Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 10 Part 2

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 8 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-18 08:58am

Fatua Forest
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate


General Franc checked the readouts from the scanning equipment again; an almost manic habit now they neared Tauran-controlled areas. The General’s command vehicle stole quietly through the night, the other three lighter vehicle humming along behind. His nephew had insisted on coming, even picking his own crew. That in itself was a message to take note of, any malcontents readily identified for future reference.

Long-range data was still unavailable. The Taurans could easily have found and tracked their base if there was too much data traffic. The General preferred more old-fashioned and safer methods of information gathering for now. He was in fact saving his more sophisticated equipment for the right occasion. To use it now would be as a minimum wasteful and could even be suicidal. From what his nephew had told him, Eldrid may well have found an advantage they could use.

Gut feel and previous actions made the Sargeant useful to the General’s eyes. These Elite had proven a bane in the Church Guard’s skirmishes with them. Now that they had some of their own, maybe they could even up the contest a little.

“Sir?” whispered his driver.

“Yes, Cohen,” he replied, “what is it?”

“Not sure, Sir,” said the young soldier, “there’s something not quite right. These local readings don’t make any sense.”

“Tell the others to hang back,” commented the General, peeking over the soldier’s shoulder, “we’ll take a look ourselves.”

They were nearing the intense stretch of woodland. To their left was a small range of hills, and to their right a depression in which river water pooled, forming a makeshift lake. The heat sensors flickered hot and cold, indicating something; indistinct yet threatening.

Behind them, the three other air-cars took up a defensive position. General Franc watched on his board as their weapons systems activated.

“Okay, son,” he said, “take us in slowly.”

“Yes, General,” replied the driver, inching his controls forwards, “all weapons tracking.”

As they cleared the last full cover, the lake began to steam. Gouts of water erupted skywards as an Attack Shuttle surged from beneath the lake. From the nearest hillside rockets arched down, peppering the surrounding area.

“Get us out of here,” shouted the General, "it’s a trap!”

In the second vehicle, Capitan Franc watched awestruck as the shuttle burst clear, water streaming down its sides.

“Sir, do I fire?” asked his driver, “Sir?”

“What?” asked Franc, still dazed.

“Do I fire Sir,” the man asked again, urgency tinging his voice.

“No.” said Franc.

“No?” queried the man, shaken by his Capitan’s response.

“Are you deaf?” screamed Franc, “someone needs to survive this debacle. Now move!”

His excuses sounded weak, even to his own ears, but Franc’s ego would quickly turn his actions into prudence. None of the other vehicles followed, despite his screamed orders. Instead they powered forwards, their auto-cannons firing in a futile attempt to distract the Shuttle. Tauran troops broke from cover, howling their challenges as they rushed to intercept the fleeing vehicle.

“Fire!”

Now the Capitan was anxious, brushing his driver aside and taking control of his car’s weapons. He fired indiscriminately, clearing a path through the rapidly closing circle. Once again he had survived, leaving his Uncle and his men behind.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 8 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-28 02:25am

“Heavy fire, Lord.”

There was no need for Gorkus to comment further; the roar of rockets, the chatter of auto-cannon fire and the sizzling of plasma bolts told their own tale. It was also of little concern who made the noise. Either the Taurans were having a party, or the Church Guard were in serious trouble. Whatever the explanation, it mattered not, the battle rage still surged through Eldrid’s veins. Still, he fought against the uncontrollable urge to rend and tear, trying to impose his will upon rampant emotions.

“Medina?”

“Yes, Sargeant?” Medina squeaked his response, disturbed by the growled undertones to Eldrid´s question.

“Set up a position on that hill,” he pointed to the higher land to their left, “we’ll go straight in, but may need some covering fire.”

“You got it,” grinned Medina, happier that the Sargeant appeared to have returned to normality, “me and Walsh won’t let you down.”

The simple statement calmed Eldrid. It reminded him that others not only depended upon him, but also added to the overall control of each situation. A loos of personal control right now, would be unforgiveable.

“Never doubted it,” said Eldrid, “not once.”

Medina flushed, nodded and jogged away.

“We do not need him,” said Elana, joining Eldrid, “his weapon cannot help us.”

“That,” said Eldrid coldly, “is why I lead, and you serve. These suits,” and here he banged a fist against his armour, “do not make us invulnerable. Remember Elana, those men have already destroyed two Elite. Learn from this lesson.”

Elana bowed her head as Eldrid turned away. Her Lord was angry and she ashamed. He was right, and she would serve, and learn.

*

A bolt of plasma slammed into the aircar’s right side, burning through one of the vehicle’s stabilisers and leaving it canted at an angle.

“One more hit, and we’re done,” gasped the General’s driver, desperately weaving the aircar in a vain attempt to avoid the heavy fire.

“What about the others?” asked the General.

“Korovsky is still firing, Sir” said the driver, “but Shah and his team bought it.”

“And my nephew?” the General did not really want the answer. He had heard the order to retreat given, but still the boy was blood.

“Oh, he made it, Sir,” said the soldier scornfully, “as usual.”

“Cohen!” snapped the General.

“Sorry, Sir,” mumbled the driver, “but it’s true.”

“Unfortunately, you are right,” agreed the General, patting Cohen’s shoulder, “it’s now up to us to look after ourselves.”

“Tell Korovsky to get out of here, and tell him it’s a direct order.”

“Yes Sir,” said Cohen, “but he won’t leave you.”

“I said tell him it’s a direct order,” said the General sternly.

Cohen did, and then grinned.

“What did he say?” sighed the General, holding onto the chair in front of him as Cohen slewed the craft to the right.

“He said that he was having problems with his communications, Sir, and that he couldn’t quite hear what I was saying.”

“Did you repeat my order?” the General asked, fighting with the smile threatening to crease his face.

“Yes, Sir,” relied Cohen innocently.

“And then what did he say?” asked the General, unsure if he really wanted to hear the answer.

“Well,” laughed Cohen, “he said to tell the ‘crusty old goat’ to stop talking and to ‘move his sorry arse out of there’, Sir.”

The General shook his head, “Well, Cohen, we’d best do as he says…”

General Franc watched horrified as the young soldier’s face collapsed before him, the pure hellfire of the plasma bolt boiling flesh and bone. The shockwave threw him back, the intense heat blistering his flesh and melting his uniform to his skin. His arm and shoulder thrown protectively in front of his face took the main force of the heat blast.

Even without a direct hit, the pain was overwhelming. With a scream of agony, the General stumbled back, falling and smashing his head into the console behind him. Thankfully, he lost consciousness as the remains of his aircar careered into the lake. It came to an abrupt halt, the water arresting its motion. Behind it, the Attack Shuttle slowly settled to the earth, like some predator protective of its kill.

Tears rolled down Korovsky’s face as he watched the demise of his leader. With a roar of rage he gunned his engine and, weapons on full automatic, began to kill Taurans.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 8 Part3

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-01-02 11:43am

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate


“Are your men ready?” asked Ap-Naib, checking the communication sheet held in his hand.

“As always, Lord,” replied the Elite, bowing slightly.

“Very well,” said Ap-Naib, “lead them out.”

He knew the Elite Captain was annoyed, dismissive of the need for almost full deployment of his men. Ap-Naib had grudgingly allowed a couple to remain to protect him. Even now they were outside, ready to escort him to the main barracks, where the rest of the protection detail waited.

“Well?” asked Ap-Naib impatiently as the Elite did not move.

“The Elite Gorkus survives,” the Captain said, “and he has taken others of our brethren with him.”

“Bah,” said Ap-Naib dismissively, “I, have all of you. What possible threat could he be?”

“All Elite are a threat,” the Captain replied, “perhaps we had best not forget it.”

With that the Elite left, Ap-Naib gazing after him curiously. Almost, he thought, that had been a warning, or had it? These Elite were loyal to the point of stupidity, and wasn´t he just about to prove it?

Artur Ap-Naib picked up his cloak and strode towards his waiting shuttle, anticipation filling every stride.

*

Ap-Naib´s main barracks were set on the outskirts of the main city, hastily thrown up on his arrival with the intention of providing a forward resupply depot. Prefabricated buildings surrounded the main landing field, the Elite’s quarters lying on the westernmost edge. This faced the main access road, chosen by the Elite as this what where any attack on the base would come from.

The Shuttle landed in the main area, the two Elite exiting quickly to form a defensive perimeter. Artur admired their skill and efficiency, such a shame it was anathema to the core ethics of the Taurans, that is if they had any. He heard the engines of two more of his Shuttles as they made to land. Everything was ready.

Ap-Naib saw his Elite Guards take position, scanning the approaching craft, so he sauntered casually among them.

“They´re ours,” he said, pointedly ignoring the Shuttles and striding towards where the rest of his detail was forming up.

“You!” he snapped, “What is your name?”

“Loki, Lord,” replied the indicated Elite, focusing on Ap-Naib.

“How apt,” laughed Artur, “an ancient God of Mischief, the Prankster.”

“Lord?” queried Loki, unable to understand Ap-Naib’s strange mood.

“Oh nothing,” commented Ap-Naib, “just a little joke of mine.”

He stopped, turned and began walking back to his Shuttle.

“Wait there,” he said impatiently as the Elite began to follow, “I’ll be right back.”

As Ap-Naib entered the Shuttle, he nodded at his pilot and moved to the weapons control. Behind him, doors slid shut and the craft rose, spinning to point its autocannon at Loki and his men.

“We are betrayed,” said Loki, signaling his men to take cover, “Gorkus was right.”

Plasma bolts rent the air, catching Elite still in the open. Even the restorative powers of their armour were insufficient against such actinic fury. Loki rolled into a shallow defile, reaching for his pistol. It would have little effect, but at least he could fight.

It was too easy. Ap-Naib picked each of his targets, carefully lining up his weapons and firing. The other craft were less disciplined and soon the air around the landing area boiled with dust and debris.

“Fools,” snarled Ap-Naib, opening a channel on his communication panel, “get back!”

He switched his own targeting device to infra-red mode, but there was too much interference by the over-zealous use of plasma fire. In fury he lashed the ground with his weapons, adding to the turmoil, then ordered all Shuttles back sufficiently far to allow the dust to settle.

Slowly the air cleared, the ground now littered with body parts and charred armour. It was impossible to tell whether they had killed them all, but nothing physically moved. Even the vaunted Elite could not have survived this fire storm.

“Enough,” said Ap-Naib, “back to base. We have more important things to do then keep on with pest control. Send some men to mop up here.”

Loki watched the three craft turn away before he moved. He winced in pain from his plasma burns, yet his suit was already working. It had been a near miss, but he would survive. Climbing to his feet, he called out and was rewarded by the sight of two large figures struggling from the dirt. Of the fifteen detailed to guard Ap-Naib, only three had survived. He did, however, know where there were more of his kind. Loki already assumed that Ap-Naib would exterminate the Captain and his men. He could not now let them live.

So, there was only one thing left to do, and that was to find Gorkus. First, though, they must clear the area, leaving no evidence of themselves or their suits for the Taurans.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 8 Part4

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-01-04 05:51am

Fatua Forest
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate


“What are you doing, Meds?” asked Walsh, watching Medina tug at his satchel.

“We,” he grunted, “are not going to make a big difference down there, but,,,got you, my beauty…”

He held up a cartridge of ammunition, slipping one round free and passing it to Walsh.

“That’s heavy,” said Walsh, surprised.

“Yeah,” Medina said, clicking the round back in place, “I’ve been keeping these for a special occasion.”

“What are they…armour piecing?”

“Of a sort,” agreed Medina, finishing bolting his tripod together, “now stop asking questions and help me. If we’re going to do any damage to the shuttle, we need a steady platform.”

“But how?” interrupted Walsh.

“Watch and learn, my boy,” said Medina, “watch and learn…”

Medina was a hoarder, he originally was picked for his marksmanship to represent his regiment and that opened doors. Like-minded individuals traded ideas, weapons and even ammunition. These rounds were just such an item, giving to him by an armourer from the Protectorate Testing Station. Medina had never believed that they could do what he had been told, but now he would find out first hand.

They were more of a shell than a bullet, a specifically designed triple action Sabot round. The first charge opened the armour piercing which punctured the target metal. Secondary action detonated a smaller charge containing a deadly explosive cocktail, which was released in a devastating tertiary reaction.

Pain, injection and instant sunshine was how his friend had described it. Now he would finally see.

“Spot me,” he muttered, finally relaxing into his firing position.

“Target identified,” said Walsh, “painting the rear of the shuttle now.”

“Target acquired,” replied Medina, then with a single exhalation of breath, “firing…”

*

Tepid water trickling into his nasal passages brought General Franc coughing and spluttering back to reality. It was dark and the sound of cascading water was loud to his ears. There was a muffled thump of heavy fire, but the water effectively deadened the noise.

With a free hand the General tried to orient himself, but debris impeded him; up and down had no real meaning and panic settled coldly onto his shoulders. A sudden lurch and then the Command Vehicle was tumbling. Something had hit them, but identification was impossible. Rolling over and over, the General’s disorientation was complete; weakened by cold, shock and blood loss, the mad gyrations were suddenly too much. He gave in. opening his mouth in welcome to the water.

A natural gagging reflex brought him back to his senses; vomit and dirty water mingled, adding a new stench to that of the already confining space.

The vehicle lurched again, but then slowly began to move backwards. Light filtered into the cabin and General Franc scrambled desperately for a weapon, any weapon.

A screeching of metal against metal signaled the end, and General Franc watched helplessly as the roof of the vehicle was peeled away.

“Hey General,” asked Korovsky, squatting on the vehicle’s roof, “you still in there?”

“Don’t worry,” he croaked, “the crusty old goat finally got his arse in gear.”

Korovsky had the good grace to blush and then offered his hand.

“Good to see you Sir and,” he grunted as he pulled his Commanding Officer clear, “I’m sure you’re going to want to see this.”

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 9 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-02-07 01:14pm

Chapter Nine

Fatua Forest
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate


The Conference room was full, unusual for Ap-Naib’s command. Rather than briefing his soldiers on what to do, he tended to favour a more direct, dictatorial style. Looking around he could see no reason to change his opinion of his men, but it was time to put the next phase of his Master’s plan into action. He had at last received a message ordering him to leave Caer Seus and take charge of the forces now gathering on New Sevilla. Ap-Ban would be less than happy, but this meant little to the Tauran Commander.

“I have received my instructions,” he said, startling his officers with his lack of preamble, “and will be leaving for a new assignment. Now that the traitorous Elite have been dealt with, your orders are simple. You will wipe out all human resistance on this world and then join me on New Sevilla.”

Crator, his second-in-command spoke, his confusion evident, “What did the Elite do to warrant our Master’s displeasure?”

It was one of the longest sentences the Tauran had ever strung together, and in his confusion, almost smelt of disloyalty.

“Not,” admonished Ap-Naib, “that our Master needs to explain his actions. However, for once I will fill in the blanks.”

Ap-Naib saw Crator’s red skin pale, as the realization of his error sank in. Let him fear, thought Ap-Naib, it will only make him more rigorous in his duty.

“It was discovered that the Elite were spies, humans in disguise.”

Shocked murmurs greeted his words and having begun his invention, Ap-Naib decided to embellish his weave further.

“Have you never wondered why they lived in their armour? Who amongst you has ever seen their faces?”

He had them now.

“Our Master wondered the same thing and took it upon himself to rid the Tauran Empire of such scum. He found evidence of a traitorous plan hidden deep within our home world. Across the Empire
the Elite are being purged.

It appears that New Sevilla was the home of those responsible for this heinous plan. I have been ordered there to make sure that none of the people behind this survive.”

And then he had an even better idea.

“You all know of Ap-Ban’s rivalry? Well it seems that he too has been tainted with the brush of treachery. I go now to teach him the error of his ways!”

Roars of approval greeted his words. Taurans were not known for their intelligence, cunning and cruelty yes, cleverness no.

“You can count on us, Lord,” Crator shouted above the tumult.

“Of that I am sure,” said Ap-Naib as he stood, “leave not one of them alive!”

Artur Ap-Naib’s story would be quickly dispersed amongst his men. It was a good story. Unfortunately for him, it was also true.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 9 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-02-20 12:48pm

General Franc stared open-mouthed at the battle before him. Armoured figures ripped into the Tauran forces, their ferocity seeming to increase with each passing moment. He grunted in pain as the Medic continued treating him, but twisted impatiently away as the man’s ministrations impaired his vision.

“Who are they?” he asked, already knowing the answer.

“I think,” said Korovsky, “that these must be the Elite that the captain spoke of.”

The General had already reached the same conclusion and was astonished at the destruction that these few soldiers could hand out. At their front, and dwarved by those around him, was the most ferocious of all. No obvious weapons were in evidence, the soldiers relying on his armoured fists to deal out his punishment. Franc watched as he caught a fleeing Tauran, punching his fist through the man’s back, dragging him off his feet and stomping him into submission.

“Sir!”

Korovsky’s cry caught his attention and he followed his subordinate’s pointing finger towards the Attack Shuttle. Doors now closed and the craft powered up, rising from the ground and turning to bring its weapons to bear.

Things are about to get a lot worse,” he muttered, remembering the vessel’s firepower. He held his breath and prayed.

*

“Now!” shouted Walsh, “Shoot it now!”

“All in good time Walshie,” said Medina, “all in good time…”

Medina waited until the Attack Shuttle cleared the remaining Church Guard vehicle, and turned, presenting its engines towards him.

“Come to papa…” he said and squeezed the trigger.

The big rifle boomed, the first explosive charge igniting the round as it cleared the muzzle. Its recoil was enormous, slamming Medina backwards as the now released shell sped towards its target.
Medina’s armourer friend had played up the round’s effectiveness, or at least that had been his intention. This particular charge had never been used in anger, rather it had been the fulfillment of a Technician’s crazed imagination. On the firing range it had performed ably against static targets. What it had now in front of it was a living machine, charging its plasma batteries ready to cleanse the earth of Eldrid and his men.

The shell pierced the skin of the rear-most engine nacelle, boring its way through metal before reaching the fuel cells. There the secondary charge released a heady cocktail of chemicals which needed no tertiary charge. It exploded anyway.

General Franc saw the initial round hit and the Shuttle sway slightly. The craft appeared to shrug off the impact and steadied itself prior to attacking Eldrid and his men. As the General waited for them to die, the world was suddenly bathed in brilliant blue-white fire.

Not only had the third charge exploded, but it did so rupturing the fuel cells and adding to the already lethal mix. Engine, plasma cells and shell exploded simultaneously, disintegrating the Shuttle in a ball of pure hellfire.

Eldrid and his men were the only ones safe from its ire, their visors automatically darkening as their suits reacted to this new threat. Even so they were smashed to the ground with the sheer power of the explosive wave. Their rivals were not so lucky.

The General was saved by Korovsky and the Medic who both charged into him, tumbling together behind his already destroyed vehicle. His scream of pain as new burns and old wounds reopened was lost amidst the cataclysm of sound and light.

Gorkus was the first back to his feet and he and Elana helped steady Eldrid. Elana heard strange sound from Eldrid’s suit and shook him gently.

“Lord,” she asked, “are you alright?”

“Yes,” gasped Eldrid, “and you said his weapon was useless…”

With that he doubled over in helpless laughter, as the perplexed Elite looked on.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 9 Part3

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-02-27 05:33pm

Loki and his men made good time. Knowing that Ap-Naib would have massacred the other Elite did not rid him of his duty to determine that it was fact. He also knew that such a blatant attack had to have been sanctioned from on high, which meant that all Elite now carried the death sentence of outlaws. Their first, and most dangerous, stop would have to be the main city itself. Any surviving Technicians and Elite would be found there.

The Technicians were not only important for their scientific knowledge, but also because they were the only truly loyal members of the Tauran Empire. They held a burning secret in their hands which they guarded faithfully. This in itself was an honour and debt that all Elite assumed. So it was, with darkness falling, that the remaining Elite reached the outskirts of the city.

Smoke rose from the city centre, staining the evening sky. It seemed that Ap-Naib’s pogrom had left little to chance.

“Wait,” said Loki, indicating that the others remain under cover, whilst he scouted ahead.

The human prison complex was only rubble and twisted fencing. A Shuttle’s roaring engine drew his attention upwards, and he watched his once commander’s craft hurtle away. As the noise faded, he moved further into the city, searching for any signs of survivors.

Tramping feet echoed into his consciousness, pushing him back into the uncertain cover of the rubble. Grunting laughter and whimpers of pain filtered through his anger, joining the thump of footwear. He would not have to wait long.

Crator’s first orders to his troops included the directive to round up all remaining humans. Within this were included the Elite’s lackeys, and all day mixed groups had been collected, tortured and finally executed. Not one of the Technician’s had betrayed their masters, and this group was the final show of the day. Even now, Crator was pulling together his own cronies to enjoy the entertainment.

Taurans kicked, beat and whipped their charges towards their waiting deaths. With the removal of the Elite, the Taurans had reverted to type; pain and suffering were their lifeblood and today’s fare was the spectacular culmination of an evil day’s work.

As they passed his hiding place Loki was surprised at the hotch-potch of victims; human women, children, Technicians and their families, plus even a few Taurans. These last surprised him the most. Although factional warfare was relatively common amongst the Taurans, it was unheard of them to mix their brethren in which the others. The answer to such a mystery would just have to wait though.

“Take your positions.”

His sub-vocalized command was acknowledged and he followed behind the enthusiastic Tauran guards. The prisoners were marched into what remained of the Central Plaza and forced into rough lines, facing what had been Ap-Naib’s command centre.

“How long will he be?”

Loki stilled as he waited for a reply. The questioner was close.

“He said to wait,” snarled another, “so wait…”

“Yeah, but I’ve got things to do,” the protest was cut off by a loud slap.

“Amuse yourself then,” the authoritative voice continued, “he’s going to be a while.”

Laughter greeted the words and was quickly followed by a scream. Loki owed these humans nothing, the Taurans less, but the Technicians were a completely different matter. He drew his sword .

“Now,” he said.

As one, the three Elite broke from the shadows. They were efficient and the Tauran guards were distracted by the sating of their baser desires. Loki struck quickly, beheading one Tauran and slicing his sword through the chest of another. His companions butchered their way towards him. They did not have everything their own way as a group of Taurans guards broke away, bringing their rifles to bear.

“Down!” roared Loki, and the Technicians, bar one, obeyed instantly. This one rolled forward, grabbing a rusty axe from the floor and laid into the nearest of his tormentors. The humans and Tauran prisoners left, merely gaped at the mayhem caused by this assault. It was then the true slaughter began. Autorifles chattered scything indiscriminately through the prisoners and Loki watched as a mother and child were cut into ragged shreds. It was enough even for him to lose his customary cool.

With his anger now out of control, he barreled into the group of guards, striking right and left as bullets smacked into his armour. A swung weapon clanged into his helmet, knocking into a tangle of wounded and dying bodies. A leering red face reared above him but was in turn smashed backwards as an axe blade split it in two. Loki stared at the Technician, now covered in blood, who placed a foot on the Tauran’s head and levered his blade free. Screaming his hatred, the Technician swung again.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 9 Part4

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-03-13 01:49pm

Crator heard the firing, thinking at first that his men’s natural lusts had gotten the better of them. Cursing, he threw his latest victim aside and reached for his communicator. It was then that the alarms began to wail.

He kicked his way to the window, heaving bodies aside in his haste. When he reached the terrace overlooking the plaza, he roared in indignation. There were Elite below.

“Weapons,” he shouted, “bring me my weapons.”

A stray round smashed against the coping, splintering wood into Crator’s face. He looked down and saw a young Tauran aim again. Reaching behind, he dragged his aide forward as a makeshift shield, feeling his body jerk with the impact of the bullet. What was happening?

*

Loki saw the youth fire and swiveled to find his intended target. There was something strange here, something he should know, but now was not to time to lose himself in idle thought.

“Retreat,” he ordered over his communicator, grabbing the still snarling Technician by the arm and dragging him away.

“...and bring the Tauran prisoners.”

His men obeyed, snatching the rifle from the young Tauran’s hand and shoving him roughly after Loki. Three humans tried to follow the four Technicians and two Taurans still standing. With a backwards glance, Loki dismissed them, but the Technician by his side clutched his arm.

“Lord,” he pleaded, “you cannot leave them.”

Loki was tempted to strike the Technician, but honour demanded some amount of respect for the strange warrior.

“Well…”

“Thomas, my Lord.”

“Well, Thomas,” said Loki, moving to one side, “then they are your responsibility.”

The young man nodded and turned to help the woman and two children. What surprised Loki more, was that the Tauran rifleman also went to help.

*

“So you survived,” said the General as Eldrid approached, flanked by two of the enormous Elite.

“It seems that way, Sir,” replied Eldrid, wincing at the extent of the General’s injuries.

“My nephew too…”

The General sounded ashamed, which made Eldrid wary, counseling him to silence.

“Well, you will hear soon enough,” continued General Franc, “he seems to have inherited nothing in the way of a backbone, although I do not think that I’ll be doing anything in the way of fighting, for a while either.”

He waved away Eldrid’s protests and motioned Korovsky to his side.

“Listen, both of you,” he said, grimacing against the pain, “my nephew cannot be allowed to lead. He is senior to you, Korovsky, and will try to take over. For some reason, he has taken a dislike to you Eldrid, and I cannot risk dissension throughout our forces. Apart from that, no offense meant my friend, Korovsky here is Artillery, and we need Infantry on the ground”

“No offense taken, my General,” replied a grinning Korovsky, “at least I got you to obey my orders.”

“That you did,” acknowledged the General, “but Eldrid here has one or two things going in his favour.”

Korovsky looked at the enormous Elite, and nodded at the General.

“Therefore,” he continued, “I’m giving you a field commission, Eldrid.”

“But Sir,” protested Eldrid, “I’m just a Sargeant.”

“Have you forgotten, Major,” he said, “you are whatever I say you are…”

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 10 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-04-03 04:08am

Chapter Ten

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate


Crator was confused; not an unusual state of mind for him, but the message received from his new Lord was clear.

“Let the animals escape! I will deal with them personal…”

Wulf Ap-Ban left nothing in doubt, his message clear curt and dismissive with the expected implied threat included for free. Crator’s only mistake was asking after Artur Ap-Naib, which the immediate cessation of all communication. Slowly, as his extremely slow mental processes began to work, his doubts cleared. Whoever the Lord, his role would remain the same and capture, maim and kill were words he clearly understood.

*

“Idiot!” Snapped Ap-Ban, taking some of his anger out on the console. Still, he felt belittled by his new circumstance; relived of his mission to New Sevilla by his arch-enemy.

Ap-Naib’s promotion had come at the price of the idiot’s own Elite. That such an action was sanctioned by their Master worried Ap-Ban. Within his own personal bodyguard was a troop of Elite and when this was pointed out to a sneering Ap-Naib, his reply was a simple one.

“Take them with you,” he had said, “and deal with them as they truly deserve.”

Ap-Ban knew what that meant, but was loathe to carry out such an instruction. These Elite were loyal to him, the only ones in fact who demonstrated any such unusual character traits. Such loyalty could well be needed in the future. He would wait as there was much to keep them occupied on this cursed planet.

*

Loki watched Thomas as he spooned out food for the woman and her children. She accepted the portions willingly, even thanking the smiling Technician. It was even more puzzling that the other Taurans in the group were confirmed as non-Technicians. Resolved to find an answer he called Thomas over.

“Lord?” asked the young Tecnician.

“I am no Lord,” Loki corrected him, “but I would know more of you and your companions.”

Thomas glanced across at those eating and shrugged, “What do you wish to know?”

“Why are you helping them?” asked Loki in puzzlement, “they are not Technicians.”

Thomas laughed, “No, they are not. Yet, they are my friends.”

Now Loki was truly puzzled, Taurans had no friends.

“How can that be?”

Thomas frowned before continuing, “Within the Technicians I had friends. Those who helped each other both in work and in training. That woman and her children were in need, so I helped them.”

“I saw that,” agreed Loki.

“No, before,” said Thomas, “after we landed. They had no food and I felt sorry for her.”

Loki was shocked, this was a strange Technician, “And the Taurans?”

“They protected the woman from Crator’s men, the young one is their leader. He said that what Crator was doing was not right, so I helped him as well.”

The Elite stared at the Tauran rifleman. It smacked of honour, but what did a Tauran know of honour? And of most interest, who had told him of it?

*

Shean felt the Elite’s eyes on him and studiously ate his food.

“He watches you,” said Karn, his closest friend, “maybe he wants to eat you?”

“No,” said Shean, choking back a laugh, “he already ate. I think he is just intrigued.”

“What does that mean?” asked Karn, proud of his friend’s grasp of language.

“Interested,” replied Shean, he doesn’t know what to make of us…”

“Tauran Pie,” muttered Bort, the third Tauran, “that’s what he wants to make of us.”

Shean laughed aloud now, and the others joined in, surprising Loki even more. He had never heard real Tauran laughter before.

“I think not,” said Shean, “we do not meet his idea of a typical Tauran, and it would be in our interest to continue with this idea.”

Bort frowned, his mental processes were slow, but his heart was good.

“Idea or trick?” he asked.

“No trick,” said Shean, “our lives as Taurans are over, and even more so if we give these Elite and reason to doubt us.”

“What should we do?” asked Karn.

“Live,” said Shean clearly, “and take revenge on those who tried to kill us.”

That at least his friends could understand. They would leave the thinking to him and be ready for when the killing began, as it surely would.

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Rayo Azul
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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 10 Part 2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2013-06-18 11:39am

Fatua Forest
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate


Their pace was slow; one air-car full of wounded restricted their movements. Korovsky led them north, twisting and turning in an attempt to leave no obvious trail.

“He will not accept you,” said Gorkus, “we will have to fight.”

“Who?” asked Gorkus, although he already knew the answer. Captain Franc was well past the bounds of reason.

“The Captain,” confirmed Gorkus, “in order to retain his status, his leadership, he will have to challenge you.”

“A serious error on his part,” muttered Eldrid, checking on their progress.

“Indeed,” agreed Gorkus, “but apart from these few like Medina and Walsh, the rest of us are not strictly human.”

“Neither am I, either in reality or in his mind,” said Eldrid, “and we can do without more trouble, when what we need to do is concentrate on the defeat of the Taurans.

Gorkus shrugged. He took no offence at the general term used, as Eldrid had not named the Elite, nor did he and his brothers and sisters consider themselves the same as the rest of the Taurans.

“That is true,” he said, “but I must insist that you do not underestimate this Captain. Without the General we are seriously exposed.”

Eldrid instinctively looked at the air car to his rear. General Franc was heavily sedated as his burns proved much worse than at first glance. Without his backing, Gorkus’ concern began to have real weight.

“Very well,” said Eldrid, “warn our people to be ready. I do not wish to kill other Church Guard, but it would be best to be prepared for any outcome.”

“Lord,” acknowledged Gorkus, turning away.

Eldrid smiled, he was almost becoming used to the honorific. A cough caught his attention and Medins sidled forward.

“Sarge, or should I say Major,” he said, his tone serious for once, “where do you want Walshie and I?”

“Prepare our soldiers and the Technicians,” replied Eldrid, as a shout announced their arrival at the base’s entrance, “we may well need to beat a hasty retreat.”

Medina nodded, checking his ammunition belt before casually sauntering towards Walsh. With Eldrid around there was never a dull moment, and this one promised to be more interesting than usual.

*

“Captain?”

Franc responded to the query and saw the contacts outlined on his screen. They turned from red to green and he gulped in anticipation. This could only be the General, or at least some of his party.

“Call out the men,” he growled.

“…But Sir,” queried his aide, “the signal transponder confirms that it is the General.”

“Transponders can be stolen,” snarled the captain, “ now call out the men!”

“Yes Sir!” acknowledged his aide, shutting away his own doubts from plain view.

Franc checked his sidearm and moved to the main area. He appeared relaxed, his armed men relaxing him with their readiness. Most were literally his own, hand-picked to follow his orders. They knew to whom they owed their allegiance.

“Move out,” he called, “weapons hot.”

He was met by grins of anticipation, rather than questions. Yes, he thought, he had indeed chosen well.

*

Eldrid held back as he watched soldiers stream from the base. He let Korovsky move forward, his suit’s systems warning him of the aggressive targeting of weapons directly lighting him up.

“Sir,” Korovsky saluted Captain Franc as he pushed past his men, “we have the General with us and he’s in a poor state. He needs immediate medical attention.”

Franc ignored him, turning instead to face Eldrid.

“You will surrender your arms,” he called, “you are all traitors and will obey or be fired upon!”

“Sir!” insisted Korovsky, “Major Wild saved us from the Taurans!”

“Major?” spat Captain Franc, “Since when?”

“Since the General promoted him, Sir,” said Korovsky.

“Show me his commission…anything proving your outrageous claim,” sneered Franc, “there’s nothing is there?”

“The General was injured,” replied Korovsky, “and we are all witnesses.”

“Traitor!” screamed Franc, “Do you think me fool enough to believe this fabrication?”

“It is the truth,” insisted Korovsky.

“You have been infected by these scum,” said the Captain in a calmer voice, and then waving to his men, “take them.”

“Stop!”

Eldrid’s augmented voice boomed from his armour. France in his eagerness had moved too far from the protection of his men and his actions left Eldrid no option. Elite moved rapidly, cordoning off the Captain and interposing their armoured bodies between him and his men. Stray rounds pinged off the metal of the suits before Franc’s strangled “Cease Fire!” brought calm once again.

Eldrid moved closer to the sweating Captain who now held Korovsky in a headlock, his pistol muzzle pressed into the man’s forehead.

“I will kill him,” he whined.

“Then you will die,” the words were spoken with a cold certainty, “and none shall mourn you.”

“You would not let me kill him,” sneered Franc, “you are too weak…”

“True,” said Eldrid conversationally, “but I know someone who will…”

A rifle barked and Franc screamed, his hand shattered at the wrist.

“Thank you,” said Eldrid moving through the ring of Elite.

“You’re welcome,” laughed Medina through his communicator, “you sure that you don’t want me to finish the job, Sir?”

“Quite sure,” said Eldrid, “but thanks for the offer anyway.”

He watched the Church Guard in front of him, sighed and then spoke. There was no other way.

“You have a choice,” he said, “pick up your Captain and walk away or simply you can die.”

Rifles dropped from their ready positions and men shuffled uneasily, leaderless and uncertain.

As Korovsky appeared by his side he heard a muffled “well that’s a real shame” through his communicator and could not find it within himself to disagree.

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