Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Post by Fyrwulf » 2008-05-07 05:57pm

Score one for the bad guys.

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Post by Bayonet » 2008-05-07 06:13pm

Adrian Laguna wrote:A spartan would know dammed well what bow and arrow are, the issue is that he would understand the act of using it as "shooting" not "firing".
Before the period of firearms, arrows would be "released," "loosed" or "shot," with probable preference to the former two. Fire would refer to what you cook over, and apply to the soles of tight lipped prisoners. Projecting something with fire would not be an understandable concept.

Whether mind translation would make the jump to an out of context concept has yet to be seen. The ancients are baffled by our technical jargon. But our samurai has now seen rifles in action, and probably knows that you "fire" them, so the connection may come in through the back door.
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Post by Deadpan29 » 2008-05-07 06:22pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Cecelia5578 wrote:I know its been gone over ad nauseum why nukes aren't a good thing to use now (and I agree) but this calls for some sort of retaliation. At the very least, Abigdor hopefully will supply who/what/where caused this, and perhaps a few PGMs could be used to take out Belial. Given the human OOB that's forming up in Hell, obviously the Demon's days are numbered, but still, something will lhave to be done.
Not nukes.


Gas.

The Russians probably have enough stockpiled that they never actually destroyed to smother the entirety of that army coming up to attack them.
There may be some question of how effective the gas will be, considering the nasty environments the demons are adapted for. They again, they do apparently have some sort of common ancestor with us.

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-05-07 06:26pm

Darth Wong wrote:It would be much more logical to take out Belial's operation using the forces already in Hell.
Oh, I agree, but given the scope of hell he may not necessarily be close, and his underground fortress may not be easy to hit. If we can drop commandos on him using a psychic portal, great, but we don't even have a map of hell at the moment. Really, we should get the recon data turned into big maps and have abigor's people start providing labels for the prominent features.
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Post by Surlethe » 2008-05-07 06:43pm

Tartarus is about as far from Dis as you can get, and Dysprosium, on the Phlegethon, is much closer to Dis than to Tartarus. It's doubtful whether the F-111s have the range to reach Tartarus, especially in the unfriendly air.
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Post by Fyrwulf » 2008-05-07 06:50pm

Surlethe wrote:Tartarus is about as far from Dis as you can get, and Dysprosium, on the Phlegethon, is much closer to Dis than to Tartarus. It's doubtful whether the F-111s have the range to reach Tartarus, especially in the unfriendly air.
Something's going to have to be done about Tartarus, though, and soon. Maybe bring some modified BUFFs in and have them carpet bomb Tartarus to Hell (or, well, wherever it goes once it's destroyed in Hell.)

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Post by Edward Yee » 2008-05-07 07:08pm

Bayonet wrote:But our samurai has now seen rifles in action, and probably knows that you "fire" them, so the connection may come in through the back door.
Would it be a stretch that maybe Ori uses the same 'fire spear' analogy as the demons at the hostel did? (Depending on when in the Ashikaga period of course.)
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Post by DarthShady » 2008-05-07 07:58pm

Note that MKSheppard is acting as military consultant for the follow-on arc. Twisted Evil
The demons are fucked. :twisted:

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Post by Chris OFarrell » 2008-05-07 08:02pm

The weak link is going to be the Naga used to open the portal, its not like they can be manufactured or replaced easily, if the humans can kill enough of those people, Satan will probably hold the rest in reserve and not allow terror attacks.
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Post by fusion » 2008-05-07 08:56pm

Time for Massive Retaliation!!!!


This plus Detroit is going to make people move!!!


Anyways, very very very very very very very very very very very good. :D


Can't wait!

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Post by Brovane » 2008-05-07 09:30pm

Fyrwulf wrote:
Surlethe wrote:Tartarus is about as far from Dis as you can get, and Dysprosium, on the Phlegethon, is much closer to Dis than to Tartarus. It's doubtful whether the F-111s have the range to reach Tartarus, especially in the unfriendly air.
Something's going to have to be done about Tartarus, though, and soon. Maybe bring some modified BUFFs in and have them carpet bomb Tartarus to Hell (or, well, wherever it goes once it's destroyed in Hell.)
Could bring in some B1-B maybe. With external hard points they can really pack on the tonnage of weapons. Of course maybe use some Tu-160 with there 40,000 KG bomb load if those things can carry conventional munitions.

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-05-07 09:33pm

Bayonet wrote:
Adrian Laguna wrote:A spartan would know dammed well what bow and arrow are, the issue is that he would understand the act of using it as "shooting" not "firing".
Before the period of firearms, arrows would be "released," "loosed" or "shot," with probable preference to the former two. Fire would refer to what you cook over, and apply to the soles of tight lipped prisoners. Projecting something with fire would not be an understandable concept.

Whether mind translation would make the jump to an out of context concept has yet to be seen. The ancients are baffled by our technical jargon. But our samurai has now seen rifles in action, and probably knows that you "fire" them, so the connection may come in through the back door.
Remember that he's being auto-translated into modern English, not the English of his era. The English of the 15th century would be only barely recognizable to any of us. So while they might have said "loose" instead of "fire" back in the 15th century, that doesn't really have any bearing on the auto-translation into modern English.
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Post by Firethorn » 2008-05-07 10:42pm

Darth Wong wrote:Remember that he's being auto-translated into modern English, not the English of his era. The English of the 15th century would be only barely recognizable to any of us. So while they might have said "loose" instead of "fire" back in the 15th century, that doesn't really have any bearing on the auto-translation into modern English.
It's probably being translated into each person's language. IE an englishman might hear 'boot' when an american says 'trunk'.

But more thorough. My version of American is a bit different than my parents. It's a bit different than a Californian, my next door neighbor, etc...

The reason the ancient folks are having trouble is that they have no concept that the word expresses. I mean, will a spartan have a word to express the concept of a computer, network, plane, etc?

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Post by Chris OFarrell » 2008-05-07 11:45pm

I wonder of the RC-111's will have picked up the Demons portal setup in their pass over hell. I'm sure the intel people will be screaming for all the pictures around the Volcanos they can find, that huge copper antenna might well be a dead giveaway.
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Post by Singular Quartet » 2008-05-07 11:49pm

Chris OFarrell wrote:I wonder of the RC-111's will have picked up the Demons portal setup in their pass over hell. I'm sure the intel people will be screaming for all the pictures around the Volcanos they can find, that huge copper antenna might well be a dead giveaway.
Hell is a damn big place, and Tarterous is in a far off location out in the boonies. Somehow, I doubt there was a flyover.

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Post by Zor » 2008-05-08 12:02am

If at all possible, a map of Hell would be awesome.

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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-05-08 12:39am

Darth Wong wrote:
Bayonet wrote:
Adrian Laguna wrote:A spartan would know dammed well what bow and arrow are, the issue is that he would understand the act of using it as "shooting" not "firing".
Before the period of firearms, arrows would be "released," "loosed" or "shot," with probable preference to the former two. Fire would refer to what you cook over, and apply to the soles of tight lipped prisoners. Projecting something with fire would not be an understandable concept.

Whether mind translation would make the jump to an out of context concept has yet to be seen. The ancients are baffled by our technical jargon. But our samurai has now seen rifles in action, and probably knows that you "fire" them, so the connection may come in through the back door.
Remember that he's being auto-translated into modern English, not the English of his era. The English of the 15th century would be only barely recognizable to any of us. So while they might have said "loose" instead of "fire" back in the 15th century, that doesn't really have any bearing on the auto-translation into modern English.

"Fired" would also be a military concept--incendiaries have been around for a long time. It would also refer to intentional burnings, like the Firing of the wood holding up tunnels under walls, which when it burned through, would cause the tunnel and thus the wall to collapse. And so on.
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Post by Adrian Laguna » 2008-05-08 12:50am

Stuart wrote:Aeneas is unconsciously referring to what he regards as the "correct" way to fight which today we would call Graeco-Roman wrestling. It's not the eye-gouging, ball-breaking stuff exemplified by (for example) Krav Marga. He's in for a nasty shock when he sees how human soldiers fight hand to hand when the chips are down.
I doubt he'd be shocked, at most he'll be surprised that they can fight. Greco-Roman wrestling to Aeneas should be as relevant on the battlefield as boxing is to a modern US Soldier. The Ancients were just as willing to engage in ball-breaking eye-gouging nasty dirty shit as we are today. Case in point, the ancient Olympic event of pankration, which had only two simple rules: no eye-gouging, and no biting. That they needed to have people armed with rods and switches next to the ring to enforce these two rules tells you something. As does the fact that crippling injuries were routine, and death common.
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:"Fired" would also be a military concept--incendiaries have been around for a long time. It would also refer to intentional burnings, like the Firing of the wood holding up tunnels under walls, which when it burned through, would cause the tunnel and thus the wall to collapse. And so on.
There's also setting projectiles on fire. You could "fire" an arrow that way if it refers to lighting a pitch or cloth arrowhead.

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Post by Darth Fanboy » 2008-05-08 03:16am

I have a feeling what happened during this attack is going to get pieced together, and that the Americans are going to know at least in part what to look for.

There weren't any people at the bottom of that magma pit were there? It would be an odd play of the "Scuba Diver found in the aftermath of a forest fire scene" to see a bunch of burnt corpses found after the magma attack that weren't casualties from the attack itself.

EDIT: Assuming any traces of the bodies survive that is.
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Post by dragon » 2008-05-08 06:21am

Sweet he's finally stopped teasing us with use of the demons WMD. Very nice and potentially very deadly, but one good thing is no fallout and radioactive containments other than whats in the lava.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-08 06:21am

Darth Fanboy wrote:There weren't any people at the bottom of that magma pit were there?
No. Nearly all the humans are confined to the central torture region. Belial's humans are all there to work. Human slave labor is actually something of an innovation in hell; Belial started using it because he had a hard time attracting demonic vassals after he was exiled.

Also, I'm pretty sure even horribly burnt humans float in lava, since the typical density is about 2.5 times that of water.

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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-05-08 10:15am

Starglider wrote:
General Schatten wrote:Shouldn't that be Abby-kun and Luga-chan, Shroom-kun?
You know I was planning a wild Euryale/Belial make up sex scene but I don't know if it would get past the editor. ;)
Please, indulge us.

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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-08 11:23am

'The Cavendish”, West Street, Central Sheffield

Alex Malcolm had saved up two week's worth of alcohol rations for the pub crawl, and he was determined to use them all before the night was over. University life hadn't changed that much, at least not for the engineering students. They'd all had to join the cadets and that meant weekends wasted on the firing range and the drill ground, but that was all. Not like the humanities students, most of whom had been evicted from the halls of residence and drafted. In their place were throngs of 'mature students' being pushed through the new short technical and medical courses. In Alex's mind the humanities students were no big loss, it's not as if they were doing real degrees anyway, though the replacement of all those hot young psychology girls with boring ugly ex-call-center workers was a crying shame.

Alex downed his sixth pint and lurched to his feet. "Back in a sec, mates." he slurred, as he made his way unsteadily to the men's restroom. Half way through the process of relieving himself, the world exploded into noise and darkness.

He'd fallen against the wall, bruising his head against the pipe-work. Pain flashed across his back; he instinctively reached over to feel the wound and his hand closed around the chunk of broken glass embedded there. He pulled it out, slicing his hand open in the process. The lights were out, the windows were smashed and the whole building was shaking. Alex had only one explanation for this, earthquake, but how could an earthquake on this scale happen in England? Screams began to ring out over the rumbling and roaring, multiplying as the panic spread. Adrenaline coursed through his system, fighting the alcohol to get him moving. He had to get out of here, the earthquake was showing no sign of abating and the whole building could come down on him. He barreled forward down the corridor out of the lavatories, dripping blood and urine, and emerged into a scene of utter chaos.

Over a hundred drunken pub-goers were trying to force themselves through the building's two exits, screaming , shouting, punching and kicking at each other. The scene was lit only by a glowing orange light streaming in through the windows. Alex couldn't understand why the earthquake was making people so desperate that they'd risk being crushed to death… wait, was that light coming from a fire? He tried to jogged over to the windows, but caught his foot on an overturned stool and went crashing to the ground. Ignoring the fresh bruises, he hauled himself up and stared in horror at the scene outside. A wall of glowing lava over a meter high was advancing inexorably down the street, surrounded by flames and smoke from the burning buildings and crowned by the twisted wrecks of cars being carried along by the flow.

Another crash, this one startlingly close. Someone had thrown a chair through the next window along, carrying most of the broken glass and wooden dividers out into the street. He turned in time to see two of his mates leap through the window. There was no time for thoughts of rescuing others, he'd be lucky to save himself. Alex clambered out through the shattered window, heedless of the fresh cuts to his hands, and recoiled from the blast of heat that scorched his skin. He began to jog away from the lava, towards the city centre, but he made one crucial mistake; he looking back. The lava flow had accelerated as more rock poured into the channel, and the intense heat seemed to scorch his eyes. The world dissolved into pain as he tripped on a kerb and fell sprawling. The only mercy was that his suffering lasted only seconds before the lava washed over him. Well, that part of his suffering anyway. As everybody now knew, death was only a temporary respite.

MD 902 G-SYPS

Sergeant Webster groaned as he fought his way back to consciousness. His head throbbed with pain, which the pounding roar and ragged whine were only exacerbating. He forced his eyes open. The forward cockpit canopy was a crazy patchwork of cracks and holes. The helicopter seemed to have landed on a building… no, it was partially embedded in a saw-tooth roof. The rotors were still turning; the pilot was fiddling with the flight controls, but far from shutting down, he seemed to be trying to start one of the engines.

"Taranaski? What are you doing? We have to bail out."

Private Hughes' voice answered over the intercom. "Sir, Corporal Sinker has concussion and I think a dislocated shoulder. I broke my leg in the crash. There's no way we can make it before… well… look to your right."

Sergeant Webster twisted around to look behind the aircraft. The whole area was shrouded in smoke and flames, but one thing stood out very clearly; the river of lava pouring down the hill towards them. They weren't in its direct path, but that small mercy could buy them only minutes at best.

The whine from above intensified and took on a discordant, surging character. "Got it" yelled Taranaski. "Port turbine spooling up, hang on, I'm trying it again."

Peter waited for the rotor RPMs to build to the maximum then eased back on the collective. The Explorer trembled and began to lift. The crew could barely hear the cracks and squeals of strained metal over the din as the bird struggled to free herself from the twisted metal roof supports. The cabin tilted backwards and then halted, shuddering.

Private Hughes pulled himself over to the gaping opening in the side of the aircraft; the door had been ripped off in the crash. Leaning out into the ferocious downwash, he could see the problem clearly. "It's no good sir. The skids are wedged in good. The forward struts have snapped but the rear ones are holding us fast." He looked up just in time to see another of the glowing rocks slam into a nearby apartment block, shattering the few remaining windows and starting fires across several floors.

He had to cut through those struts. What tools did he have? Just one. Jamie reached for a spare .50 cal magazine.

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Western Sheffield

Rebecca Burdett stared out through the empty window frame at the vast lake of smoking lava that mere minutes before had been the university campus. From her vantage point on the seventeenth floor she could see countless human forms running, staggering and crawling away from the inferno. Everwhere she looked people were dying, caught by the flames, collapsing under the heat or obliterated by a flaming boulder.

She turned away. There was no doubt about it, the hospital had to be abandoned. The lava seemed to be flowing away from them for now, but several of the hospital buildings had been hit by the boulders and looked ready to collapse. The ground fires were advancing steadily despite the inrushing air and the earthquake showed no signs of abating.

The fire alarm was already blaring, but the nurses she could see were still transfixed by the scene outside. "Snap out of it! We have to move!" Rebecca sprinted through the ward to the reception area, where she snatched up the microphone for the P.A. system.

"Everyone, your attention please. This is Matron Burdett. The hospital must be evacuated as quickly and calmly as possible." She delivered the words with a slightly eerie calm. "Patients, if you can walk, go to the lobby area via the stairwells, do not use the lifts. Otherwise please wait for a member of staff to assist you. Do not leave the building. Transport will be arranged."

Rebecca clicked the microphone off, then pulled out her phone and punched the button for reception. The extension for reception was busy, of course. Cursing, she dived into the stairwell, pushing past the throngs of people that built up steadily as she descended. By the time she emerged into the lobby it was already packed with shouting and screaming patients.

"PLEASE REMAIN CALM" she shouted, in a tone that did not sound like a request. "THERE IS NO IMMEDIATE DANGER." Not really true but it seemed to placate the crowd for now. "Non-critical patients, move in an orderly fashion to the car park. We don't have nearly enough ambulances for you all so we'll be using private cars."

She finally made it to the reception desk. David was usually pretty competent but he seemed ready to have a nervous breakdown. "Rebecca, thank…" He caught himself.

"What the hell is going on?"

"Don't know. Some sort of attack, massive fires. We have to get the patients out, that's all that matters."

"I tried to call Northern General but I couldn't get…"

"Forget it. They're probably in the same boat as us, or will be soon. Now take Tracy, Mark and anyone else you find on the way and get to the car park. I don't want anyone leaving without a full load of patients. Tell them to go straight to Manchester."

"Manchester? But…"

Rebecca grabbed the man's shoulders. "There's massive casualties out there. Everyone local will be overwhelmed. Now get moving."

She grabbed the phone from David's hand as he stumbled away and searched through the memory for the number she needed. "Whitworth? This is Matron Burdett at Royal Hallamshire. We've got a huge… explosion in Sheffield, we have to evacuate. I'm sending our intensive care patients to you… yes I know you don't have the capacity… you'll have to turn them out… no, listen, this is a gold-level disaster. No, I don't know who… look, I'm sure they'll contact you shortly. Meanwhile people are dying here. You are going to send every ambulance you have to Sheffield and you are going to do it now, understand? Good."

MD 902 G-SYPS

"Control this is Sierra Yankee Nine Nine do you copy? Over."

Sergeant Webster was still trying to get the radio working. Meanwhile Private Hughes struggled to find a position in which he could get a shot at the rear support strut. He could see the target clearly enough, it was buried in a tangle of metal half a meter beneath the door sill, but with his broken leg there was just no way to aim the heavy rifle at it from inside the cabin. He considered shooting through the airframe, the AS50 undoubtedly had the power to punch through, but he'd be firing blind and in any case he was pretty sure the main fuel tank was under the cabin. Bad idea.

"Control this is Sierra Yankee Nine Nine do you copy? Over."

"Oliver! I copy. What the blazes is going on? First we thought we'd lost you, then we got a report you’d landed at Sheffield City Heliport. Everything has dropped in the pot here, nobody knows what is happening. Just what is your status, over?" The communications channels were clearing and the response from the command centre at Atlas Court included the alarms and a commotion of voices in the background.

"We were knocked down by the blast, my bird is seriously damaged. Can you see what's happening out here? Over."

"Confirmed, we're seeing it over CCTV, hell we can see it out the windows. We're preparing to evacuate, at this rate the lava will be here in less than half an hour. Are you airworthy over?"

"Negative control, we're stuck in a roof, the lava is about to surround the building. Need a pick-up urgently, Over."

There was a slight pause before the duty officer responded. "Sierra Yankee, army choppers are inbound but the closest is still ten minutes out. Over."

"Acknowledged control." Sergeant Webster hadn't expected anything else. Every commander would be in triage mode now and plucking a helicopter crew off the top of a doomed building wasn't a high priority. "Situation understood. Sierra Yankee Nine Nine out."

Private Hughes had been listening to the exchange and cut in over the intercom. "Sir, I think I can free the helo but I'll have to climb out onto the roof."

Webster gave it only a moment's consideration; there was no viable alternative. "Roger Private, we'll hover until you're back on board."

Jamie unplugged his headset and clambered out onto the twisted girders, gritting his teeth at the pain that flared in his leg. The metal was hot to the touch and the blistering heat and swirling smoke was making it increasingly hard to see or breathe. Once he'd steadied himself he grabbed the heavy rifle from the helicopter and began to work himself into a braced position. The pilot was watching him through the cockpit side window; Jamie give him the thumbs up and the engine noise intensified, as the helicopter once more struggled to lift off.

There it was, the near-side support strut clearly visible now that the helicopter's belly was clear of the corrugated iron roofing. He pulled the scope off the rail and lined up the AS50 with the iron sights, bracing it against a girder. Two sharp cracks and the job was done, the .50 caliber rounds shredding the aluminum alloy tube. The helicopter lurched upward again and shuddered, straining against the last remaining strut. Jamie struggled to maintain his balance as the roof started to collapse, chunks of metal tumbling down into the building below. A fresh wave of heat hit him and with horror he realized that the lava was already pouring into the building. Jamie swung the heavy rifle around and unloaded his last three rounds into the tangle of metal around the back of the remaining skid.

The recoil was the final straw for the critically weakened factory roof. With a shrieking groan the entire section collapsed into the burning interior. With both skids now sheered off the Explorer leapt upwards into the sky, climbing away from the collapsing ruin. The last thing Private Hughes saw was the underside of the helicopter vanishing into the sky.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue HQ, Central Sheffield

The screens in the control centre normally showed simple dots representing the incident sites. Only for the worst industrial fires did the staff have to draw rings around the affected area. Now the entire centre of the city was marked in red, and that stain was growing rapidly.

"…and a second line of firebreaks here, here and here. That should save most of Hillsborough and Stannington. The lower Rivelin valley is a write off, the best we can hope for is that it floods fast enough to save a few buildings. We'll worry about Fullwood if we get time, industrial areas take priority. Now get to it."

The sheer spectacle of the aerial volcano had convinced Chief Fire Officer Spurrier to dispense with the usual levels of escalation and go straight to damage limitation mode.

He turned to Assistant CFO Lloyd, who was co-ordinating with the other responders, category one and otherwise.

"Get anything out of Highways yet?"

"No sir, they just say they'll call me back. We'll probably have to send our own people out to the depots to get the moving."

"Do it. I'll have the authority sorted out by the time they arrive. Keep reminding the police that we need those construction sites stripped too. We'll need every earthmover we can get if we're going to box in that lava flow."

A young firefighter burst into the room, still in full heat-resistant gear. "Sirs, we can't hold it, there's just too much, we solidify one stream and it comes at us from another direction. We've got to pull back."

CFO Spurrier sighed. All that effort rebuilding the city centre into a something actually pleasant to look at, and now it was all going to be buried in basalt. Ah well. At least the EU had footed most of the bill. For brief second he pitied the baldrick who would have to explain to the bureaucrats in Brussels what had happened to their investment. Then his momentary glee faded; having to abandon his new state of the art command centre was too a hard a blow.

"Okay. Tell Scott to redeploy along the Moor and Arundel Gate. You've got to keep the southern ring road and the station open as long as you can."

"Stephen, divert everything to Mansfield Road for now, then shut down. We'll be going straight to the forward command post at the airport."

MD 902 G-SYPS

Pete began to swing the helicopter around for a pass on the factory. Private Hughes had risked everything to save them and Pete wasn't going to just leave him.

Sergeant Webster's voice came over the intercom, barely audible over the screaming engines and still omnipresent roar. "Peter, what are you doing?."

"Going back for him of course."

"Peter, he's gone. The entire building collapsed. I was watching as we took off, there was nothing we could do."

There was no response from the pilot, so Webster took the opportunity to contact control.

"Control, Sierra Yankee Nine Nine, do you copy?"

"Sierra Yankee! I copy, what's your status?"

"Airborne again, but we've taken a beating. Are you still receiving telemetry?" The camera pod on the helicopter's nose had jammed in place, but it could still transmit a picture. “We’ve got some more stuff for you.”

"Ah… roger . Sierra Yankee. Bloody hell."

The Explorer was circling slowly over central Sheffield, a position which afforded a fine view of the magma fountain, blurry but visible within the base of the rapidly forming mushroom cloud, as well as the rivers of lava consuming the town centre. Every few seconds another building would collapse, adding further haze to the scene below. "Oliver, we have to evacuate. The fires are getting close and the lava isn't far behind. Pogo one seven seven, stay up as long as you can then abort to the airport, acknowledge."

"Acknowledged. Switching to channel one seven seven. Sierra Yankee Nine Nine out."

Taranaski's voice came over he intercom and he did not sound happy. "We've got a seriously bent bird here, controls are wonky, port turbine is running very hot and I think we're leaking fuel. We should get her down Ay-Sap."

"Negative Peter. Unless you're sure she's going to drop out of the sky, we stay until we're relieved. Command have to know what's happening."

"But Sergeant, the corporal needs a medic, hell we all need…"

"Pilot. As long as we can fly, we stay until we're relieved." Webster's hard tone softened slightly. "It shouldn't be long. Now bring us around, command will need an idea of how fast the fires are spreading."

Owlerthorpe, South East Sheffield

The convoy of big Bedford trucks rolled onto the field and came to a halt one by one. As soon as each vehicle had stopped moving soldiers poured out of the rear, already in full combat gear. Overhead, the grim red column of the magma stream shone through the vast pall of smoke that surrounded it, lighting up the area in a confused, scarlet glow. Just like the descriptions of Hell that had been coming back from the troops that had entered that region. The smoke pall was spreading fast, the most obvious sign of the inferno that was devouring the city. Not the only sign of course, the constant vibrations that were running through the ground were another. They could be felt through the soles of the soldier’s boots and were enough to make hands that held binoculars shake enough to blur the image. Then again, there were other causes for hands to shake as well.

Sergeant Pottington had his orders and he knew how to execute them. He’d been a British soldier one, then he’d retired and set up a gardening business. There were plenty of houses around Sheffield where both husband and wife were working all day and didn’t have a chance to tend to the garden. There were also plenty of pensioners who were fit, healthy and bored stiff. Putting the two together had been an easy exercise for a man who’d effectively run a company of infantry. Grimly, Pottington wondered how many of his client list or workers were left. Looking at the vast pall of smoke that was covering Sheffield, not many.

“Right, you men, get the barricades across the roads. I want three volunteers, you, you and you, to get a GPMG set up to cover the blocks. Anybody who tries to run the roadblock, spray them.” Pottington looked at the stream of traffic that was building up as the population of Sheffield made a run for it. Understandable but not something that could be allowed. Men were needed to build firebreaks, construct barriers and dig ditches, try and divert the lava streams away from the industrial area to where they could do least damage. Women were needed to help the wounded and look after children. In a disaster like this there were no useless hands. He walked into the road and held up a hand in the traditional ‘stop’ sign. Traditional in the UK anyway, he’d seen films of American police giving stop signs by waving their hands around like demented organ-grinders monkeys. Hysterical load of spams Pottington thought.

A car was ignoring the ‘stop’ signal, instead it had picked up speed and was going to either intimidate him into getting out of the way or go around him. Pottington produced his pride and joy, an old Webley Mark V with a six-inch barrel. It had been his grandfather’s in the First World War and Pottington had kept it carefully hidden away during the long years of the handgun ban. Now, he had it out again and he even had the Mark III “manstopper” bullets to go with it, hollow-point rounds with a steel ball molded inside the lead to add to the effect. One round dealt with the windscreen of the approaching car very satisfactorily, shattering it and sending fragments spraying around. The car came to an abrupt halt.

“Hey what you done to me ride?” The young man driving was aggressive and aggrieved but both emotions faded when he heard the clicking of rifle bolts being drawn back.

“Commandeered it sir. Any other occupants? No? Then, Sir, we’ll have to ask you to wait here. The civil authorities will be forming work teams shortly and you’ll have the honor of being a founder member. Simmonite? Move this vehicle off the road, it’s a four-wheel drive so the Home Guard will be wanting it. Clegg, Dewhurst, move two-wheel drives off to that field over there. Park them neatly now, we don’t want to be slovenly soldiers. ”

Behind them, the traffic was backing up quickly. The soldiers quickly checked each vehicle, sending the ones likely to be useful off to one side, the rest into a field to be parked. With gasoline rationing in force, it was amazing how many vehicles were using this road, but Pottington guessed that fleeing lava meant more than conserving gasoline rations.

“Sergeant?” A new voice had spoken from behind him. “Lieutenant Batty, Home Guard. We’ve come to take over the road block when you’re ready. Midlands Command want your unit to join the rest of the regulars in case of the Baldricks trying to follow up this attack. Nobody knows what they’ll try next.

“Very good Sir. Quiet word sir, don’t hesitate to shoot if the situation demands it. It won’t take much for a panic to start here, we’ve got to keep this situation under control.”

“Understood Sergeant.” The ‘thank you’ was unspoken but there. “There’s coaches coming up to take the women and kids to a refugee center. Trucks will be coming for the men, take them back to the city. Every pair of hands needed there.”

Pottington looked at the red cloud surrounding the stream of fire and the pall that hung over the doomed city. “Did they save Park Hill Sir?”

Batty shook his head. “It’s gone. The firebreaks hung on long enough for the people to get out but the blocks have gone.”

“Ah well, suppose that’ll end the talk about what to do with them. Good luck Sir.”

“Thank you Sergeant, and the same to your men here.”
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-05-08 11:37am

Poor Private Hughes :cry:

Anyway, another fine chapter. I'll update the cleaned up version ASAP.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-05-08 11:38am

Incredible. Hell on Earth. I swear, I would not mind it if a good chunk of the later chapters got sidetracked from the Hell and Demon storylines and concentrated more on this Sheffield thing. Or, at least, have this featured prominently for the next bunch of chapters.

Will the magma flow eventually stop? Or will the portal keep on spewing lava until the volcano in hell runs out of magma? Pyroclastic clouds! Lahar! Talk about Dante's Peak!
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