Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Post by Sea Skimmer » 2008-03-19 06:57pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote: I imagine the local USV's could base out of firehouses (since they might make police nervous). Some sort of 'jump seat' in the bed with straps for the gun crew, and perhaps even runners for extra men.
You I have an image of a pickup truck load of volunteers charging up to a lone Bladrick firing wildly as they drive, before the Baldrick throws a bolt of lighting at the truck and electrocutes everyone in the bed. I'd expect the main rapid response force would simply be the volunteers carrying a rifle with them at absolutely all times as they go about there normal business. A alarm system would be set up to call the men and women together if a major attack occurs, but for dealing with the main threat of lone Bladrick raiders we want maximum dispersion of the milita.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-19 07:11pm

I'm pretty sure lightning hitting the truck front-on wouldn't injure the people in the back of it, since it would just go to ground and short the engine out.
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Post by GrandMasterTerwynn » 2008-03-19 07:34pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:I'm pretty sure lightning hitting the truck front-on wouldn't injure the people in the back of it, since it would just go to ground and short the engine out.
At which point, the people in the back are going "OMGWTF" because the vehicle is suddenly slowing down (if they weren't thrown out as the driver swerves while he's having a 'brown alert' at seeing that ball-of-death coming at him.) This is shortly before the baldrick leaps onto the truck and eats their faces.

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-19 07:40pm

GrandMasterTerwynn wrote:
CaptainChewbacca wrote:I'm pretty sure lightning hitting the truck front-on wouldn't injure the people in the back of it, since it would just go to ground and short the engine out.
At which point, the people in the back are going "OMGWTF" because the vehicle is suddenly slowing down (if they weren't thrown out as the driver swerves while he's having a 'brown alert' at seeing that ball-of-death coming at him.) This is shortly before the baldrick leaps onto the truck and eats their faces.
The guns would still work, and they'd be heading towards the Baldrick anyway.
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Post by KlavoHunter » 2008-03-19 08:14pm

Darth Wong wrote:Mind you, this particular Bronze Age army has air support: something that no human army had until WW1. But it's not enough to change the outcome.
There was military use of balloons as early as the US Civil War and Franco-Prussian War.
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Post by Stravo » 2008-03-19 08:21pm

Is there any Bronze or Iron Age historical army that you think could have taken on a small Baldrick army? My guess is a few Roman legions under a great commander like Caesar or Pompeii could have held their own. Perhaps when Jesus walked around in Jerusalem and saw the Roman occupation and army up close and personal he reported back "Hey dad, things aren't like they used to be down here. They might be able to hurt us now."
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Post by aerius » 2008-03-19 08:23pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:I'm pretty sure lightning hitting the truck front-on wouldn't injure the people in the back of it, since it would just go to ground and short the engine out.
Use older diesel trucks, no fancy electronics to get fried in those suckers.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-19 08:31pm

Stravo wrote:Is there any Bronze or Iron Age historical army that you think could have taken on a small Baldrick army? My guess is a few Roman legions under a great commander like Caesar or Pompeii could have held their own. Perhaps when Jesus walked around in Jerusalem and saw the Roman occupation and army up close and personal he reported back "Hey dad, things aren't like they used to be down here. They might be able to hurt us now."
There's really nothing the ancient world could have done to protect against lightning blasts. Shield walls would just crumple as the men keeled over from the residual heat. Plus, we've not seen any Baldrick go down to melee weapons, we don't know if the human body has the strength to swing an iron sword through a living baldrick's hide.
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Post by KlavoHunter » 2008-03-19 08:34pm

Stravo wrote:Is there any Bronze or Iron Age historical army that you think could have taken on a small Baldrick army? My guess is a few Roman legions under a great commander like Caesar or Pompeii could have held their own. Perhaps when Jesus walked around in Jerusalem and saw the Roman occupation and army up close and personal he reported back "Hey dad, things aren't like they used to be down here. They might be able to hurt us now."
Don't rightly know about that - even if they ARE wielding iron weapons, the size, strength, and reach of a Baldrick, assuming even vaguely even numbers, would most likely overcome the discipline and tactics of a Roman Legion. And we're not even getting started on the "Oh shit, they can throw lightning!" part...

Granted, though - if the Romans actually knew what was coming, or at least had a good enough idea of the size and strength of their enemies, I can imagine they would utilize ballistas and other small siege weapons to soften up the Baldrick army, before descending into lopsided melee combat.
"The 4th Earl of Hereford led the fight on the bridge, but he and his men were caught in the arrow fire. Then one of de Harclay's pikemen, concealed beneath the bridge, thrust upwards between the planks and skewered the Earl of Hereford through the anus, twisting the head of the iron pike into his intestines. His dying screams turned the advance into a panic."'

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Post by JBG » 2008-03-19 10:40pm

KlavoHunter wrote:
Stravo wrote:Is there any Bronze or Iron Age historical army that you think could have taken on a small Baldrick army? My guess is a few Roman legions under a great commander like Caesar or Pompeii could have held their own. Perhaps when Jesus walked around in Jerusalem and saw the Roman occupation and army up close and personal he reported back "Hey dad, things aren't like they used to be down here. They might be able to hurt us now."
Don't rightly know about that - even if they ARE wielding iron weapons, the size, strength, and reach of a Baldrick, assuming even vaguely even numbers, would most likely overcome the discipline and tactics of a Roman Legion. And we're not even getting started on the "Oh shit, they can throw lightning!" part...

Granted, though - if the Romans actually knew what was coming, or at least had a good enough idea of the size and strength of their enemies, I can imagine they would utilize ballistas and other small siege weapons to soften up the Baldrick army, before descending into lopsided melee combat.
Problem with classical roman infantry is that they are supposed to be really close to the enemy given the size and nature of the gladius. The pilum is not going to be of much use either.

Off the top of my head a better choice may be a byzantine army of a later period - an army with cataphracts ( kontos, javelin and darts ) and Varangian Guard ( romphaia ). And Greek Fire. However, infantry are the problem for those byzantine armies vis-a-vis demons. Then again, what do horses think of demons? JN1, any thoughts?

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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-03-19 11:08pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:You know, there's almost inevitably going to be a shortage of machineguns for equipping the United States Volunteer Regiments. I was thinking about what to do about that, and it occurred to me that there's actually a potentially and enormously easy workaround. Gatling guns.
I worked on Gatling guns in the US Army, specifically, the M134 Minigun. Those things need a SHITLOAD of maintenance-- it takes a trained soldier 30 minutes to disassemble, clean, and reassemble a Minigun. The maintenance issues will likely limit the utility of Gatling guns in the USV.
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They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Post by kdahm(the same one) » 2008-03-19 11:33pm

Gatling guns are a terrible idea in practice. (good brainstorming, though)

The biggest bottleneck in emergency gun manufacturing is in barrel production. All of the other parts can be made, if at a productivity cost, in general purpose machine shop or assembly line. Long gun barrels require the use of rifling benches for the two cut methods of rifling and equally specialized equipment for hammer forging. No other machine tool can be substituted, regardless of the productivity penalty. The number of pieces of these equipment results in a HARD upper limit to the number of rifle length barrels that can be manufactured. Putting resources into making more of the tools will expand production, but gets into dog chasing tail issues.

Gatling guns use three to six barrels.

Otherwise, the body of a gatling is also a pain to machine, with lots of small, close tolerance cuts. Production will be low. Ammunition requirements are high, and will be much higher for militias compared to regular and Nat. Guard.

A much better idea is to mass produce Ma Deuce. The Army will be surplusing them in large number and replacing with a 20mm HMG (VHMG?) because of better terminal performance. The gun itself is extremely easy to manufacture, again with the barrel limitation, and the 50BMG is a fair, if not good anti-Baldrick round. Expanding point ammunition will help. The gun can also be dismounted easily and put on the tripod (stored in the bed of the truck, of course).

Besides, who doesn't want a M2 in the bed of their pickup?
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Post by Ma Deuce » 2008-03-20 12:30am

The Army will be surplusing them in large number and replacing with a 20mm HMG (VHMG?) because of better terminal performance.
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Post by JN1 » 2008-03-20 05:43am

Then again, what do horses think of demons? JN1, any thoughts?
I'll ask my horse shall I? :lol:

Depends on how well trained they are. A good cavalry hose is not particularly bothered by all manner of what to a horse are strange sights.
Remember to a horse a car is probably a somewhat disquieting sight, after all where are its legs? How come people can travel within this strange beast?
The sight of a baldrick itself might not spook a horse (depends on the individual), but when they start throwing lightning then all bets are off, and it only needs one or two individuals to infect the others with panic.

One other thing to remember about horses is that they are extremely perceptive and can read body language quite easily. If their rider and the other humans around are nervous, or scared, then they will notice it and react appropriately.
Also until the introduction of the stirup, control of a horse was not as easy as it is today.

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Post by tim31 » 2008-03-20 06:33am

You just have to wonder how many people flit in and out of this forum to see if there's been an update to this story, grinding their teeth like meth addicts waiting for the dealer to come home with the goods.
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Post by Enforcer Talen » 2008-03-20 06:45am

I admit to nothing.

I definitly dont admit to having a tab open on this topic at all times, with a refresh button hit every 15 minutes.
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Post by gtg947h » 2008-03-20 06:53am

tim31 wrote:You just have to wonder how many people flit in and out of this forum to see if there's been an update to this story, grinding their teeth like meth addicts waiting for the dealer to come home with the goods.
I plead the fifth...

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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-20 08:31am

Sea Skimmer wrote: Making barrels is probably the biggest bottleneck in gun production, and this device would need more of them then a conventional design. Also, do we really want these people to have machine guns at all? Without proper training and officers it’s just asking for trouble. However whatever machine gun is produced, we need to have a tripod option. Machine guns on wheeled carriages are extremely difficult to dig in and conceal, and surprise is a good force multiplier. Personally I think a hand cranked galting gun is more trouble then its worth, and if we really have them being churned out by backyard workshops then safety and reliability with be extremely serious issues. I’d say start producing the MG45. It very simple and cheap and the rate of fire is so high (giving very tight dispersion on each burst) that it should be highly lethal to Bladricks even with 7.92mm ammo. If we can’t find an MG45 to copy quickly enough then the MG42 will do, with a lightweight bolt it can cycle at 1,800rpm
I agree on the barrel issue; barrel production is going to be the limiting factor in arms production and that's going to be the death of gatling-type weapons. Not only would an Infantry gatling be out but so would aircraft gatlings - I expect to see the relatively low-velocity, ultra-high rate of fire M61 style gatling replaced by a lower rate-of-fire but much higher velocity single barrel weapon. For example, one of the Russian 30mm guns may be a good choice or the Oerlikon 30mm gun - IIRC the Oerlikon aircraft 30mm is the KCA and its a thoroughly nasty beast. We might well see the Oerlikon 35mm KD series guns coming in - they are superb weapons and will blow CHUNKS off baldrick and angel alike.

The US Volunteers will be in two groups; the ready teams who are on call and ready to got at any time and the off duty personnel who simply have their weapons to hand in case of an attack. Possible spoiler Fred Phelps had better be very careful which memorial services he disrupts. Eventually, the baldricks will start thinking tactically which they're not really doing now, not because they're stupid, they're bright, but because they've never had to. There's a brutal Darwinian process going on by which those who can adapt to having an enemy who fights to win and does it very well can survive. Likewise, the old berserker attack of going into a crowded area and starting killing isn't really viable once the US Volunteer system gets to be established; the ones who survive will be those who think of new ways of doing things.

On machine gun production, I'd say the likely weapon will be the M2A2 (the version of Ma Deuce with fixed headspace). Its simple, proven and the tooling for production in huge quantities exists worldwide. Its in service worldwide as well - even the Russians make .50BMG ammunition.
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Post by Singular Quartet » 2008-03-20 09:08am

Enforcer Talen wrote:I admit to nothing.

I definitly dont admit to having a tab open on this topic at all times, with a refresh button hit every 15 minutes.
It's easier to just click the "watch this topic" link at the bottom, use a gmail account, and have google notifier.

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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-20 09:30am

The Banks of the Styx, Fifth Ring, Hell

Another demon had died, his head grotesquely shattered by the human weapons. Rahab recognized the signs by this time, the physical destruction that had been wrought from a distance that gave the victim no chance of surviving, not even warning that it was under attack. She wasn’t quite certain how many had died to date, might have been twelve or more. She did know the number included some of the demons that had once ridden so imperiously on their Beasts. The humans had proved her wrong, they could be killed. In fact the humans had killed them quite easily. There was much to think on there. There was something else to consider as well. In her travels, trying to find the six new arrivals who were causing this mayhem, she had watched the demons and learned something else. They were scared, too many of their number had gone out on patrol and never returned. Now, they were beginning to skimp those patrols, to head through the area as fast as they could, not stopping for anything until they got back to the safety of the walls.

Rahab found herself asking, just how safe were those walls? She had seen what was left of the mighty bridge over the Styx, a mass of destroyed masonry flung around the way an angry child might scatter play bricks. A bridge that had stood for untold millennia had been wantonly destroyed, with, it was rumored, the best part of a whole legion that had been unfortunate enough to be standing on it. There were work gangs trying to repair it, some of them humans driven by demon overseers but the destruction had been so great it was defeating their efforts. She had watched while some of the repairs collapsed again, the foundations undermined by the power of the destruction. There had been other attacks as well, on the great road that led from the depths of Hell up to the city of Dis and from there out to the field of Dysprosium. Rahab had never been outside the great pit of hell but she had heard the area outside Dis where the Demons lived was quite pleasant by their standards.

Getting there would be a problem for the demons now though. That road had been the scene of one attack after another, the dead mounting as explosions tore into formation after formation. Rahab shook her head, it made little sense but she sensed the demons were losing the fight down here. They were trying to protect themselves against ghosts who would strike and slip away before they could be found. The new arrivals didn’t fight the demon way, for pride and honor. Rahab realized they fought for other reasons entirely, they fought to win and woe to anybody who got in their way.

Rahab felt the slam in her back that threw her to the ground and knew the agony of fear. Had she been caught after all this time? A figure was holding her down, her arms twisted behind her back and she guessed what was to come next. An agonizing rape certainly, then return to the hell-pit from which she had so barely escaped once before. Her time of freedom was at an end, there was no point in fighting and she went limp as she was rolled on to her back.

It was a kind of demon she hadn’t seen before, one with huge, staring, lidless eyes and a face below them that was featureless. It was red-brown, a varied skin coloration that merged in with the background. Then, as her senses overcame the blind panic, she realized something else. This creature wasn’t a demon, it was human. More than that, it was a living human, one from outside Hell. A living human that had voluntarily come to Hell? It was rumored there had been others but this was solid fact.

“Hello Rahab. I see you’ve met Lieutenant Madeuce. Sorry about the abruptness of the meeting.” Rahab looked up, it was the woman she had met before, the one who had abandoned the hiding place with her friends. Now she was different, she was wearing the same red-brown clothes as the still-alive had on. Rahab looked harder, she was also wearing a harness with strange green slabs on it and she had a black stick in her hands. An oddly, indescribably-shaped stick.

“Who are you?” Rahab needed to know.

“I’m Lieutenant Jade Kim, call-sign Broomstick. These are the rest of my unit. That’ll do for now. You might have noticed we have started a war down here. It’s going to get a lot worse. That’s part of the reason why we found you.”

“Found me, how…”

“It wasn’t hard. Leave it there. I’d guess the only reason why the baldricks haven’t found you is that they couldn’t be bothered with you and there weren’t enough of you to make any difference. So, they didn’t even try. That’s changing, we’ve hurt them bad and they’re going to start fighting back. You need to warn your people and get them out of here. We don’t have the numbers, yet, to protect a static population.”

“Yet?” Rahab was bewildered. None of what she was being told make sense.

“That’s our first question, you wander all over the place. Have you seen any more like us arriving? If so, tell us where they are.”

“Do you know how many people arrive here all the time? And this is a small part of Hell, a segment of one circle. A small segment owned by a minor duke. A few more have arrived here recently, I can show you where. But what if they are not the ones you want.”

“That’s the second thing. First part. We busted a guy out from one of the other rings. Tried to take him back to Earth but it didn’t work out. He started dying as soon as he arrived. So, he was brought back here. He’s not a soldier, no use to us. We want you to take him in, hide him. Second part. Same with any others that we bust out. If they’re of no use to us, we want you to hide them along with the rest of your people.”

“So you made a mistake and now you want me to put it right for you.” Rahab had the conceit and viciousness back in her voice. “Why should I help you?”

“Because we’re all human, because hell isn’t going to last very long. Our people are coming for us and Satan and all his foul legions won’t stop them. The more chaos we stir up down here, the less resistance he can put up back there, and the sooner we will win. Because we are, believe it or not, on the same side.”

“Or we’d better be.” Madeuce’s voice was muffled by the scarf over his nose and mouth. The first few hours down here had been horribly uncomfortable for him and his chest still felt raw and heavy from the atmosphere. The scarf and goggles had helped a lot, just as they had in the sandstorms of Iraq. “Just an idle question Rahab. What happens when people down here die?”

Rahab felt her stomach drop slightly at the veiled threat. “The Demons believe that we generate some sort of force that helps lift them to their afterlife. Humans, I suppose we just vanish.”

Kim nodded. “Not a good deal is it? We can offer you a better one. Out of this pit, movement elsewhere in Hell, whatever elsewhere is, and a life. We’re on the same side, just lets act like it, huh?”

Rahab thought it over. They were right, things were changing and, like it or not, there was a war starting in Hell. “Very well, I’ll take in your person. And any more you ‘bust out’. Just don’t overload me with numbers and give me time to get them away before your war turns into a bloodbath. Turns into more of a bloodbath.”

“Done.” Kim turned around. “Bubbles, get Richard out of hiding, tell him he’s got a new girlfriend.”

Throne Room, Palace of Satan, Infernal City of Dis

Satan relished the atmosphere of absolute terror that was building up in his great throne room. The word was spreading across the halls and circles of Hell, through the streets of Dis itself, down the great Pit that it surrounded and into the garrisons that held the walls separating the rings of Hell. Abigor had failed. Abigor had been defeated, his army massacred. He had been defeated by the humans, his Army driven back inside the gates of Hell. He had been ordered to crush the humans and he had failed. It had amused Satan to dream up some really inventive punishments for one who had defeated him so badly but there were more important things than petty revenge. He had to find out how this unimaginable thing had occurred. Was Abigor treacherous or just plain stupid?

The audience stirred and shrank back as Abigor entered, a Lesser Herald trailing in his wake. In a way, it was almost amusing, the desire for the other Demons to get out of the possible line of fire. Abigor walked down the hall, conscious of the eyes on him as he approached the great throne where Satan sat, watching him. He reached the foot of the throne and threw himself at Satan’s feet.

“So, Abigor, you have come to tell us of your great victory and regale us with stories of the sufferings you have inflicted on the humans?” Satan’s voice was the silky smoothness that portrayed real trouble and Abigor knew it.”

“Infernal Majesty, I fear…”

“Good”

Abigor felt a flash of irritation at the interruption. “I fear that I have grim and terrible news. My Army was defeated, destroyed by the Humans. Something has happened on their world, something that is terrible beyond belief. They have magic that is so powerful we could not stand against it. They can breath on whole sections of an Army and leave nothing but mangled flesh, they have lances and arrows that never miss their target, that follow the one they aim at no matter how much they run.

“Run? So you admit your army ran?”

“After all but one in a thousand had died, Yes Sire, we ran. All those who did not died. Most of those who tried to escape the humans died. The humans have iron chariots.”

A thrill of horror went around the room. Iron chariots had caused them problems once before, problems that had required a succubus, a peasant girl and a tent peg to sort out. Now they were back in a new and more terrible form?

The thought of Iron Chariots sent screaming rage flooding through Satan’s mind but he kept himself under strict control. There was so much he needed to know. “Tell me all Abigor. From the start.”

Sprawled on the floor, Abigor started to relate the history of his devastated Army. How it had marched out of Hell and across the desert to its first objectives. The strange attacks on the way, the flying chariots that had killed some of his commanders, the mysterious explosions that had wiped out whole command groups. Then, the enemy defense line, the fire lances, the exploding ground, the snakes of iron that tore his troops apart. The way the humans had breathed death, how they never came close to their enemy but killed from distances. How they had slaughtered Abigor’s Army then chased it back across the desert, killing remorselessly as they did so. By the time he finished, the room was silent and the demon Dukes were looking at each other with profound unease.

“So now we know the reason for the destruction of your Army Abigor.” Satan’s voice oozed charm, then suddenly turned to a berserk scream. “It was cowardice. Unmitigated cowardice. You claim that your Army pressed home its attacks bravely yet you are here alive to give the lie to that statement. Your soldiers were cowards who would not charge the enemy but ran away and you were at their head. You led the disaster, you led their failure. Your cowardice was the cause of your army’s destruction.

Here it comes Abigor thought. A hideous death.

“But I am merciful.” The oily cooing was back in Satan’s voice. “I will give you a chance to redeem yourself.”

“Majesty, I thank you. But there is something we must do first. We must close that portal before it can be used against us.”

“Would that we could.” The words were not spoken but formed in Abigor’s mind. It wasn’t Satan speaking but he didn’t know who it was. “Our mages have been trying with all the energy they can command. It is no use. We cannot close it. It may decay on its own, in time, but we cannot close it. It is as much a fixture now as the very walls of Dis itself.”

“That is not your concern coward.” Satan turned to Memnon. “Tell me your story Herald. Let us hear how you ran from the humans and betrayed our kind.”

Memnon stared at the leering, sneering figure on the throne. Satan had no idea, what hew as hearing simply wasn’t registering. He began to speak, the experiences of the last month pouring from him.

Outside the Portal To Hell, Western Iraq

Running. It was all he could think of doing. Legs pistoning like a great machine his hooves kicked up sand and grit into thick clouds with each giant stride. His breath came hard and fast, foam flecked at the corners of his mouth and his eyes were narrowed into slits as he pushed his body to its limits and beyond in a frightful dash towards home. His mind was racing along with his body. The memories of his recent sojourn here on this dreadful plane burned through his fear and panic.

He had watched his wing mates annihilated by sky chariots. They never stood a chance and all their infernal might was no match for human magic. He did not have time to taste the shame that shot through him. It was not the time or the place to wallow in his misery. He needed to survive. He needed to get home. He needed to repeat the words.

Uriel. Damn the Nameless One. To unleash Uriel on this world in all his awesome wonder and glory was almost too much to bear. After all who was he but a humble servant, a warrior for his Duke. And now to be a messenger, a go between for the angelics made him want to spill his guts into these desert wastes and scream with impotent horror into the night.

But there was no time for that. There was only time to run and not think about the sounds around him, the cracks in the air that indicated some human was pointing his plastic lance and firing bolts of fire nearby, perhaps even at him as he rumbled by like a run away freight train. Were his wings healed he would be flying so hard so fast that the very sinews of his shoulder blades and joints would tear away.

There were the more ominous cracks of artificial thunder as human sky chariots blasted their way overhead. Sometimes it was followed by the deep bass rumble of human fire magic as it burst over a concentration of Never born and spread them over the wastes like fertilizer. He had seen one such strike up close as he ran.

One of the cavalry servitors tending to his dying mount looked up at him as he raced by, several foot soldiers were standing by the noble one waiting instructions. One must submit his will and being to a demon of higher order. It was the way of things. It was the natural order. The cavalry servitor demanded he halt and give a chant of greeting and submission. Memnon had actually considered for the briefest moment to do as he was told. Every fiber of his being seemed to tense as it prepared to submit as was custom and tradition.

The artificial thunder rumbled directly overhead and he remembered the death, the fire bolts, the arrows of doom that could pluck them from the sky as easily as a hawk picked off a field mouse for supper. And he responded in a manner that still haunted him.

“Run you fool!” he spat and his hooves did not falter, did not pause. He simply continued running, hot sweat hissing as it touched whatever it fell upon like an obscene rain. The cavalry servitor was stunned. Eyes bulged and tusks snapped loudly in anger and confusion.

“In the name of Abigor you will submit to me now or----”

Then there was the brief sound like parchment tearing or the clothes of some helpless human wench being rent by lecherous claws and then the cavalry servitor, his mount, and several of the closest foot troops exploded into a thick cloud of blood and bone. They were gone in a moment as if they had never been there. Several of the surviving foot soldiers were crawling away screaming in agony as they left liquefied or shattered limbs behind. He looked up long enough to see a sky chariot with its wings whirling over its head roar past in a low trajectory like a bird of prey surveying the carnage of its passing.

“Or what you fool? Everything has changed. Our world has been torn asunder.” Memnon spat to himself in sheer disgust. He paused only long enough to make sure the chariot did not come around for another attack run but the combination of the billowing clouds swept up by the chariot’s passing and his own panicked running had obscured him from its sight and unlike the other higher flying iron and plastic chariots this one seemed to lack the keen senses of its brethren and that saved the wayward servant of the Morningstar.

His body started to seize up and muscles cramped as he took those moments to slow down. He had pushed himself beyond all endurance and his body was now reacting to his fevered pace. At any moment he would collapse in an exhausted heap and sleep through the hazy pain to awaken refreshed.

However, one glance back at the bloody crater where before several of his kith and kin had stood fired him up and he raised one arm to his mouth and he bit deeply into the bicep. Flesh was rent from his bone and blood gushed into his nostrils. He snorted in pain and pleasure and that small spark of pain he was so keen on inflicting upon the useless wretches of humanity kindled a small surge in power pushed by will and fear and the Never born exploded back into his break neck pace.

And so he ran and ran. He ran past the sight of his grand army shattered into bloody remnants and screaming broken brethren who were begging for release, for a return to the fiery bloody skies of home and cursing humanity in whatever tongue they deemed fit. He ran through a charnel house of guts and sinews, hooves cracked exposed bone and ribs. He ran even as the air burned within his lungs like a furnace. He ran as he heard more thunder claps and whistling booms. He ran until he could run no more and collapsed in heap, blood spewing from his ruined bicep, frothy saliva spilling from his mouth and foam flecking along his heaving flanks.

There was no more left. No more to give and not even enough energy to take.

Memnon was spent to the last dregs of his reserves and he looked up to the sky to scream his defiance and await the human magic that was sure to rend him limb from limb. But then he noticed he was right at the lip of the portal to hell. Could it be? Was it not a failure? Had he pushed himself enough? Before him in a pathetic display a great beast dragged itself towards the yawning doorway home. Both hind legs reduced to splintered messes of dying meat and trailing entrails still it tried to get itself home. A leg from its rider was still firmly in the stirrup the rest of its charge probably scattered along the wastes. Memnon growled and fell upon the beast in a scream of desperation and anger at the predicament he find himself in, reduced to feeding off one of the great beasts to survive. He let his anger and frustration out on the wretched beast as it bleated in its death throes while teeth and claw rent muscle and sinew from bone.

Memnon fed deeply and voraciously as his anger, despair and shame burned in his belly worse than the rancid meat being guzzled in with such relish. He wanted to feed away the pain, the anguish of the defeat, the shame of running from prey, the despair of knowing that their magic had failed so completely and utterly and the gnawing fear that Nameless One was moving behind the scenes, that Uriel would trod this world completely unleashed.

What victory was there in that? It was whispered from the elder days that Uriel’s power was so grand that his death touch obliterated not only human life but also the human soul. His power, one of the greatest of all angels save perhaps for Michael the Great General, was the ultimate weapon because it robbed everyone, including the Nameless of the prize of human essence. When the first born of Khemet were swept aside their souls did not go screaming into Hell or the Etheric Realms. They simply ceased to be. Oblivion.

The very concept chilled the demon to its core. Nothing. Just the great darkness and void. At least in hell these pathetic humans drew solace from the fact that they still existed. Despite the pain and anguish they still mattered. But Uriel robbed everyone of that solace. He was the Nameless Ones’s weapon of last resort. The great scythe that robbed all sides of the prize. Or so it was rumored by those higher than he otherwise why the dread at his coming. Why the reticence of the Nameless to unleash him? His thoughts paused in a moment of revelation.

Standing at the Hellmouth was a Lord. The Duke, Abigor.

In that instant he felt something alien. Something alarming yet exhilarating as he watched his Duke move among the shattered remnants. He was still tall and proud yet there was no longer that cold arrogance to his gait, the sneering pride on his features, the snarl of command on his lips or the lash of rebuke in his eyes.

Haunted.

He looked haunted and humbled yet he was proud now, not a pride borne of Dukedom granted to him in the mists of ancient history but pride in personal knowledge that he had faced the human magic and lived. Pride in that he was still here. He was a Duke of Hell yes, but now he was a survivor. Memnon watched him speak gently to one of the survivors and he heard a brief whisper in his ear.

“Follow him. Follow him till the end of your story.”

Memnon nodded numbly and rose wiping the gore and gristle from his snout. He strode up to the lord and spoke.

“My lord?” When Abigor turned to regard him Memnon knew he had found his leader.

Throne Room, Palace of Satan, Infernal City of Dis

There was, once again, silence in the great Throne Room.

“And what was Yahweh’s message?” Satan’s voice was loaded with contempt.

“He said this. ‘The One Above All has spoken yet he sees vile repugnant defiance from humanity. The Great Chorus must not be disturbed. The Chanting must not cease. Your ilk were given this world and we see nothing but abhorrent failure. We do not want to take a more active role. Uriel awaits on the ether like a sword of Damocles. Last he moved upon man, the Land of Khemet wept bitter tears. Do not force our hand. Cow them. Stop the defiance. Should they find a way to disrupt the Chorus we will end this charade once and for all.’ That and that alone, Majesty.”

The silence in the room deepened. This was unheard-of, the great ones never interfered with the domains of others. When they did, it meant a war. There had been one between Satan and Yahweh already and nobody wanted that experience repeated. Still, Yahweh never interfered in the work of hell, just as Satan never did so with Heaven. Or anywhere else for that matter.

“Despite those ill-chosen words, crushing the humans is a necessity. All our armies are being brought to full strength of 81 legions.” That was almost 550,000 demons in each. “Asmodeus, Beelzebub and Dagon will command three such armies including their own for our renewed assault in Earth.” A gasp went around the room, that meant Satan was committing 729 legions out of the professional Army force of 999 legions, 939 now that Abigor’s Army had been destroyed. They would only have 210 legions left in Hell to train the reservists and conscripts that made up the rest of Hell’s nominal force of 6,666 legions. Almost 5 million demons would be turned loose on Earth. There had never been a military exercise like this, not even in the war with Yahweh.

“Sire, I beg you.” Abigor’s voice was urgent, his mind filled with the picture of what must surely come. “The portal is a death trap even for such a force. There is a ridge that dominates in and humans fight from behind ridges. By now they will have every chariot, every fire-lance, every seeker lance they have aimed at that portal. As our demons funnel through it, they will be destroyed. The death will continue until the portal is blocked by our dead.”

“I know.” Satan’s voice was still calm and oily. “That is why you will take your Army and seize that ridgeline.”

“My Army has been destroyed. Barely 300 are left in condition to fight.”

“Then make up the numbers with your mates and your kidlings. The youngest and the oldest. If they can carry a trident they go. If they cannot, they can go anyway and fight with bare hands. You will leave none of your clan behind. If they can crawl to that ridge, they will go.”

Abigor shook at the sentence. It meant death for him and all of his line, that was clear. He rose to his feet, nodded and left.

“And now, Herald, what shall I do with you?”

“Majesty, I would join Abigor and go with him.”

“So be it.” Memnon turned and left, following Abigor from the throne room.

“Asmodeus, Beelzebub and Dagon. You have many reservists in your ranks. Train them properly before launching your assault. There is no hurry.”

Asmodeus frowned. “But Sire. What about Abigor?”

“Abigor who?”
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Post by Fleet Admiral JD » 2008-03-20 09:48am

Oh.

Shit.

:shock:
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Post by NecronLord » 2008-03-20 10:02am

I forsee a mass surrender.

I'm also wondering if the Egyptian government isn't going to make hunting and brutally slaying, or capturing, Uriel it's top priority. I know i would if I found out that... absurd horror... were real.
Last edited by NecronLord on 2008-03-20 10:04am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Darmalus » 2008-03-20 10:03am

Looks like Abigor's only hope is to fall on his knees the moment he steps across the Hellmouth and surrender, hoping for the best.

“Asmodeus, Beelzebub and Dagon. You have many reservists in your ranks. Train them properly before launching your assault. There is no hurry.”

Perfect. This either means Satan is utterly overconfident and they will charge across the Hellmouth, or he plans on opening new portals where they wont have to worry about defenses.

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Post by NecronLord » 2008-03-20 10:05am

Darmalus wrote:Looks like Abigor's only hope is to fall on his knees the moment he steps across the Hellmouth and surrender, hoping for the best.
Here's hoping they're not going to walk into a literal minefield.
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Post by JCady » 2008-03-20 10:08am

Stuart wrote:
Sea Skimmer wrote: Making barrels is probably the biggest bottleneck in gun production, and this device would need more of them then a conventional design. Also, do we really want these people to have machine guns at all? Without proper training and officers it’s just asking for trouble. However whatever machine gun is produced, we need to have a tripod option. Machine guns on wheeled carriages are extremely difficult to dig in and conceal, and surprise is a good force multiplier. Personally I think a hand cranked galting gun is more trouble then its worth, and if we really have them being churned out by backyard workshops then safety and reliability with be extremely serious issues. I’d say start producing the MG45. It very simple and cheap and the rate of fire is so high (giving very tight dispersion on each burst) that it should be highly lethal to Bladricks even with 7.92mm ammo. If we can’t find an MG45 to copy quickly enough then the MG42 will do, with a lightweight bolt it can cycle at 1,800rpm
I agree on the barrel issue; barrel production is going to be the limiting factor in arms production and that's going to be the death of gatling-type weapons. Not only would an Infantry gatling be out but so would aircraft gatlings - I expect to see the relatively low-velocity, ultra-high rate of fire M61 style gatling replaced by a lower rate-of-fire but much higher velocity single barrel weapon. For example, one of the Russian 30mm guns may be a good choice or the Oerlikon 30mm gun - IIRC the Oerlikon aircraft 30mm is the KCA and its a thoroughly nasty beast. We might well see the Oerlikon 35mm KD series guns coming in - they are superb weapons and will blow CHUNKS off baldrick and angel alike.
The Oerlikon KCA is a four-chamber revolver autocannon that fires the same 30x173mm ammo as the GAU-8 Avenger at a rate of up to 1350 rounds/min. Oerlikon also makes the KCB, a much smaller blowback-operated linear action autocannon that fires the slightly smaller 30x170mm round (same as the British RARDEN) at "just" 600-650 rounds/min.
Last edited by JCady on 2008-03-20 10:16am, edited 1 time in total.

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