Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

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Zed Snardbody
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Post by Zed Snardbody » 2008-06-11 11:02pm

Phantasee wrote:I think the reds in the Super Hornet are a touch too bright, Zed.
Thats what I thought I couldn't decide though. Be back in a bit.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-06-11 11:16pm

Keep in mind, the light in hell is pretty dim. I think if they aren't bright, they'll be too dark and stand out as shadows against the sky.
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Post by JBG » 2008-06-12 04:52am

Shep did post his ideas on appropriate uniforms and he has shown some interest in the past in warplanes.....

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Post by Einhander Sn0m4n » 2008-06-12 08:56am

Really nice, Zed. One suggestion: JPEG fails hard when it comes to red or blue images. Use PNG instead (and always Always ALWAYS keep an uncompressed BMP master file!)

EDIT: Also, what would Hell's dust filters look like, Stu?
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Post by Starglider » 2008-06-12 09:34am

Einhander Sn0m4n wrote:EDIT: Also, what would Hell's dust filters look like, Stu?
From a distance, probably rather like the intake grilles on the F-117.
Use PNG instead (and always Always ALWAYS keep an uncompressed BMP master file!)
Or just a 24-bit PNG master; it's lossless unless you force it down to 256 colours. BMP is legacy Microsoft junk.

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Post by Stuart » 2008-06-12 01:21pm

Third Platoon, Second Company, Third Battalion, Fourth Regiment, 247th Motor Rifle Division, Phlegethon River Front, Hell

The BMP-2 was shut down, its hatches sealed and firmly dogged in place, overpressure system on to prevent harpy gas and flame leaking in from outside. Bullets were rattling off the armor plate as the three MICVs machine-gunned each other in an attempt to drive off the hordes of harpies that were swarming all over the vehicles, tearing at anything breakable. Last time Lieutenant Anatolii Ivanovich Pas'kov had looked through the turret optics, a dozen or more of the beasts were trying to bend the barrel of his 30mm cannon, he didn’t think they had succeeded but he was reluctant to fire the gun anyway. He hunched down, trying to ignore the acrid fumes from the gunfire that was creating havoc with the harpies outside. Only, some of the acrid stench wasn’t cordite residue, it was the smell of the harpies’ acidic blood attacking bare metal. Certainly the chemical weapons-resistant paint on the BMP was protecting most of the hull from corrosion but there were still parts that were vulnerable to acid.

His little command had done well at first. The Tungaska had fired its eight laser-guided missiles and turned more that a dozen harpies into spiraling explosions, then its 30mm cannon had started chopping more out of the sky. The BMPs had joined in, their turret cannon selecting the closest harpies and shooting them out of the sky. But there had been so many of them, more than 200,000 so the intelligence reports said, and the hundred or so that the 30mm guns had killed were hardly noticeable. The rest had descended on the vehicles and started their assault. Oh, Pas’kov knew that their claws and teeth would not get through the armor but the harpies had other weapons as well. They breathed fire and there was much on an armored vehicle that could burn. The Tungaska had already gone, its engine compartment had caught fire and its crew had been forced to abandon their vehicle into the flock of harpies. They’d tried to run for the BMPs but they were brought down, torn apart and eaten before they’d made more than a pace or two. Pas’kov had been glad of that in a way, he wouldn’t have opened his hatches to let them in anyway.

“Ammunition is running out.” The cry was from one of the two riflemen in the fighting compartment of the vehicle. They were hosing fire out of the fighting ports in the rear compartment, the steel floor covered with their expended cartridge cases. The BMP was carrying more that its allowed load of munitions but the rate of expenditure was such that even its enhanced stocks were getting short. Pas’kov swung the turret, feeling the power traverse fighting the harpies swarming outside, and let off a burst from his co-axial machine gun. The harpies trying to bend his 30mm cannon barrel were caught unawares and the heavy machine gun burst tore into them, spraying acid blood into the air and causing their flesh to char. The cordite smoke-laden air inside the BMP got more dense if that was possible, the heat rising further.

“Get us out of here, we must pull back.”

“We cannot, the transmission is jammed.” The driver’s words didn’t really make sense but Pas’kov guessed what had really happened, the suspension was being attacked by acid and the treads were jammed.

Instead, he got the radio, with just a little luck, it might be working. The whip antenna had long gone, torn off by the harpies, but the little blade antenna might still be intact.

“Company, this is Three. We’re running out of ammunition and are trapped. Our AA vehicle is gone. We need final protective fire now. Right on top of us.”

Pas’kov knew his company commander realized the same thing that Pas’kov himself had done. Calling fire directly on his position was suicide, the guns would tear the armored vehicles apart. But it was better to go that way than be shredded and eaten by the harpies screaming outside.

“Request approved. Being passed up. Hold on Three. Seal down tight. Full protocol.”

Guards Special Mortar Regiment, Northern Front, Phlegethon River.

The great 300mm rockets loaded into the Smerch multiple-launch rocket system were black, with glaring yellow bands painted around their nose. No other rocket had quite such vivid or elaborate markings and for a very good reason, nobody wanted these rockets to be confused with anything else. Even the Smerch crews were afraid of them and their cargo. They’d taken them out of their storage boxes with painstaking care, only too aware that one accident, one slip meant a ghastly death for all around them. Guards Captain Yurii Leonidovich Zabelin had personally supervised the loading process himself and inspected all the firing connections and status checks before reporting his battery ready to fire. Then, he had been told to wait for the current barrage was the work of the heavy guns. The Smerch launchers with their deadly black rockets would have their time, when the right moment came.

The radio in the command vehicle suddenly jumped to life. The right moment had come.

B-52H “Emma Peel” 28,000 feet over the Phlegethon River.

“That makes life a bit better.” The red-and-gray camouflaged B-52s had burst out of the murk at 28,000 feet and Colonel Haymen had pulled back on the lever that operated the engine filters. They’d rotated though 90 degrees, so they were now parallel to the air flow through the engines and the pick-up in power was immediate. The Gray Lady was back to performing the way she should and the old adage held true again. Never underestimate the Gray Lady.

“Hammer Control, this is Storm flight, we’ve broken out of the clag at 28,000 feet. Air is clean up here. Light still red, but visibility good. Tell the Bones to get up here if they want a long, fast cruise.”

“We’ll do that Hammer Flight. Be advised, a pair of B-29s did test drops for you. Computed ballistic corrections hold true, no need to correct programming for bomb drops.”

“Thanks Control. And thank the guys in the Superforts for us too.” Haymen sighed slightly in relief. That was one of the problems of fighting in non-Euclidean hell, there had been no guarantee that the bombs stuffed into Emma’s belly and hanging under her wings would drop true. The only way that anybody could find out was to try and that was what the B-29s had been doing. Drop bombs, compare impact points with those projected and calculate corrections. It had been a long, arduous job, constantly dropping and recalculating, it was lucky the old Superforts had been available to do it. Otherwise more valuable aircraft would have had to be taken out of the line.

“Take everybody up to 32,000. We can expect the drop order soon.”

“Hey, wait for me.” The plaintive voice came from Major Hennessy at the back of the formation. His “Vengeance Is Mine” was the only B-52D in the group of 72 B-52s that were lining up ready for their strike. A museum recovery, it just didn’t have the engine power of the Gs and Hs.”

“Come, on, hurry up old-timer. We haven’t got all day.”

“Hurry up? Hurry up!! I’ll have you know that at least our wings are level back here.”

Haymen snorted. The B-52s had all been through a very hurried “Big Belly” modification that had seen provision for 750 pound bombs increased from 51 to 80. The problem was that the G and H models had a lighter wing structure than earlier marks and now those wings were bent in a graceful curve from tip to root. Only the solitary D-model had wings that were still uncurved. It still carried more bombs as well, 88 instead of 80.

“OK, OK. All Storm birds. The Superforts have confirmed the corrections, we can use the programmed bomb drop. Waiting for word now.”

Command HQ, Camp Hell-Alpha, Hell

“How goes the day Tovarish General?” General David Petraeus stood in front of his view screen, looking at the Russian commander at the other end

General Ivan Semenovich Dorokhov was a harassed-looking man, already tired from the volume of fighting that was going on. “It is a bloody day Bratishka. We are holding them in the North at great cost but the force in the south has bitten deep into the defenses. The North too will start to collapse soon, we are already getting requests from the front line to bring down fire on our own positions. The harpies in the north are pinning our men down, our artillery is hammering the follow-on forces but soon they will have crossed the river and then our positions will fall fast. Still, we have some tricks to play yet and your bombers are ready I think.”

“On your word Tovarish General, just give us the word. Good news, the air is clear up where they are, they can hold up there for longer than we thought. And in the South?”

“Bad. The enemy there are half way through our defense zone. They are paying a terrible price but they have naga carried by Rhinolobsters that are very effective and the Wyverns have done us some harm. But our artillery hit the nagas with white phosphorus and the Wyverns are no match for fighters. The advance there will run out of power soon. But we might need to counter-attack them before they can break through. It will be a finely-judged thing, whether their advance runs out of energy before we stop them.”

“The German and Israeli armored divisions are well placed for that. Order them to make the attack.” Petraeus hesitated for a brief second. “Make sure the Israeli unit has plenty of space around it.”

Dorokhov frowned. “You expect treachery? Surely not.”

“Not treachery, stupidity. The Israelis are too trigger-happy for their own good. They will not shoot up one of our own units deliberately but they are all too likely to do so by accident. We know that to our cost. It would be best to give them an end-run so they are well clear of the rest of your forces. Get them over the Phlegethon so the rest of us are safe.”

The Russian General laughed. “Good advice Tovarish David. You heard the enemy used burning brimstone on our troops? Well, know we will show them what we can do when we wish.”

“Weapons Are Free General. And give us the word when you want the Gray Lady to come calling.”

Over the Northern Front, Phlegethon River

It had many names. Some called it 2-(Fluoro-methylphosphoryl)oxypropane, others preferred O-isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate. The military eschewed such long-winded nomenclatures and just called it GB. The world at large knew it as Sarin.

The great black rockets with their gaudy yellow markings had been launched all down the line. This is what they had been waiting for, when their ability to saturate an area with fire could be turned to best advantage. As the rockets had started to descend, the outer casing had been discarded and the ranks of sub-munitions had been exposed. Further down, those sub-munitions had started to be launched and they had formed a spreading pattern that resembled a great shotgun blast. It was the same mechanism that the Americans had used to bring down the hideous steel rain that had destroyed Abigor’s Army. Only this time, when the sub-munitions detonated they didn’t bring down a curtain of steel fragments or blast from shaped-charge munitions. First they started to spin and the action mixed the charges of methylphosphonyl difluoride and a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and isopropyl amine. They reacted to form the Sarin and then the sub-munitions burst to release a fine gentle rain, one that none of the screaming hordes of harpies below even noticed for the liquid was colorless and odorless. The only thing that Beelzebub and his Army did notice was that the human mage-fire that was pounding the bank of the Phlegethon furthest from the Russian positions had ceased.

Every so often, in a battle, for no apparent reason, the noise stops. The gunfire, the roar of the artillery, the growls, whines and snarls of engines, the demented shriek of depleted uranium bolts hitting steel armor, the crackling grumble of fires, the screams of dying men stop and there is an eerie silence. So it was as the Sarin descended on the positions under harpy attack. The Russian guns stopped firing so that the passage of their shells through the air would not disturb the blanket of chemical warfare agent that had been so carefully calculated. Beneath, the Russian motor rifle units were sealing down, hoping that the overpressure systems on their vehicles had survived the harpies and that their chemical warfare suits were proof against the gas. In case it wasn’t they had their atropine injectors ready but the truth was that even if they used them the gas would wreck their bodies. With atropine they would survive but they would never again be the men they had been once.

Uxaligantivaris concentrated on the Iron Chariot that was under her claws. She and her companions were ripping at it with their claws and breathing fire over it as fast as their bodies could recharge their gas sacks. They had used so much of the fire-gas that they had lost the ability to fly but it didn’t matter that much. All that mattered was to keep the Iron Chariots under attack so that the foot soldiers following them could destroy the defenses. Then she shook her head slightly, Hell was a dim place, its light levels low and subdued but suddenly she could see everything was becoming bright and clear to her. So bright that the light was hurting her eyes in a way that she had never experienced before. She looked at another harpy that had stopped ripping at the iron projections on the chariot and saw that her flight-mate’s eyes were strange, the slitted black pupil had contracted to a fine line, almost invisible in the yellow of her eyes. Her nose was running, mucus streaming out of it and coating her chest. Uxaligantivaris touched her own nose and realized that she too was streaming fluids from her nose and that there was a strange tightness in her chest, as if she was having problems breathing. In fact, she realized, that was exactly it, she was having problems getting her ribs to suck air into her lungs. The effort was making her feel sick and she could feel herself drooling uncontrollably. She couldn’t help herself, she vomited helplessly and felt her body loosing strength. Across from her, the other harpies were collapsing as well, vomiting on to the Iron chariot that was now forgotten as the agony took hold of them. Her flight-mates were defecating and urinating like helpless kidling, their bodies twitching and jerking as they tried to escape the unseen thing that was inflicting this terrible end on them. Uxaligantivaris felt her muscles become paralyzed and she slipped down the side of the Iron chariot to lie on the ground spasming and writhing as the Sarin destroyed her nervous system. Eventually, what seemed like an age later, she found herself slipping into unconsciousness and never felt the series of massive convulsions that fractured her bones and tore her muscles while she died of suffocation.

Command Post, Northern Front, Phlegethon River Bulge, Hell

Beelzebub looked at the horrific scene with utter bewilderment. When the human mage-bolts had stopped hammering his forces, he had thought the battle was reaching its turning point, that the human mages had run out of their magic and that now the humans would have to fight on even terms. He’s even welcomed the eerie silence that had descended on the battlefield. He wouldn’t make that mistake again, nor would he ever forget what he was seeing. The silence was part of a human magery that went beyond anything he could even imagine, more than he had ever experienced. Not even Uriel could do what the humans had done to his harpies for in the few seconds that the silence held, his great flock, still far more than 100,000 strong started to die. Not just die, but die in horrible, unspeakable ways, twitching and convulsing in a pool of their own body wastes. Where a few second earlier the human Iron Chariots had been swamped in a sea of harpies that were slowly reducing them to burning hulks, now they stood clear, surrounded by the dying remnants of Beelzebub’s prized force of Harpies.

That was when the silence broke for the iron chariots opened fire again, the mage-bolts pouring from the long staffs they carried, sending the orange-red fireflies lashing at Beelzebub’s foot soldiers on the other bank. They’d taken the quiet, the sudden end of the mage-bolts to try and rush the river. The forces at the back had pushed hard as they surged forward but those at the front had seen what was happening to the harpies, the terrible death that was engulfing them and they were reluctant to move. No warriors were braver or more contemptuous of death that the foot soldiers of Hell yet this magery that inflicted a silent convulsing death on its victims was hideous in a way nothing they had previously experienced could be. They hesitated and the combination of their immobility and the advance of those behind was squeezing the foot soldiers of Beelzebub’s army into a dense mass alongside the river.

The crackle of fire from the Iron Chariots was suddenly drowned out by the roar of human mage-bolts slamming into his force. For a moment, Beelzebub thought that the mage barrage had started again but he was wrong. For off to his left, a line of eighteen great explosions had torn into one flank of his Army. They were mage-bolts all right but their size was greater by far than any he had seen to date. Even as he watched the first bolts swelling and bursting, another salvo landed just in front of them, and then another line just beyond them. Then, Beelzebub saw something that had never been seen in hell before, ahead of the great mage-bolt blasts, a shimmering wall was starting to form, a faint whitish-blue cloud that strengthened with every salvo of bolts that landed and started to race across the crowded mass of his foot soldiers. The great orange and black balls of fire and smoke marched along behind the blue cloud. When both wall and bolts had passed, there was nothing left but bare ground and chewed soil.

It wasn’t magical of course, it was just a matter of physics and the great bomb bays of the Gray Lady. The first of the 750 pound bombs that had poured from them had hit the ground more or less where they had been aimed, hell’s atmosphere was dust-gorged and murky but it also lacked the strong winds that distinguished Earth. For the Gray Lady, this was an easy assignment. The bombs had exploded and created a blast wave that had spread out in a hemispherical pattern from the impact point. Sideways, each blast wave had merged with the other 17 in that particular line to form a long cylinder, fronted by the shockwave and centered by a whirlwind of fire and steel fragments. Normally, with a few bombs, the blast wave would spread and dissipate but this was the Gray Lady and her wrath was terrible. The next salvo of 750 pound bombs, released by the intervalometers in the B-52s at a carefully chosen interval, hit the ground just behind that advancing shockwave, adding its own fury to the wave that was racing across the ground. The third salvo did the same, each series of blasts adding its own power to the shockwave that built up in power with every series of bombs that pounded Beelzebub’s helpless foot soldiers. The shock wave wasn’t just the power of one bomb, it was the power of all of them added together, a cumulative effect that turned blast into a solid, irresistible and strangely beautiful wall that nothing human or demon could withstand. By the tenth bomb, the blast wave was invincible and there were seventy more to come before the second wave of B-52s took over and added their loads to the holocaust that was consuming Beelzebub’s army.

High overhead, so high where she couldn’t be seen or heard from the ground, the Gray Lady wrought death and destruction on the forces gathered below, an apocalyptic catastrophe that hell and its inhabitants had never even conceived. Watching from his hilltop as his army was consumed, Beelzebub at last understood what humans could do when they decided to stop playing with their enemies.
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Post by Mr Bean » 2008-06-12 01:35pm

Ka-booom!
*Edit, we get Chemical weaponry, we get an Arch-Light strike, and now I wonder what Satan's reaction will be.

The massive katyusha barrage has not yet been used correct? Or was that used for the Sarin?
Last edited by Mr Bean on 2008-06-12 01:43pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Surlethe » 2008-06-12 01:38pm

YES!!! :twisted:
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Post by gtg947h » 2008-06-12 01:41pm

Pwned! :twisted:

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Post by Peptuck » 2008-06-12 01:47pm

And Joe Baldrick finally discovers the joys of chemical warfare. :twisted:
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Post by Surlethe » 2008-06-12 01:54pm

Peptuck wrote:And Joe Baldrick finally discovers the joys of chemical warfare. :twisted:
Ironic, given where the term 'baldrick' came from, eh?
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-06-12 01:57pm

How long before some jackass says we're committing war crimes and tries to have Petraeus removed?
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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-06-12 02:06pm

Image

It's a cholinesterase inhibitor. Stops the brain from sending nerve messages down the spinal cord within thirty seconds. Any epidermal exposure or inhalation and you'll know. A twinge at the small of your back as the poison seizes your nervous system...

Your muscles freeze, you can't breathe, you spasm so hard you break your own back and spit your guts out. But that's after your skin melts off.

My God...

Oh, I think we'd like God on our side at the moment, don't you?

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Post by Zed Snardbody » 2008-06-12 02:17pm

Let us all bow our heads and say the prayer of Saint Curtis:
May you be high and fast,
To protect those below
To punish those who would seek to do us harm
For he has no hatred for them
Just massive retaliation
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Post by JN1 » 2008-06-12 02:19pm

CW and Arc Light, wow, Stu, you are spoiling us with this chapter. I certainly enjoyed the battle scenes. This particular battle between human and baldrick forces is not the virtual walkover we saw in Iraq; I guess we should be looking for the location that the Russian soldiers killed in action will appear.
Can the RAF offer its Vulcan Flight for Arc Light sorties? I've planned for three aircraft to be currently operational (XH558, XL426 and XM655), with another two and three being restored to operational condition fairly soon.
There are two Victors that could conceivably be returned to operational status (XL231 and XM715), though I wonder if they would be more useful as tankers, or whether they should be restored to bomber status given their potential payload of 35 1,000lb bombs?

I do like those Hell camouflaged aircraft. I do wonder, though if it is worth it? I can't help thinking that while in ODS/Op GRANBY we all painted our ground attack aircraft desert pink we did not bother for OIF/Op TELIC.
Do we really need to conceal aircraft that can fly higher and faster than anything in Hell?
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-06-12 02:38pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:It's a cholinesterase inhibitor. Stops the brain from sending nerve messages down the spinal cord within thirty seconds. Any epidermal exposure or inhalation and you'll know. A twinge at the small of your back as the poison seizes your nervous system...

Your muscles freeze, you can't breathe, you spasm so hard you break your own back and spit your guts out. But that's after your skin melts off.

My God...

Oh, I think we'd like God on our side at the moment, don't you?

:twisted:
Nice, but that stuff was VX, not Sarin :P
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Post by JN1 » 2008-06-12 02:40pm

And to be really pedantic VX doesn't melt the skin (AFAIK anyway). :wink:
Good movie that but why does Connery let that marine get away with calling him English? That's about the worst insult you can give to a Scot.
Maybe that's why he killed him. :lol:
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Post by dragon » 2008-06-12 02:49pm

Peptuck wrote:And Joe Baldrick finally discovers the joys of chemical warfare. :twisted:
Just wait until they discover the joys of a nuclear firestorm :twisted: Which I'm surprised that some of the small ones haven't been used on that big ass army.
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Post by Zim » 2008-06-12 03:02pm

I wonder what Satan's reaction will be once he learns of the outcome. This defeat isn't just a one-hit instance in a faraway land in the case of Abigor; it's right under his nose, and his most trusted lieutenant is the architect for this defeat.

Satan is also about to have half his remaining professionals slaughtered, what's he going to do? Send in the other half? No reason they won't get butchered too. The best he can do is hope those thousands of legions of reservists are ready, but can Satan trust them?

The only reason the troops attacking the human positions are holding is because they're disciplined professionals. Amateurs don't last too long in a stand-up pitched battle, especially if they know they'll be granted clemency if they surrender.

Maybe he'll try to strike up some kind of deal with Yahweh? Get some assistance through their border gate in return for (probably major) concessions once the war is over?

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Post by Einhander Sn0m4n » 2008-06-12 03:16pm

Yummy delicious chemical warfare and ARCLIGHT attack! Stu, you are Fucking Awesome mixed with Epic Win! :twisted:
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Post by The Vortex Empire » 2008-06-12 03:22pm

:shock: It would really auck to be a Baldrick. Perhaps Beelzebub will surrender too, eh?

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Post by Jaevric » 2008-06-12 04:19pm

Destructionator XIII wrote:What the fuck is wrong with you people? How can anyone read the descriptions of what these horrible weapons do and do anything other than weep?

Jesus Christ, no one deserves that. It is bad enough to see them ripped apart by artillery and razor wire, but this is even worse.


I fucking hate war.
Er, we're talking about (fictional) creatures who have spent thousands of years torturing and eating human beings for (malicious) fun and profit.

Frankly, "better them than us" comes strongly to mind.

Anyway, Jesus Christ and his Daddy are next on the list for "aggressive displays of human ingenuity" so if he doesn't like it he can get in line to file a complaint.

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Post by Eulogy » 2008-06-12 04:20pm

Destructionator XIII wrote:What the fuck is wrong with you people? How can anyone read the descriptions of what these horrible weapons do and do anything other than weep?

Jesus Christ, no one deserves that. It is bad enough to see them ripped apart by artillery and razor wire, but this is even worse.


I fucking hate war.
Why is gas worse than getting your limbs ripped off and slowly bleeding to death? Besides, the alternative to fighting this war is the extinction of humanity and everyoe getting tortured for eternity.

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Post by phongn » 2008-06-12 04:35pm

Destructionator XIII wrote:What the fuck is wrong with you people? How can anyone read the descriptions of what these horrible weapons do and do anything other than weep?
Pretty nasty, isn't it? But - they're not human, so there's some measure of abstraction for us (plus the fictional element); that said I was unsettled by the description of the sarin attack.
Jesus Christ, no one deserves that. It is bad enough to see them ripped apart by artillery and razor wire, but this is even worse.
Modern war is not about what people deserve, as cruel as that is.
I fucking hate war.
Fair enough, but why are you reading this story, then? It's a huge, nasty war to the knife.
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Post by gtg947h » 2008-06-12 04:42pm

edit: retracting some statements after reading further commentary.

I'm sure Stuart is in no way attempting to glorify this kind of violence or portray it as a nice thing. If anything, the vivid descriptions just rienforce how ugly it is. But remember, this story is fictional. And those on the receiving end (in this story) have earned it many times over. My earlier :twisted: was put with that firmly in mind.

Yes, war is a terrible thing. But it is sometimes necessary to prevent or end things that are even more terrible.
Last edited by gtg947h on 2008-06-12 04:47pm, edited 1 time in total.

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