Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

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Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

Post by Stuart » 2008-05-12 02:23pm

Secure Accommodation Block, Camp Hell-Alpha, Martial Plain of Dysprosium

The double doors burst open and Colonel Paschal strode in, flanked by MPs carrying menacing USAS-12 combat shotguns. The concrete room was the size of a small hangar, but the huge demon made it look like a cramped apartment. The big plasma screen was showing images of WWII aircraft attacking warships. The stack of DVD cases next to it confirmed that Abigor had been continuing to absorb military documentaries and war movies. The infernal general looked up with a surprised expression, which quickly hardened as he saw the heavy guard detail.

“General Abigor.” Paschal was carrying a ruggedized laptop, which he opened and placed on a table in front of the demon. “Can you explain this?” The colonel’s tone was not quite threatening, but clearly the humans were not pleased.

Abigor stared in silence as the images of lava, fire and destruction played out. “Belial” he said, in a tone of mild contempt. “This has to be his doing.”

“Belial?” Paschal had studied Abigor’s profiles of the top demon leadership but he didn’t recall the name. “Who is Belial?”

“A sniveling failure. Count Belial is the ruler of Tartarus, a barren wasteland in the part of hell furthest from Dis. Satan exiled him there many millennia ago, after he walked right into a trap laid by Lahabiel and got his entire army captured or killed.”

“If he’s an exile, how did he manage to do this?”

“Belial has been trying to regain Satan’s favor, by all means of craven and dishonorable means. His realm survives only because he makes himself useful, with his fancy tridents and his overgrown wyverns. His retinue is composed of failures like himself, mostly demons that deserted their lords instead of dying gloriously in their service.”

Abigor paused for a moment before continuing, uneasy with how close he had come to describing his own situation. Then he tapped the computer screen with a talon. “I have seen this before. Belial used a similar trick to destroy two human cities, back when we were last surveying this planet. Satan and Yahweh were competing to visit creative forms of suffering on the humans. As I recall, Belial’s flashy little stunt went down quite well, well enough for Mekratrig to allow him back into his court.

Paschal frowned. “The bible speaks of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah… by Yahweh though, not by Satan or his minions.”

Abigor snorted. “Well of course. The angels were always better at propaganda than us. Whatever your books say, it was Belial’s doing.”

“Why didn’t you tell us about this earlier?”

“It did not occur to me that Satan would consider this a viable tactic. This is not the way wars are fought…” The demon paused for a second, considering the things he’d seen on the image panel. “At least, it is not the way we fight wars. Most likely Belial is looking for another opportunity to ingratiate himself and Satan has permitted him to proceed in the hope of distracting you while Beelzebub moves his army up for a fresh assault.”

Colonel Paschal seemed to relax fractionally. He couldn’t be sure Abigor was telling the truth, but his story was plausible given what he’d seen of demon mentality so far.

“So how does this work? Is the lava coming from a volcano?”

“Most likely. The last time I was in Tartarus was during the Great War, when we used it as a prison to hold high-ranking captured angels. That was a very long time ago, but I remember the prison nestled in the mountains, many of which were crowned with fire.”

“Can you give us anything more specific?”

Abigor shrugged. “Not really. I don’t know the specifics of the ritual. Large portals are always handled by the naga, they keep many of the secrets of portal magery to themselves.”

“Naga? Is that what you call the demon flying over the attack site? Looked like an anorexic harpy to me.”

A low chuckle escaped the former general’s lips. “No, that was a gorgon. Another exiled failure, not surprising that most of them took up with Belial. Naga are much more common… I’m sure I described them to one of your vassals earlier.”

Colonel Paschal hit a few keys, calling up the interrogation logs for Abigor. Sure enough, there was a page of text describing ‘naga’ along with a striking artist’s impression of the half-snake, half-humanoid demons.

“I had a coven of them in my retinue,” Abigor volunteered, ‘but I didn’t bring any with me to earth. They’re slow and soft-skinned, and I did not appreciate the power of your ranged weapons, so I didn’t see any use for them.” He wondered if it would’ve made a difference if he had brought them. Certainly not to the outcome, but perhaps the human casualties would have been a fraction higher. He thought again, a small fraction higher.

“Is the gorgon necessary to open the portal? If we shoot it down before the portal opens, will that prevent the attack?”

Abigor stared into space for a moment. “I believe the gorgon was there to ensure the portal opened over the target. You see, the larger the portal, the harder it is to predict where it will open. The one you call the ‘hellmouth’ opened a full five leagues from the nephilim I possessed.”

“The naga do have a means of opening portals more accurately, but it requires a portal mage at both ends. I imagine the gorgon you saw was involved in that. If you could kill Belial’s witches as they appear, then he would be reduced to striking at random in the vicinity of whatever nephilim he could find.”

‘Better than nothing’ Paschal thought. “The target was Sheffield, a relatively small city in the British Isles. We aren’t aware of any obvious reasons to target it, other than the fact that British troops played a small but significant role in your defeat. Do you know why Belial chose that target?”

“No. Belial is fond of bizarre schemes… but then he must have used a nephilim to open a portal for the gorgon. It may be that your counter-magic is getting so good that he was forced to take the first nephilim he could find, and the gorgon just flew to the nearest city.”

‘So no way of knowing where they will strike next’ Paschal thought unhappily. “We need to know when he’ll strike next. How many times can Belial do this, and how often?”

“I can’t give you firm answers Colonel. I do know that opening large portals is a great strain on the naga, they are weak and pained for many days afterwards. Tartarus has a great many volcanoes. The rate at which Belial can open portals depends on how many naga he has and how quickly he can find targets. If Satan intends to use this method to exterminate you, then he might order the dukes to loan Belial their covens until the task is done.”

“If not a firm answer, then an educated guess?”

“Belial should be able to open at least one portal a week.”

Paschal was silent for a moment. “I’ve got to relay this to my superiors. Sit tight, Ill be back shortly.” He pulled a black box from a pocket and brought it up to his ear as he left the room.

Abigor stared at the frozen image of the burning city. For a while he was completely certain that the humans would defeat Satan, but now he was not so sure. Old traditions were being discarded, the once unthinkable was being considered. The humans had given hell an object lesson in how efficiently war could be conducted when one made decisions purely on the basis of effectiveness, not honor, politics, auspiciousness or tradition. How fast could hell learn?

Paschal had returned. “Ok General, let’s do this properly. I need everything you can tell me about Belial and Tartarus, starting with its grid co-ordinates.”

Abigor wasn’t sure what ‘grid co-ordinates’ meant but he got the impression it had something to do with maps. “You want to know how to get to Tartarus?” Of course, the humans wanted to stop the attacks by destroying Belial. “It is almost three thousand leagues from here, across all manner of terrain. Even with your chariots, it would take many months to fight your way there, and Satan would harass you and your supply train all the way.”

Paschal smiled grimly. “General, I have a small gift for you.” He handed over a small flat box, one that Abigor recognized immediately as a DVD. It was labeled ‘A History of the Manhattan Project’. “Abigor, you have barely begun to see what we can do when we truly wish to destroy our enemies.”

White House Communications Suite, White House, Washington DC

“Well, if we can’t shut it off, I suppose the only thing left will be to market it as a tourist attraction.”

It was probably fortunate that everybody’s attention was focused on the imagery being transmitted from the aircraft circling Sheffield. Had they been looking at Condoleezza Rice, they would have seen her eyes bulging from their sockets with sheer horror. “I can’t believe he just said that.”

Beside her Defense Secretary Warner nodded fractionally in agreement. “I don’t know which is worse, the fact he said it or the fact that its true.”

“Mister President, thankful as we are for America’s usual generous aid in a time of disaster, I must remonstrate with you. This is hardly a laughing matter for my country.” Gordon Brown looked shocked as indeed he was.

“I agree Gordon, and I am sorry if my remark sounded disrespectful of your country’s loss. But the fact remains, I do not see what we can do about this yet. We will stand by you, fight with you to save what is left of Sheffield and its people, but I do not know how we can stop this torrent of lava. And if we cannot stop it, we must find a way to make use of it.”

“You mean for all our military forces committed to this war, we cannot stop this nightmare? That baldrick General who has defected to us. Is he of no help at all?”

“If I may interrupt Sir.” On another screen, General Petraeus spoke quietly as was his way. “We have discussed this with Grand Duke Abigor. He has told us much of value, identifying the primary culprit, a minor baldrick lord called Belial. He has told us how it was done and from where. Belial’s stronghold, a place called Tartarus.”

“So we can destroy it.” Three people spoke in exact unison even though they were on different continents. A minor marvel of modern communications that everybody in the room took for granted.

“That’s not so easy. Belial is a minor figure, in some disgrace and his fortress is far from our forces, Three thousand leagues in fact, we make that around 10,500 miles as a B-1 flies.”

“Can you get your bombers there?” Brown spoke urgently, the pain of Sheffield making his voice falter.
“We can Sir.” General John.Corley spoke from Offutt Air Force Base. “As soon as we find out where ‘There’ is.”

“Abigor told us. Tartarus.”

“Yes, but where is it. Sir, I’ve seen the map Abigor drew for us. It’s a good map, very carefully drawn, one that Abigor obviously took great care over. But it’s a map drawn by somebody who lives far in our past. It isn’t what we call a map, its more a picture. You’ve seen old maps Sir. The one Abigor gave us isn’t scaled and he doesn’t even know what projection is. Come to think of it, nor do we where Hell is concerned. We’ve got mathematicians working on that. But all we have is a picture. We’re going to be looking for a target probably about the size of a town hall, in an area the size of North America. And we’ll be doing it what amounts to a dense fog. We’re modifying our B-1A to an RB-1A with sidescan radars and a lot of extra fuel and it’ll go out and look but it could be weeks before she spots a target.”

Brown thought for a few seconds. “When we do find it?”

“We’ll smear it across the ground. But we have to find it first. Bombers aren’t the only option of course.” Corley spoke carefully.

“A ground strike? If you need people, the SAS and SBS are ready to go. But how will they know where?”

“They won’t have to.” Petraeus’s voice was precise and emphatic. “We don’ have to know where a Portal is, we just have to know its in the right place. Then we can put a team in with beacon equipment to home the RB-1A in. And she can lead the rest of the Bones.”

“And the Tu-160s.” Prime Minister Putin’s voice was equally emphatic.”

“And the Tu-160s.” President Bush smiled engagingly at the screen. “General Corley wants to speak with you about the Tu-160.”

“One question, General.” Petraeus raised an eyebrow, “if the team are going to be pathfinders, how will they stay healthy long enough? They can’t have armor and air-locked buildings.”

“Mister Prime Minister. We do have military units that are native to Hell now. And we can reposition one of them for the job. In fact, we are selecting one for it now.”

Outer Ring, Sixth Circle of Hell

Hell made you different. It was the only way he could've reacted how he did to what he and the others had seen. But then he had felt the same way when he had heard of children dying of abuse back home. The same sick rage and desire to kill those responsible. But McElroy crushed his feelinsg down into his boots and forced himself to watch dispassionately.

Aeneas, born in an older, harder time, nevertheless felt the same. He and McElroy had crossed one of the low ridges and advanced down on some of the garrisons that were starting to spread along the banks of the lava flow. Not too close of course, even baldricks didn’t feel a desire to be too close to that nightmare, but far enough to provide patrols. The old days, of a single baldrick patrolling the banks for days at a time were gone. Too many had gone out and never come back. Now they patrolled in groups, never far from support. And that meant garrisons. Where there were garrisons, that meant troops who had to be supplied and the baldricks had never heard of logistics. So there had to be a market and sure enough, there was. In a cleared out patch of land, just outside the walls of one of the fortresses, many dozens of demons plied wares, bartered, and went about their business. Aeanas kept losing count, but there had to be well over three hundred demons. The best part of a whole company perhaps?

It was in this market that he spied a particular demon, whose cart was packed with writhing bodies. Human bodies. They were too far away to hear, of course, but every once in a while, a demon would come by and begin some sort of haggling. The merchant would fetch a victim from the cart and pass it the customer who would open its throat with one of its claws, snap its neck for good measure then eat the carcass on the spot, devouring the body in a few short seconds. It did not take any of them very long to realize that the humans in the merchant's wagon were exclusively children.

Aeanas stared at the scene with cold fury. He did not angrily demand that they throw caution to the wind and charge in to save the children, a hot-blooded rage that blinded its victim to common sense would have called for that. Instead, stone-faced, he watched the merchant empty his wagon, pack up his other trinkets, and be off down the rutted dirt road. So did Cassidy and McElroy. There would be a time for vengeance, a time when debts like this one would be paid but this was not it. Three humans attacking 300 baldricks with edged weapons was simply a way to die. Or be thrown back in the lava streams

Aeanas was a Spartan warrior. To him, nothing was more satisfying than battering his opponent down and finishing him with two or three blows. An honorable battle where one man was pitched against another with victory going to the strongest and bravest. Only that way was victory meaningful. So when he thought about helpless children being sold as some sort of delicacy the scene just added to the anger and voluminous hate he held in his heart for his tormentors. He could not be certain, but he suspected that Cassidy and McElroy felt largely the same way. But did they? They didn’t look upon war the same way as he did, war for them was an exercise in cost-effective killing where the objective was to make sure the enemy never stood a chance. Aeneas had tried to explain where true honor lay once but McElroy had simply looked at him and said “If it’s a fair fight, you made a mistake somewhere.”

So were they affected by the horror they had seen? They were, of course, silent on these trips unless speech was absolutely necessary, but they didn't seem any more subdued or lethargic. Instead, they pushed on to get back to base at their same stalwart pace that their state of second death afforded them. It was that silence that allowed Aeanas to kill his first demon.

The three of them trudged through the forest, moving quickly and quietly. The gnarled black trees were thick, and their sickly foliage was slimy with some sort of excretion. Fortunately, this deadened what noise they made. Unfortunately, it reduced their effective range of hearing that much further, but the odds of encountering anything out here were low. Low, but not zero. Aeanas spotted the clearing first. Silently, he tapped Cassidy on the shoulder. She tapped McElroy, and all three halted. "Clearing ahead."

Aeanas didn't even bother to nod. He slid back into the woods and worked his way to the far side of the clearing. When he was settled, he could spy McElroy just barely, but it was enough. Aeanas could at least see the hut's entrance, so he was not surprised when a demon stalked out of it and into the clearing. What shocked him was that the demon appeared to be somewhat aged, or perhaps infirm. He was not a mass of protruding muscle and claw; he was much thinner than most demons, and he had almost an erudite air to his mannerisms. He was still, of course, extremely tall, but his gait was that of someone who doesn't wish to strain himself, like that of an elderly or sick person.

The demon walked around to the side of the hut, where a garden of sorts grew. He plucked a bulbous, red plant from the earth and went back inside his hut, shutting the heavy wooden door behind him. The clearing was silent. The three of them moved quickly and silently across the clearing. Aeanas held his spear in a two-handed grip, at the ready. He was trained, of course, to have incredible power and precision when thrusting single-handed, so the added might of his shield-arm was all the more devastating. When they reached the door, Aeanas took up a position to one side of it, Cassidy to the other. McElroy stood in front of it, looked to both of them, then knocked on the door three times, politely, but firmly. The door swung outward after a moment, towards Cassidy. The demon took a half-step out and froze, a universal look of shock upon his face.

"Howdy!" McElroy crooned. "You know where the river of fire is? We wanted to go for a swim, but we got lost!"

As he spoke the word, "lost," Aeanas thrust. In a smooth motion and with precise aim, he drove the spear up into the demon's open mouth, encountering only feeble resistance when the point struck and passed through the soft palate. It stopped just before striking the brain, but after punching into the sinus cavity of the monster. With even greater fluidity, Aeanas twisted sharply and pulled the point free.

Blood pouring from the demon's mouth and nose, it finally started to move. Aeanas thrust again, taking the demon through its throat. Twisting the spear, he now used it as leverage to wrench the demon backwards into the hut and off its feet, and it fell with a crash. Now McElroy and Cassidy got in on the action, each slamming their tridents into the creature's belly.

"Hurry!" McElroy hissed.

Aeanas obeyed. Unmindful of the numerous lacerations that the demon was opening up on him with its swiping claws, he summoned all his strength and pounded the spearpoint through the demon's eye and into its brain. Swirling it a bit, the demon instantly went limp. After a moment, Aeanas turned back to McElroy and Cassidy, who had shut the door behind them and were eying him with something like awe. McElroy pointed. "Looks like he might've got you."

Aeanas looked down. Sure enough, a few greasy coils of his intestines were protruding from a deep gash just above his groin, with blood sheeting over his genitals and down his legs--it was certainly a sight he'd seen before. Shrugging, Aeanas stuffed his guts back inside of his body with his fist while Cassidy and McElroy wrapped a piece of cloth around his midsection, securing with a length of rope. By the time they were done, the bleeding from his other wounds had nearly stopped.

"Alright," McElroy began, "we'd best clear out and head back to base." He looked to Aeanas. "You OK to walk? You need a minute to rest?"

"I will be fine," Aeanas grunted. The pain was searing, but the fact that it abated steadily was what made it bearable.

"Good man," McElroy said. He turned to Cassidy. "Anything we can use?"

She was poring over the variety of desks and shelves all around the tiny hut. "Ethanol!" She set aside a second jar. "Or close enough. I didn't realize these things knew how to distill. We should report this."

"Are you sure it's not methanol?" McElroy asked.

"Yup. Methanol smells sweet, like antifreeze. This is probably demon moonshine. Want a swig?"

McElroy shook his head. "I wasn't much of a drinker back on Earth, and I don't see much reason to start now. Least of all with Satan's version of white lightnin'."

Cassidy shrugged, and took a pull. Frowning as it went down, she rasped, "Yup, that's ethanol all right. Absolutely devastating. But it's good, 'cause it means they can distill..." she went quiet for a few minutes, moving from jar to jar. She fetched another satchel and loaded up the now-capped jars in them, passing it to McElroy.

"Geez, this crap's heavy. Let's go." McElroy opened the door a crack and peered outside, stepping out after a moment. Cassidy followed him and Aeanas came out last.

They stayed that way until they got back to base. McElroy started typing the details of what they had seen into his computer, ready for the transmission back to earth. Standing over him, Cassidy read what he wrote and a tear trickled down her face. Now that the patrol was over they could let themselves feel what they had shut out before.

McElroy, is it all right to talk?
kitten?”

No, kitten is away on leave at last. My name is Indira, I have taken over from her for a while. Have you anything to report?

Too much Indira. Far too much.
McElroy went through the report on the scene at the village.

That is terrible.

This is a terrible place. Can you resupply us now?

Yes, we have rifles, ammunition , explosives coming through. But, I must also tell you that your group has been selected for a special mission. One that will take you outside the Pit.

You couldn’t have said anything better Indira. No place could be worse than this, I guess that must be the whole point.
Last edited by Stuart on 2008-08-29 03:11pm, edited 33 times in total.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-12 02:26pm

Cool, the USAS-12s loaded with cast iron slugs made it in. :)
JN1 wrote:AFAIK they're normal part of an officer's kit. Or I have I been watching The Bill too much?
They are, but as I said, most of the police stations in the area are smoking ruins, and when those two made it to the perimeter all they were given was a spare van (I imagine they brought their personal weapons with them, assuming there are enough available to let officers keep them at home).
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-05-12 02:41pm

Excellent work as always, Stuart. The cleaned-up version has been updated and the old thread has been locked.
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Post by Mr Bean » 2008-05-12 02:54pm

And on we go, great now I'm keeping my eyes peeled and you've already posted 51, which means my next fix is far off.

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Post by The Vortex Empire » 2008-05-12 03:20pm

Selling children as snacks? How do we deal with a culture like that after we defeat them?

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Post by JN1 » 2008-05-12 03:46pm

Yup.
Excellent, but for those that did not there was:

Classic Series.
Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart (original commander UNIT UK, first appeared as a Colonel in the Scots Guards, has been knighted at some point since his last appearance)
Warrant Officer Class One John Benton (originally appeared as a Corporal, became a used car salesman after retiring)
Captain Jimmy Munro (appeared in Spearhead from Space)
Major General Rutledge (minister who supervised UNIT UK in 'The Invasion', and old school friend of the Brigadier, he was killed during the story)

2008 Series.
Colonel Mace (current UNIT UK commander)
Captain Marian Price (was seen in UNIT mobile H.Q, collar dogs identify her as a Royal Engineer).
Private Ross Jenkins (served briefly as a driver for the Doctor, KIA against the Sontarans).

I'm having trouble keeping up with this, Stu. Is it worthwhile writing much more set in Sheffield?

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Post by El Moose Monstero » 2008-05-12 04:05pm

There's probably some technicality I'm forgetting- but I don't see how they plan to open a portal to Tartarus in the first place. Surely they have to know where somewhere is first in order to open a portal there, or at the least to know exactly who is there so they can get the succubi (presumably rather than kitten because the succubus will know whose mind it is) to connect to the mind in question and hold open the portal.
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Post by Surlethe » 2008-05-12 04:23pm

El Moose Monstero wrote:There's probably some technicality I'm forgetting- but I don't see how they plan to open a portal to Tartarus in the first place. Surely they have to know where somewhere is first in order to open a portal there, or at the least to know exactly who is there so they can get the succubi (presumably rather than kitten because the succubus will know whose mind it is) to connect to the mind in question and hold open the portal.
As I read it, they're going to send McElroy's crew to Tartarus and open a portal to them, insert a homing beacon, get them out, and probably send them straight back to join Broomstick and the leaders of the PFLH.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-05-12 04:46pm

I think they can get NEAR tartarus just by sensing the location of the large portal. They'll port McElroy's team in, who'll figure out EXACTLY where the portal is, put a beacon down, and then port them out before tactically nuking the place.

They've got about 7 days to make it happen.
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Post by El Moose Monstero » 2008-05-12 04:49pm

Surlethe wrote:
El Moose Monstero wrote:There's probably some technicality I'm forgetting- but I don't see how they plan to open a portal to Tartarus in the first place. Surely they have to know where somewhere is first in order to open a portal there, or at the least to know exactly who is there so they can get the succubi (presumably rather than kitten because the succubus will know whose mind it is) to connect to the mind in question and hold open the portal.
As I read it, they're going to send McElroy's crew to Tartarus and open a portal to them, insert a homing beacon, get them out, and probably send them straight back to join Broomstick and the leaders of the PFLH.
No, that bit I got, it was the getting the team to Tartarus in the first place I was struggling with - surely having them walk to Tartarus would take even longer than deploying a reconnaissance plane? Meanwhile, Belial could (technically) be destroying a city a week, although he won't. Unless they've got a way to portal the team to Tartarus, which is where my initial query came in.
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Post by Sea Skimmer » 2008-05-12 04:58pm

The Vortex Empire wrote:Selling children as snacks? How do we deal with a culture like that after we defeat them?
Simple, destroy the culture utterly, seize the children and raise them ourselves ect…its not like humans haven’t done that to each other a couple hundred times over. Plus they must already have ‘normal’ livestock they eat to supply sufficient meat to satisfy the hunger of millions of Bladricks. Even in present times only about 60 million people die each year, and for most of human existence the number would have been way lower. Since most of those humans would be stockpiled as supposed energy sources that would not leave many people to be eaten. I’d guess that for a Bladrick eating a child is like buying a 500 dollar bottle of wine, or some high grade caviar in equivalence.
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Post by Brovane » 2008-05-12 05:10pm

I wondered when the TU-160 would come in. Doesn't the TU-160 have significantly more range than the B-1? Also has anybody tried flying higher in Hell to get above the dust and haze? Maybe 50,000+ thousand feet.

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Post by Fyrwulf » 2008-05-12 05:33pm

Yep, so much for the theory that Tartarus won't be nuked. Good bye, Belial, 'twas pleasant knowing ye.

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Post by Fyrwulf » 2008-05-12 05:35pm

Brovane wrote:I wondered when the TU-160 would come in. Doesn't the TU-160 have significantly more range than the B-1? Also has anybody tried flying higher in Hell to get above the dust and haze? Maybe 50,000+ thousand feet.
Yeah, but it's also a far bigger aircraft with much more fuel relative to its weight.

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Post by clone1051 » 2008-05-12 05:36pm

Paschal smiled grimly. “General, I have a small gift for you.” He handed over a small flat box, one that Abigor recognized immediately as a DVD. It was labeled ‘A History of the Manhattan Project’. “Abigor, you have barely begun to see what we can do when we truly wish to destroy our enemies.”
I would really, REALLY love to see Abigor's face when he realizes that what he fought is nothing compared to what we could really do to hell if we felt like it. :twisted: (insert evil laugh here)

Also, it's interesting to watch Abigor getting used to human culture and technology. He adapts pretty quickly. I wonder how his men are feeling about all of this? All we've seen so far of captured baldricks is him and Luga. I'd kind of like to see what one of Abigor's grunts thinks about everything.
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Post by Fleet Admiral JD » 2008-05-12 05:45pm

How about using that Demon queen we contacted through Luga to locate Belial?
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Post by Brovane » 2008-05-12 05:45pm

Fyrwulf wrote:
Brovane wrote:I wondered when the TU-160 would come in. Doesn't the TU-160 have significantly more range than the B-1? Also has anybody tried flying higher in Hell to get above the dust and haze? Maybe 50,000+ thousand feet.
Yeah, but it's also a far bigger aircraft with much more fuel relative to its weight.
Since this is looking like it will be a nuclear strike. With a nuclear strike depending on your target the number of aircraft required goes down. If the Russians can get a strike package together of 12-16 TU-160 loaded with several nuclear warheads each I would imagine that this would be enough to take out the target in question. So maybe just send the TU-160's in and hold back the B-1's for other shorter range missions.

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Post by NecronLord » 2008-05-12 05:46pm

Y'know, when he said "forces native to hell" I had the image of re-trained demons from Abigor's army.

Poor Belial et al. I'd much rather the mass murdering bastards be captured. The volcano being used, on the other hand; well, a large scale might destroy the antennae in use and shrink or destroy the portal.
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Post by JN1 » 2008-05-12 05:49pm

They are, but as I said, most of the police stations in the area are smoking ruins, and when those two made it to the perimeter all they were given was a spare van (I imagine they brought their personal weapons with them, assuming there are enough available to let officers keep them at home).
They probably had to clear out in a hurry (hopefully they let their prisoners out) with possibly just what they had on their backs. Their stab vests might have been left in their lockers, now under a layer of basalt.
I wonder if we can design body armour that will protect from that sort of thing.

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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-12 05:57pm

NecronLord wrote:The volcano being used, on the other hand; well, a large scale might destroy the antennae in use and shrink or destroy the portal.
Once opened, portals stay open until closed, as the hellmouth demonstrates. We don't have canonical evidence that using nukes in close proximity to portals is a Really Bad Idea (tm), but Dr Kuroneko seems pretty sure that it is.

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Post by Fyrwulf » 2008-05-12 06:00pm

Brovane wrote:Since this is looking like it will be a nuclear strike. With a nuclear strike depending on your target the number of aircraft required goes down. If the Russians can get a strike package together of 12-16 TU-160 loaded with several nuclear warheads each I would imagine that this would be enough to take out the target in question. So maybe just send the TU-160's in and hold back the B-1's for other shorter range missions.

Well, the TU-160 really only does nuclear strikes, primarily with its Kh-55 missiles. With 12 Kh-55 missiles at 200kt per missile, that's 2.4 megatons per bomber. I think a flight of six (there are only 35 of the things) would work nicely to smack down Tartarus. The Bones, on the other hand, aren't presently wired for nuclear ALCMs, so they're going to have to drop B61s, probably at the full 340kt yield. Say, two flights of six with each bomber having 16 bombs, you come out with 65.28Mt.

I think the battle plan here is that the White Swans are going to open up the show with their missiles, probably targeting any major buildings that they know about. The Bones will swoop in and hit remaining targets of opportunity, probably with the objective of completely smashing temples or anything else that could be used to open more portals.

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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-12 06:08pm

Fyrwulf wrote:Well, the TU-160 really only does nuclear strikes, primarily with its Kh-55 missiles. With 12 Kh-55 missiles at 200kt per missile, that's 2.4 megatons per bomber. I think a flight of six (there are only 35 of the things) would work nicely to smack down Tartarus. The Bones, on the other hand, aren't presently wired for nuclear ALCMs, so they're going to have to drop B61s, probably at the full 340kt yield. Say, two flights of six with each bomber having 16 bombs, you come out with 65.28Mt.
Mild spoiler but dropping double-digit megatons on Tartarus would be a pointless waste of life (and warheads); it would kill most if not all of the humans enslaved in the mines and forges. We're talking about a single small city with medieval-grade fortifications; a handful of tactical devices would be enough to destroy all the major buildings without killing that many humans.

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Post by Edward Yee » 2008-05-12 06:57pm

clone1051 wrote:I wonder how his men are feeling about all of this? All we've seen so far of captured baldricks is him and Luga. I'd kind of like to see what one of Abigor's grunts thinks about everything.
And what of Memnon? :cry:

But yeah, seconding the "grunt view" here, especially if they try to figure out the idea of why they're not being turned against their former comrades.
Sea Skimmer wrote:I’d guess that for a Bladrick eating a child is like buying a 500 dollar bottle of wine, or some high grade caviar in equivalence.
Problem is, the demon in the marketplace seemed like he was basically popping open said bottle or caviar and taking it all down on the spot.
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Post by rhoenix » 2008-05-12 06:59pm

I only started reading this recently Stuart, and I just now finished catching up. Excellent premise, well-written, and grows more interesting by the chapter. I look forward to reading more!

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Post by gtg947h » 2008-05-12 07:04pm

I'm still thinking the nukes are going to be held back... as was earlier pointed out, there's no sense tipping our hand and giving away our biggest gun, so to speak. I think some combination of iron, cluster, and fuel-air bombs would be more appropriate. A handful of MOABs (and their Russian equivalents) would probably work almost as well, I think.

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