And hey, no Zombies!
One strong hand gripped the hook. One hook each were situated just above the main sliding doors of the stealth transport. Generally, they were in place so that gunners could tie cables off to something in order to prevent them from falling out. Stealth transports were essentially standard transports with the ability to turn invisible. The name of the soldier whose hand grasped on to the hook was unimportant. His role to play in the events to come was of far greater significance. Unknown to him and the other five men with him; he would go down in history for the orders he was about to carry out. One hand gripped the stock of a rifle; an M-43 Carbine. It was a short-barreled automatic-rifle [hence the name "Carbine"] complete with telescopic sights. Unlike scopes that could be fitted to bolt-action or semi-automatic rifles this one didn't seem to have that great of a zoom magnification.
The telescopic sight's crosshairs had a crimson tint to them and they were illuminated to make them more visible through the darkness. The M-43 only came with telescopic sights; she had never been built with open iron sights. Her stock was adjustable. Depending on the soldier’s needs, he could either collapse it inward or pull it back, making it usable within close quarters. It was made of a light-weight highly durable polymer and fired a round just under thirty caliber in size. There were various rails and attachment points under the rifle that would allow the soldier to fix accessories such as bayonets and grenade launchers to the weapon. The barrel was also threaded allowing suppressors to be fixed to it. The Commando's particular rifle had a tactical sling which kept it hanging from around his neck. The sling would prevent him from dropping the weapon as he made his exit from the transport. A suppressor protruded from the barrel of his weapon.
The Commando [often referred to as a Zealot] served the nation of Cironith. To put things simply; it was hell. For the most part the people of Cironith lived in constant fear. Free speech was virtually non-existent. They could not own property and the fruits of their labor went straight to their ruler; an evil man who ruled over them with an iron fist. He ruled through both brute force and trickery. He was both the political leader and the religious leader of the Nation of Cironith; something that he had carefully orchestrated over decades. Propaganda throughout the nation depicted him as some sort of god. Videos and posters called him the "almighty one". In the cities; electronic surveillance devices solicited the people's conformity and coerced their submission. Vehicles conducted random sweeps of strategically positioned video and audio devices.
If any one man or woman dare question "the almighty one" he or she would be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Men armed with submachine guns and clad in body armor and night camouflage would mercilessly assault the home of the dissenters. At that point they would either be killed or kidnapped under color of law. If taken; they would be hauled off to one of two camps. One was designed to "re-educate" them. The other was designed to work them to death or flat out put them to death in a very horrific and painful manner.
These camps had very horrific set ups. They had large barracks buildings that could house hundreds of people at a time, giant propaganda screens or buildings staffed by well-trained individuals who knew how to convert a person from their hard core beliefs [depending upon the camp], Gas Chambers disguised as large shower or disinfectant facilities [depending upon the camp], and a staff that would consistently experiment on or torture prisoners. Those guarding the prisoners were extra cruel to them. Their cruelty and brutality had many false justifications and rationalizations; most of which the guards consistently fed to themselves after receiving their own special dose of propaganda from the chain of command. If those who chose dissent openly were lucky, they would be killed in their home while they slept and would simply disappear off of the face of the planet without their neighbors ever noticing a thing.
Upon turning eighteen years of age the Commando had been barraged with a battery of tests to decide whether he was worthy of Military service. If he was found worthy of combat he would be forced into service. Afterward, he would be sent to an unspoken of third type of camp; a training facility. Some conscripts [everyone in the Cironian Military had been conscripted at some point] stayed in the camp longer than others. They were bombarded with propaganda while undergoing brutal treatment.
Commandos or Zealots specifically were singled out of regular infantry training camps for displaying great potential in training. They would then be sent to their own special training camp where they would be bombarded with propaganda harder than anyone else and put through a far more rigorous training course for a longer period of time than the average conscript. Rumor had circulated that Zealots were some of the fiercest warriors on the planet. However, there was no way to separate the facts from propaganda when it came to these circulating rumors.
"Thirty seconds!" The pilot shouted, the Commando's hand that free hand moving toward the transport’s sliding door. After pulling the handle forward he slid the door open. Doing so didn't seem to require a great amount of force. The Commando was a hulking monstrosity of a man. Far down below he could see the tops of the trees through the darkness. The wilderness below was in a completely different nation than that of the one he blindly served. It was a Nation known as Theanor; one of the last free republics in the world. There were few nations in the world that had not fallen to tyranny.
Deep in this wilderness the Republic of Theanor's small standing army had a facility that controlled the Nation's "Sensor Network"; a large array of special devices positioned in the sea farthest from the nation, on land at it's borders, and in the air. These sensors were capable of detecting the sound of tanks' or vehicles' engines, the heat generated from them, the sound of tank tracks, the march of massive infantry waves, the propellers and engines of ships at sea and planes in the air, and just their very presence within the "net". They could even track and detect all of those things miles out of the net itself. How it was done was beyond the scientific understanding of the Commando. However, that didn't matter to him.
All that mattered was that the "all mighty one" had given the order for his specific unit to disable the central control facility responsible for operating the sensors. This would allow the Cironian Military to begin surprise attacks all over the country and essentially launch an invasion. What most of the conscripts didn't know was that they would never 'take' Theanor militarily. While it's standing army had approximately four hundred thousand combat personnel; it had somewhere between fifty to sixty million citizens sworn under oath as members of its many Militia units to defend the republic. There were some sixty to seventy thousand citizens a part of small five to twenty-person cells/teams solely in existence for the purpose of resisting occupation of provinces or the country itself. And of course, there were millions upon millions of citizens armed to the teeth willing to fight to the death for the republic and for liberty.
The transport came to a halt. On the hard metallic floor of the transport in front of his feet there was a coil of rope. It was tied off to a hook positioned on the floor. Shortly after the transport came to a halt the Commando lifted the rope with both hands and tossed it out of the opening; he grabbed on to the end shortly afterward and slid down into the concealment of the trees. Six men followed shortly afterward. When both feet were on the ground the men were on the move and the stealth transports disappeared into the night. Like ghosts, they slithered through the black toward the compound without making a sound. The target compound was a well concealed structure. In fact, it looked like an impenetrable wall of moss and brush. It was as if the compound was a part of the mountainside. The men patrolling it were equally well camouflaged. If they weren't equipped with extremely rare very expensive personal "stealth" devices they were dressed from head to toe in camouflage suits that looked as though they were made of vegetation. Beneath the visual concealment of the camouflage suits there was a material designed to conceal a human being’s body heat; essentially making the shooters in the trees invisible to IR and thermal sights. The guards hid amongst the trees and in ditches concealed by nets filled with brush and twigs and leaves. The very same material shielded those in the ditches from unfriendly eyes.
Shortly before their arrival the commandos had pulled Thermal and Night-Vision goggles over their eyes. They quietly slithered forward under the belief that the enemy would stick out to them like soar thumbs. In reality, they had walked in to a trap and had made the same deadly mistake that their leadership had made in invading Theanor in the first place; they had heavily underestimated their enemy. Unknown to them they had dropped directly into the center of a large amount of well-hidden infantry who quietly stalked them. It seemed; the main entrance was right within their grasp. The lead Zealot was seconds away from hacking the door control panel; his fingers hovering right over the buttons just as it happened. The hairs on the back of his neck stood erect. A chill shot up his spine. A very uneasy feeling occupied the pits of his stomach.
Without warning; a nozzle suddenly emerged from a concealed port in the panel. A green mist shot out of the nozzle; spraying the lead Zealot directly in the face. He stumbled backwards and coughed a few times; his lungs struggling to expel the poisonous substance that had just entered them. He fell backwards on to his back. As his vision began to slowly blur he spotted the Theanorians emerge from the darkness out of the corners of his eyes. Each Cironian Zealot took three Theanorian soldiers with him before eventually going down himself. However, it didn’t matter; they had captured the lead Zealot. As his vision slowly descended into the black he watched as a group of four men in gas masks and camouflage lifted him up by the arms and legs and began moving towards a truck that slowly backed up towards them out of the darkness.
“Where exactly are we supposed to take this one?”
“Central wants him---they don’t know much about Zealot Operations within our borders so we’re taking him to be interrogated.”
The last remaining Zealot of the first team that had been sent in began to scan his surroundings as the darkness receded. While he had begun slowly recovering from the affects of the gas that had rendered him unconscious he had eavesdropped on the conversation of the Theanorians guarding him. As far as he knew he was being taken to a place called “Central” to be interrogated. Through the open back of the big truck that hauled him he could see the road they drove along. He could faintly see the silhouettes of thick trees on both sides of the road and the dark outline of an armored transport with a 25mm gatling gun and what looked like a pair of rocket launchers on either side of the turret.
Both of the Zealots hands were cuffed behind his back. At the moment, they weren’t cuffed to anything. So; he was quite free to stand up and move. However, there were ten well-armed soldiers of Theanor’s small standing army riding in the back of the truck along with him. With his hands cuffed and the amount of men riding along he was at a bit of a disadvantage; an escape attempt would likely result in him being gun-butted back into unconsciousness since the Theanorians needed him alive. The Theanorians possessed a powerful drug that would suppress a lot of his higher brain functions thereby taking away his ability to tell a lie when asked direct questions. His size and the fact that he was highly resistant to most forms of interrogation were bypassed by this drug. If they successfully brought him to central; he would be interrogated and shot and a good many Zealots in hiding within Theanorian borders would be exposed and killed.
He was in the process of considering and rejecting escape plans when it happened. Without warning, the vehicle hauling him suddenly came to a complete halt. The sudden unexpected stop jolted them all forward. The soldiers sitting closest to the Zealot kept one eye on him; each armed man in the truck checking their weapons before pouring out through the back and setting up a defensive perimeter. The few that remained behind in the truck kept rifles trained on the entrance and one eye on the prisoner. It was at this point that he sprung into action; slowly but surely he began to pick the cuffs that restrained his hands all the while maintaining the appearance of being unconscious.
Another large group of armed men poured out of the back of the armored transport. They had been forced to open the rear door manually due to failed or non-responsive electronic equipment. Some provided assistance in setting up the perimeter while several others fanned out into the forest. Those who had done so never returned to the convoy. Many of them found that their night-vision optics would not function. They had been forced to fire off flares and activate glow sticks to get a visual on their surroundings. In so doing they had lit their position up like a Christmas tree. The Cironians who had come to the aid of the captured Zealot had no trouble zeroing them in.
Phillips---a Theanorian soldier using the Armored transport for cover---kept one eye on the truck and another on the forest ahead. Both hands were wrapped tightly around his rifle; clutching it as if it were his only lifeline and the most valuable piece of machinery he had ever laid his hands on. The hairs on the back of his neck shot up like rockets. A chill slowly crept up his spine. His thumb flipped the switch of his rifle from ‘safety’ to ‘fully-automatic’ as his hands pressed the stock of the rifle tightly against his shoulder. Slowly, his eyes went down the sights toward the darkness beyond the silhouettes of the trees. An eerie constant hiss emanated from the crimson flares that illuminated the dirt roadway. What seemed like an eternity passed; the Zealot working quietly and patiently at picking the cuffs that restrained him.
“Something is very wrong here...” was among the last thoughts that ran through Phillips’ head. Mere seconds afterward one of the first bullets whizzed directly past him; passing harmlessly above the armored transport. It was followed by a loud crack and a roar; muzzle flare illuminating the position that the shot had come from. Other soldiers hadn’t been so lucky. In the first few seconds five guys were down; they were shot directly in the throat, between the eyes, or both along with twice in the chest. Those that were prone or behind deployable cover or vehicles fired their own weapons at the last seen positions of the muzzle flare. One man withdrew a cylindrical shaped grenade closely resembling a spray-paint canister and ripped the pin out of it. He held down the spoon for two seconds before emerging from cover and hurling it into the darkness. Its detonation rocked the perimeter, the illumination from the explosion revealing several silhouettes that were caught in the blast; they were now riddled with shrapnel and dieing. The man who had thrown the grenade was shot directly in the throat; he dropped to the ground like a rock with a heavy thud.
It seemed; every time muzzle flare illuminated the darkness behind the trees Theanorian troops dropped dead. Phillips had sent three-round bursts down range toward the last seen positions of the muzzle flares; unknown to him he wasn’t hitting anything but tree trunks and vegetation. A few men emerged from the back of the truck; reinforcing the remaining troops. Some of them were gunned down the second they stepped out of the back. It left two men alive in the back to guard the prisoner; who struck during the confusion. He struck fast and hard and seemed to best the first man physically faster than the other soldier could react to; whipping the dead soldier’s side arm into action and pumping three rounds into him before he could even get his weapon up. In the prisoner’s particular case; the affects of the gas had worn off of him faster than the Theanorians had predicted.
Crimson liquid splattered all over the armor of the vehicle in front of Phillips. His vision slowly began to blur and he choked for a few seconds before he fell backwards and his rifle slid from his hands. A thirty caliber round had pierced his neck from behind; very quickly putting an end to his life. Dark figures emerged from the black behind him; gunning down any remaining Theanorian troops as they made their advance toward the truck in the center of the convoy [the vehicle up front being another armored transport]. It wasn’t long before they met up with the Zealot, equipped him with replacement gear and a stealth device, and brought him back on course to taking out that central sensor facility. An hour later the facility exploded.
Northern Theanorian Border, 2200 Hours [10:00 PM]
Quietly, the Cironian sapper crawled through the minefield. Most of the mines were Anti-Tank; electro magnetic pulse devices designed to disable tanks or large armored vehicles that triggered them. Unless carrying Nanites or mechanical implants inside their bodies they were completely harmless to the average human being. And for the most part they were hard for organic organisms to trigger. However, if a Tank or massive amount of tanks set them off they would all be worthless scraps of metal. The grass in the Theanorian border fields were long enough for infantry to slip through unseen. Which was precisely the reason why the Theanorian Militias had hidden anti-personnel land mines amongst the Pulse Mines. They had predicted [rightly so] that the Cironians would attempt to sneak infantry across the border. This sapper was just one of five that crawled through the fields shoving a combat knife through the dirt. A device had already been placed to trigger each of the EMP mines at once; causing the field to become harmless to the waves of Tanks and Armored transports that were supposed to cross the border. The tanks would be supported by waves of infantry that would help seize and occupy two or three towns across the border.
The sapper stabbed the ground with his combat knife; the blade connecting with the metallic surface of a mine. Quickly, he dug the device up. The electronic anti-personnel mine was in some sort of sophisticated EMP shielded shell. The triggering mechanism was rigged up to trip wires running between some rocks in the field. Inside the center of the EMP shell there was a spiked object that would shoot out spinning from the mine. In mid air it would detonate. The explosion would toss shrapnel about; ripping up anybody in the path. After he had dug the mine up he carefully cut the trip wire without setting off the triggering mechanism [which was a small pin the wires were connected to.] This was the third anti-personnel mine that he had located and rendered harmless. The other sappers in the field had also disabled a total of three mines each and they had reached the edge of the known parts of the field. "Trigger the device!" The commanding officer of the sappers ordered in a low tone of voice. Shortly afterward all of the EMP mines triggered at once. Their shockwaves covered the entire minefield all the way across the border. The rumble of engines and the stomp of marching feet could soon be heard in the distance.
"Shit..." the Theanorian border Militia scout muttered. Her and her team of three others had been training for this moment all their lives. The invasion drills had finally become a reality. Quickly, she spoke into her headset's mouthpiece. She sounded as though she were deeply disturbed and under massive amounts of pressure. From her position down low in the long grass now far to the South west she could see huge M-70 "Demon" heavy tanks rumbling over the border; their engines roaring into the night. Each seemed to have anywhere from five to ten armed men jogging directly behind them. "Bandit One, Fox Den-Actual; Eagle on fire!" The response came through seconds later. It sounded as frantic as the scout had when sending the message in the first place. "This is Fox Den, say again Bandit One?!" Perhaps the distant roars of the engines had drowned out her speech? Nah, they were too far off. Maybe there was static? Either way, she had been asked to repeat herself. She did so in an even less calm tone than she had before. "Eagle on fire! Fucking Eagle on fire!" The code phrase 'Eagle On Fire' essentially meant that the Cironians were crossing the border. Unknown to her she had uttered what would become a historically famous line.
Militia Personnel had mustered within a short time span. It took them under ten minutes to fortify sections of the town and conceal their fortifications and grab positions at defensible locations. Teams hid up high in buildings with rocket launchers and machine guns. Singular Militiamen hid on top of buildings with an array of different rifles. Children under sixteen and adults not a part of the organized Militia who had opted out of the battle slipped out of town with rifles and gear of their own using Army Stealth Transports and troop carrier trucks that had very quickly arrived just for that purpose. It was the same case in all of the border towns whose populations had trained for this moment for most of their lives. When the tanks started rolling down the dirt roads they were ready for them.
Town Of GoldsTon, Twenty-Two Miles south west of Northern Theanorian Border crossing, 2230 [10:30 PM]
The town of GoldsTon had a long and bloody history. It was established back in the days when Theanor was run by a series of trades & crafts based guilds who only had their own interests at heart. The townsfolk were under the direct yoke of the guild that established the town. They were forced to mine Gold in the nearby mountains and pan for it in the river that ran directly through town. The miner's guild had hired mercenaries from the Soldier's guild to keep the people working. Unfortunately for the miner's, the people eventually learned that they outnumbered the mercenaries. A decade after its establishment the people rose up against the mercenaries and the miner's guild. The magistrate from the guild was publicly hung by an angry mob and his home was both looted and burned. Although the mercenaries had inflicted heavy casualties to the angry townsfolk due to superior armaments and skills they were eventually overwhelmed and killed. Finding it more profitable to side with the people of the town, Mercenaries stormed the miner's guild and forced them to sign a document stating that the mines, the town, and the land surrounding it belonged to the people and not the guild. A year later and the town was it's own free city state.
For one hundred years one guild after another tried to take it over because of the riches in the area. The people; who had gained the resources to become self-sufficient had produced their own weaponry and had been training on their ground. With the home field advantage and a concept of an early warning system involving scout riders; the town repelled one assault after another and successfully forced most of the guilds to abandon their attempts to take over the town---militarily. Numerous attempts at subversion and coercion were noted of in the town's history. It seems, all of the attempts failed. Its example later sparked other successful rebellions against the guilds that eventually resulted in the formation of the Theanorian republic. At about the same time the Cironian nomadic warrior tribes united. A few years later they attempted to cross the border into Theanor and invade the country with false justifications of the area being their "rightful homeland".
The town was the site of several historic battles during that time that resulted in the Cironian warrior tribes retreating back across the border. The town was surrounded by both vast open fields and large clusters of forest. The River that ran directly through it was called "The Golden River". It directly connected to "River Theanor" in the deep west and filtered out into the ocean to the far east. There were several hills covered in thick wilderness to its direct North and South and various dirt roads leading to mountain side gold mines jutted out to the south east. It was the first town anybody crossing the border would run into. If they were crossing the border with hostile intentions it would be the last.
The Cironian commander lowered his binoculars; a grimace forming over his face. Something was terribly wrong. Aside for the sound of the rain pounding against the leaves of the trees he and his infantry battalion hid amongst everything was quiet---almost too quiet. The town was completely silent. Not that he would be able to hear it from his position but it was as though there wasn't even a peep from a mouse. The lights of every visible building were off, the drapes were closed [and in some cases the windows were visibly boarded up], and there was next to no sign of movement. What he did not see through his binoculars were the men and women prone on top of the buildings, hiding inside beyond the boarded windows, and the Theanorian Militia platoons dug in at camouflage positions in the western forest closest to their position on the forested hilltop. Unfortunately for the commander the Theanorians knew right where their enemy was; well-hidden scouts had watched them get into position and had relayed the information back to the Theanorian commander in town.
The Cironian commander called his second in command over to him. "When are the tanks getting here?" He asked, part of him nervous about entering the town without armor support. They had arrived at the town twenty minutes ahead of the main force. In fact, his battalion had been the first sent across because the sappers who had disabled the mine field were under his command. "Last transmission said their ETA was fifteen minutes" [ETA=Estimated Time of Arrival]. "Alright" he said, adjusting his radio so that he could be heard through each soldier's headset. "Alpha and Bravo company; move through the woods and hit the town at the flanks! Once you breach the town perimeter secure it building by building. Charlie Company; dig out the mortars and start sighting the town in just in case! Move it, people!" Unknown to him the Commander had just signed the death warrants of two hundred men. Although part of him screamed for him to shell the town before sending his boys in to capture it he sent them in first anyway. Worse, he made an even bigger mistake by neglecting to wait for the armor to arrive. Like ghosts, the silhouettes of some two hundred men went left and right down the hill under the oversight of their company commanders. The first company to run into trouble was Alpha. They were unlucky enough to have maneuvered faster than Bravo company. The feet that belonged to Alpha Company's first Platoon passed directly beside the opening of the fortified and concealed ditch without the soldiers ever realizing it.
Some twenty men hid within the cover and concealment of the ditch. They were under the command of a young Militia Lieutenant named Benjamin. As he stood there watching the feet of the enemy pass right by the opening he held up a closed fist; one hand still on his automatic-rifle. The word was passed to each man in his platoon to stay quiet and wait for the signal. The hairs across the back of his neck stood erect. A feeling of nervousness irritated the pits of his stomach. He counted the silhouettes that passed the fortification; both distant and close in. The cold fall air brought a sting to his lungs and bit his skin. His eyes narrowed and focused on the enemy. His fist seemed to shake from being held in place for a prolonged period of time.
Was it fear that gripped him or a heightened sense of things? To the untrained eye it appeared to be fear. However, that argument would've been defeated when his fist opened and his hand slowly went back to his rifle. Slowly, he brought the weapon up and pressed its stock against his shoulder; his right going straight down the sights toward the closest target. At the exact same time a man operating a machine gun lined up its sights with what he guessed was the path of five different Cironian soldiers; leading them with his weapon. The silhouette of a Theanorian Militiaman leaned around the thick trunk of a tree and slowly lowered to a crouched stance; aiming his bolt action rifle toward a silhouette at the rear of the advancing Cironians.
A man among Benjamin's platoon gripped a remote detonator. Unknown to them, the Cironians were walking directly in the center of a kill zone. Remote and proximity explosives had been rigged up at positions of cover and on the path they tread on the surface at the lowest point of elevation. Militia were in positions along both sides of the kill zone; roughly twenty Militia per side. As each man and woman lined up the sights of his and her rifle at the enemy the one man with the detonator slowly lowered his thumb toward the button. The button his thumb was currently over would trigger hidden explosives along their pathway; which the Cironians had predictably moved through without ever noticing a single explosive device. His thumb pressed down on the button and he then whipped his own rifle into action. The explosives detonated, roaring loudly and rocking the land. The light from the small explosions provided enough illumination for the shooters to clearly see their targets. They timed their fire almost perfectly with the blasts; the first volley of bullets and the explosions dropping about half of the platoon. There were small thumps that echoed into the night as Cironians scattered in confusion and were greeted with proximity mines strategically placed at positions of cover. Some Cironian soldiers sought refuge in a ditch at the base of a slope only to be greeted with grenades rolled down into the ditch. Little pops and thumps that illuminated the ditch were followed by blood curdling screams.
And, it got worse for Alpha company. Those few Platoons that had been passing through that kill zone weren't the only ones suffering. Minutes after the shooting had started one particular platoon seemed to be assaulted by a 'ghost'. What they had encountered were five guys with long-ranged rifles peppering them with gunfire from different directions and constantly encircling them.
One man would fire once and move to a new position; his old position turned into Swiss cheese by machine gun fire. While the other man was moving another would fire and pick off somebody of importance. The five of them surprisingly kept the platoon pinned long enough for somebody to hurl in a couple of improvised poison gas grenades. While the gas slowly killed many of them the five men would fall back to a safe distance. A few others fell pray to ambush sites similar to Benjamin's. After a sufficient amount of Cironians had been killed at the sites the Platoons holding the positions would pull back through a tunnel network that had been in place since before the invasion which connected to some of the various concealed defensive ditches; leaving expedient booby traps in their wake. When the shooting stopped and the survivors eventually located some of the defensive ditches; they were greeted with a nice 'fuck you' from the Theanorians which generally resulted in half if not all of everyone who had checked out the ditch dead and a sealed tunnel.
Alpha company was wiped out in exactly thirty minutes. The two companies that the Cironian commander sent in to reinforce it found Alpha Company's commander hanging from a tree with a noose around his neck. They continued to push toward the town and suffered similar grief; arriving within town limits only to be wiped out by the forces actually inside the town itself. About half of Bravo was able to pull back toward the hill. During their retreat they suffered heavy losses; men were shot in the back while running away. Very few of them actually made it back to tell the tale. At that point the commander gave the order to shell the town. However, seconds before the first Mortar Shell could be shoved down it's tube something bigger and more powerful than a mortar shell slammed into the hillside. It detonated with such force that it flung the trees back, uprooted and tossed some into the air, and annihilated two hundred Cironian soldiers. The blast also knocked the commander on his ass and disoriented the remaining forces on the hill. While they were stunned from the blast some three hundred Theanorians that had flanked around to the rear of the hill using the tunnel network [which was also connected to the Gold Mines] quickly charged up hill. With the initiative they held the upper hand and very quickly slaughtered over half of the remaining Cironian soldiers before retreating down the hill and disappearing back into the tunnels.
As he regained his composure the Cironian commander realized what weapon the opposing side had nailed them with. Among the Cironians it was known as the "Mother Of All Cannons". Officially, it was called the "Massive Ordinance Attack Cannon." There were only three known of by the Cironians to be in existence. Their intelligence gathered electronically by hackers suggested that all three of them were defending River Theanor. In truth, there were about seven in existence. One currently defended River Theanor, another defended "Defiance Pass", one had been sold [with a lot of ammo] to the townsfolk of GoldsTon for a large amount of Gold, two of them were stashed deep in the mountains with a lot of other supplies and weapons for a 'rainy day', two of them faced the southern border, and a third was under the possession of the 5th artillery battalion stationed near Theanor's most important port city. The scary thing about these bad boys was that they fired a very destructive shell from ridiculous ranges far beyond anything normal artillery cannons could hope to match.
"Where the hell are the tanks!?" The Cironian commander screamed. For the most part their advance had been delayed by a combination of things. Rough terrain, bad weather, ambushes from Guerilla cells with anti-tank weapons, booby traps, and Snipers slowed the advance of the main force. In the end they arrived an hour late to scoop up the gory pieces of this particular battalion. "I have no-" Another powerful shell from the MOAC slammed into the hill. Since the previous shot a spotter in town had told the operators to adjust their fire. This time, the shell landed in the center of the hill and finished them off. The Cironian commander was in pieces all over the hill with the rest of his men. The only reason they hadn't been annihilated by the MOAC earlier was because the weapon was still being sighted in and loaded. This battle was over before it started.
Nation of Cironith, Cironian Capitol, 2300 Hours [11:00 PM]
It seemed like there were millions of them. The soldiers being loaded into the transports stretched as far as the eye could see; as did the transports themselves. They were gigantic arrow-shaped planes with large engines. The soldiers being forced into the cargo holds were all paratroopers. They would be dropped in to secure Theanor's most important coastal city, towns on the other side of River-Theanor, and in to the direct mainland of Theanor. Unknown to all of them there was a surprise waiting for them. The man known as the "All Mighty One" watched from the balcony of his palace as they were ushered into the planes. An evil smile formed across his face. Even with reports coming in that the forces advancing across the border had been slowed and that an entire battalion had been wiped out he felt that he was going to win this war. As he walked away from the balcony a dark silhouette flashed up on a great screen in the main room of his palace. A dark, demonic voice emanated from the screen. The sting of anger was easily detected in the voice. It seemed to be coming from the silhouette that had suddenly appeared. The second he saw it he felt fear crawl right up his spine like a chill in the cold.
"Your actions regarding the invasion of Theanor have been well noted." The voice stated. "Understand that we put you in power; we can easily take you out of it!" Although he was slightly in fear he was brave enough to retaliate to that last comment which stung him a little. "Just who the hell do you think you are? Nobody can take me out of power!" Without warning, there was an explosion of pressure and pain all over his forehead and face. A blast of unprecedented force hit his entire body like a giant fist or a gust of hurricane-strength wind. He fell backwards on to the floor. His nose began to bleed. The voice now sounded darker and full of more anger than it had been. "By invading Theanor you have kick started a chain of events which will lead to your downfall and the destruction of everything I and my collogues have worked so very hard to create. Do you realize that they have predicted the near exact details of your invasion strategy? We will not protect you from the consequences. We will no longer communicate with you. Goodbye, Cironian." The screen then exploded and showered the floor with glass. Despite their anger and distaste for "the all mighty one's" actions regarding the invasion of Theanor; the event did provide an opportunity for some behind the scenes work and would provide an excellent distraction. However, without the "all mighty one's" empire they would have some trouble regaining their foothold in the world...or would they?
Republic Of Theanor, "Hilltop Alpha", Nineteen miles south east of Theanor-City, 0027 [12:27 AM]
The truck ride had been an hour long. Most of his unit had very quickly gotten themselves into position on "Hilltop Alpha" by truck. They had only begun digging in during the last half-hour. The plan had been to ride in from "Defiance Pass" and provide security for the 5th Artillery Battalion that was supposed to be arriving with a MOAC and some other big guns within the next half hour. Of course, nothing ever goes according to plan. His name was John Green; Commander of the 83rd "Wolf Men", Defiance Valley Volunteer Militia. Although there were women in the 83rd the name seemed to remain the same. “DVVM” also aimed to cover Defiance Pass. John had gone to bed early at around 2100 hours [9:00 PM] but had been roused from sleep several hours later when he got a call ordering him to muster his unit. He kissed his wife and children goodbye before driving off into the darkness to dig in at the hill. Once in position...it wasn't long before he spotted planes coming out of the darkness. The invasion had begun...
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