, the rebels probably know the land, satellite images don’t help a lot, partially because satellites can’t see through mountains, in buildings, forests or in areas covered in sandstorms, fog or any other degrading weather condition.
However orders are orders and someone has to take care of it. Kind of ridiculous that we’re being sent east, the south is in need of more skilled forces. Hell, even the senates pets are sent off doing some stupid task off in the badlands, what the hell is everyone thinking? Her majesty always has something planned I’m sure of it, she always does but I’m riddled as to exactly what she has planned.
You’re probably getting tired of hearing me say it but I… Hate… The Desert.
It’s 112 degrees here… In the shade. The Command vehicle’s air filter now clogged with desert sand and debris. The vehicles climate control now blew arid desert into the cabin.
I pointed on the datapad, jointly held by me and my second in command, Lieutenant Hughes. Hughes was a very smart man, before joining the military he majored in social Sciences and Linguistics. He also studied in Jekotian. I think he didn’t deserve to be a soldier; soldiers fight, kill and die. He was just to smart for that. Hell he even looks like a scientist, tall, skinny, brown eyes and somewhat geeky looking glasses complimented his buzz cut and light beard. However Hughes is a great comrade, his leadership skills and his skills in combat are impressive and, when it came to diplomacy he was invaluable, he knew Jekotian customs and the like so it made dealing with locals much easier.
He looked up at me with an uncertain look on his face “You sure Adrian?”
“Yeah, these ruins should provide shelter and defense if we need it, this will make a good staging area for the assault.”
The vehicle began to slow down, the driver broke our conversation
“The lead vehicle tank, tiger one has broken down sir. Engineers are en route to repair it”
“For fuck sake, another one?” both me and Hughes sighed
I was getting frustrated, this was the 5th breakdown today, and probably wouldn’t be the last. The desert was very unforgiving to ground vehicles, more specifically tracked vehicles.
“Alright just make sure they hurry the fuck up we can’t afford to stay in one place for very long”
Luckily it didn't take long to get the tank back up and running.
I let go of the datapad and grasped the radio and tuned it to a different frequency.
“What’s the ETA on airsupport?”
A crackled voice came over the radio “All craft are en route, they will reach your area by nightfall”
“Roger, we’ll have a LZ and staging area setup long before then”
Sunset was nearing
Tired, I gazed around the vehicle cabins large interior. In the back were members of my command staff staring at screens and monitors almost as if in a trance, giving out order after order over the radio. My second in command at the small table in the center of the cabin, still charting out the area on the datapad. Wires hung from the ceiling moved back and fourth with the rocking command vehicle as it moved over the rocky and uneven, terrain of the desert. At the front were the two drivers, both looking around and checking the hand full of monitors that surrounded the cockpit, satellite maps, GPS, waypoints and unit movements constant radio chatter was the closest thing the pilots had to music.
As we passed a small rock formation the command vehicle jolted, slamming the crew as well as myself to the side of the vehicle and back again, the comm. vehicle rocked and tumbled as if we were a mere child’s toy eventually the hulking vehicle came to a stop on it’s back. My ears ringing and adrenaline flowing unsteadily through my body I try and stand up.
As the ringing begins to fade I can hear the quick yelling over the radio.
“IED! IED! IED!”
Even with little balance I was somehow able to stand erect, the vehicle cabin was a mess.
“Anyone who isn’t dead, speak up now!”
Groaning and cursing bled from the various crew members. A very recognizable cursing came from a figure slumped against the wall at my feet.
I extended my hand and pulled the dark figure of Lieutenant Hughes up, slightly dizzy he had a large gash on his forehead, the blood trickled down the side of his face.
“You look like shit James” In grunt mutter with a neutral tone of sarcasm.
He returned the sarcasm with some of his own “You look like you just went through a few rounds with a pro wrestler” I smirked at him as a moved over to the door
After forcing the door open we walked out, blinded by the still harsh, desert sun. We were surrounded by various black figures and shapes that quickly transformed into the men of the 84th as well as other divisions that made the journey with us.
A soldier was standing just a few feet from the door
“Are you ok sir?”
“Still dazed from the confusion of the explosion “Yeah, I’m fine”
Medical teams and other soldiers quickly rushed in to pull out and treat the wounded. I helped Hughes over to a nearby medic, I myself was covered in a few bruises and a single, small cut, I could tough it.
“Sir! take a look at this”
One of the engineers was on the other side of the flipped vehicle inspecting the damage. I walked over and as I gazed upon the damage my mouth hung open. A massive dent covered the entire left side of the vehicle. It was, as if a giant smashed the side of the vehicle with a rather large hammer. The vehicles thick plating saved our lives, had this been an APC or AFV we would have died a horrible death.
“Holy shit!” I look over my shoulder to see Hughes look at the freshly made crater from the explosion only meters from the now turned over command vehicle, it was roughly eleven feet wide and a six feet deep. Hughes had a bandage wrapped around his forehead, the sides of his face covered in dried up blood and small bits of sand.
A group of solders attached a chain to on the bars on the side of the vehicle attached to a Tank off to the side. The men grabbed onto the chain and assisted in pulling as the tank began to lurch forward, those of us on the other side of the vehicle began pushing on our side including me and Hughes. With a good amount of effort, the clumsy hulk of the Command Vehicle rolled over right side up. The tank stopped and the chain was quickly unlatched.
The patched up command crew along with myself cautiously reentered the vehicle. The soldiers outside returned to their assigned vehicles.
The cabin was still a mess but we quickly cleaned everything up.
One of the drivers quickly started up the vehicles engine
“Everything still work?”
The drivers quickly looked over all of the monitors to ensure the vehicle wasn’t having any serious system problems. “Everything checks out, sir”
The staff had all returned to their now disorganized stations.
One of the staff members stood up. A woman with short blonde hair.
“Recon shows no evidence of hostiles in the surrounding area”
Hughes pointed out “It was probably proximity based”
With a deep draw of breath I gave out my next set of orders “Alright tell all forces to say the fuck away from rocks and other obstacles” I look up at the drivers “That goes for you guys too, got it?”
“Yes sir!” They both replied in unison
“We're still 30 minutes for our planned destination and it’s almost sunset let’s get a move on damnit… It’s not too far off so we’ll repair when we get there.”
The vehicle engine roared as the entire formation sped up towards it’s destination. The next 30 minutes were completely uneventful, the roughed up but still ok crew resumed what it was doing before the explosion. Me and Hughes laid out a battle plan for the city we were to lay siege to the following morning.
When we arrived, a sand storm kicked up but we were able to make shelter in the ruins that were, from what we could tell once part of a large, mutli-roomed structure, almost like an ancient warehouse with multiple areas. There was also a fresh water supply near by, now temporarily tainted by the kicked up sand. We tarpped over the rooms all of whose roof was long destroyed forming a decent sized fortification. We may not have had any construction abilities but we were prepared to handled wounded and had the supplies to maintain our fleet of vehicles and aircraft who and arrived a mere hour after nightfall.
I stood outside the ruins looking at the terrain and sky, the night was freezing and calm, it was lovely, and it greatly reminded me of home. My home town Karin, in the glycen region. It was a mining town, the massive refinery that overlooked the glycen town. It processed raw resources freshly pumped from the bowls of the earth’s surface. While my father was off serving in the military, my father's check paid all expenses but my mother still worked odd jobs and I worked as a refinery worker when I was old enough until I joined the military. Infact the refinery provided jobs for 80% of the town’s population. It refined millions of dollars of raw resources every day for the empire. Most of my friends when I was growing up worked there, some still do.
“Coffee?” My day dream interrupted by Hughes who was sporting a standard issue all weather windbreaker, like most of the soldiers on patrol. He was holding two cups of coffee.
“Sure” I took the coffee and took a sip
“They probably know we're here by now, the rebels are far from stupid they’ll be expecting us tomorrow…” I was tired, it showed, but operations begin in a few hours and there’s no rest for the weary.
“It’ll be a tough fight” He added
With a keen smile I replied “Heh, yeah always is”
-- 15 --
I can’t remember if I said it aloud or just thought it but the event itself was very clear and, in hind site, appropriate. I had just managed to snap the bone connecting the pinky finger of my left hand in half in an effort to make it small enough to slide through the solid steel bindings holding me against that cold smooth poll. Normally such a thing would hurt. Indeed as the pressure of the steel reached a point beyond which my bone could withstand, I did feel a sharp snap but the sensation only joined a chorus of other tortured nerves screaming for attention from my sleep deprived brain and forming a hazy song of tingles and burns. I really should have passed out by then, such had been the degree of pain inflicted, but the Imperial army excelled in all things lethal and had seen fit to administer something to keep me conscious. I suppose I should be thankful, it saved my life.
I can’t really say how long I had been there before the idea occurred to me. I remember only waking up within the tiny, dark room and finding it filled with tables, equipment and, frequently, Imperial interrogators who seemed to know every method for evoking pain. There was no clock, no windows, no set schedule for food or beatings. I could have been there for a day or a month; as it turns out it had been a week but it really doesn’t matter.
I timed my break for freedom well, or perhaps it was the same dumb luck that had followed me thus far, or maybe hell was just not yet ready to consume me, in any case the lone door directly across from me swung open only seconds after my blood covered hand came free. I just sat there, both hands still behind my back as if ready to again be stripped of my sanity by instruments of torture.
The two men walked into the room with the causality of accountants coming to work. They always wore the cleanest, whitest pants and tunics which, after a typical session, must surly have been burned in light of bloody stains. There must have been a limited number of the butchers available for these two I had seen before, although it had been some time. Immediately the tall one came over, locked eyes, or eye I suppose, I could only see through one, such was the swelling in my other, and asked me if there was anything I wanted to tell them before “we” got started.
His tone was one of cold disinterest, as if he was a dentist preparing for a filling. I suppose that’s natural though, it was standard procedure let the victim know what was coming so that he could break, talk, and save himself more unspeakable pain. No one was really immune, I broke almost immediately and revealed countless sensitive details such as my opinion about his mother, the mileage on my now destroyed Jekotian Jeep, my thoughts on his sexual preferences, where I thought he should go and, of course, my favorite color.
Although this normally brought me great amusement in an otherwise bleak torture scene, it never seemed to amuse my captors. Maybe they were used to such barbs from their Jekotian patients, maybe they wanted something else, maybe they didn’t give a rip. I really didn’t care, neither did he as was evident by him beginning to examine his tools without hearing my answer.
His friend, a shorter man with sullen eyes and a darker complexion, hung back and poured over some sort of chart. He never seemed to enjoy what he did, at least not so far as I could tell in-between screams. I suppose before the war his death would have caused days of profound reflection about purpose and being. Before that primal animal had been released from its cage within all men’s hearts and set free to roam and grow. It had nearly consumed all of who I had been, killed off and eaten the happy family man that enlisted to protect those he loved. All that was left was dried flesh and bleached bones and yet the beast remained hungry. He wanted more.
The tall one nodded and sat down the jagged tool he had been holding until that point and looked in my direction more out of obligation than interest. He was expecting oaths of revenge and curses from hell. I could barely keep from smiling.
“I’m going to kill you in just a second.” Speaking felt strange with my mouth full of blood, spit and snot. I tried to exhume the putrid mixture after completing my sentence only to find my cracked, dry lips out of practice and succeeded only in moistening the dried blood on my chin with new deposits of filth.
The site must have only added to the tall ones amusement. He actually laughed, not the kind of hearty belly laugh humans use when finding something funny, but the sort of icy chuckle of a machine who recognized an error. The tall one wasn’t like his friend in the corner; the tall one liked his work.
He spoke as he took a seat atop one of the round, medical style rolling stools in the room, “you are are you? How's that?”
I remember the room suddenly getting a little brighter and my limbs getting a bit stiffer, more responsive. Fluids and other life sustaining juices were pumped regularly into patients whilst undergoing interrogation to make sure they remained healthy enough to talk. The flush of salts and sugars in my blood made me dizzy and reignited the fires of pain burning over my body. I let my head drop to collect my thoughts but only for a moment. I was enjoying this far too much to let the moment pass due to mere pain.
“First I’m going to knock you to the floor with my restraints.” My words were uneven and timid, my head still pointing downward, trickling blood and spit into a new puddle on the floor. “Then I’m going to use that pointy thing on the table to kill your friend.” I paused for a breath and effect. “After that I thought Id use that bone cutter to sever your trachea.”
The tall man’s comrade in the corner stopped looking over charts and slowly turned to look my way. I remember looking up and catching glimpse of his gentle, tortures eyes, now filled with such concern. He was afraid of this crumpled soldier tied to a poll. He was afraid and wasn’t quite sure why. He should have listened to his instincts.
The tall man on the other hand was only encouraged, his arrogance fueled by my weak posture. He chuckled again as he turned to pick up the large, smooth, metal spike I had mentioned. The tool has a proper name that I have since forgotten but was used to split apart joints later in the interrogation cycle. I had not yet had the pleasure of feeling its effects but figured it would suit my purposes.
“This ‘pointy thing’?” his words dripped with amusement, distain and arrogance. He was a little man who thrived on the destruction of bigger men brought to him by equally large men who needed information. Even so I can’t really say I enjoyed killing him. Like he, I was a professional doing a job, executing my black art with neither passion nor prejudice. All of their faces just melted together, their cries echoing only in my dreams, my nightmares, any remorse being trampled under their weight. I wasn’t even the best at what I did, just an insignificant Sergeant who should have died weeks earlier when his position was over run. I wasn’t a Scout, wasn’t a spy, wasn’t even an officer. Just an animal of war; just a hound of hell.
I slowly lifted my head to look my would be torturer in the eye, my broken and bruised face twisted into the smile I could no longer contain. It didn’t matter anyway, he didn’t take me seriously. “Yeah”
He leaned over close to my face, twitching the joint splitter in his hand in a mock punitive gesture, his own face smeared with smug superiority and pride. He had eaten something spicy before coming to see me; I could smell it on his breath. I hope he enjoyed it, it was his last meal. “What makes you think you can do that?”
I took a deep, cleansing breath, or as much as I could with three broken ribs and a deflated lung, and closed my eyes to imagine the struggle to come. One by one I went through the movements, set goals and laid plans to achieve them, then pushed aside any pain or infirmity that might hinder me. It must have taken a while for my interrogator grew impatient. “Well?”
I opened my eye and locked it with his. They were blue. “I took my hand out of the restraint.”
I’m not even sure he had time to register what I said before I had swung my right arm from around my back and planted its bulky steel bracelet aside his temple. I heard, or maybe just felt, a sickening crunch as the metal fractured his skull and collapsed his eye socket. With a smooth motion I clasped the tumbling joint splitter that had spilled out of the tall one’s hand as he tumbled to the floor, and spun around to hurl it at his friend. All I recall is a swirl of light and color, flashes of objects or movements. I didn’t check to see if the tool had found its mark but rather quickly returned my attention to the still very much alive tall one at my feet.
He must have seen his friend slump to the floor, the metallic object protruding from his sternum, oozing blood and air from the punctured bronchial tubes. He flipped over and began to reach for some support with which to right himself but found only a tattered boot, so soiled with dirt and blood that the leather had begun to degrade. I slammed my foot onto his throat and shifted my wait so that he could not escape. Then, as promised, I looked through the plethora of tools at my disposal before settling on the bone saw.
It really made an eerie “wiz” as it spun up to speed. I’m sure he had heard it a thousand times before but never coupled with the supreme dread that it had induced in others. Sadly the feeling was to be short lived.
The saw sliced through his throat so quickly that I had to check to make sure I had made contact at all. I was rewarded with a clean, gapping hole, gushing a bit of blood but mostly air. With horror he grabbed for my boot and then at the wound, his mind surly racing for a solution to his fatal problem. I just stood there, looking down into his eyes as they darted too and fro with fear and panic. They were so different from only seconds before when they boasted pride and invincibility. I could have looked away but my beast wouldn’t have it. It was feasting on his eyes, on that look, that hollowing, endless, haunting, hopeless, fear filled look.
A severed trachea is not the most efficient way to kill someone. It is rather slow, messy and unreliable. It could take minutes before the tube leading to the lungs clogged with blood, during which the victim could find assistance and, potentially, safety. This of course, fails to mention the terrible gurgles and movements of a man desperately fighting to bring air through his new orifice into the lungs. Yet this is the death the beast demanded.
I stood there for nearly ten minutes and watched as the life slowly faded out of those formally smug blue eyes. Little by little the movements stopped, followed by the gurgles and finally finished with the tiny black pupils of the eye swelling large, the muscles controlling them no longer receiving instructions from the brain. A Scout would have seen it as time wasted, a soldier would have seen it as perverse, a man would have rushed in to help, but a beast, a beast would savor every minute with chilly satisfaction. Not over who was killed but just that there was a kill. Hell is not picky.
With my hounds satisfied I turned my attention to the pair of guards standing just outside the door. I had made little noise with my assault, not that screams and crashes sounded out of place coming from within the den of horrors, so as not to arouse their suspicions. I took a moment to dislodge the joint splitter from the now slumped figure of a man in the corner, a half read date pad atop his bloody robes. I’d need something more though; there were two guards after all.
I took up position beside the lone door, tools in hand, and jabbed the communication panel. “He’s loose! Get in here!” I used my best Brenodi accent and masked its flaws with mock terror and real bloody spittle.
As hoped and predicted the door almost instantly flew open followed by a pair of black clad Imperial Riflemen. I stood patiently as the first one flew past me, weapon at the ready to slay the Jekotian slime. A split second later his partner, equally eager to get into the fight, came through the opening. I greeted him with the large meat hook I had chosen to work his demise. The sharp metal dug deeply into the soft, unarmored flesh of his neck until, mired with blood and tissue, it emerged sickeningly from the other side, severing his jugular and spinal column.
Meat hooks are used in Imperial interrogations to lodge under the rib cage of a patient and hoist them high in the air. When used properly, the bent barb would not damage any vital organs and allow them to live indefinitely, providing antibiotics constantly administered to prevent rampant infection from such a horrendous open wound. Sometimes the chest would have to be wired together to prevent the weight of the body bearing down on the hook from shattering the sternum and thus opening the cavity. I found it worked well in other ways.
Finding a lack of freed Jekotian prisoners but a plethora of slaughtered Imperial interrogators, the first soldier spun around on his heal in haste. My joint splitter achieved its second kill of the day as it plowed through the surprised soldier’s right eye. His body jerked up and became ridged for a tiny moment from the torrent of nerve impulses running out of his pierced brain. Then, its energy exhausted, the brain gave out and allowed the man’s knees to give out, piling him onto the floor.
Without thinking I tapped the panel, closing the open door, and hurriedly moved to undress the soldier closest to my size. It wouldn’t take long for someone to notice the absence of the two; I had to move.
damnit megel! your stuff is so good i have to re-read each one because they're all so good... and you're producing these beautiful things faster than i read them
I actually read the first part before you posted the second, was just waiting for some people to post about it first because i'm still on page 8 of the rest of the story
It was good, I liked it alot...I also call True Lies scene teef!!
Bah! I knew some one would make the connection. I like my version better though. Thank you guys for the kind words, I was begining to worry that no one had read it.
-- 16 --
Borodin took a moment before looking up from the glowing screen illuminating his unshaven face. After only three weeks he had not yet grown accustomed to the new title awarded him following the harrowing days defending a lost position in the south. At 28 Borodin Taggart had become the youngest battalion commander in the Imperial forces; promoted in the field by High Commander Barnsworth himself. The battle to push the rebels back into the sea from which they came raged on for another two weeks after the “hammer and anvil” tactic had failed. Being resulted by sea, Commander Snyder’s unit, including then Lt. Commander Borodin, was sent on one suicidal charge after another in the hopes of creating a gap in the Jekotian lines. Borodin and his two platoons, reconstituted by fresh recruits from the Empire daily, personally held off three Jekotian armored assaults and countless more infantry and artillery barrages. Two of his subordinates had received the Legionary Medal of Valor, the highest honor any soldier can earn. In truth the pair had done nothing that Borodin and every other member of the squads hadn’t done along with them but the award came with live and benefits and those two men needed it the most.
“Sorry Hawkins” Borodin replied setting down the pad and rubbing his tired eyes; he had no idea being promoted would mean less sleep instead of more. “Is there any more coffee?”
The stout little Lt. Commander flashed his characteristic charming smile and laughed. “I hear the flyboys have it all.”
Borodin allowed a slight chuckle at the tired joke. Since the onset of the war only Imperial transports had been seen in any great numbers; fighters, ground attack aircraft, even gunships having to be produced anew. This made sense in the Imperial City no doubt, after all why would the Empire need anything but transports now that it ruled the world? But on the ground the Senates short sightedness was costing lives and fraying nerves. “What’s the word Chuck?”
Lt. Commander Charles Hawkins slumped a little when he handed his commanding officer the pad. When Borodin was promoted he was given Commander Snyder’s unit, the inadequate Commander being “promoted” instead to be the personal adviser from the Senate to the Empress. It was meant, no doubt, as an insult by the Senate to appoint such an incompetent, disgraced man to inform the Empress of the Senate’s military dealings, but that mattered little in the blood and mud. Snyder’s unit had been re-designated the 36th Aerial Marine Forces and began training and reorganization for their new designation. Borodin had joked that only the military could take ground infantry and rename them after an ocean going infantry unit but then drop them from aircraft. The change had been causing as many problems as one might imagine.
“1st and 3rd squads have completed their drop ship training but only with satisfactory ratings, 4th squad failed completely. 2nd squad passed with high marks but are struggling with demolitions.”
Borodin took the pad and nodded, “The men are farmers, not soldiers.” He took a moment to look over the data which reported, albeit in a more long winded fashion, what his comrade had just told him. “Pool the best demo experts from the other squads and transfer them to 2nd squad. The Big Deuce will be our go to from now on. Cut the work schedules for the other squads and redouble their training. If I’m going island hopping I want men who are up to the task.”
Of course Borodin knew they were. Nearly half of them were veterans from the brutal days under Snyder and Lt. Commander Borodin when hope meant you had an extra grenade and a full clip. The influx of new blood in the form of replacements and new retraining schedules, however, loosened unit cohesion and drove the battalion into uncharted waters. Lt. Commander Hawkins knew all of this of course; he had been the lone surviving Squad leader under Borodin before his promotion. Borodin’s first act as Commander had been to promote the Sergeant to Lt. Commander and his personal assistant.
“Any word on getting some air cover?”
This drew a sharp snicker from Borodin as he tossed the pad onto a nearby table, “There are only three operational Temptress Squadrons in the Empire. One is in the Imperial City to protect the Senate and Empress, one is stationed near Köln Pass and the third has been ‘commandeered’ by the 6th Infantry for who-the-hell-knows up north.” He sighed and looked up at his friend who was still standing, at ease, in the door way. “We’re sucking hind tit here Chuck. I’ve managed to pull some strings and get a MAC for us to launch from but she only has a hodgepodge of aircraft from the last war. Nothing I’d want to rely on.”
Despite his Commander’s despair, Hawkins’ spirits jumped just a little after finding out they would have the use of a MAC. Mobil Aerial Carriers had been pioneered by both sides decades ago as a way to place an airbase in unusual places or to press an attack as a mobile firebase. Heavily armored, the MAC’s not only served as a launching platform for aircraft but also command and control for ground units, aerial bombardment, rearmament, re-supply and repairs for air and ground equipment alike. Generations ago, before the world had been divided amongst two major powers (the Southern Continent didn’t really count), a MAC could be sent into an unruly region at the first sign of unrest and prevent any further problems merely by its presence. A MAC of any age was good news.
“For lesser units that would be a problem,” another brilliant smile. Borodin often wondered how the former physics teacher managed to keep such high spirits despite his surroundings. He didn’t realize that, 15 years his senior, the Lt. Commander had served a stint in the Imperial Guard during his youth. With no war to fight in, the IG was more for show than combat but they did a good job of instilling an ancient warrior tradition in its recruits; live like your already dead.
Borodin returned his own tired, but genuine, half smile. This was, after all, what he signed up for. “I’m going to see if we can’t get an Airborne Armored Division to assist us with this,” he pointed to a flashing island about fifty miles off the southern coast. “It’s big enough to support a forward base and get a decent ring of anti-aircraft batteries. If operations on the other islands go sour we can fall back there without having to worry about Factionalist counter attacks.”
Charles walked over to the glowing map embedded in the dark table. He never understood why Command Vehicles had such low lighting and bright displays, giving the entire space the spooky feeling of a ghost gave inhabited by the undead. He made a mental note to as Borodin about it at another time. “What about the navy?”
The Jekotian Navy, as Borodin had commented to his little brother a life time earlier, had indeed become a thorn in the Empire’s side. The hearty battleships with their big guns made coastal operations a nightmare. “That’s another benefit of the island; it’s surrounded by reefs and shoals that prevent them from getting in too close. It won’t keep them out of weapons range but I’m willing to bet they won’t want to risk their ships in the tricky waters.”
Charles nodded in agreement, “So why the Airborne Armor?”
Borodin leaned back in his flimsy chair, letting out a long sigh and brining a stylus up to his mouth in unconscious agitation. “The Foxtrots,” he began whilst chewing on the stylus; In Military jargon each letter receives a word for clarity over the radio. The “NF” in Northern Faction became “November-Foxtrot” in firefights or just “foxes” or “foxtrot” for short. “Know what we know. The island is fortified and I want some armor to slam into their flank. Our battalion will land on the south side of the island and probe north-west to draw their fire. 2nd squad will land on the North side of the island and disable the detection grid to allow the Airborne to land in this brushy area in the east.” Borodin paused and let his hand, complete with pen, to fall to the bent armrest bellow. “Id rather choose a softer target to wet the greens with but it would give the Jekotians advanced warning of our true objective and time to build.”
Charles understood and wouldn’t question his young leader, “When is go time?”
“The MAC’ll be here in a week, I figure another week to rehearse the operation and secure an airborne unit to assist us, so, two weeks?”
The Lt. Commander stiffened. Two weeks would be a tall order for a unit in the kind of shape the 36th was. Long days and short nights would have to be pulled to make sure everyone knew their place and duty. Borodin knew this though, he wouldn’t have set the date unless it was absolutely necessary or, more likely, he knew the men would be ready by then. It’s best to give soldiers a seemingly impossible goal and drive them hard to accomplish it. When they succeed it fills them pride and an air of invincibility; not to mention awe at the audacity and strength of their commander. Two weeks it was.
“We’ll be ready Sir.”
Borodin allowed another sincere, but still tired, half smile as he stood to shake his friend’s hand. “I know Chuck, but please, call me Borodin.”
Charles returned his Commander’s smile albeit several degrees brighter, “Yes sir.”
Nice. Really surprised me to see Airborne Armored Division's here. When I first brought it up with my stories everyone told me I was a nut .
Excellent story. Can't want for the next.
that pic doesnt work, and I want to see it!
DAMN, Megel! I'm still reading part 15 and I think I came.
I started with part 1 in school last week, maybe i'll print them so i can read them more relaxed
but i must admit that because english isn't my native language, i had to reread some paragraphs. I do understand nearly all words, but i've never read complicated sentences like this, so it takes getting used to.
I'm pretty sure that the second time i read it, after i finished all of the stories, will be even better since then i would hopefully understand everything you're trying to tell in your stories.
I had one problem though. Once you're in the story, and feel how rough everything is (the battles, environment, ...), when you think about the game itself it doesn't look much better than some cartoon anymore. How awesome would it if a mapper could recreate the environment as you described it.
I'm going to copy all the stories into a PDF. This must be distributed with Empires 2.0!
Separate names with a comma.