Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Sean Mulligan
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Post by Sean Mulligan » 2008-02-05 08:47pm

I'm done with that topic. I just wanted a final word.

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Post by Stravo » 2008-02-05 08:52pm

I suggest we keep any discussions regarding politics especially because we're dealing with a story that uses real people should be kept to a minimum. I've always tried to keep the Fanfic Forum as open as possible to engender discussion and to spark the creative process but discussing whether Patreaus or any other real life political figure is good or bad outside the story in any sense is counter productive to telling a good story as Stuart is doing here. Let's try to cut that out for now.
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Post by MKSheppard » 2008-02-06 01:27am

“Sir, I have to warn you, this may well be committing a war crime. We haven’t had United Nations approval for any action and without a vote in the UN, we are committing an act of aggressive war, which is a war crime. I therefore rule that we must hold off any action until there had been a full meeting of the Security Council. I will also issue orders for the pilots involved in this incident to be arrested and brought up on war crimes charges.”

There was a rumble of discontent around the war room. Bush heard it and that made up his mind. He looked at the JAG officer with contempt. “Place this man under arrest. Remove him, get rid of him
Then
Secretary Gates has resigned from his position as head of Defense
I think what happened was that because the JAG officer was there and said that asshattery, SecDef Gates (as his superior) was personally responsible for it, and was encouraged to resign because of it; sending a message to the US Military's increasingly legalistic JAG corps that they are not the ones running things.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-02-06 08:22am

MKSheppard wrote: I think what happened was that because the JAG officer was there and said that asshattery, SecDef Gates (as his superior) was personally responsible for it, and was encouraged to resign because of it; sending a message to the US Military's increasingly legalistic JAG corps that they are not the ones running things.
That's more or less it; A JAG officer made a complete ass of himself and Gates fell on his sword in order to show the JAG Corps that they do not run the United States and that their attempts to regulate the conduct of war would not be tolerated. Gates wasn't being mocked so much as being an example of "the buck stops here"; a part of his department screwed up so he took responsibility for it. In the stored version of this story (which will be used to generate the printed version) I've rephrased that little confrontation in order to make it clearer what is happening.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-02-06 09:01am

Stuart wrote:
MKSheppard wrote: I think what happened was that because the JAG officer was there and said that asshattery, SecDef Gates (as his superior) was personally responsible for it, and was encouraged to resign because of it.
That's more or less it; A JAG officer made a complete ass of himself and Gates fell on his sword in order to show the JAG Corps that they do not run the United States and that their attempts to regulate the conduct of war would not be tolerated. Gates wasn't being mocked so much as being an example of "the buck stops here"; a part of his department screwed up so he took responsibility for it.
I misinterpreted this; my mental image was of a subordinate presenting a position his superior had decided on but wasn't prepared to risk his own neck saying directly. A sentence describing a suprised/angry expression on Gates' face immediately after the JAG officer's statement and/or a look of relief when he's hauled off would prevent that.

Still, in that case and given the circumstances I'm a little surprised Gates resigned. Clearly he did not have a strong belief that he was the optimal person to lead the US military through this campaign; indeed he may have been thinking just the opposite and if so good on him (I know very little about him but he doesn't seem ideally suited to playing a major role in a huge conventional war).

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Post by brianeyci » 2008-02-06 09:11am

Guys are you talking about this,
“Them. Everybody. Our forces, the religious leaders who brought that message to us, those who the message came from. I don’t care who “they” are, either they attacked us or they betrayed us and I don’t see the difference between those who promise us an eternity of torture or those who would hand us over to that fate. They’re both our enemies now. And we’ll fight them. All of them.” Bush’s voice had gained strength and he made his commitment. “We may have believed in higher powers once, but they’ve forfeited any loyalty we may have owed them. Secretary Gates, get the word out. We fight.”

“Sir, I have to warn you, this may well be committing a war crime. We haven’t had United Nations approval for any action and without a vote in the UN, we are committing an act of aggressive war, which is a war crime. I therefore rule that we must hold off any action until there had been a full meeting of the Security Council. I will also issue orders for the pilots involved in this incident to be arrested and brought up on war crimes charges.”

There was a rumble of discontent around the war room. Bush heard it and that made up his mind. He looked at the JAG officer with contempt. “Place this man under arrest. Remove him, get rid of him. From now on, the United States will act in its own best interests and defend itself as best it can. Any other nations who want to join in this struggle are welcome to do so.”
This is how I read that:

1. Bush talks and ends up ordering Gates "we fight"

2. Secretary Gates says he wants to charge certain men with war crimes.

3. Bush orders a "JAG" officer to arrest Gates not the other way around.

4. My interpretation confirmed later by Gates resigning.

:?

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Post by Stuart » 2008-02-06 09:18am

I agree, the part in question was badly worded and I've ammended it. The context was supposed to be that Gates does his thing, teh JAG Officer cuts across him with his little homily about war crimes, Bust orders the JAG officer to be placed under arrest (for insubordination) and Gates resigns because the incident makes it clear he hasn't got his department under proper control. I'm rewording accordingly.
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Post by tveditor » 2008-02-06 12:40pm

A couple random questions......

1. Would not having 20% of America drop dead (something like 60 million) cause major, major problems....if nothing more than what to do with the bodies.

2. Would this not change the political structure alot. Since one of the main Republican strongholds is evangical christians (which I am assuming was a high % of those who died) wouldn't the political structure change. I am assuming that at least a few government leaders also passed away.

Anyway..great story.......is the hellmouth open still and if so have we started flights into hell looking for targets and general intelligent gathering?

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Post by Stuart » 2008-02-06 01:05pm

The Royal Dragoon Guards, Al Badiyah Al Janubiyah, Western Iraq
“Time to mount up.” Guardsman Bass finished the last of his tea and shook his mug over the sand. His Challenger II was ready to move, one of the 56 tanks lined up along the ridge. It was still dark but the eastern horizon was glowing red as the sun approached it’s first appearance. That’s why the tanks were along this ridge, with the sun behind them the baldricks would be advancing with the glare of the dawn directly in their eyes. It was a small point perhaps but the officers were paid to think of things like that. He climbed up on to his tank and slid into the turret beside the 120mm gun, settling comfortably into the familiar seat. “Boiling vessel on?”

The loader nodded, the tank was going to seal down, they’d fight that way. Nobody knew what the baldricks would do when they found themselves under fire so orders were to expect the worst and make sure the tea urn was ready to use. Bass felt his ears click as the positive-pressure system powered up. The air inside the tank was at a higher pressure than that outside so that if there were any leaks in the tank, the flow would be out, not in. They had rations, everything they needed without depending on the outside world. They even had some empty cases from the artillery so they could relieve themselves without leaving their armored home.

“Sabre-One Actual.” Lieutenant McLeoud’s voice was calm, studied. “All Sabre One units. Confirm sealed down.”

Bass thumbed his transmitter button. “Sabre One-two sealed down.”

“Very good. Recon tells us the baldricks are moving, straight at us.” There was immense satisfaction in the Lieutenant’s voice now. ‘Straight at us’ meant straight into the minefields and on to the razor wire. We will be opening fire at 5,000 meters with HESH. Aimed shots only boys, we can’t waste ammunition. Hold Fast!”

The last words were McLeoud’s family motto, repeated with almost boyish enthusiasm. Young officers bass thought, a little patronizingly, a little sadly. So keen, so likely to die. “You heard our Lieutenant. Load HESH.”

“Up.” The one word meant that the 120mm gun was loaded, ready to fire. Bass leaned forward slightly and peered through his commander’s periscope. Even in the brief time since they’d mounted up, the sun had risen enough to start lighting the battle area. Across the dunes, Bass saw a section of the horizon turn black. Baldricks crossing it in strength, a great square of them. He knew the numbers, 81 ranks, each of 81 baldricks. This was the cavalry, their advance guard. As he watched the great square changed, splitting into three rectangles, the two at the rear moving up either side of the lead so they formed an extended line. Then the rectangles split again, into three sections, one behind the other. The numbers played in Bass’s head, 729 in each sections, almost 2,200 in each of the three closely packed waves. This would be a bloody day, Bass had read the intelligence on the baldricks and of their wild, primary color blood. So what color would the blood be?

“They’re charging by battalion.” Bass lased the formations that were approaching at steadily-increasing speed. “Range 17,500 meters. They’re not holding formation very well. No discipline there at all.” A critical point, a charge had to hit as a solid blow, a fist formed of every available asset. If the charging cavalry were ill-disciplined enough to allow their formation to break, the strength of the blow would be much reduced.

F-14A Tomcat over the Al Badiyah Al Janubiyah, Western Iraq
“Lion-Leader, the enemy are moving. Engage airborne threats as detected.” Lieutenant Hooshank Sedigh looked around at the other Tomcats making up his formation. The last weeks had been strange, after decades of sour hostility, the airfields around Dezful had seen a constant stream of C-5 and C-17 transports landing as the Americans shipped in supplies of spare parts for the Iranian Air Force. Not just spares, stocks of AIM-54C missiles for the F-14s that had done without for so long and, even better, American technical service teams, Tiger Teams, to bring the Tomcats back up to full serviceability. Aircraft that had been stripped hangar queens for years had been towed out and were being repaired. Sedigh’s Tomcat had been upgraded by a team lead by retired Navy maintenance chief who had been drafted out of his civilian job. Now, more things worked on the aircraft than they had for years.

“Be advised, Indian Air Force Su-30s are closing on your position from Omidiyeh.” Another change, Iran’s airfields were crowded with aircraft from all the surrounding countries. A weird mixture of types and technologies. It was lucky the American AWACS birds were up, keeping sense of it all. “F-15s approaching from King Khalid Military City.” The American controller tactfully didn’t mention that the F-15s had been Saudi until quite recently. The Saudis had been terribly hit by The Message, a huge percentage of their population had just died. Typical of the Sunnis thought Sedigh then mentally kicked himself. The time for that nonsense had gone. It didn’t matter any more. How could he rail against unbelievers when everything he had believed in was a proven, demonstrated lie? Anyway, the Americans had repossessed the Saudi Air Force, although it did seem that, even before they had done so, a surprising number of “Saudi” pilots answered to the name of ‘Bubba’ or ‘Jim-Bob’.

“We have first target group on scan now. They are stacked behind lead ground element, estimated number approximately 950. Lion Group will engage. Fire at will.” Sedigh swelled with satisfaction, his 24 F-14As were Lion Group. They would fire the first shots of the Battle of Al Badiyah Al Janubiyah.

First Brigade, First Armored Division, Tel Ash Sha’ir, Northern Iraq.
“It’s starting.” Colonel Sean MacFarland looked at the electronic displays in his command center. He’d zoomed in on Al Badiyah Al Janubiyah where the map was showing the first of the Baldrick formations moving up. They were leading with their cavalry down there, just like they were doing here. MacFarland zoomed out, moved his point of display up to Tel Ash Sha’ir then flipped the display mode from synthetic to raw video. The pictures from the Global Hawk showed the baldrick cavalry shift from a solid block to a column of three long lines. The British had placed their faith in wire and minefields to stop the initial push but MacFarland was relying on his artillery. It wasn’t as if he was short of it.

Command Sergeant Major Frank L. Graham picked up the microphone. “All Ready First units, now here this. The enemy is moving. These are the bastards who thought we’d just knuckle under to their wishes. Well, they’re wrong and we’re going to show them just how wrong. We’re going to teach them what American values stand for. We’ll show them the meaning of truth, justice and the American way, and by the last of those I mean, of course, mindless indiscriminate violence.” There was a chortle of laughter at the crack. “So show them just how much violence Old Ironsides can do when we put our minds to it.”

He put the microphone down. “The MLRS and Paladin batteries are waiting Sir. Just give the word.”

Cavalry Legion, Right Flank of the Army of Abigor, Al Badiyah Al Janubiyah, Western Iraq
Visharakoramal kept his beast in hand, trying to keep lined up with the other members of his unit. It was hard, the great beasts wanted to surge ahead, their claws snapping in anticipation of biting into flesh, their tails arched up, ready to strike. Ahead of him the first rank was already breaking into a gallop, the beasts covering the ground with great loping strides. The second rank were into the trot, waiting for the order so they too could start their charge. Visharakoramal’s third rank was still at the pace, their turn had not come yet. Far ahead of him, he could see a strange shimmering cloud that seemed to stretch across the battlefield. Odd, but then this human world was full of surprises. It wasn’t the way they’d expected it to be.

It was time, his beast broke into its trot as the lines in front shifted to the gallop. The waves had spaced out, the gaps between them lengthening as the beasts accelerated to full speed, their riders letting them have their head in the race to gain the honor of being the first to crash through the enemy lines. Then, the surge and the pounding in his rear end as his beast went into the gallop, its head stretching out as its muscles pushed it faster towards the enemy. Visharakoramal sneered at the enemy in front, instead of forming up in the open where they could fly their banners and show their defiance like proper warriors, they were hiding behind the hill crests. Not that hiding would save the humans. In front of him, the first wave was nearing the shimmering river. Then, the earth opened up and swallowed them.

F-14A Tomcat over the Al Badiyah Al Janubiyah, Western Iraq
“Fox-Two, Fox-Two, Fox-Two, Fox-Two, Fox-Two, Fox-Two.” Lieutenant Hooshank Sedigh was one of 24 pilots making the ritual chant as the missiles streaked away from his Tomcat climbing up, high into the stratosphere as the started their deadly course. This was what the Tomcat had been built for, taking on a massed formation of enemy aircraft and blasting them apart with long-range weapons. It was, after all, what their American Tiger Teams had said, it was all very well to win a fight but much better to kill your enemy before he knew the fight had started.

The radio crackled again, the Su-30s were opening fire with their long-range missiles. They didn’t have the multi-target capability of the Tomcats, not quite, they could engage four targets at once instead of the Tomcat’s six, but they were firing their R-77 missiles in a stream at the mass of harpies. As the first four hit, the radar would automatically switch to the next four, and then the next. Sedigh realized something else, the harpies would be looking at the huge salvo of missiles aimed straight at them, not upwards to where the AIM-54s were already hurtling down. Off to the south, the American F-15 formation was already closing to follow up the initial long-range pounding.

Over a hundred kilometers away, Inkraskalitran saw the sky in the far distance turn into a white could, one that lengthened towards the flock of harpies with incredible speed. This had to be the fire-spears thrown by the human sky-chariots, the harpies had all heard of them and quietly discussed them. There was word that three of the great Heralds had been destroyed by the fire-spears, if so, what could the smaller fliers do against them? He watched the fire-spears approaching, then the whole world seemed to turn upside down.

His eyes blurred, de-focused from the shock, Inkraskalitran looked with horror at the chaos wrought upon the harpy flock. One of his wing-mates had taken a direct hit from a fire spear and had been blown to fragments. Others around him had been caught by the blast and fragments and were fluttering down, crippled, wings torn apart, some already burning where their bodies were being seared by their blood. Even as he watched, the members of his flock were dying as more fire-spears tore into them, the explosions adding to the chaos in the flock. Hundreds were dead and dying as Inkraskalitran tried to absorb the havoc that was being wrought. In the chaos, he saw a fire-spear coming for him. Panic-stricken, he dived and turned away, trying to accelerate as fast as he could but the fire-spear obediently changed course and followed him. That just wasn’t fair.

“I love it when a plan comes together.” The voice in Sedigh’s earphones was a mixture of professional satisfaction and awe. The sky where the harpies had been was a mass of explosions and fireballs. “Lion Group, return to base, maximum speed. Reload and get back out here fast. Don’t worry about fuel, we’ve got tankers up if anybody gets short. Tiger Group,” That was the Indians Sedigh thought. “close on what’s left of that harpy formation and slaughter it as soon as the F-15s have finished. Don’t hang around, don’t get close, zoom and boom. Watch out, the F-15s will be there as well.”

Sedigh thumbed his transmitter. “Eagle Eye, kill totals?”

There was a laugh in the controller’s voice. “Bloody fighter pilots. Hard to say Lion Leader. In that mess, its hard to work out who’s killing what. We have Lion Group down for 121 kills, Tiger Group for 290. Panther Group is about to engage. Good luck Lion Leader, look forward to seeing you back here.”

It made sense, Sedigh thought. The Tomcats were long-range killers, they had no place getting mixed up in a wild furball, but the fighter pilot in his soul screamed in protest still. Because what a furball it was going to be. Behind him, the area of sky occupied by the harpies redoubled in its fury as the salvoes of AIM-120Cs tore into it.

Cavalry Legion, Left Flank of the Army of Abigor, Tel Ash Sha’ir, Northern Iraq.

Zorankalirtagap jabbed his heels into the neck of his beast, urging it onwards, towards the enemy who was supposed to be trying to stop the Legions of Abigor. His beast responded gallantly, straining every muscle in its body to get ahead of his rivals and be the first to start the slaughter of the humans. Dawn was well advanced, the sky turning from black to blue, only it wasn’t? Zorankalirtagap took time to glance upwards, there was a weird white cloud rising from behind the humans, a cloud tinged red from the rising sun. The appearance of a cloudy red sky for one second made Zorankalirtagap homesick but the clouds shot through with streaks of intense white fire. Suddenly, Zorankalirtagap saw the streaks of fire were curving through the air and the curve was going end with him.

The mathematics were simple and deadly. Just under 25 kilometers away from Tel Ash Sha’ir were 29 M270A1 MLRS rocket launchers. Each had 12 rockets. Each rocket had 644 shaped-charge multi-role sub-munitions. 12 x 29 x 644 = 224,112. Getting on for a quarter of a million sub-munitions were descending on the 6,600-strong cavalry legion that was charging across open terrain. The United States Army had a name for what was happening. They called it steel rain.

Zorankalirtagap was staggering around amid the wreckage of the cavalry charge. His beast was down, threshing on the ground, screaming with the agony of holes blasted through its body. Great craters seared by the fury of the shaped-charges that had blasted raw copper plasma into its body, they were something that the beast had never experienced before. All around it, others of its kind were in the same condition, screaming, legs, claws, tails blasted off, their faces melted, their bodies ripped open and their organs hanging out. Some were dead, they were the ones who had been fortunate enough to be hit so hard that even the tough body and lust for war that was bread into the beasts could not allow them to survive. Between the bodies of the great beasts, their riders were strewn, some dead, some screaming from their wounds, all hurt in a way none had ever experienced before.

It really didn’t register in time, the screams from overhead that drowned out even the shrieks and howls of the shattered cavalry charge. The explosions did catch his attention, they were large enough to attract anybody’s. they rippled across the killing field, tearing apart the force pinned down there and finally bringing peace to the crippled beasts as they were blown apart.

Just over 12 kilometers away, the 18 M109A6 Paladins had dropped into the steady firing rate of four rounds per minute, the rate that conserved ammunition and broke armies. Their shells arched over the Abrams tanks and Bradley armored vehicles of the First Brigade and slammed into the mass of struggling baldricks below. On the ridgeline above the tankers and mechanized infantry watched in slightly bored interest as the baldrick cavalry died. There was nothing to be really interesting here, they’d seen MLRS and artillery at work before. The artillery observers actually had something to do, they watched the patterns of shells landing and datalinked a stream of information back to the guns, directing fire onto any pockets of survivors.

In the middle of the mass of artillery fire, Zorankalirtagap was learning new lessons and learning them very fast indeed. He was learning that he was helpless, that there was no defense against the shells that were moving backwards and forwards across the killing ground. He was learning that artillery and the controllers who directed in had no mercy, no compassion for the creatures they were slaughtering. They were just targets, to be erased as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Zorankalirtagap had learned one other thing. He was a creature of hell but these seemingly puny humans could create hell any time they wanted to. For the first time in his long life, Zorankalirtagap knew what sheer, unadulterated, panic-stricken terror felt like.

The Royal Dragoon Guards, Al Badiyah Al Janubiyah, Western Iraq
“Now that is a sight.” Guardsman Bass swung the turret of his tank so he could watch the scene in the minefields. The meter long bar mines had been designed to knock out tanks but they worked against the baldrick’s rhinolobsters very effectively. The first wave had been blown apart by the mines, Bass had seen one rhinolobster have both its left legs torn off by the mines, as it had collapsed to one side it had landed on another and been killed by it. But the problem with minefields were that they were declining assets, every mine that claimed a victim thinned out the field. The second wave had done much better than the first, for a time at least. Quite a few of the rhinolobsters had made it though the minefield and then they’d hit the razor wire.

Razor wire was nasty stuff, lift a piece carelessly and it could remove a man’s fingers. There were dozens of interlocked coils down there and even as Bass watched he saw the rhinolobsters tear into it and become entangled in the mass of razor-sharp edges. They screamed and threshed as the wire sliced ever-deeper into them and their efforts only got them more entangled and inflicted yet more damage. Some of the riders tried to help their mounts, grabbed the wire to lift in clear and these ones learned the terrible truth and the wire sliced their fingers to the bone.

Behind that second wave came the third and these had learned. Most of them followed the paths of the rhinolobsters that had made it to the wire. They climbed over the creatures from the second wave, escaping the first entangling coils of wire but got bogged down in the rest. Others followed them and by simple weight and mass they crushed down the wire with the bodies of those in front of them. By sheer weight of numbers, the enemy cavalry had breached the wire and were through.

“Get ready Boys.” Lieutenant McLeoud’s voice came over the radio. “The artillery lads are opening fire. Get ready to pick off any of them monsters that get through the barrage.”

Bass settled down into his tank commander's seat, then took a look through the scope. The blood in the minefield and on the wire was green.
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Post by Kodiak » 2008-02-06 01:20pm

All I can say is....Wow. :shock:

I actually have hopes now for something of an uprising in Hell on the part of the demon leaders. I have a feeling that these quickly-learned lessons will be changing more than military tactics.
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Post by Vehrec » 2008-02-06 01:23pm

So next chapter the Brits get a chance to use their tanks, while I guess the Americans will have to wait a bit until the Arty runs low on shells. :wink: After all, how much firepower can you lay down in one day before you have to let someone else have their fun?
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-02-06 01:24pm

That was quite... satisfying. Folks don't really grasp how devastating massed MLRS volleys can be.

One piece of technology I'd hope to see, though it would be overkill, is the new CBU-97 Sensor-Fuzed Weapon. Sadly I don't think hell has any armor.

Edit: I think it would've been awesome if the tanker had seen that the blood was green and then collected on a few bets :P
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Post by Starglider » 2008-02-06 01:36pm

Kodiak wrote:I actually have hopes now for something of an uprising in Hell on the part of the demon leaders. I have a feeling that these quickly-learned lessons will be changing more than military tactics.
You're assuming the demons actually get information other than 'no one made it back'. If the demons can teleport back without a portal (even at the cost of having to slaughter a fair number of humans first), then a few probably will make it back, but quite possibly not enough to get any kind of useful or coherent picture.

On the plus side, that might mean we get to see more succubi in action. :)

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Post by DarthShady » 2008-02-06 02:12pm

So many baldricks slaughtered, awesome.The long range death bringers were great.Is it just me or does anybody else think that unless the demons pull out some magic tricks soon this will end badly for them.

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Post by Xess » 2008-02-06 02:30pm

I love artillery, and that was awesome. I noticed a few minor misspells and word losses, most notably "bread" instead of "bred".

EDIT: Unless you actually wanted to say that the rhinolobsters were food for war. Which would make sense in a symbolic way.
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Post by Kodiak » 2008-02-06 02:48pm

DarthShady wrote:So many baldricks slaughtered, awesome.The long range death bringers were great.Is it just me or does anybody else think that unless the demons pull out some magic tricks soon this will end badly for them.
I agree that the demons should have some pretty beefy weapons in their arsenal. There is only one record of the "Power of Satan" in the bible which gives us a hint as to what may be in store (sodom and gomorrah, the plauges, etc, were all God). If the biblical record can be trusted, in the book of Job Satan was given power to afflict Job:
"But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. Job 1:11-12; (Emphasis Added)
And it only takes a few verses to see what Satan did with that power:
While [the servant] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Job 1:16,18-19
We see here that Lucifer has some serious capacity to do damage:

1) by "fire" i.e. lightning or perhaps some sort of explosion
2) Severe weather conditions
3) In the next chapter we see biological warfare:
So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. Job 2:7
Interestingly, in Job 2:6 the Lord (Yahweh, in this story) tells the devil he must spare Job's life, but now that "The Message" is given, does that mean all bets are off? Also, it's entirely possible that the story of Job was a fable and has no bearing on reality, but it bears some consideration as to the arsenal hell, and specifically Lucifer, can bring to bear on mankind.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-02-06 02:52pm

The devil's plague sounds a bit like smallpox.
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Post by Fleet Admiral JD » 2008-02-06 03:01pm

I noticed a "here" instead of "hear", but besides that, an absolutely and utterly fantastic chapter. Stuart, I'm supremely impressed by your writing.
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Post by GrandMasterTerwynn » 2008-02-06 03:01pm

Kodiak wrote:And it only takes a few verses to see what Satan did with that power:
While [the servant] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Job 1:16,18-19
We see here that Lucifer has some serious capacity to do damage:
Both of these examples don't show us anything we haven't seen the baldricks do already. We know they can breathe fire and some varieties are large and very strong. And you'll note that in both instances you've got one survivor who tells Job these fantastic things. We know the demons have the ability to make unshielded humans see what they want them to see. The human tendency to embellish and exaggerate would take care of the rest.
So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. Job 2:7
Job was a man suffering from . . . quite a bit of stress by that point. It's just as possible that with only a modest amount of mental nudging by Satan, he would've gotten sick on his own. Especially if his immune system is depressed by the stress, and he's scratching and picking at imaginary boils until, lo-and-behold he develops real ones.

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Post by The Vortex Empire » 2008-02-06 03:05pm

Now THAT is a well written battle. I'd hate to be a Baldrick. I wonder if their numbers will allow any to get through.

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Post by brianeyci » 2008-02-06 03:34pm

Is a rhinolobster what I think it is?

Need pics!

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Post by Ritterin Sophia » 2008-02-06 04:15pm

Hey Stuart, if you're still doing inserts, I wouldn't mind being a bomber (Under my other pseudonym, Wolf Ritter, of course) introducing the legions of Hell to the Church of Saint Curtis in a baptism by nuclear fire. :D
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Post by Stuart » 2008-02-06 04:25pm

brianeyci wrote:Is a rhinolobster what I think it is? Need pics!
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-02-06 04:42pm

Did you make that yourself, just now? It worries me if you had that onhand.
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Post by Scottish Ninja » 2008-02-06 04:55pm

My friend's sister told the two of us today to "go to Hell", so I immediately came here to see what could be done about that. A bespectacled man named Jack Turnbull, if you could perhaps aid in this little matter.

Also, the Marines' Hymn states that:

If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

This suggests that either at least some Marines are in Heaven, or that the Marines are going to be the first ones to smash their way in.
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