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Godforsaken Future - updated 12/10/2013

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guest
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-05 12:45pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
Zim wrote:
I can see the Bozorg advance halted by the counter-attack in India, only for it to pick up steam in the Iranian front. What are the troop compositions in Iran? I can't imagine the Iranian conscripts there are very well trained and equipped and it's not like the human-wave tactics that worked in the Iraq-Iranian War would be effective against the Bozorgs. Maybe the Israelis and Turks could provide some much needed quality but in what numbers?


Well, we're talking about pretty much everybody from the Middle East and North Africa is fighting along the western front. Although I didn't state it, any army that isn't quite up to snuff is getting training and equipment from the Soviets or Americans with additional advisement from the Israelis, and they've had over a year to get blooded and seasoned against the bozorgs, so the Iranian front is actually looking better than one would originally think.
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Littlefoot
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-06 08:29am 

Youngling


Joined: 2009-01-08 03:02am
Posts: 93
Location: Arkansas USA
The Vortex Empire wrote:
We saw how well that went last time.


I think he meant that the nukes should be used on the Indians to deny the enemy tons of biomas, like a nuke version of what the Americans tried to do on their front.
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Andehtron
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-06 09:51am 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-02-18 07:15pm
Posts: 69
Location: Im not sure...help!
I'd imagine that would be somewhat counter productive.
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The Vortex Empire
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-06 12:08pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2006-12-11 10:44pm
Posts: 1351
Location: Rhode Island
Plus, I don't think the Indians would be likely to just let that happen. Launch nukes at them, they'll launch right back at you. And a global nuclear war is the last thing humanity needs right now.
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guest
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-06 02:08pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
Episode 25




“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.”
-Ulysses S. Grant





-6:35 AM November 8, 1987, Arsenjan, Fars Province, Iran




"We're what?!?!"

Navid was incredulous, he couldn't believe such a decision would have been arrived at on such short notice. Dariush merely shook his head dismissively "yeah, I know, it's a bit sudden, but we've got orders. Apparently one of the Iraqi companies that was supposed to be taking part in the offensive got hit with a friendly artillery strike, we've been ordered to take their place" he explained, he was clearly just as flummoxed as Navid.

Navid quickly started checking his weapon and the rest of his gear to ensure he had everything "who the fuck is running this army anyway? It'll be a wonder if any of us survive to see the end of the war. Who the fuck is going to replace us?" he asked with a frustrated tone.

Dariush fidgeted in place where he stood, shifting the weight of his own gear "look, I dunno, and I don't really care right now, somebody with better pay than us made the call, and if something get's fucked up they can deal with it, just hurry up okay? We've got less than half an hour to get into position" he urged.

Sergeant Karimi was shouting something a short distance away at someone else, Dariush sighed anxiously "great, Sergeant Karimi sounds pissed" he said.

Navid rolled his eyes as he hefted his own rucksack over his shoulder "the sergeant always sounds pissed. Relax, if we are late then they'll just have to fight the war without us, which isn't exactly something I would mind personally" he said as he picked up his rifle and started to crawl out of the fox hole.

"Okay, let's go."





-6:47 AM November 8, 1987, Nawalgarth, Rajasthan, India




"Hurry up ya fucking dykes stop munching carpet and get your bony asses aboard!" Private Melvis shouted at Kelly and the rest of her squad.

They sprinted the rest of the way to the open rear hatch of the CH-53 "fuck you asshole!" she said as she looked for a seat in the back of the large aircraft.

Melvis gave her a look of mock surprise "I appreciate the offer, but I'm not into dykes, maybe you can get some action from Ditkins over there, she's the odd lesbian out" he retorted. Ditty was sitting over near the front of the passenger compartment, she gave Kelly a sympathetic look.

Out of their whole platoon, almost all of the women were in one single squad; Kelly's. This resulted in the whole squad being referred to as "the dykes with guns" even the men in the got included. Ditty was the only woman not in that squad, she was by herself in another one.

Kelly wasn't certain, but she had become increasingly convinced that the arrangement was intentional. Over the previous two weeks their gear had been "misplaced" three times, their berths had suffered the mishap of being "mysteriously" shredded by what was undoubtedly a KA-BAR, and once they had found their helmets all filled with piss soaked tampons.

The pranks themselves weren't the problem, Kelly had taken plenty of crap during recruit training, and these were little more than childish shenanigans. What really bothered her was the fact that it was her squad and hers alone that was being singled out for this. She had worked so hard to become a Marine over the past few months and now she was one, she felt that she had earned some degree of respect.
Yet, just about every Marine in the platoon and the rest of Task Force Sabre treated her and the other female Marines with nothing but contempt. Even the other men in her squad wouldn't talk to them. She figured that they resented her and the others for their presence, blaming them for being ostracized.

All things considered though, Kelly figured that she could be a lot worse off. If she had been assigned to a non-combat posting she had no doubt that her tormentors would have a hell of a lot more time on their hands to think up ways to abuse her. Also, when she got the chance to talk to Ditty, she had gotten the impression that something was really bothering her friend. She wouldn't talk about it, but Kelly was starting to suspect that it was something serious...

As they tried to strap themselves in, there was a sudden shortage of available seating as everybody on board had managed to find a way to place a weapon or some other gear on any unoccupied seats. Kelly approached the nearest available one which was being used as a resting place for someone's rifle. She looked over at its owner; an unpleasant looking private named Sorensen "excuse me!" she said, trying her best to sound assertive.

He looked up at her dismissively "you're excused" he said sarcastically then turned his attention elsewhere, not moving his weapon. She sighed frustration, then started to reach for his weapon to pull it off the seat, but then had an idea.
He was holding onto the tip of the weapon’s barrel, and foolishly had his index finger inserted through the iron sight. Sorensen had seemed to try his best to ignore regulations and procedures which seemed to extend to holding his weapon in a most idiotic fashion.
Leaning forward, Kelly reached over and grabbed the rifle with two hands, yanking at it and then twisting sharply, the other Marine cried out in pain “OW! What the fuck!?!” he exclaimed as he looked up at her, his eyes filled with fury and surprise.
The corners of Kelly’s lips turned up in a slight smirk “excuse me, but would you mind moving this fucking rifle so that I can sit down here?” she asked with mock cordiality.
“Go fuck yourself bitch!”
He didn’t seem to have gotten the message, so she twisted the rifle a little more, causing him to cry out in pain yet again. She was careful not to apply too much pressure, while she wasn’t too worried(it wasn’t his trigger finger after all) she didn’t want to break it.
Suddenly, Kelly had become aware that a number of the other Marines had gotten up and were approaching her threateningly, the other members of her squad had taken up defensive positions around her. She started to ponder the wisdom of this course of action, she had only intended for this to be a confrontation between her and Private Sorensen, she had no intention of causing half the platoon to get into a tussle. She opened her mouth to speak, to make one last demand in hopes of ending this before things went a little too crazy but was interrupted.

"What the FUCK! Is this GRABASS!?!?!"

Kelly realized that Staff-Sergeant Brasseau was standing at the back of the aircraft, his expression could have peeled paint.

"Everyone get in your goddamn positions and strap the fuck in! NOW!"

Eight empty seats miraculously became available almost instantly as the sound of the helicopter's massive turbines increased in intensity. Kelly wasted no time in securing herself into the seat next to Sorensen who was considerably less defiant now as he desperately nursed his sore finger, he didn't look over at her. She wondered what hurt him more, his injured digit or his bruised ego.

The massive rotors of the Super Stallion finally started to reach full speed and dust began to get kicked up all around them. As they finally began to lift off, Kelly looked at the other female Marines in her squad, they were smiling at her, even the male members of her squad had a slight amused smirk on their lips.

"Hey Vasquez, you're a real fucking ball buster!"

It was Corporal Dawson, for a fraction of a second Kelly thought that it was another mean spirited insult directed at her, but then she saw the look in the squad leader's eyes, it was faint, and hardly could have been said to even be there, but Kelly recognized it nonetheless. It was respect.

Just about everybody on board the aircraft still either wouldn't look at her or when they did it was with nothing but contempt, but that didn't matter, for the first time since arriving in India, she felt accepted.





-6:51 AM November 8, 1987, Coalition Eastern Strategic Command, outskirts of Aral, Xinjang, China




General Li Tāo looked at the large monitor on the other side of the room, the image filled him with frustration. He sighed as a large object, much brighter than its surroundings(almost white in fact) moved at a seemingly ponderous pace across the monitor.

To Tāo it was both fitting and ironic, while the people who had originally designed the satellites and infrared sensors that they used made no such connections, to him and everyone else in his homeland, white was associated with death. What better color than white for such a horrific and deadly creature, even its death caused more death.

He looked over at General Yuji Fujinawa "it would appear that we have quite the challenge ahead of us" he said in slightly accented Japanese.

The other general nodded "as always, you are given to understatement" replied Fujinawa.

Tāo pondered the irony of the situation, first that both a Japanese and Chinese general would be working together so closely. His father had fought in The War of Resistance, and had always referred to the Japanese as 'those devils from that cursed island" when he was being nice.

Tāo supposed however, that even the hated Imperial Japanese Army was downright friendly when compared to the tāziyāne. Then again, just about anything was preferable to those abominations.

Then there was the second irony, the fact that he would be commanding the single most important military operation in the history of China, possibly the entire human race. Not only was he the overall commander of all Chinese forces, but he was nominally the supreme commander of all coalition forces in Asia, including Russian and American troops.

Granted, it was more or less a formality, as commanders in each region; north, south, east, and west had almost complete autonomy, but he had final decision making authority on matters of overall strategic importance. The fact that it was a Chinese general taking command when there were Russian and American forces involved was ironic enough, but the fact that just over a year previously he was a little known Brigadier General in the PLA, leading a small division of unprepared young men.

He still remembered those horrible days in September of the previous year, when they had marched into Afghanistan. They had been proud and excited, expecting to show the world just how strong China could be, ready to show the arrogant Russians and Americans just how to fight a war properly. How wrong they had been.

He remembered the looks on the eyes of so many of his men as they were torn to pieces by horrible monstrosities. So many of them had been dismembered, disemboweled, mutilated, torn limb from limb and horribly brutalized in just about every way imaginable, and he remembered all of it, every time he slept he saw the bodies, the blood, the shattered body parts strewn across the ground.

He didn't know how he had managed to do it, but he had somehow gotten about half of his men out of there along with the tattered remnants of another half dozen other units, and when things had finally settled down he was one of the highest ranking officers left alive from that horrid nightmare of a military campaign. If it could even be called that; as far as Tāo had been concerned, it was a massacre, nothing more.

The following days and weeks had been a flurry of activity. In a desperate bid to salvage something from the disaster, the party had done everything in their power to highlight Tāo's efforts.

The fact that he had managed to pull almost as many men out of there as he had left with was seen as some sort of success. Of course it was never mentioned that half of those men weren't even originally part of his command. Tāo supposed that considering how much of a disaster the overall operation had been, his actions were probably about the closest thing to a victory the party could claim. He had just never really felt that it was anything but a total failure.

He'd had promotions and awards showered upon him, including a Victory Meritorious Honor Medal, he didn't think many people saw the irony that Tāo did in such an award.

Then came the political fallout. While he had provided the party with a hero, someone had to be the scapegoat. General Dehzi was chief among them. He had been stripped of rank and discharged from the army. The same went for the majority of the core of high level commanders in the PLA. As the Americans liked to say, "a house cleaning was in order" and that's exactly what they did.

Combining that with the fact that Tāo just kept winning, or rather he kept not-losing. Of all the commanders in the field for the PLA, he seemed to have the best ability to kill the enemy while losing the fewest of his own men, a dubious honor to be sure, but it ensured a meteoric rise for him. In just a year had had managed to jump from the mere rank of Brigadier-General to be the most senior officer in the entire Asian theater, it was unprecedented, but then again these were unprecedented times.

Tāo looked over the map before him, then back up once again at the monitor and the titanic monstrosity displayed on it. He took a deep breath "alright, I suppose it is time that we give those monstrous contraptions a try after all" he said with resignation.




-7:02 AM November 8, 1987, somewhere in Rajasthan Province, India





Kelly thought that her heart was about to smack into the roof of her mouth as the CH-53 maneuvered around some unseen threat. Her heart was already racing a mile a minute and she hadn't even gotten to the actual combat yet, she prayed that she wouldn't freeze when the time came.

Staff-Sergeant Brasseau was standing at the front of the passenger compartment. Even as he gripped the handhold above him, she wondered how the man had managed to avoid tumbling about the interior of the aircraft. He was shouting something, but Kelly couldn't figure out what it was. Between the sound of jets and dragonflies roaring past outside, nearby artillery barrages, the constant thumping of the three door gunners taking on some unseen targets, and the labors of their own aircraft's engines it seemed impossible to hear anything anyone said.

However, it looked like some of the Marines closer to the Staff Sergeant were double checking their weapons. Kelly guessed that they were almost to the LZ, so she double checked her own M-16. She looked over at Sorensen who was also checking his own gear, he also looked like he was trying to avoid vomiting all over the inside of the helicopter.

Suddenly the aircraft lurched violently, then a loud BANG cut through all the other noises. Kelly immediately thought that one of the dragonflies had crashed into them, but when she didn't die a fiery violent death and they didn't fall from the sky she concluded that it was something else.

She realized that there was another new sound accompanying the rest of the cacophony, it took her a second to realize that it was screaming. A look around revealed that early morning sunlight was shining in through several new holes in the Super Stallion's fuselage.

The source of the screaming became apparent quite quickly as her eyes were drawn to Private Palmerson who had two large spikes of some kind protruding from his chest and stomach, blood flowed copiously out of his chest and onto the deck of the passenger compartment.

Suddenly she noticed that there were three other Marines who also had spikes protruding from various different parts of their bodies, but they weren't screaming and they weren't moving either. It was then that she noticed that Sorensen wasn't holding back vomit or checking his rifle. She looked over and saw that he merely sat there limply, his eyes stared lifelessly across the compartment at the Marine across from him, a spike protruding from his forehead.

Kelly's eyes widened, she didn't scream, she didn't struggle to get out of her seat, but her heart which was already racing at breakneck pace picked up speed even further somehow. She'd never seen a dead body before, much less been present for someone's death, and now the man sitting next to her had just been killed in a horrible and violent way. The altercation from earlier now seemed as though it was a million miles away, even though it had been less than a half hour.

That wasn't the worst of it though, while being strapped in next to a dead man was hardly a comforting experience, the most upsetting thing about it was the sudden randomness of it all. Sorensen hadn't been given the chance to fire his weapon in anger, even once. He had never even seen the face of his attacker, he had just been killed, so suddenly, so... senselessly.

She didn't have time to think of this however as she felt the entire aircraft jerk suddenly as it landed. Without even consciously thinking about, Kelly felt her hands go up to her restraints, unfastening the buckle. Gripping her weapon tightly, she leaped to her feet and followed Corporal Dawson out the back of the CH-53 with the rest of her squad.

She looked around her as she came out of the aircraft, taking stock of her surroundings. It was clear that they had already missed quite a show. Bozorg bodies littered the ground all around and thick black column's of smoke rose into the sky from the flaming hulks of two Abrams tanks. She and the rest of the squad followed Dawson around the side of the helicopter just as a trio of Mi-24s roared in and unleashed a barrage of rockets on an oncoming horde of alien monstrosities.

It was then that Kelly realized that she and her fellow Marines weren't the only living creatures out there. She spotted a bozorg warrior charging toward a group of Marines taking cover in a crater nearby, they didn't seem to notice it. She slowed her pace and swung her weapon to bear on the monstrosity, but before she had the chance to fire, the creature exploded in a flurry of black goo and bits of carapace as one of the door gunners on their helicopter unleashed a torrent of BMG fire onto it.

"Vasquez, pick it up!!!"

Corporal Dawson was gesturing toward her as he continued to lead the rest of the squad toward their defensive position.

After what felt like an eternity, they had managed to reach the burned out hulk of a crashed MiG-21. Kelly forcefully went to her knees as she came to a halt behind the downed aircraft. Already most of the rest of the squad had taken up position, firing around the sides of the crashed plane.

Gripping her weapon, Kelly took a deep breath to steady her nerves as best she could(not that it worked much), then she crawled around the side of the downed fighter jet, getting herself into a favorable position from which to fire from.


She looked the area over, checking her field of fire for targets, she spotted an oncoming mantis, she brought her weapon up to her shoulder, aimed for the creature's midsection. Her mind raced with thoughts, this would be the first time she had fired her weapon in anger, what if she missed? What if her weapon jammed? What if there was a more threatening target that she had missed?

She shook her head quickly and pushed the thoughts aside, then she pulled the trigger. The butt of her rifle kicked her in the shoulder violently as it coughed out a burst of four rounds. She was immediately rewarded by the sight of black goop splattering out from three newly formed holes in the creature's chest. She corrected her aim and fired again, and again a series of new holes appeared in the creature's body. She repeated the process again three more times before the monstrosity stumbled and fell, it did not get back up again.

The deep rumbling of jet engines signaled the approach of four A-10's which swooped in overhead suddenly. Their rotary cannons spewed death onto a particularly large grouping of bozorgs, tearing them to shreds, even their thick exoskeletons were no match for 30mm depleted uranium bullets.

Not allowing herself to be distracted by that spectacle, Kelly looked for a new target, it was a charging warrior, this one was less than twenty feet away. She quickly took aim and let loose another burst, the creature stumbled then after a second try it went down for good.

Three more Super Stallions roared in overhead, getting ready to land, suddenly, a dragonfly swooped in seemingly from out of nowhere and collided with one of the helicopters. A large explosion erupted where there had once been a helicopter, bathing the bettlefield in bright orange light "for fuck sake! The airspace over this LZ was supposed to be cleared!" Corporal Dawson shouted.

Kelly wondered how many Marines had been aboard that helicopter when it was hit, but the thought was a fleeting one, more bozorgs were charging in, it seemed like too many, and they were getting closer. She repositioned herself slightly and spotted another warrior, this one only about ten feet away. Two more bursts put that one down.

Minutes passed like hours, but it seemed like things were starting to stabilize. Continuous air strikes and artillery support seemed to be helping to hold the enemy at bay.
Of course she knew that this was just the beginning, once they had managed to secure this position they would have to hold on until elements of the Indian Army could relieve them. Then it would repeat all over again as they loaded back on board their aircraft and hop on up to the next position. They would do this all day, leap-frogging to play catch up with the armor as it advanced, securing the flanks and holding until relieved.

The stability lasted until it didn't, of course. All of a sudden the ground shook and Kelly felt her ear drums battered by a deafening blast, her entire right side became incredibly hot and they were pelted by a shower of debris. Before she even had a chance to wonder just what the cause of the explosion was, another happened, and then another. After what felt like a thousand such blasts, they finally stopped.

Smoke and dust permeated the air, making it both hard to breathe and see. She wanted to look around to see what the damage was, but the constant threat of charging bozorgs was far more pressing, so she kept her eyes on the area beyond their perimeter, looking for any incoming horrors. She saw what looked like the shape of a warrior galloping through the smoke, she squinted her eyes and aimed her weapon, then pulled the trigger, it clicked "fuck!" she quickly ejected the empty magazine and produced a replacement which she methodically slapped home.

Returning her attention to the battlefield, her thoughts were interrupted by the voice of Corporal Dawson "shit! That barrage got McManus' squad, Fuck!" he shouted "Vasquez, Sargento, Miller, you're with me. Lance-Corporal Shane, you're in charge here!" he ordered. The fire team leader grunted in acknowledgement as Kelly picked herself up from her firing position. As she turned to follow the corporal she caught the first glimpse of the LZ since the artillery strike had hit them.

It looked like hell, one of the CH-53's had been lost, replaced by a flaming shattered wreck, a dozen large craters marked the ground all around them, and about a half dozen bodies littered the area, most of them missing limbs.

Kelly picked herself up off of the ground and started to sprint after the corporal who was leading them toward the burned out crater which signified the location that had once been occupied by seven Marines. Only one was still alive, Private Horatio, who was laying on the ground, he was missing a leg and his stomach had been ripped open. He moaned in pain as he attempted to stuff his intestines back inside his gaping midsection.

Kelly went down on a knee next to the eviscerated man "oh Jesus fucking Christ!" she exclaimed as she dropped her rifle, what the fuck was she supposed to do?

Dawson along with the rest of the fire team had thrown themselves into the crater for cover "Corpsman!" shouted the corporal as he looked back at Horatio.

Desperate for something to do to help, she grabbed one of Horatio's hands with both of hers and squeezed it hard "look at me!" she said to him "you're going to be okay, you just have to wait until the corpsman arrives, it's all going to be okay" she tried to sound reassuring, she didn't know if it was working.

"Vasquez, we don't have time for this! Pick up your weapon and fight!" Corporal Dawson was looking back at her.

She looked up to meet his gaze, tears were streaming down her face which was a mask of sorrow and anger "you can't do him any good like that, we need you to fight!" Dawson looked at her sympathetically.

Looking down at Hortatio, she saw that he wasn't moving as much anymore, his eyes looked back at hers with a mixture of terror and pain, then suddenly there was nothing behind those eyes, he died right there.

She didn't know how but she managed to pull her hands away from Private Horatio's and picked her rifle up again. Quickly she crawled into the crater between Corporal Dawson and Private Henson and went to work killing the enemy.

Bozorgs had managed to get much closer in the time it had taken for them to get into position to fill the gap left by McManus' squad's death. She put two bursts of fire into a warrior that was had managed to get within five feet of their position, then another which was just about to pounce on Private Lorenzo.

By the third time she had reloaded her weapon, they had somehow managed to stem the tide of incoming creatures which were now only getting to about twenty or thirty feet away by the time they were cut down.

At some point she realized that she had wet herself, she wasn't sure when that was, but it was cold, so it must have been shortly after landing. She would have felt embarrassed by such a thing, but by then she just didn't care. She was running on automatic anyway, she was too damned scared to really think about anything too much, she just followed orders, looked for enemies to kill and reloaded her weapon when it became empty, just like she had been trained.

After she didn't know how long, a convoy of BMP-2s had arrived and disgorged about two hundred Indian soldiers. Then she, along with whatever was left of the platoon climbed aboard their aircraft once again.

Just before buckling in, Kelly leaned forward and put her head between her knees. She emptied the contents of her stomach right there. Between the blood, and bits of brain matter, she didn't think that anyone would really care about a little vomit.

At the time she didn't realize it, but the loss of one of the Super Stallions hadn't really created any problems in terms of finding seats for everyone, perhaps it was best that she didn't.






-7:24 AM November 8, 1987, Kazakh-Uzbek border




Anatoli worked his way around the corner, he brushed past a group of men who were lined up along one side of the trench firing over the top of the sandbag wall lining it. Another bead of sweat dripped down his forehead, even in the cool early morning air of Uzbekistan, he was sweating his ass off, whose idea was it to order them to put on their CBRN gear anyway? Probably some asshole who didn't have to wear it.

Finally coming to the ammunition depot, he let out an exasperated breath, at least half of his journey was finally over. Too bad it was the easy part. He quickly glanced at the name patch of the soldier there, it was Dimitri.

"Hey chicken-fucker, gimme some pussy!!"

"Fuck you asshole!"

Anatoli paused, confused. He checked the other man's name patch again, it definitely was Dimitri, unless somebody else had accidentally put on his uniform, these damned suits made it impossible to identify anyone by anything but their name patch "Dimitri?" he asked.

"Yeah, it's Dimitri, what the fuck do you want?"

Anatoli shook his head "uh... okay, I need as many Kalashnikov magazines as I can carry" he requested as he produced an empty rucksack.

The other soldier complied by stuffing in a couple dozen magazines into the empty bag "here you go" he said.

Anatoli re-closed the rucksack and hefted it over his shoulder, it was much heavier than it was when he had first brought it with him "thanks, are you alright?" he asked, slightly concerned.

Dimitri merely stared back at him, his expression was unreadable behind the mask "yeah, I'm fine" he simply said.

After another second of awkward silence, Anatoli merely shrugged then turned to leave "okay, well I'll see you around" he said as he left the ammunition depot. As he headed back the way he came he pondered the strange encounter for another second.
That certainly had been odd, what had gotten into Dimitri?

The ground shook violently as an artillery barrage impacted nearby, immediately his thoughts of the previous few minutes were brushed aside.





-7:32 AM November 8, 1987, Barwala, Rajasthan, India




Nikolai slapped another magazine home just in time to bring his rifle up to his shoulder and put down a warrior as it leaped at him. The creature collapsed right on top of the sand bags directly in front of him.

Aleksie helped him push the body out of his way to keep his field of fire clear "they are getting too damned close!" he shouted over the roar of Su-25s as they swooped in and rained down death onto the battlefield before them.

Once again, Aleksie was given to understatement, they were supposed to hold out for as long as two or three days, maybe more depending on how long it took to pull off the encirclement and then wipe out everything inside the kill zone. Yet, it had been less than an hour since making contact with the enemy and already casualties were mounting and things were starting to look desperate. Nikolai didn't know how they would hold, but he knew that they had to, there was little choice in the matter.

Pumping about a dozen rounds into a charging mantis, he managed to detect the telltale scream of incoming bozorg artillery "incoming!" he shouted as he grabbed Aleksie by the back of his shirt and pulled him down into the trench. The timing was almost too late as the ground shook violently from a series of massive explosions directly behind them.

They were bathed in heat and pelted with debris which showered down from above. A quick look back revealed that there were three less functioning tanks behind the defensive line now, they had been replaced by three flaming metal hulks.

"Shit!"

Nikolai said it for no one's benefit in particular, it was merely an assessment of the situation.
Their situation was a contradiction in a whole war made up of contradictions, they were to hold at all costs, yet it seemed that the costs were more than they had to spend.





-7:47 AM November 8, 1987, somewhere in Xinjang Province, China




The distant thumping of 120 mm tank guns competed for dominance with the constant staccato of heavy machine guns as the four gunners went to work on whatever threats that they managed to spot. The entire gargantuan vehicle suddenly groaned and Ming was thrown against his seat's restraints as they crossed over some particularly rough terrain.

"Almost there" Captain Yu said over the intercom. Min's earphones crackled as Yu switched over to the company's standard communication frequency "everyone be ready, our intelligence indicates that the target is within thirty kilometers of our locat-" he was cut off as a loud buzzer sounded indicating an incoming transmission.

After about a minute Ming's earphones crackled "alright, I've just received word that the air force has just engaged the target-" almost as if on cue the sound of an over flying jet sputtered and died just as a loud boom cut through the background noises. Ming peered through his own scope in hopes of seeing what happened, but he saw nothing, he didn't need to though. He knew that it was the sound of yet another jet going down.

In order to get this far out to engage the target, the air force had been taking a pounding so that they could provide proper air cover for this operation as it drove into enemy territory to kill the titanic horror out there. Ming just hoped that they would succeed in their mission, lest the sacrifice of all those pilots be for naught.

Captain Yu continued "-it is located twenty three kilometers to the west and should be coming around that line of large hills thirty degrees due west" he explained.

Ming peered through his scope again and thought that he could spot the landmark in question. For being hills they looked pretty big to him, they even had a dusting of snow on their peaks.

The company advanced for another five or six minutes until Captain Yu gave the order to get into position. Each titanic armored vehicle came to a halt, then the sound of the Huang Di's diesel engines was joined by the whine of hydraulic pumps as the stabilizing arms were extended outward. Then came the sound of metal clanking and other large machinery working as the vehicle's titanic weapon was loaded and brought to bear.

All the while large tank guns and heavy machine guns continued to unleash devastating firepower into the oncoming swarms of bozorgs. Ming didn't like being out this far into enemy territory, even with the air cover and escorting Type-88s. While the Huang Di was armored, it was actually proportionately thin considering the size of the large vehicle. In spite of its imposing size and appearance, these were more self propelled guns than tanks.

Ming eyed the distant hills in his scope as he waited patiently for the appearance of the massive creature. Several bright flashes backlit the terrain up ahead indicating that the air force indeed was fighting something over there.

Seconds dragged on like hours as the anticipation built, finally Ming spotted something large moving around to the left of that cluster of hills. His heart skipped a beat when Captain Yu started to speak "alright, we have visual contact with the objective. Distance to target-" he paused for a second, most likely consulting his range finder "-nineteen kilometers, take aim and prepare to fire on my order" he commanded. As the monstrous thing came into full view, it made its surroundings look small by comparison. Tees looked like saplings, large boulders looked like small stones, and those hills which Ming had thought looked so massive before now looked like moderate sized mounds of earth.

Following the Captain's orders, Ming nudged the control joysticks in front of him as he adjusted the aim of the vehicle's gargantuan weapon, angling it in hopes of achieving a accurate trajectory. Adjustments were made based upon coordinates relayed from the air force pilots through Captain Yu and on to Ming. After about twenty seconds of refining the aim, it was time. Anticipation built as Ming reached for the lever that would fire the massive cannon.

"Fire!"

The entire world seemed to shake to pieces as the huge gun launched a five hundred kilogram shell at more than six hundred meters per second. They did not wait to see the result, updated targeting information came in from the air force. Time seemed to crawl torturously slow as the weapon was reloaded and Ming adjusted the aim. Ten seconds later they were ready.

"Fire!"

Again, the entire world was shaken by the massive force of the Huang Di's 280 mm cannon recoil. By the time they had fired a third barrage, a massive series of explosions erupted all around the titanic creature indicating that their first salvo had struck. They enveloped the giant thing, indicating a good firing solution for their first volley.

Ming had half expected that the beast would die with just that one hit, the force that was unleashed by the impact of those shells must have been gargantuan. He was disappointed however. Nonetheless, he continued with the ritual of re-aiming and firing the weapon.

Additional explosions erupted on and around the target as the air force put in their own contribution.

Ming had just finished sighting for a fifth shot when suddenly a loud blast drowned out every other sound and shook the ground violently.

"What was that? Give me a status report!" Captain Yu demanded sternly. Each other vehicle sounded off except for one, the vehicle under the command of Lieutenant Chiang. Ming cursed silently as his heart picked up speed considerably, the danger had just demonstrably gotten far greater, the target was fighting back. Captain Yu maintained his composure however "continue firing, we must bring it down" he ordered.

Three more salvo's followed with the target responding to each one. The first took out another Huang Di, the second and third ones hit two of the Type-88s. Ming was starting to think that perhaps their efforts were all in vein, but then the fifth counterstrike completely missed harmlessly impacting into the ground in front of them, his view was briefly obscured by a large cloud of dirt and dust.

After the next impact the creature clearly stumbled as it approached them. Eight Xian H-6s swooped in overhead and dropped off their payloads causing an even larger series of explosions to envelope it, completely obscuring it from view.

They did not wait to see the result of that strike either, within seconds another salvo was ready to be released.

"Fi-"

Ming quickly pulled his eyes away from his scope as an intensely bright white light filled his field of vision. Within seconds the entire vehicle shook violently as a massive blast wave overtook them. For a few seconds Ming was convinced that they were too close to the explosion and were certain to die, but time passed and his lack of eyesight overrode other concerns, but then that too faded from his mind as his eyesight began to return.

Captain Yu's voice managed to pierce the intense static on his earphones "this is Captain Yu, is everyone alright?" he demanded over the radio, his voice filled with a mix of excitement and concern.

Each vehicle reported in, apparently no one had been lost as a result of the blast. Ming let out a sigh of relief as he looked out through his scope once again, he managed to spot a rising mushroom cloud where the approaching behemoth had once been.

As the full implications of what had just transpired set in for Ming, his lips parted in a broad smile. They had done battle with the most feared of bozorg creatures and they had won.



-8:47 AM November 8, 1987, Coalition Eastern Strategic Command, outskirts of Aral, Xinjang, China




Aides moved placeholders about on the map before him as more information came in. Tāo grimly watched as some were taken off the map altogether, he consoled himself that there could be far more losses than this. He also told himself that the advances were going as planned so far, even if casualties were quite high, he could at least feel reassured that these sacrifices were being made for something.

General Fujinawa said something in Japanese that Tāo didn’t understand, shortly after that General Schwarzkopf; the American attache said something in English, both of them sounded concerned.

Tāo looked up at them, they were both staring at the monitor that was providing infrared imaging from the KH-11 satellites in orbit. It took him a second before he managed to spot what it was the two other men had seen, but when he did, he felt his heart skip a beat.
There wasn’t anything overtly upsetting about what he saw, but the fact that he didn’t understand what the enemy was up to was enough to worry him. He took a step toward the monitor “what are they up to?” he asked to no one in particular.
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The Vortex Empire
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-06 05:37pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2006-12-11 10:44pm
Posts: 1351
Location: Rhode Island
Badass. Now what could the bozorgs be up to this time?
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Tandrax218
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-11 08:00am 

Youngling


Joined: 2009-12-19 10:47am
Posts: 86
Nice story so far :)

i wonder if the misteryous funder of the expedition in antarktica has any conection to the cult of Chktulu ...
if that is indeed Ryleth...

keep up the good work
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guest
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-14 01:35pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
Alright, here comes episode 26, get ready, it's gonna be a real beast, most of the other episodes are between 10 and 15 pages in word format. This one is 36 pages long!

I am breaking it up into multiple posts, but I am still posting all at once because I feel that in order to get the full impact of what's going on, you should read it all at once.

Bear with me as I convert it to proper formatting.
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guest
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-14 01:46pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
Episode 26



"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
-Winston Churchill







-late morning November 8, 1987, Central Asia





This was unacceptable, how could The Mind have misread these samples so thoroughly? How could it have underestimated them so drastically?

Even as they had given so much ground, they advanced at the same time, pushing at a rate that The Mind had never before thought possible. The stratagem had been so clear and open that even now The Mind knew that it had seen the signs all along, that all the evidence and indications had been there from the very beginning.

It felt uncertainty again. Not due to a lack of any idea of the enemy's aims, no that was all too easy to see now. Rather, the uncertainty regarded what to do next. It could expend every effort to prevent them from successfully encircling those masses of constructs in each of those four areas, the most direct response to the predicament at hand.

It could push deeper, attempt to follow through with the original course of action and just keep going the way it had already been going, it was probably less expected, but these samples would undoubtedly be thoroughly defended in that direction. Then again, just about any direction would be a difficult path to follow.

About a thousand different possibilities and strategies flowed through different threads of consciousness, calculations were made, and probabilities were worked out. Finally a course of action was arrived at, that was a little of a mix of both. Certainly, dividing up its resources for such a broad plan was a risk all its own, but direct action was possibly not the correct decision to make in this circumstance, The Mind would need to employ its own form of complex stratagem to salvage this situation.

Certainly, it could still fail spectacularly, but some form of action had to be taken, the situation was dire indeed, for if these samples drove much deeper, they would undoubtedly discover the very secret that The Mind had taken such great pains to conceal. Perhaps such a mistake would not be as much of a problem in the other three geographical areas, but in this particular one, it could prove to be disastrous.

With that to consider, The Mind realized that even now plans had to be made for the eventuality that it was met with nothing but total defeat. Failure to do so once had already lead to this situation, and The Mind would not allow such to happen again, new strategies would need to be employed, new varieties of constructs; previously not deemed necessary, would need to be considered for production. The assimilation process for this world was undoubtedly certain to undertake a very different path, no matter what the course of this event was.






-10:23 AM November 8, 1987, Somewhere in Rajasthan Province, India




Lieutenant Singh Nagesh stared through his scope out at the carnage ridden landscape outside of his T-72. Dead tāziyāne littered the ground along with smoldering craters, yet what he didn't see were any live ones "where are they?" he asked as they advanced up a particularly large hill. They had been advancing at a fairly decent pace since starting the offensive earlier this morning, and while resistance had been stiff, they had still managed to maintain it. In fact, the stiff resistance had been almost reassuring, since it meant that they were going in the right direction, but about ten minutes previously, all enemy contact had just faded away.

His radio crackled as he heard the sound of someone else in their formation start to transmit "this is Dragon 12, we are advancing northeast on map grid reference 23, are there any aircraft orbiting overhead?" Captain Charu’s voice came through his earphones.

There was a brief crackle of static in his earpiece then a voice came through "I read you Dragon 12 this is Vegas One Niner, I've got no USAF or any other aircraft currently over your location, too much enemy traffic at the moment, over" came the response.

Singh grimaced at that news "am I correct in surmising that we have no air cover at present then?" came the frustrated response.

"We've tried getting in there, but we've already lost twenty-seven aircraft over that area in the last hour. Sorry Dragon 12, for now you guys are on your own. Will advise once air support can be restored. Over"

"Understood Vegas One Nine"

Singh pounded a fist into the armored bulkhead of his tank "shit" was all he said. This was not good, the enemy was up to something, he just knew it. They did not give up like this, they hadn't once done anything like this since the war had started, and he doubted that they had suddenly learned to feel fear.

His headset crackled again "this is Dragon 3, we're just about to crest the next hill, over" it was the lead tank in their formation in stead of that American pilot this time. A second passed as they waited for the next update from the other tank, then "we've got- shi-" the transmission cut out suddenly.

The entire tank shook violently and the terrain outside suddenly became a lot more well illuminated "sappers! shit! Everybody watch your asses" it was Captain Charu again.

As the light from the explosion of Dragon 3 dimmed, Singh managed to make out shapes moving at the top of the hill up ahead "this is Dragon 12, we've got enemy contact at the top of that hill, you are free to engage, fire at will!" Captain Charu's voice came through the radio clear and assertive, although the order was almost redundant at this point.

Shit! Singh realized that they had been suckered into an unfavorable position. The top of that hill was less than a half kilometer distant, more than close enough for the enemy to close the distance. Worse was that they had been driving so hard and fast that their formation had become stretched out and disorganized, the enemy couldn't have done better if they had planned it. This was going to be ...unpleasant.

The number of shapes at the top of the hill had grown considerably, there were fire beetles, mantis', warriors, sappers, just about every kind of tāziyāne that there was, and there were a lot of them. Enough were coming at them by this point that there wasn't even a need to adjust the aim of their main gun "target, sapper, directly ahead!" came the voice of Corporal Chandra.

Singh had it directly in his scope "I see it, fire, FIRE!" he ordered.

The whole tank was jarred violently as their 125mm main gun discharged an armor piercing round. A fraction of a second later an explosion erupted right in the approaching creature's face, Singh didn't wait to see if that had killed it, of course it didn't. Machinery whined and clicked and clanked as the autoloader slid another round into place. Meanwhile motors controlling the turret and gun worked hard as the aim was corrected. A dull metal thump signified the bolt of the gun being closed behind the shell, they were ready to fire again.

"Fire, FIRE!"

The tank shook violently again as yet another shot was hurled at the approaching monstrosity, again he didn't bother waiting to see if the creature was dead, he had never seen one go down before the third shot. What he would have given for one of those 140 mm guns the Russians were using.

Another blast shook their vehicle as another sapper detonated its explosive cargo, that one had felt a lot closer. Singh wondered if it had managed to take out more than one tank this time A look through his scope revealed a massive volley of fireballs arcing up over the hilltop up ahead.

His headset crackled again "This is Dragon 12, ma-" the rest of the sentence was garbled and incomprehensible.

The next round had been loaded into the breach without thinking, he checked to make sure that the aim was correct.

"Fire, FIRE!"

As he watched another round explode when it impacted into the creature before them now less than three hundred meters distant, he hoped that it was finally dead, yet it still managed to shamble on.

Singh cursed under his breath, as much at the failure to kill the sapper as the overall situation itself. If Captain Charu had been killed, that meant that he was now in command "this is Dragon 7, do I have a confirmation? What is the status on Dragon 12?" he asked into the radio urgently.

For a few seconds he only heard frantic combat chatter in response, then one voice came through directed at him "this is Dragon 5, I can confirm, the captain's dead. I'm looking at his tank right now, it's ammo is cooking off as we speak" came a grim sounding voice.

Singh cursed again "alright, this is Dragon 7, I am taking command. All surviving units, head northwest toward map grid reference 38, we'll regroup there and attempt to flank this enemy position" he was met with affirmative responses from nine other tank commanders.

He quickly turned his attention to the task of killing the charging sapper, as soon as the fourth round was ready to fire he gave the order. The massive creature stumbled and collapsed to the ground as the last shot slammed into it. Grimly satisfied at finally taking out their target, Singh thought of the words of some German General from the 19th century regarding the survivability of battle plans in the face of enemy opposition. There was a grim irony he thought, in that against this enemy it seemed more so that it was troops which didn't survive contact with the enemy just as much as battle plans.





-11:03 AM November 8, 1987, Coalition Southern Strategic Command, Kishangarh, Rajasthan, India





"We expected that we might encounter problems like this at some point."

General Gray was conciliatory, he continued "frankly I'm surprised it took this long for it to materialize. Did you know that the lead company on Omaha beach lost just about every NCO and commissioned officer within ten minutes of landing?" he asked rhetorically.

Vishwa took a deep breath "oh, I'm not surprised. Honestly, I half expected that the push would have ground to a half within the first hour. I can only hope that Barwala can hold out long enough, the reports coming out of there are not looking good" he said.

"They'll have to" said General Karamat with resignation as he looked out over the map.

Vishwa nodded in agreement, that they would.





-2:48 PM November 8, 1987, Somewhere in Rajasthan Province, India




Private O'Donnel screamed as a warrior shoved a scythe through her midsection "fuck!" shouted Kelly as she swung her weapon around, jammed the muzzle into the creature's 'torso' and pulled the trigger. Bullets slammed into the its carapace at point blank range, sending pieces of its armored covering and black blood flying in every direction.

The beast collapsed on top of the screaming Marine, dead "corpsman!" shouted Kelly as she brought her M-16 around to fire on another warrior, charging at them from less than three feet away. The weapon barked and four rounds went screaming into the screaming monstrosity, another burst put it down for good as it fell to the ground just before the shallow crater that Kelly and three other Marines was calling home at the moment "CORPSMAN!" she shouted again as she glanced back at O'Donnel who was bleeding profusely onto the dirt, her screams had given way to shallow breathing.

"FUCK!"

She had turned her attention to a mantis about ten feet away as it charged on a neighboring group of Marines. It faltered under the weight of her fire but kept going. Finally someone else had put a bead on the creature and started unleashing fire from an M60 on it. Kelly didn't even bother to finish it off as it stumbled. She had immediately spotted a nearby warrior which had closed to within five feet "CORPSMAN! GET THE FUCK OVER HERE!" she shouted.

Of course it was entirely possible that there were no corpsmen anywhere within shouting distance. The ground shook and the air itself seemed to kick her in the chest as a nearby Abrams fired its main gun at something off in the distance.

The whole situation had gone tits up hours previously, she didn't know where half her platoon was if they were even alive, air support had ceased over an hour ago, or longer, or maybe not. Corporal Dawson had bought it about twenty minutes earlier, and it seemed as though they had somehow caught up with the armor as it had gotten bogged down. Then again maybe the armor had actually caught up with them, she didn't know. Everything was fucked up and she didn't even know what was going on.

Someone crawled into the crater behind her "looks like you could use a hand!" it was Ditty, she was accompanied by another Marine, Private Charles, and a corpsman who quickly went to work on the wounded O'Donnel.

Kelly grinned slightly at the first good thing to happen since they had entered combat "fuckin' a!" she shouted at her friend who crawled up next to her.







-3:25 PM November 8, 1987, thirty thousand feet over Northern India




"Okay boys and girls, strap yourselves in, we've been given our marching orders" Lieutenant McCabe's voice came through the Betty's intercom. Staff-Sergeant Marshal Greenberg returned his attention to the task at hand.

"Are you gonna hurry up and finish that or what?"

Master Sergeant Jeremiah stood over him impatiently, Marshal chuckled quietly "oh, I think I could get around to it one of these days" he said sarcastically.

"Yeah, well hopefully you'll finish some time before we go into combat, it'd be a shame to not have guns when that happens."

Marshal smirked as he finished double checking several connections then replaced the access panel and put the screws back into place "would be, wouldn't it?" the sarcasm didn't leave his tone as he tightened the last screw.

Quickly he repacked his tools up "you know you've been fucking around with that thing since we left Edwards" said the Master Sergeant wryly as he helped Marshal up to his feet.

"Yeah, well the damn thing's been giving me trouble since we left Edwards" Marshal replied.

The two of them turned and headed down the narrow walkway back toward the front of the aircraft. Shortly they came to a grouping of four men sitting behind large clusters of monitors. Each cluster consisted of nine monitors arranged in a square formation, combined, they showed a large image of the plane's exterior with the center one featuring a crosshair in the middle. Each station corresponded to one of the four rotary cannon turrets on the fuselage of the plane. Additionally a tenth monitor displayed a detailed radar plot. Each man had at his disposal a pair of joysticks and a keyboard. This part of the plane had been dubbed "the arcade" for obvious reasons.

Right that moment all four men shared conversation and small talk, not much to do at the moment, but that would all change quite soon. Marshal and Master Sergeant Jeremiah passed the four men then stepped over a thick cross beam which cut through the decking on the floor of the walkway.

The entire interior of each AC-5 Reaper was lined with literally scores of such thick crossbeams and extra supports, it was a needed addition to each airframe.

The AC-5 Reaper had been the brainchild of a couple high ranking officers back at the Pentagon who had looked at casualty reports of combat aircraft, which quickly revealed that the A-10 Warthog was the most survivable ground attack aircraft to go up against the bozorgs. Those same officers had then realized that for the first time in a while, engagement ranges would all too often drop down to practical knife fighting distances which had in turn brought back images of large piston engined bombers with large numbers of gun ports and turrets lining their fuselages to deal with any attacker which had gotten too close.

After much consideration and effort, the result was a mix of an A-10 Warthog and an AC-130 Specter on steroids. With the primary concerns being the need for maximum ammunition storage, firepower, and survivability, the C-5 Galaxy was deemed the aircraft that was most well suited to the task.

So with approval from the Air Force and the Pentagon, eight C-5 Galaxies had been stripped down to the bare airframe, then heavily reinforced, the interior was slightly rearranged in order to fit all the extra guns and electronics as well as to facilitate moving large amounts of ammunition from one place to another. Then they were rebuilt with twenty tons of armor, and triple and quadruple redundancies on every system. The most challenging modification had probably been the addition of the belly guns which had to be able to retract inside the fuselage when the aircraft was on the ground since they couldn't be fit otherwise.

As they reached the front of the plane, they each found themselves a seat and strapped in "oh boy, can't wait to start playing with our new toy" said Marshal playfully as he secured the last part of his five point restraint.

Jeremiah gave him a jokingly scolding look "watch it, the good Lieutenant would argue that it is actually her toy" he said with a grin.

Marshal nodded with a raised eyebrow "well, you and I both know that it's actually ours, we just let her think it's her plane" he said with a raised finger.

*-*-*

Twenty minutes later the entire aircraft shuddered as all four gun turrets let loose thousands of depleted uranium rounds. Spotting a crashing dragonfly heading right for them, she pulled the yoke to the right, banking the aircraft out of the way just in time to avoid a collision with the plummeting creature. The actual time required to dodge was quite a lot, but considering the brick-like maneuverability of each Reaper, every second counted.

"Almost into position, five more seconds" Lieutenant Junior Grade Bryant said as he concentrated monitor in front of him and gently nudged the joystick in his right hand.

Bryant was the fire control officer, and would ideally be given control over the aircraft while performing an attack run, but due to the hostile nature of the airspace in which they were operating, it was necessary for the pilot to maintain control in the event that sudden evasive action was necessary.

Seconds crawled by at a glacial pace as Lorie waited for the word to be given, then the tension was released like a hand grenade going off.

"Now!"

Lorie nudged the yoke to the left to bring the plane into a tight turn. It banked sharply to the left "unleashing the dragon now" announced Bryant.

The intermittent shuddering of the plane was quickly replaced by a constant(and far more violent) shuddering and thunderous hammering. The phrase 'unleash the dragon' was the nickname that the crews of the Reapers had come up with to describe when they opened up with the full air-to-ground firepower that one of the massive planes carried. The four GAU-8s unloading a constant torrent of depleted uranium combined with the regular pounding of the alternating 155 mm howitzers made it sound and feel like there was a huge monster(in this case a dragon) on the outside of the plane roaring and pounding on its armored skin.

For an hour straight The Betty laid down an unbelievable amount of firepower on the ground below, spewing out hundreds of thousands of 30mm depleted uranium slugs and hundreds of 155mm howitzer shells. Lori would fly the plane while Bryant gave her course correction instructions, occasionally she would have to bank or dive suddenly to avoid a collision, but all in all they had managed to efficiently lay down a devastating amount of death and destruction onto the ground below. The process was simple, they would either look for a target of opportunity(usually a really large grouping of bozorgs), or receive a fire support request from the ground. Once a target area was set, Lorie would start to bank the plane to aim the weapons downward at the target area, Bryant would then refine the aim using the servos in the weapon mounts, then they would rake the area in question, going back and forth over it until it was certain that nothing moved in the designated area.

By the time they were almost out of ammunition and were forced to return to base, Lorie was convinced that they must have killed over ten thousand of the enemy, and yet they were still being constantly bombarded by requests for fire support from ground units. Lorie wondered just how many more of these things they would have to kill before the enemy started to run out, a few seconds of consideration made her decide that she didn't want to think about it.







-4:52 PM November 8, 1987, Somewhere in Rajasthan Province, India




Shrapnel pelted Kelly as she sprinted up toward the burned out hulk of an Abrams tank. A mantis leaped up on top of the wrecked tank just as she got to within five feet of it. The monstrosity threw itself forward off of its perch toward her, its scythes extended and its maw gaping. Without even thinking about it, Kelly went into a dive, hitting the ground and going into a roll. She could have sworn that she felt the air rushing by the razor sharp weapon of the creature as it missed her by mere inches.

When she stopped rolling, she was face down on the ground, she immediately started to push herself backwards and up into a crouching position. Somehow she had managed to hold onto her weapon still, and she brought it up to her shoulder and aimed it at the looming beast.

She pulled the trigger and out it spat four 7.62 mm rounds which hit the creature directly in its midsection, not that it seemed to care much. Already recovering from its previous miss it started to make another swipe but jerked violently as the nearby sound of another M-16 cut through the chaos of battle. Not stopping to ponder the fortunate happenstance, Kelly tensed her grip on her weapon and fired again.

The increased weight of fire from the additional attacker seemed to have given the mantis some pause as it hesitated before launching its second attack. This had proven to be a deadly mistake on its part as Kelly was able to push herself up to her feet and back away as she fired an additional two bursts into the creature. By the time it had started to lunge again, Kelly was safely out of its reach and an additional couple volleys from Kelly and her comrade took their toll on he large monstrosity and it collapsed to the ground, dead.

"What the hell would you do without me?!"

Ditty ran up to Kelly as she slapped another magazine into her rifle "fuck if I kno- shit! Look out!" Kelly shouted in alarm as a warrior charged up behind her friend. Kelly raised her rifle up to fire, but it was too late as the warrior had already started to pounce on Ditty who had attempted to throw herself to the ground out of the creature's way.

In stead of safely dodging the attack, Ditty wound up with a scythe shoved through her abdomen. Time slowed to almost a standstill as Kelly pulled the trigger on her own weapon, already too late to save her friend. Her eyes went wide "no!" she cried out as she watched horrific creature shove another scythe through her friends skull.

Without even realizing it, Kelly had fired two bursts at the creature, killing it, but it didn't matter. Ditty was dead, Kelly had failed to save her friend, and she would probably die too.

Tears that she didn't realize that she had left ran down her grimy cheeks. What happened next didn't make a lot of sense to her, and she wouldn't clearly remember it afterward.

What must have been at least a few minutes later; or maybe longer, she felt herself being dragged along the ground by someone, it might have been Lieutenant Samuels, but she couldn't tell. She still had her weapon gripped tightly in one hand. She seemed to have remembered firing it until it was empty, and attempting to reload when someone, possibly the man who was dragging her right then ran up and grabbed her, forcibly pulling her away.

Next thing she knew, she was laying in a ditch or crater with maybe another half dozen Marines who were frantically firing their weapons over the side.

Kelly wasn't angry anymore, she wasn't sad either. She just was. Without much thought given to the action, she picked up her weapon; at least she thought it was her weapon, checked that it had ammunition, and then crawled up to the edge of the crater to get back into the fight.

A quick survey of the area revealed that not much existed beyond that crater other than dead bodies and lots and lots of bozorgs. It was then that she knew that they were dead, but she didn't really care much either. She brought her weapon up, found the nearest target, and opened fire. At least she could go out fighting.

She kept firing, when her weapon became empty, she reloaded it, when it jammed, she found another one. It seemed that all was lost when a super-mantis loomed over their position, its scythes raised about to strike. Of course even if they had managed to kill that one, one of the other dozen or so bozorgs would have gotten them in stead.

Then something unexpected happened, and Kelly found herself feeling something other than anger or sadness, she was surprised.

The deep loud sound of .50 BMGs cut through the the noise as the chest of the looming beast exploded. Then the other bozorgs around them started falling to the ground in droves.

It took Kelly several minutes to realize that about three dozen Abrams tanks had pulled up and started laying down suppressive fire.






-7:18 PM November 8, 1987, northern coalition strategic command, along the Uzbek border, Kazakhstan




Boris looked up gravely at the monitor and what it displayed "how could we have missed this?" he asked with a bitter tone.

There was an awkward silence for several minutes, then his American liaison; Colonel Stanley McCrystal, finally spoke "it would appear that the heat plume and radiation from the blast seems to have aided in shielding it from our thermal imaging, the dust clouds and overall terrain deformation did the same as far as optical detection goes. It also does not help that the behemoth in question did not start moving until very recently" he explained.

Boris sighed "that does not give much consolation does it?" he said.

Colonel McCrystal nodded thoughtfully "no, I suppose it doesn't. It also does not change the fact that we have to deal with this problem one way or the other" came the reply.

Boris returned the nod, but his was for a different reason you may be referring to our contingency, but you don't know the full extent of it, do you?

"As if things weren't going badly enough for us already" he said as he walked across the room.

A quick glance at the map reminded Boris of just how tenuous the situation was at present. While each of the other three strategic areas had suffered their own delays and setbacks, the northern region was in the greatest danger of collapse. The ferocity with which the enemy had turned its attention to preventing the encirclement was considerably unexpected, not to mention how the enemy had managed to coordinate it with a similar push in the opposite direction right into the teeth of their defensive lines.

Things were dire to say the least, lead elements of both pincers had suffered such heavy casualties that they had effectively had to reform almost five entire divisions from the remnants of nearly three times their number. They had actually had to write on some of the placeholders on the map to mark the newly formed divisions, since the previous ones weren't applicable anymore.

He reached the other end of the room and the radio set that sat there. Picking up the handset, he took a deep breath "this is General Gromov, we have a case Yellow, repeat, we have a case Yellow."





-8:03 PM, November 8, 1987, somewhere over northern Uzbekistan




A large nearby explosion caused the entire plane to shudder violently "all aircraft report! What is your status?" demanded Colonel Igor Jakov into his radio mouthpiece. As the seconds crawled by the other aircraft in the formation replied one by one, three voices he expected to hear did not answer dammit that made five planes so far. Even at over mach 2 they were getting knocked out of the sky with far too much regularity.

Suddenly all thoughts were pushed aside as he spotted an oncoming dragonfly, at such a high speed he had less than two seconds to react. He yanked the joystick up hard and to the right, his muscles screamed in protest as the large aircraft banked sharply, piling on the G-forces. A slight sense of relief washed over him as he saw the creature streak by his cockpit windows without any accompanying crash.

"Thirty seconds to target."

His co-pilot; Lieutenant Larenko, strained to speak as he too suffered under the weight of G-force. Igor nodded "be ready to deploy ordinance in-" a bright flash followed in quick succession by a second bathed the interior of the cockpit in white light. A fraction of a second later, the plane was buffeted by violent shock waves. His heart skipped a beat as panic began to eat at his focus "status report! Status report!" he demanded frantically, doing away with radio protocol or formality.

Two more aircraft failed to report in, which left only five Tu-160s to complete the operation how are we-

His thoughts were cut short as a dragonfly dove in from above and collided with his cockpit at just over mach one.





-10:23 PM, November 8, 1987, northern coalition strategic command, along the Uzbek border, Kazakhstan




Boris' face was practically stone "we had better pray that those bombing runs hurt it enough, I'm not sure that we can hold it off otherwise" his voice was even more grim than before.

He stepped up to the map, and stared out over at the place holders on it. Watched as aides moved them and picked some up off of it altogether too many, too much, all too futile. So many people were dying out there and there was so little that he could do about it, reduced to hoping and praying. He felt pathetic.

Lieutenant Rosni entered the room "General we've-" he was interrupted by a thunderous rumble and the ground shaking violently.

Boris looked around the room concerned and confused "what was that?"

***

"How many are there total?"

Boris looked down at the map as a bunch of makeshift red circular dots were placed on the map to signify the location of each explosion "we have received reports that there are a total of 35 such explosions, we believe that they must have been sappers" explained Rosni.

Boris eyed the map as if it had just kicked him in the stomach "and how many were ammunition dumps?" he asked suspiciously.

"Twenty six."

Boris let out a ragged sigh, it was over. He didn't know how the bozorgs had targeted their logistics so accurately, but the combination of ammunition shortages with severe casualties and large numbers of breaches in the perimeter was almost too perfect. Perhaps it had just been luck, perhaps something else... It didn't matter at this point though. He could hold out hope for maybe another thirty minutes or so, maybe an hour, but in the end, had seen far too much to truly believe that there was much chance that the battle was salvageable.

"We shall wait for one more hour" he said with resignation and a touch of finality. No one argued or debated with him, there was little point, his expression was all they needed to see to know that any such attempt was even more futile than their situation. Perhaps he was merely prolonging the inevitable, but he owed that much to the people under his command, some of them would not be killed by the tāziyāne, and they deserved the extra hour of life that his delay would ensure. He couldn't do much for those men and women out there, but he could do that.





-11:07 PM November 8, 1987, somewhere in Rajasthan Province, India




The tank shuddered as another violent recoil shook it down right to the treads, half a second later an explosion erupted where there had once been a super-mantis.

Singh wiped the sweat from his face just before peering through his scope once more, his eyes stung as he concentrated on the grainy green footage before his eyes which eagerly searched for the next target, the next threat. There were none however, it had quieted down at that point, the air force had really pounded this area hard for the past few hours in the hopes of clearing a path for the armor to finally advance over it. That was the logical explanation for the sudden shortage of enemy contact, although deep down inside, he expected to see another ambush come screaming in over the next hill, just like had happened before "not too fast now Pinkesh, I don't want to get any unpleasant surprises this time" he ordered the driver, Corporal Pinkesh Patel who stoically grunted in acknowledgment. The tank rocked gently as it passed over some rough terrain at about 18 kilometers per hour. The interior of the crew compartment smelled of sweat and adrenaline and the air was stale, the air filters had not been working quite as they were supposed to, but Singh guessed that at least they were working at all, suffocating to death was not how he intended to end his day, then again he supposed that being burned to death or torn limb from limb was hardly a better alternative either.

The top of that next hill was a mere thirty meters out and again, air cover had been spotty at best, images from that morning went through his head. There could be thousands of those buggers on the other side of that hill and he wouldn't know it.

Time seemed to stand still as the crest of the hill approached, the anticipation was torturous, he half wanted to just tell Corporal Patel to just forget it and open the throttle all the way up, explosive violent death be damned.

Then they were at the top of the hill, and Singh stared out through his scope again, scanning the horizon and the ground below, looking for a threat, a fire beetle, a sapper, maybe just a handful of warriors or mantis', anything, but there was noth-

Wait.

Off at the top of the next hill, about a kilometer distant it can't be... can it? His hope fought against his pessimism, a trait which had been thoroughly strengthened after over a year of fighting the tāziyāne. Could it be a trick of his eyes? Maybe his fatigue was getting the better of his mental faculties. He pulled away from the scope for a second, rubbed his eyes then returned "sir, is that-" Corporal Chandra was the first to break the silence, the first to be brave enough to even speak aloud of what they saw, lest it just be a mirage, a hallucination that cruel hope had created for them.

Singh looked again out across the dark crater ridden terrain out there, and sure enough there it was. Out there in his night vision scope, a bright shape contrasting against the dark earth was the familiar and excruciatingly welcome boxy silhouette of an M1 Abrams tank. They had finally linked up with the other pincer.



-11:32 PM November 8, 1987, northern coalition strategic command, along the Uzbek border, Kazakhstan




The command center had seen a sudden increase in activity over the past twenty or so minutes. Boris didn't need to see the situation on the map before him, or the constant updates he had been getting since the operation had commenced to know what was going on. The tone of all those radio operators was clear, the battle was lost, it was as clear as day.

Again, no one spoke up, no one argued with him, they all knew that he would do what was needed, what harm was there in giving the old man a few more minutes? The end result would still be the same no matter what.

Boris tore his gaze away from the map there and looked despairingly over at the console over in the corner.

A specially made piece of electronics, custom made just for this one special occasion. He desperately wished that he could just make the thing go away simply by staring at it like that, magically take the decision out of his hands, but such was not the case. He would have to make the decision, as much as he despised the responsibility it entailed.

He started to walk toward the console, as he did so he looked over at Colonel McCrystal, beckoning the American officer to accompany him over as well. He then did the same for Lieutenant Rosni. No words or explanation were needed, they both knew what was to come next, it was the only choice at that point.

The three men met face to face at the console, they eyed each other, there was no animosity in their stares "I’m sorry it had to come to this General" said McCrystal gravely.

Boris nodded solemnly "so am I" came his reply.

Both men reached into their shirts and pulled out a key on a chain, Boris examined his as though it were a vial full of poison, such was not far from the truth "this is General Boris Gromov, the release of weapons in this operation has been authorized by the governments of the coalition and their employment has been placed under my command. I hereby order their release" he said as he inserted the key into the console before them. Several lights on it lit up as he did.

It had been agreed upon that in the event that the contingency was put into effect that the regional commander would have prerogative as to when such a contingency would be employed if at all. It was further agreed that one of each commander's liaison officers would also hold the responsibility for the final decision. So that liaison officer would get the second authorization key, in this case, it was his American liaison.

Colonel McCrystal sighed "this is Colonel Stanley McCrystal, the release of weapons in this operations has been authorized by the governments of the coalition and I concur with General Gromov" he said almost automatically. Then he too inserted his key. Both men looked at each other as they held their hands over their keys. Boris took a second and looked back at the map I'm sorry that I've failed you. Mentally he begged the men and women out there for forgiveness for what he was about to do, forgiveness that would never come.

Lieutenant Rosni cut the tension by speaking next "this is Lieutenant Fedor Rosni, and I have witnessed that both Colonel McCrystal and General Gromov have concurred on the employment and release of nuclear weapons” his voice was clinical and monotone, a bit unsettling to Boris considering the nature of what he was discussing. Then again, perhaps it was better in the long run if one could turn of their emotions during such times, he wished he knew how to do that.

It had been agreed that Colonel McCrystal would start the count down "ready. In three, two, one."

Both men turned their keys.





-11:36 PM November 8, 1987, northern Uzbekistan




During the planning stages of the operation, it had been realized that one or more of the four regions could experience a full scale failure in the face of the enemy. While the possible ways in which each region could have suffered a failure were numerous, it was concluded that such a situation would be catastrophic, not simply because of the massive losses that doubtless would have been suffered by the troops operating in that region, but also due to the very nature of the Afghan infestation.

It was believed that should the coalition fail to contain the enemy advances at that point that the enemy would manage to win the war through sheer power of numbers alone as it had seemed that the infestation in Asia was reaching a sort of 'critical mass.'

Therefore it had finally been decided that such a loss would be dire enough to warrant another attempt at the deployment of nuclear weapons. Each regional commander was authorized by an agreement of the involved governments to use a maximum total yield of one megaton which would undoubtedly be spread out among multiple smaller warheads.

In the west this consisted of ten eighty kiloton American and Israeli supplied warheads, in the east there were ten Chinese one hundred kiloton weapons, and in the south there were four Indian 250 kiloton weapons.
Unknown to the other members of the coalition; out in the kill zone, the Soviets had buried just a few feet below the surface, one hundred weapons each with a yield of one hundred twenty kilotons.

All of the weapons had been interlinked using miles and miles of cable which had also been buried. The links between the warheads featured a considerable amount of redundancy with each warhead being connected to four others. This allowed for the loss of multiple connections without losing the ability to detonate all of the warheads.

The Soviets; cautious as ever, had not been satisfied with just that to ensure success of their contingency option. This was the reason for the sheer number of warheads deployed to the kill zone. To be sure, they had every intention of using far more yield than agreed upon simply due to the fact that surface detonations would waste a lot of the energy output of each warhead, but they were also quite worried about multiple failures due to one reason or another.

The fear of multiple weapon failures was so great in fact that it was expected that as many as two thirds of the weapons would either completely fail to detonate or merely fissile in stead of initiate. As such, one hundred devices had been the number put into use.

The overwhelming majority of the weapons had been scattered about deep inside the kill zone in a pattern that was intended to give maximum coverage of the area while simultaneously sparing most of the surrounding defensive fortifications. Additionally, there were a dozen warheads located within the defensive lines themselves, each meant to be employed in the event that a significant portion of them had been overrun.
A separate console that was secretly connected to the one used by the General and the Colonel featured a number of switches which could selectively arm or disarm any of the twelve warheads placed along the defensive lines. Two of these switches had been turned on.
It however would appear that the Soviets had been a tad too pessimistic.

The instant those two keys were inserted, an electronic signal was sent out along hundreds of miles of cable across the entire region, arming all of the desired warheads. Due to the ravages of battle, four of those warheads never received a command to arm. This left eighty four warheads in the killzone, of which three had suffered significant damage and were unable to arm themselves or initiate a fission reaction. Finally, of the remaining eighty one devices, two failed to work properly due to some defect in their construction.

Including the two that had been selectively armed, this left a total of eighty one nuclear warheads which had all been armed about a millisecond after the Colonel and General had inserted their keys. When the keys were turned, this sent a second signal out to those same warheads, this was a command to detonate.

After those two men in that command center in Kazakhstan had performed that simple action, there was nothing else for them to do, everything else was in the hands of the laws of physics and some simple electronic circuitry designed by a few men in lab coats somewhere in Russia.

Each warhead upon being commanded to detonate had a three second timer which upon concluding its silent countdown sent a simple electronic signal of its own to a series of high explosive detonators surrounding each weapon's primary core. This caused the explosives packed around each primary to detonate and setting in motion a series of events that was now entirely beyond the control of anyone, aside from mother nature itself.

A total of 9.72 megatons of explosive force was released across an area of just under two thousand square kilometers. More explosive yield than had been employed in all of the wars in all of human history combined had been unleashed in that one instant.

Literally millions of bozorg constructs didn't just die, they ceased to exist. Just over eighty-nine million tons of soil had been displaced as a result of the explosive release and the overall ground level within the kill zone dropped an average of ten meters.

Due to the fact that all detonations were surface detonations, and the fact that the Red Army had ordered all troops in the vicinity to don nuclear protective gear meant that the overall effects on human troops in the area were mercifully much less severe than they could have been, not to say that there weren't effects, that would have been a cruel understatement.

Of course the soldiers in the immediate vicinity of the two warheads placed along the defensive line were either vaporized or incinerated within a fraction of a second second. Those two weapons had blown an eight kilometer wide hole in the defensive lines where they were located, and killed everything else along the line for an additional four kilometers in either direction.

The effect was not as bad as it initially sounds though, as both areas had been almost completely overrun and there were no bozorgs left alive to rush in through those breaches anyway.

Of the original two hundred seventy thousand troops initially stationed along the outskirts of the kill zone, approximately ninety thousand had been killed in the fighting. Of the surviving one hundred-eighty thousand survivors, approximately thirty thousand died as an immediate result of the nuclear detonations. In the coming days and weeks, an additional forty thousand would die of radiation sickness, even military grade nuclear protective gear was not up to the task of protecting people standing that close to a nuclear detonation.
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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-14 01:59pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
-1:18 AM November 9, 1987, Coalition Southern Strategic Command, Kishangarh, Rajasthan, India




Vishwa nodded in grim understanding as he read the dispatch "well, it would appear that the enemy is not entirely immune to the effects of nuclear weapons after all" he said plainly.

General Karamat cleared his throat "do you think that it would a good time to employ our own nuclear option at this point then?" he asked.

Vishwa narrowed his eyes as he pondered the situation, after a moment he spoke "hmm... no. At this point the use of nuclear weapons would have dubious benefits, it may shorten the battle, but we have already succeeded in encircling the enemy, and the winds are not favorable, fallout may wind up killing more people than we save. We stay with the original plan as of right now" he said with conviction.

The other Generals in the room looked at each other, then back at Vishwa. General Gray spoke this time "alright General, it's your ballgame and I'm not entirely sure I disagree with you either" he said.

So the die had been cast, their plans were unchanged, but the effects on the war itself would undoubtedly be dramatic.





-Early Morning November 9, 1987, Central Asia





In so many ways the battle had changed, and in so many ways it was still the same.

Shortly after successfully cutting off the bozorg forces that had advanced into the kill zone in the south, coalition forces finally authorized the usage of the vast majority of artillery and air support assets which had been held in reserve for the entire length of the operation up to that point. Not wanting to spook the enemy into trying to extricate itself from the area before the door could be shut on them, the ground forces that weren't part of the pincer move had been left to their own devices to fight the enemy.

Ten thousand artillery pieces of various sizes from over ten different nations began to shell the kill zone with an unending torrent of death and destruction. Over one thousand ground attack aircraft of various different types; both fixed-wing and helicopters, and even a number of aged piston engined planes flew thousands and thousands of sorties and dropped tens of thousands of tons of explosives in the area, and eight thousand cruise missiles were fired into the area.

In the east, the PLA, JDF, Koreans, and Vietnamese had done well for themselves, and in spite of kicking off their own portion of the operation over an hour after the coalition forces in the south, they had managed to perform their own encirclement over two hours before anyone else.

While they had been shocked that the Soviets had breached the agreement by employing so many weapons, they were more than happy to follow the example set by that act. Favorable wind conditions and proper preparation on the part of their troops allowed them to employ the ten warheads that they had placed within their own kill zone, all ten weapons worked without any problem. Within three hours of their employment, the fighting had been reduced to more or less a cleanup operation.

In the west, coalition forces had still failed to successfully close the door on the enemy, but their advance had picked up speed in the past few hours, and it was expected that they would be able to successfully cut off all bozorg forces in the kill zone by late morning if not earlier. The situation was actually quite favorable there, with the western region seeing some of the least intense combat of the entire theater. With that being the case, and wind conditions being unfavorable, it was decided that nuclear weapons would not be employed against the enemy there that day.






-11:47 AM November 9, 1987, Barwala, Rajasthan Province, India





“Look out!”

Colonel Kvachkov grabbed Nikolai by the back of his shirt and pushed him to the ground just before throwing himself down right on top causing Nikolai’s already sore bones to send sharp aches and pains through his body in protest. The pitter-patter of a volley of dragonfly spikes impacting the ground all around them was just barely audible over the chaos of battle.

The two men did not waste any time as they struggled to pick themselves back up off the ground. Nikola was surprised to not hear the sound of someone screaming in pain from one of the spikes, it was almost a guarantee lately at least one person would be wounded by one of those damned volleys. Then he managed to see behind himself the prone figure of Eduard on the ground, two spikes protruding from his head, he must have died instantly.

Nikolai felt a sudden pang of sadness as he realized that a man who had been with him almost since Khost was now dead. His sadness was also mixed with a little thankfulness as well, at the fact that the other man had been granted the mercy of a quick death. He’d seen far too many who had not been so lucky.

Nikolai and the Colonel managed to scoop up their weapons in short order and resumed their sprinting, not sparing any time to think of the dead, if they survived there would be plenty of time for that later.

The two of them sprinted the remaining ten meters to one of those prefabricated bunkers, the top of which had been blown off, leaving a open topped concrete box in its place, jagged concrete and mangled rebar lined its top edges. Lieutenant Colonel Medved was manning a PKM by himself there, firing frantically out at the oncoming horde, he was surrounded by about a dozen bodies of both humans and tāziyāne which laid both in and around the blasted open bunker.

”I figured that we’d come by and see if you could use some company!” shouted the Colonel as he slammed into the front side of the bunker.

The ground shook and a deafening blast could be heard as the last remaining tank; a T-72, fired its main gun “quite, could you go get me some caviar and chilled vodka? I’ve been having such a craving lately!” said Medved as he gunned down a charging mantis.

Nikolai spotted a warrior nearby as it galloped toward them, quickly he popped up, aimed his rifle and squeezed off a half dozen rounds into it “sorry, we’re all out of Vodka, would you accept some rum in stead?” he asked through gritted teeth as he fired a burst at the next nearest warrior which promptly went down in a heap.

Medved fired three or four more shots when his weapon clicked empty “damned Cuban piss!’ he shouted as he opened the feed cover of his weapon and reached for a fresh box of ammunition.

Nikolai realized that at an earlier time in his life he would have been downright shocked at the idea that he would participate in such casual banter surrounded by so much death, but he knew that if he couldn’t numb himself at least somewhat to the ravages of war he might as well roll over and die right there and then. He also realized that he probably wouldn’t survive this and he might as well derive some kind of enjoyment out of the last moments of his life, he knew that he hadn’t done so with most of the rest of it.

The sudden realization that he was a far different person than he was before he was conscripted dawned upon him. It was a shame that he wouldn’t have much time to reflect upon that.

A warrior leaped over one of the overrun trenches in front of them, Nikolai raised his weapon, aimed at the creature’s midsection and fired. The fifth round left the barrel and slammed into the beast, killing it before it even hit the ground.

Cutting through the cacophony of battle was the screaming of incoming bozorg artillery, Nikolai ducked down below the edge of the bunker to take cover just as the ground shook violently from the first impact.

The whole world stopped making any sense for about a second there as the ground, the sky, the bunker, and just about everything else seemed to disappear. Sharp pains shot through his body from about a dozen or so different spots and all comprehensible noise ceased. When things started making sense again, he was laying on his stomach and his weapon was lying next to him, bits of dirt and rock covered everything around him, and the air was permeated with thick smoke. His ears rang, preventing him from hearing anything but dull thumps and bangs.

Quickly regaining his bearings, he picked his rifle up and got to his feet. He looked around himself and saw that where that last T-72 had once been firing its main gun with regularity was now a flaming metal hulk. Dull pops and thuds signified the ammunition in its magazine discharging in the fire.

As the rest of his senses started to return he realized that there was no other movement in the bunker there with him. He looked over to where the two Spetznaz men were. They lay there motionless on top of each other, Colonel Kvachkov had a giant piece of metal protruding from the side of his head, and Lieutenant Colonel Medved was half decapitated.

The sudden death of the other two men gave Nikolai pause, he didn’t know how, but even after all the death he had already seen, he was shocked by that. However, he still didn’t spend much time lamenting it, he dropped his rifle and grabbed the PKM to start fighting off the swarm of charging monstrosities out on the battlefield. There was no time right then to mourn dead, he was sure to be one of them himself soon enough.
.





-12:18 PM November 9, 1987, somewhere in Rajasthan Province, India






The sound of artillery thundered off in the distance as Kelly took a drink from her canteen. She looked over the assembled Marines who sat or lay there on the dusty ground, most of them were silent, but a couple talked quietly with each other. She didn't know most of them, there were only a few from her original unit there with them. She wasn't sure if they were the only survivors or they had simply been separated from the rest, she didn't care to think about it for too long though.

Lieutenant Samuels walked up to the assembled group. While he looked middle aged to Kelly before, now he looked ancient "we've been ordered to relieve a section of the wall near some small village called Barwala, they've sustained heavy casualties and there aren't any other available units to lend assistance, so we get the job. Everybody get your shit together, we're wheels up in ten mikes" he announced.

Everyone grumbled and groaned as they started collecting whatever gear they had with them. Additional magazines were distributed to those who needed them, and within a few minutes the majority of them were making their way toward an ad hoc landing area where about two dozen helicopters of various different makes and models were landed, their rotors spun slowly as their engines idled.

The squad that Kelly had been thrown into climbed aboard a UH-60 Blackhawk which; judging from the half dozen or so dragonfly spikes protruding from it's dented and scratched skin, had seen more than its fair share of combat.
She wondered how much more luck this aircraft had left in it and if it would run out on the next trip into harms way, she was surprised to find out that it didn’t worry her that much.






-12:52 PM November 9, 1987, Barwala, Rajasthan Province, India






Nikolai ran down the trench, managing somehow to avoid tripping over one of the countless dead bodies and body parts which lined the bottom “come on!” he urged the eight men behind him as he advanced toward the overrun portion.

A warrior leaped down in front of him bearing its claws and screeching in a horrific fashion. Nikolai managed to stop suddenly and came down on one knee in a rapid and smooth motion. He brought his weapon up and fired a four round burst. At the same time, Aleksie who was right behind him fired his own weapon at the creature. Their combined firepower brought it down quickly.

Exchanging quick glances with each other, both men resumed their pace ahead of the others. As they rounded a bend they spotted a mantis as it loomed over a fresh kill, it turned to face them, both Nikolai and his comrade spotted the flicking motion that came before any launch of those cursed spikes, they both pressed themselves to the side of the trench as the barrage of spikes flew by.

A sharp scream of agony signaled that while he and his friend seemed to have avoided injury, someone else had not. As much as he wanted to check on the poor bastards condition, there were more pressing concerns. Both of them were joined by two more men; together they laid down a devastating hail of gunfire which caused the large creature to stumble and collapse.
With the immediate threat dealt with, Nikolai finally cast a glance behind himself. He spotted the source of the screaming as a young Indian soldier clutched at a spike in his leg. While the other man looked like he was in quite a bit of pain, he didn’t look like he was about to die from his wound. Nikolai looked at two of the other Indians there “you two, defend this position!” he said as he gestured toward them. They nodded indicating that they understood his intent if not the exact words of his orders.

Covering another twenty yards, they managed to kill about another half dozen tāziyāne. They managed to come across a single Russian soldier who barely cast a glance in their direction as they reached him. Of course, the man had been fighting so frantically for survival that such a meeting probably didn’t rank highly on his list of things to get excited about.

Nikolai grabbed one of the Pakistanis in his group “hold this position with him, kill anything that moves!” he ordered.

Twenty meters further was their final destination, the most heavily overrun portion of the trench. The fight was brutal as they advanced, with them having to kill three tāziyāne for every half meter they took. After what seemed like an eternity, they managed to reach the objective.

Three warriors which had already advanced past the trench had noticed that their predecessors had been killed and turned to face the trench again. Aleksie and the only other Russian with them turned and made quick work of all three of the creatures. Nikolai and the last remaining man there with them, an Indian who he didn’t know the name of turned their attention to the other side of the trench, as there were still plenty of tāziyāne coming from that direction.

Spotting the nearest warrior; a mere two meters away, Nikolai gripped his Kalashnikov tightly and opened fire on the quickly approaching threat. The beast fell to the ground mere centimeters from the edge. Noticing that he was on the last four rounds in his magazine, he didn’t even wait for his rifle to finish recoiling before he gripped the magazine to pull it out.
Reloading was not even a conscious action anymore and he was back to killing the enemy in just two seconds. Three of them fell to his rifle fire, then two more, then another, and another, and then four more, then he reloaded.

As the bodies of tāziyāne piled up around them, he realized that while they had managed to seal the breach in the perimeter, there was probably another somewhere else along the line. Despair did not grip him though, but he didn’t know why. He was hardly the optimistic type.

*-*-*

The Blackhawk lurched as it dodged an incoming dragonfly. A nearby UH-1 didn’t fare so well and it exploded in midair causing the Blackhawk to buffet in the turbulence the explosion caused.

Chaos reigned supreme in the skies there as hundreds, and possibly thousands of helicopters, jets, and dragonflies juked and dodged through the air in an unbelievable display of violence and death.

Listening for anything in particular was useless at that point as anything not drowned out by the sounds of combat outside or the racket of the Blackhawk’s engines and rotors, most definitely was by the deafening sound of the door gunners and wing mounted rotary cannons as they engaged any threat they perceived, god knew they had plenty to shoot at.

A look outside at the ground below gave Kelly a close approximation of hell itself. Bozorgs were everywhere, on the ground, in the trenches and everywhere else in between.

A handful of human defenders could be spotted frantically moving about and fighting from within the last line of trenches there, but it was hardly a comforting sight.

Their aircraft landed just behind the trenches in one of the only patches of land that wasn’t entirely covered by wreckage or dead bodies. Kelly jumped out of the helicopter onto the ground as it shook from a bombing run from a pair of B-52’s.

She followed some corporal who she didn’t know as he led them to take cover behind an overturned UAZ “lay down suppressive fire! That way!” gestured and he shouted at them over the constant thunder of weapons fire from the door gunners of four different nearby helicopters as they engaged incoming threats.

Kelly gripped her rifle tightly as she crept around the side of the wrecked truck along with the rest of the ad hoc squad as they took up proper firing positions. She spotted two nearby soldiers in the trench ahead who were firing frantically at the charging monstrosities.

Not waiting for things to get any worse, Kelly picked out a particularly close warrior and squeezed the trigger, the rest of the squad did the same.

The fighting was frantic, no matter how many of the enemy they killed there were always more, so many more. The air became thick with sound as a massive artillery barrage came in and impacted nearby, blasting massive holes in the ranks of the raging horde out there.
After what felt like an eternity of fighting and killing like this and a constant torrent of artillery fire, the ranks of the enemy seemed to have been thinned out enough for them to advance. Finally they pulled themselves away from their position behind the truck and advanced on the trench. Kelly landed in a stew of human and bozorg remains, paying it little heed, she followed the rest of her squad as they advanced down the trench.

*-*-*

A warrior roared in on them from the right, Nikolai tried to turn to fire upon it before it got close enough to strike, but it was too late as it jabbed in with a scythe, impaling the unnamed Indian soldier through the chest. A fraction of a second later, Nikolai took the warrior out with a hail of gunfire, shattering the beast’s carapace, and severing the scythe that it had used to kill the poor bastard next to him.

It was then that he noticed that the enemy had made it into the trench once again, he tried not to think about what that meant for the men who he had ordered to defend positions further down the line.

There was no time to ponder that or even check to see if the other man was dead or dying as another warrior charged at him from down the trench. He raised his weapon to his shoulder and fired, killing it.

He sensed quick motion behind him as Aleksie swung around and engaged a charging mantis as it leaped over a trench. Nikolai joined him and they put down the monstrosity in short order.
Another warrior advanced upon them from down the side again, Nikolai swung his weapon to bear on it and riddled the creature with bullets. Another came at them from inside the trench in the other direction, Aleksie put that one down. Then there were two outside again, then another inside the trench.

Nikolai figured out suddenly that the other Russian was dead, had probably been so for a while. He realized that he and Aleksie were probably the only two people left alive within five kilometers, maybe further. It didn’t matter, they could have been the last people alive on the whole planet at that point.

The two of them frantically shifted their aim from the trench to the battlefield beyond. Taking out rapidly approaching threats in quick succession.

They worked in unison with almost perfect precision, minimal talking between them both. Each one covering one half of their surroundings, and somehow managing to come together to take out a larger threat such as a mantis when it presented itself.

Seemingly out of nowhere a super-mantis charged forward toward their position, both Nikolai and Aleksie turned to face it at the same instant, but Nikolai knew that they wouldn’t be able to get it before it killed them, the distance was too short, and it was too tough a target.

They unleashed a torrent of bullets at the raging beast as the range quickly dropped. Black blood splattered out from fresh bullet holes in its body, but they just weren’t enough. The writhing mass of razor sharp tentacles along its back flowed and twitched as it neared their position. Its scythes raised into the air, ready to strike.

Throwing himself to the ground, Nikolai managed to dodge out of the way of the attack. He felt a sharp pain in his cheek and another more dull one in his right elbow as he slammed into the ground. He went into a roll and came up suddenly realizing that he had lost his weapon. A quick visual search revealed that there was an unattended PKM lying on the ground within arms reach.

In a single smooth motion he managed to dodge another attack and scooped up the errant machine gun. Gripping the handle in one hand and the barrel in another, he brought the weapon up to aim at the looming monster before him.

A nearby scream reached his ears as he looked over to see Aleksie with a scythe shoved through his stomach “NO!” shouted Nikolai just as the super-mantis jerked its weapon up, slicing through Aleksie’s chest practically bisecting his entire torso.

Anger, sorrow, and shock burned within Nikolai as he squeezed the trigger on his weapon. Searing hot pain shot through his hand and the machine gun fought his grip violently as he fired.

The titanic thing screeched as the machine gun bullets tore into its body. It attempted to turn to strike at Nikolai, but its wounds were too great, and it collapsed to the ground in a massive shattered heap.

A warrior which had gotten close thanks to the distraction of the super-mantis lunged at Nikolai who sidestepped the attack and blew the screeching horror away with a short burst from the machine gun in his clutches. He then swung around and felled another one which advanced at him from down the trench. Then he turned and downed another one coming from the other direction.

Another came from behind the trench, he turned and pulled the trigger, two rounds shot out just before his weapon clicked empty. He spun it around and gripped the searing hot barrel in both hands. His flesh sizzled and burned as he gripped it, but he paid it no attention.
Screaming in blind rage he swung the machine gun like a club, knocking the already injured warrior to the ground. Tears streamed down his face as he dropped the machine gun and reached over toward the severed tāziyāne limb that still protruded from the chest of the recently fallen Indian. It cut into his already burnt palms as he gripped it firmly and pulled.

Yanking the severed limb free, he spun around and spotted the wounded warrior from before as it struggled to pick itself up form the ground. He zeroed in on one of the sizable bullet holes left by his earlier shots and brought the scythe down with all his strength. The creature’s carapace yielded and the tip of the grizzly limb penetrated into it.

The warrior’s struggles ceased as the blade penetrated the last couple centimeters.
Nikolai sensed another presence behind him and yanked the scythe from his last victim as he spun to meet the next threat. It attempted to slash out at him, but he dodged one attack and blocked the other with his own makeshift weapon. Then dodged a forward lunge as the warrior attempted to use its vicious tooth covered mandibles to attack. He responded by bringing the scythe up under the creature’s ‘chest’ into what must have been a soft spot as the weapon went in easier than he expected. He then threw his shoulder into the beast, throwing it to the ground just as he jerked the scythe free and brought it up for a fresh strike.

*-*-*

Kelly sprinted for three steps then went down on a knee, she saw a warrior as it charged, she took aim and fired a burst which hit the monstrosity clear in the midsection. The corporal shouted something that she couldn’t understand, but she didn’t care, she had found something to care about again, something that mattered to her.

Mere minutes earlier they had spotted a group of men holed up in the trench about two or three hundred feet ahead who were desperately fighting for survival against what looked like an unending flood of bozorgs. As they tried to advance to link up with and support those isolated men she watched as first one and then another had died. There was only one survivor now who somehow was fighting the enemy hand-to-hand using a severed bozorg scythe of all things.

She didn’t know what it was about that poor bastard out there that made her so intent on saving him, she just knew that she had to.

Another warrior jumped down in front of her into the trench, she didn’t even break stride as she fired from the hip into into it, cutting it down mid stride. She leaped over dead bodies and rubble, crossing the distance as fast as she could. A mantis advanced from out over the ground up above, she slowed briefly and aimed at the creature’s chest, putting three volleys of fire into it.

Without checking to see if it had been killed by that attack she resumed her pace, he was less than a hundred feet away by now, she was almost there so close!

Realizing that the mantis was still up, she fired another burst at it, this time it went down for good. Realizing that her weapon was empty, she rapidly ejected the empty and replaced it with a fresh magazine. Two more warriors jumped in front of her, and she put them down too.
She looked over and watched as that lone soldier brought the severed bozorg limb down to strike a killing blow on yet another warrior. She was close enough that she could hear his furious screams even over the explosions from yet another air strike.

The distance shrank with leaps and bounds, fifty feet, thirty feet almost there!
Another warrior jumped into the trench behind him, he tried to pull his weapon free to strike at the new threat, but wasn’t quite fast enough. The warrior jammed a scythe into his stomach “NO!” she screamed in desperation.

Her knuckles went white as she gripped her M-16 tightly and aimed at the warrior. She squeezed off one burst, then a second, then a third. The abomination went down before being able to bring its other scythe in for a second strike.

She took down another target as she crossed the last few feet and went down on a knee next to the fallen man, and for the first time she got a good look at him. Jesus, he’s so young blood streamed down his face from a grizzly looking laceration in his cheek. He groaned and struggled in obvious pain “it’s okay, we’re gonna get you out of here, CORPSMAN!!!” Kelly tried to sound reassuring as she looked at his main wound.

It wasn’t straight through, and it looked like the warrior had missed getting him directly in the middle of his torso. She looked at the blood that was flowing out of the wound and was relieved to see that it was bright red and not dark, she knew dark was bad, really bad “CORPSMAN!”

The sounds of small arms fire had gotten closer as she realized that the rest of her squad had caught up with her “for fuck’s sake Vasquez! You crazy bitch! What the hell were you thinking?!?!” shouted the unnamed corporal, Stevens she thought his name might have been, she didn’t care.

*-*-*

Things started to get fuzzy for him, he knew that he was going to die, or was he already dead? He was certainly hallucinating as the soldier who was kneeling over him looked like a young girl, was it Ania? What was she doing there? Was she dead too? Had father beaten her to death?

Despair filled him for the first time as the thought of his sister dying while he was away, unable to protect her I’m sorry Ania, I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you, please understand, I couldn’t help it.

*-*-*

“Ania? Ania?”

Kelly didn’t know what the fuck an ania was “where the fuck is the goddamn corpsman!” she shouted as she pulled the gauze out of her first aid kit and pressed it to the soldier’s wound desperately trying to stop the bleeding.

The rest of her squad continued to gun down more bozorgs as she frantically fought a different kind of battle.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity a Marine in a blood and grime covered uniform pushed his way through to her position and knelt down on the ground on the other side of the bleeding soldier, was he Russian? What the hell was a Russian doing there? It didn’t matter.
The other Marine pulled off his own rucksack “it’s okay private, I’m here now, I’ve got it” he said as he produced some medical supplies from his pack. Kelly didn’t realize what was going and continued to press gauze up against the wound. The corpsman grabbed her hands “let me work private, it’s okay” it finally shook her out of it as she suddenly pulled back.

She just sat there dumbfounded for god knew how long, just staring at the corpsman as he worked to save the life of that poor kid. When they finally started to drag him away on a stretcher she realized that the tempo of battle had shifted from its frantic pace that had existed when they had first arrived to something considerably more subdued.

Eventually; she didn’t know after how long, she picked herself up and went back to work killing the enemy.






-3:17 PM November 9, 1987, somewhere in eastern Fars Province, Iran





Navid methodically slapped another magazine into his rifle, then taking a deep breath, he rose up over the boulder he had been using for cover and took aim at the nearest warrior as it charged forward. Two short bursts of fire put it to rest rather quickly.

Without delay he quickly started searching for another target, and after a couple seconds he was surprised to find that he couldn’t locate one “what? Where are the rest?” he asked to no one in particular.

Dariush had been taking cover in a ditch not but a meter or two away, he cautiously raised himself over the edge to look out over the battlefield beyond “that my friend, is a very good question” he said after a couple seconds.

Sergeant Karimi started barking orders at the platoon to start advancing up the hill before them. Cautiously the platoon started jogging up the hillside, taking care to cover all angles of approach as they did.

Fear crept in from the back of Navid’s mind, he expected the bozorgs to spring some kind of trap, pull some kind of trick, do something devious. This had to be part of some ruse on their part, but as he moved up the hill, nothing happened.

Both Navid and Dariush had been given the dubious honor of being first up the hill. Of the two of them, Dariush was the first. He cautiously crept up to the top, poking his head up over it “what-“ he whispered a few incomprehensible curses under his breath.

Navid inched closer to his friend “what is it?” he asked impatiently.

Dariush didn’t take his eyes away from looking over the top of the hill “I just, I don’;t understand, I had heard that the armor had gotten bogged down and the air cover had been diverted elsewhere. Have you heard of any other units operating any further forward of us?” he asked perplexed.

Finally inching his way up next to Dariush, Navid crept over the edge himself to get a view. When he looked out over the area beyond he was surprised to see… bodies, hundreds- no, thousands of bodies, maybe tens of thousands, littering the ground as far as he could see.

Strangely enough, while there was the occasional crater here and there, the ground was largely unmarked by the ravages of combat. Also there were surprisingly few human bodies, in fact there were none. He turned his gaze back behind himself toward the battlefield behind them, it too was covered in bozorg bodies, but it was also littered with human bodies here and there along with the occasional wrecked vehicle, and dozens of craters from mortar and artillery fire. The ground beyond was virtually pristine by comparison, minus the bozorg bodies of course.

After an extended pause, Navid signaled for the rest of the platoon to advance, indicating that all was clear.

Cautiously, the two of them picked themselves up and started to walk down the other side of the hill. When they reached the first body, Navid noticed that it was in surprisingly undamaged, there was no black blood leaking out of it from bullet holes, its carapace showed no signs of injury of any kind. Then he noticed the same thing about the next one they encountered and the one after that. Finally they both stopped and inspected one of the bodies more closely.

The inspection revealed that in fact there were no wounds of any kind on the body, in fact there was no sign anywhere of what had killed the creature. After twenty more minutes of looking at other bodies, they had determined that absolutely none of them had any kind of damage whatsoever.

Dariush furrowed his brow as he looked out over the expanse of dead bozorg“it’s like they just dropped dead all of a sudden” he said, confused.





-10:28 AM November 10, 1987, northern coalition strategic command, along the Uzbek border, Kazakhstan




Colonel Stanley McCrystal stared down at the crisp piece of paper he held gingerly in his hands. It was all a bit unreal, he couldn’t believe that what he was reading was true, or that any of what was going on right then was true. He looked up at Lieutenant Rosni “you didn’t see any sign, any hint, nothing?” he asked the Russian officer again. He didn’t think that he would get a different answer, he just couldn’t believe it.

Lieutenant Rosni sighed deeply, a look of sadness- was that sadness? There was something odd about his expression. Probably nothing. He paused for a second, then “no, nothing. You spoke with him last night you saw just as much as I did” he said.

Stanley nodded, the word ‘spoke’ was loosely applied there. It was more of a shouting match. After he had learned just how many nuclear weapons had actually been out there when they turned those keys, he had been furious. The fact that he had been deceived into being a party to something like that… He had felt betrayed and he was pissed, about as mad as he had ever been.

The general had apologized, said that he understood. He had explained that he had orders, that he didn’t entirely agree with them himself, but the situation was desperate. They both knew that there were at least a hundred other reasons for what had happened, but the General had decided not to bother with it, they both knew that all the apologies and explanations in the world wouldn’t take away the betrayal.

Stanley wasn’t sure if he could ever forgive that, which is exactly what he had told General Gromov.

“I understand, and would probably have reacted in the same way.”

That’s all that he had said in response.

Stanley stormed off then, he didn’t have anything else to say.

After some thought he had realized that as angry as he was, the General was tormented enough as is. He saw the look on the other man’s face when they turned those keys, he’d seen the look on the man’s face when they had argued that night. The weight of tens of thousands of lives lost when those warheads had detonated rested on his shoulders.

Stanley felt that weight too, he had turned that other key; those deaths would haunt him until the day he died, but it wasn’t the same for him, they weren’t his men.

Yet in spite of the torment he saw in the General’s eyes, he certainly never expected anything like this. Stanley looked back down at the letter in front of him, the Cyrillic was a bit of a challenge for him to read, but he managed to make it out.


“…the failure rests with me and me alone. There has been too much pain, suffering, and death as a result of my actions and mistakes. I will not subject this world to any more of it…”


Suicide seemed completely out of character for the general, but then again, he could only imagine the conflicts that raged inside the man.

Stanley handed the letter back to Rosni with a sigh. It would appear that there would be yet another casualty to add to the tally in this war.







-2:23 PM, November 14, 1987, Caspian Sea, 5 km north of Baku, Azerbaijan







Babar cursed under his breath as he tried to work his fingers into the mangled knot “Gurkan, you can’t tie knots for shit! What the fuck are you doing working on a fishing boat anyway?!” he shouted.

Something wet and slippery slammed into the back of his head “hey!” he shouted in protest as he turned to see a dead carp lying on the deck behind him and Gurkan standing a couple feet away with a bucket in one hand, grinning mischievously “oh, fuck you!” he shouted.

Gurkan reached into the bucket “be careful Babar, you know that an uncontrolled temper can lead you into trouble” he said as he pulled out another fish.

Babar quickly snatched up the fish on the deck and was about to throw it back when a blinding white light appeared in the sky overhead. He began to feel a tingling sensation in his extremities as well as a slight case of dizziness.

He quickly turned his head away as the light was too bright to look at, but after a bit his vision adjusted and he became more accustomed to the light. Both men looked up at the bright light in the sky, agape with awe “w- what is it Babar?” asked Gurkan nervously.

“How the fuck should I know?”

A massive ball of light, like some kind of giant bright white sun sat in the sky high above above. It was gigantic, kilometers across, and it just floated in the air up there.

Several minutes passed without anything further happening, then the light dimmed as something started to emerge from it, something solid.

It was huge, Babar thought that it must have been at least a kilometer or more across. It looked like a machine of some sort with countless structures and features of various kinds protruding from it. The color was hard to make out due to the stark lighting, but it seemed to have a bit of dark green tint to it. He wondered how it was able to stay aloft as it made very little sound aside from a low pitched humming.

After another minute he noticed large numbers of smaller objects flying around the massive thing, flying about like a swarm of bees around a hive.

Still, both men merely stood there in complete silence as they just didn’t know what to make of what they were seeing. What happened next confounded them even further.

Within moments the smaller objects began to descend upon Baku. Bright flashes began to pop up in various locations along the city’s skyline. There were two different kinds of flashes; one was a bright green color and flickered in and out of existence with very rapidly, like the flash bulb of a camera, the other was a bright orange or yellow color and more sustained.

When the first distant thumps and rumbles reached his ears, Babar realized that the bright orange flashes were explosions. Shock mixed with fear as the significance of what he was watching started to set in. Still it was so horrible and such a spectacle that he couldn’t take his eyes away from it, not that he knew what to do under the circumstances anyway.

Both men were so awestruck that neither of them noticed one of those smaller objects approaching at incredible speed. When they finally did realize what was happening they had only a couple seconds to comprehend it before both they and their fishing boat were obliterated in a large explosion.
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Coalition
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-14 04:06pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2002-09-13 11:46am
Posts: 1237
Who or what just showed up?

Still, at last the bozorg haven't thought of chemical or biological weapons yet. I'll bet there were quite a few discussions making sure nobody ever used them, and give the aliens the idea of dumping an extremely nasty chemical or virus in the air and killing humanity in massive numbers.
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The Vortex Empire
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-14 04:45pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2006-12-11 10:44pm
Posts: 1351
Location: Rhode Island
Man, I hope Nikolai makes it. And what the fuck are these newcomers?
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AgentPalpatine
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-14 10:00pm 

Redshirt


Joined: 2010-09-19 09:53pm
Posts: 14
What's worrying is that the bugs seem to have planted some sort of "drones" in the rear area, we got a hint of that from the mention of rather odd behavior behind the Soviet lines, and the extremely precise targeting of the ammo dumps.

I'm not sure who the newcommers are, since I thought the bugs could'nt teleport anymore. That, combined with the unexpected death of many bugs, suggests a new faction has arrived. Since guest is nice enough to mix his influences, I don't think we have any clear indication on that side just yet.

We also hav'nt heard anything lately from Antartica, where it appears that human forces are under some sort of non-governmental control, digging for something. In HPL's works, Antartica was the home of at least some of the "Old Ones", perhaps they are making a return?
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Zim
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-15 01:29am 

Youngling


Joined: 2007-04-04 09:55pm
Posts: 72
Was the Russian general who committed suicide the same one from Kost and Kabul?

But at least the humans managed to link up their pincers and complete the encirclement, that's gotta count for something. Also, if I read it right, were there 3 encirclements? One in China, one in India, and one about to be completed in the West? I guess the Russians don't really need an encirclement after they'd just blown up every bozorg in their sector.
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guest
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-15 01:56am 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
@ Zim:
Yes, General Gromov was the same one from previous episodes in central Asia.


In response to some of the other comments I feel compelled to bring up this little passage from episode 25:

Quote:
-7:24 AM November 8, 1987, Kazakh-Uzbek border




Anatoli worked his way around the corner, he brushed past a group of men who were lined up along one side of the trench firing over the top of the sandbag wall lining it. Another bead of sweat dripped down his forehead, even in the cool early morning air of Uzbekistan, he was sweating his ass off, whose idea was it to order them to put on their CBRN gear anyway? Probably some asshole who didn't have to wear it.

Finally coming to the ammunition depot, he let out an exasperated breath, at least half of his journey was finally over. Too bad it was the easy part. He quickly glanced at the name patch of the soldier there, it was Dimitri.

"Hey chicken-fucker, gimme some pussy!!"

"Fuck you asshole!"

Anatoli paused, confused. He checked the other man's name patch again, it definitely was Dimitri, unless somebody else had accidentally put on his uniform, these damned suits made it impossible to identify anyone by anything but their name patch "Dimitri?" he asked.

"Yeah, it's Dimitri, what the fuck do you want?"

Anatoli shook his head "uh... okay, I need as many Kalashnikov magazines as I can carry" he requested as he produced an empty rucksack.

The other soldier complied by stuffing in a couple dozen magazines into the empty bag "here you go" he said.

Anatoli re-closed the rucksack and hefted it over his shoulder, it was much heavier than it was when he had first brought it with him "thanks, are you alright?" he asked, slightly concerned.

Dimitri merely stared back at him, his expression was unreadable behind the mask "yeah, I'm fine" he simply said.

After another second of awkward silence, Anatoli merely shrugged then turned to leave "okay, well I'll see you around" he said as he left the ammunition depot. As he headed back the way he came he pondered the strange encounter for another second.
That certainly had been odd, what had gotten into Dimitri?

The ground shook violently as an artillery barrage impacted nearby, immediately his thoughts of the previous few minutes were brushed aside.


emphasis is well, of course, mine.
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guest
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-21 08:59pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
Episode 27




“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
- Sun Tzu





-4:07 PM November 14, 1987, Moscow Kremlin, Moscow, Russia





Aleksandr Poushkin nervously stood at the end of the long table.  A number of high ranking ministers and other government officials sat around nervously murmuring to one another.  As he waited, he adjusted his jacket and tie, then shifted his weight five or six times.  Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the large wooden double doors to the room opened up and in walked Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Premier abruptly crossed the room and sat down in his chair at the head of the table "so what is the overall situation?" he said unceremoniously.  Everyone's eyes immediately went to Aleksandr, making him feel even more nervous.

Clearing his throat, he began his briefing "as you all know by now, just under two hours ago, a series of trans-dimensional portals opened at various locations all over the world, including one over Baku along the Caspian Sea coast.  Immediately after these portals were opened, a number of unidentified aircraft of an uncounted number of varieties emerged from them and without delay proceeded to launch attacks on the surrounding area.  There have been no apparent attempts at communication on the part of the attackers" he explained.

"Strength estimates are sketchy at the moment as there are more enemy aircraft emerging through the portals all the time, but we have so far been able to determine that the enemy has deployed anywhere from two to three hundred aircraft of various different sizes and makes over Baku.  The aircraft themselves range in size from ten to twenty meters all the way up to five to ten kilometers across.  Full knowledge of their capabilities are still very limited at this time, but all information we have gathered up to this point indicates their possession of some kind of directed and kinetic energy based weapons."

The room was abuzz with concerned and unpleasant grumbling as the various parties assembled talked amongst themselves "we also-" he attempted to be heard over all the other voices, he raised the volume of his own "-we also have received scattered reports of ground forces being disembarked from some of these aircraft.  Even basic estimates of their nature and strength are not available as yet due to the fact that most information we have regarding these ground forces are largely anecdotal and no hard data exists regarding them, we-"

He was cut off as was the grumbling throughout the rest of the room as the Premier raised a hand in an indication that he was about to speak "what is the overall situation regarding the other portals?" he asked.

Aleksandr uncomfortably shifted in place as he was brought off course from his planned briefing, after a second of looking for the proper way to address the question he responded "according to the Americans, they have detected five such portals all over the world-" he gestured toward the large easel standing next to him, a large world map sat perched on its ledge.  On that map were a series of red dots drawn over five different locations, he continued "this map marks the locations of the five different portals, of course you can see the one over Baku, then we have additional portals over Algeria, Central Greenland, Southern Mongolia, and the Yucatan Peninsula.  Information regarding these other incursions is even more limited at the moment, but it is believed that the forces there are at least as strong as the ones over Baku" a bit of his nervousness lessened as he saw the Premier nod in understanding.

Another voice broke the silence "are they connected to the tāziyāne in any way?  Perhaps an ally of some sort?" it was Sergei Leonidovich Sokolov, the Minister of Defense.

Aleksandr nervously shook his head "while that possibility has not been entirely ruled out, all information that we have regarding the tāziyāne indicates that by their very nature, cooperation with another intelligence is highly unlikely, there is also little indication that they have any inclination toward the collection of biomass-"

Another voice broke in "do we have any indication as to what their overall objectives are?" asked Foreign Minister Shevardnadze.

"Beyond indiscriminate destruction, no we have not observed any other goals that they seem to be pursuing."

More grumbles and unpleasant murmurs, things continued this way for another couple minutes until Gorbachev finally spoke up again "very well, what are our options?" he asked.

Sokolov spoke up first, this was his purview after all "unfortunately they are quite limited at the moment.  Due to the strains imposed by the currently ongoing conflict with the tāziyāne in Asia and Europe, we have very few ground forces available in the immediate area, even Warsaw Pact forces in eastern Europe are pretty thin, the same goes for all the neighboring nations in the middle east and north Africa, they have all committed the bulk of their ground forces to fighting the infestation in Afghanistan."

"In the air, we are far better off, we can pull as many as three hundred aircraft for a counter strike without thinning out our presence in the air in either theater too drastically, the tāziyāne have been pretty low on air assets in Asia since HARVEST DRIZZLE, we've also already started talking with various air forces from other nations, we have received promises of somewhere around two hundred additional aircraft from Turkey, Israel, Egypt and other neighboring countries."

Gorbachev was silent for a moment, he frowned as he thought "recommendations?" he asked.

A new voice cut in, it was the Marshal of the Red Army, Vasily Petrov.

"As has been already stated, ground forces are extremely limited in the area, at most we estimate that we can scrape together enough troops for an understrength infantry division, mostly reservists and fresh conscripts with minimal mechanized and armored support, but that's it.  Again, we've got promises of additional help from neighboring nations, but organizing them together for anything quickly is going to be challenging, in all we estimate that we can get a total of twenty thousand troops into the city by the end of the day.”

“However, due to the sheer lack of information that we have on enemy ground forces, including their capabilities and overall strength I would recommend that we restrict all ground based operations to basic reconnaissance and as a means to facilitate evacuating the area, and even then I'm wary.  Without knowing just what the enemy's intentions and full capabilities are, it's entirely possible that we would just be adding more bodies to the current death toll "

Another couple seconds of silence followed, Air Marshal Yefimov Aleksandr Nikolayevich was next to speak "we  are already in preparations for a large scale launch against this new threat, we should be able to launch a coordinated air assault with the aforementioned numbers of Soviet planes within the hour, if we wait an additional thirty to sixty minutes, we should be able to coordinate with the additional cooperating air forces to get the full number of foreign aircraft involved in the response as well.  From there we have three main options."

"First would be a full scale retaliatory air strike with conventional weapons in an effort to knock the enemy from the sky, this of course has the considerable problems of not knowing just what the enemy is capable of or how many more forces have yet to come through that portal. Due to the limited number of aircraft at our disposal at this time, it is questionable if this option is even viable.”

“Secondly would be something more restrained and act solely as a cover for the ground forces entering the city to buy them as much time as possible to get as many people out of the city as possible.  From there we would switch over to an overall strategy of containment with all air assets focusing primarily on keeping the enemy from pushing out beyond the immediate area until additional air assets can be freed up for something more ambitious.  Finally there is the option of a full scale nuclear strike on the area-"

The room erupted in heated debate, the Air Marshal raised his voice and managed to get the group under control "within thirty minutes we could have ready a launch of two dozen nuclear tipped P-270 Moskits.  This would of course kill any and all civilian and military personnel still in and around the city.  Also, without a full analysis of the enemy's capabilities it would be hard to ascertain the probable success of such a mission."

More grumbling and debate filled the room, Gorbachev raised his hands in a calming fashion as he tried to settle the room "which strategy would you recommend Air Marshal?" he asked, his tone was serious and his stare was intense.  The man wanted an honest and direct answer.

Nikolayevich did not ponder for long "I would have to say that the second option seems the best under the circumstances.  It leaves us the most room to alter our strategy as the situation changes and with so many unknowns, it leaves us the the most ability to avoid a catastrophic failure in the event of something completely unexpected" he said with a monotone that Aleksandr found almost disturbing under the circumstances.

Again the room fell silent as everyone else watched the Premier who pondered the situation, trying to make a decision.  Aleksandr did not envy the man, his decision would undoubtedly cost the lives of thousands possibly hundreds of thousands, no matter how well things went, and there was probably no way of knowing which would have been the best decision after the fact either.  Finally, the man spoke "alright, send as many troops as you can into the city to facilitate an evacuation as best they can, we'll go with the second option" he said decisively.





-5:38 PM November 14, 1987, somewhere over the Caspian Sea




Captain Maxim Ivanski methodically checked the positions of the other MiG-29s in his formation yet again, attempting to ensure that he and the other aircraft were maintaining proper relative position.  It was a silly little thing really, he knew that he and all the other pilots there were were well aware of where they were supposed to be and where they were going, but such a ritual always helped to calm his nerves just before going into battle.

"Are you fidgeting again Maxim?"

The voice in headset was Major Ivan Satine, they had served together for over five years and were close friends, Maxim bared his teeth in a wide grin "why, whatever would give you that idea Ivan?" he replied innocently.

A slight chuckle came through over the radio "because you do that every time before we go into combat" Maxim could swear he heard Ivan's smile in his voice.

Maxim was about to say something else, but his retort was preempted by Colonel Marfina "this is Colonel Marfina, we are about to get within radar range of the enemy.  Remember, our mission is to simply cover for the Su-27's.while they deal with the big ones, do not try to be a hero and take on some big fat juicy enemy ship, that's not our job" his voice; as always, was stern and serious.

The orders were met with geers and grumbles of annoyance "damned arrogant bastards, they get all the glory while we do all the work!" came one protest in particular.

"What's the big deal?"

It was Ivan "so they get to knock down some big fat slow target, any asshole could do that.  In the end they are gonna have to split one kill amongst dozens of pilots or more, we're the ones who get to show off our score cards with big fat numbers on them!" he said, the bravado was dripping from his voice.  The rest of the squadron laughed and cheered enthusiastically at that.

The colonel cut back in "that's enough of that arrogant bullshit; don't forget, these aren't the bozorgs, we have no idea how they fly or their full air-to-air capabilities.  So don't get comfortable thinking that you're gonna take down ten or twenty of them with ease.  So watch out and be smart" again, he sounded serious and stern as ever.

Off in the distance up ahead, the horizon glowed like a second sunset, except this one wasn't fading like the normal one.  A great shining white -thing; supposedly a portal to another dimension, a kilometers wide hole torn in the fabric of the universe itself.  Where it led, nobody knew, or so he was told anyway.  At this range they couldn't make out any of the enemy, even on radar, but the light shifted and dimmed occasionally, probably as one of those massive city sized ships passed in front of it.

Another voice cut in over the radio "I've got contact" it said. 

Sure enough, Maxim looked down at his radar plot and spotted a couple of blips on its very edge of detection, with more appearing as they got closer, additional confirmations came through from other pilots who had made similar discoveries.

The Colonel cut in once more "alright, it's time to tuck your balls up between your legs and hope they're still there when things are over, everybody lock a target and prepare to fire" he ordered.

Maxim complied promptly, as he did so he was surprised to see no change in the behavior of the enemy aircraft.  He wasn't sure why he was surprised though, he didn't know what they did when they detected a threat, no one did.  No one human anyway.  They could have already locked their own form of exotic weaponry onto Maxim and the other planes there and nobody would know it until the first plane exploded. 

The seconds ticked by as the on board targeting computer worked to lock his weapons onto the target up ahead, some seventy kilometers out.  Finally, after what felt like an eternity he heard the reassuring tone of a lock-on, a bright green bracket showed up, projected on his canopy bubble indicating the location of the target "I've got lock" he announced just as the rest of the squadron did the same in quick succession.

Colonel Marfina did not hesitate once the last of the pilots reported in.

"fire"

Maxim depressed the button on his joystick, a single R-27 missile streaked out from below his plane, leaving a bright gray contrail in the dimming evening sunlight.  Joining his were scores of other missiles in a massive volley launched out by not just his squadron, but over a hundred other aircraft approaching from that same direction.

Again, Maxim wondered as to the capabilities of the enemy and the weapons they employed, specifically how much range they possessed. His musings would be answered shortly.

As they were preparing to lock onto their next targets to fire another salvo, a number of bright green lights suddenly appeared up ahead, they started to grow in brightness and size.  He checked his radar, but nothing showed up, he realized that they were most definitely heading out to meet him and the other approaching planes, whatever they were.  He realized that the number of green lights had drastically increased suddenly and while before there were scores of them, there were now well over a hundred.

The radio chatter became frantic as people started wondering at what exactly was going on.

The colonel's voice came through the radio again "all aircraft, take evasive action, you are free to fire at will, I repeat fire at will!"

Maxim didn't need to be told twice and before the last words had left the colonel's mouth, Maxim was already yanking his joystick hard to the left in an effort to bank out of the way of any potentially oncoming enemy weapons fire.  His body protested as the G-forces piled on from high speed maneuver.  A quick glance out of his cockpit revealed a volley of bright green -objects of some kind flying at them at incredibly high speed.  He didn't know what they were, but his best guess as to what they resembled was bolts of ball lightning.  His cockpit suddenly became awash in bright green light as one of those bolts flew by far too close for Maxim's comfort.

A bright orange light flashed somewhere off to the right as plane exploded in midair, apparently hit by one of those bright green bolts.  A quick listen to the radio chatter revealed that there had been more than one aircraft lost to those enigmatic weapons.  Bringing his plane into a climb in an effort to dodge the next oncoming fusillade, he started to angle back toward the enemy.

Selecting another target he started the process of obtaining weapons lock once again.  The seconds ticked by excruciatingly slow as he waited for that familiar reassuring sound. 

A look down at his radar plot showed that the enemy had indeed started to take evasive action -fuck they are moving fast he thought as he saw the enemy break mach 3 with regularity and perform turns that would have been an understatement to call 'difficult.'

More of those bright green bolts screamed in, he didn't know how many were firing, but he guessed that they were being fired upon by at least fifty enemy aircraft, maybe one hundred, he wasn't sure though.  Suddenly another bright orange flash illuminated the surroundings as another MiG disappeared in a violent explosion.

He wondered if the enemy response happened when it did because that was their maximum effective range, or because he and the others didn't register as threats until they opened fire, he wasn't sure if he wanted the answer to that. 

The sound of another lock on rang in his ears, he immediately fired another R-27 out at the new target.  Just as the contrail started to become visible as its owner streaked outward toward its intended target, a series of distant explosions flared up ahead, indicating that the first salvo had reached their targets.  A glance at the radar plot told him that some of those missiles had succeeded in taking out an enemy aircraft so, they can be killed he thought grimly as he noted with dismay that only a handful of the missiles fired had actually succeeded in downing an enemy craft, maybe eight or ten at most.

Time crawled at an interminably slow rate as he looked at his cockpit clock and realized that less than thirty seconds had passed since they had fired that first salvo at the enemy, it had felt like an hour.  Spotting more incoming enemy bolts, he brought his plane into a dive as two more explosions flared up in quick succession, indicating the deaths of two more planes.  The enemy fire was no longer coming in volleys, but was now spewing forth at them in a seemingly unending torrent of death.

The distance had shrunk to under forty kilometers and as he looked out across the sea towards where the enemy was coming from he was able to make out the distant shapes of the enemy aircraft, including the outlines of the biggest of them all.  Even at this distance he got a good sense of their gargantuan size, the fading sunlight and stark white light from the portal reflected off of them, outlining their sleek shapes. 

He'd seen pictures of them before they had taken off for this mission, they were of poor quality, mostly grainy and out of focus. 

At this range the general details could be made out, and some of the finer ones could be discerned as well, such as the countless smaller structures and components that protruded from the massive things, giving them the appearance of massive flying cities.

One kind; of which he saw two, was a massive flying disk, domed and rounded in overall shape, kind of like a flattened sphere, it was not as simple as that as it seemed to have been divided up into massive concentric ringed sections.  The other variety he could make out was a more dramatic shape, it was about twice as large, probably the big ten kilometer sized ones that he had heard about.  It looked like some kind of three dimensional starfish with massive arms or spires or something jutting out in about a eight different directions.

He didn't have time to ponder the nature of those shapes or their purpose or that of the dozens of other craft that he was now able to spot but which were too small to make out any detail whatsoever.  That appraisal was comparative of course, as his radar plot indicated that they were hundreds of meters across.

He pulled his plane into a steep climb in order to avoid being hit by yet another of those bolts of energy or whatever they were and managed to just barely avoid it by what he judged to be maybe ten meters at most. 

More explosions indicated the deaths of more aircraft, he couldn't be certain if they were members of his own squadron or someone else', they seemed distant enough, but the frantic chatter over the radio made it hard to tell for sure. 

As he waited for another lock-on he glanced at his radar plot to determine the fate of his last shot, he saw it close with the mysterious enemy aircraft.  It juked and weaved in order to avoid being hit and it's maneuvers were impressive to say the least.  He hissed out a curse as he saw the weapon miss its target which appeared to dodge the shot with ease.  Without waiting further he fired a third missile the second he got tone.

The range had dropped below thirty kilometers now and he could clearly make out the enemy aircraft that they were engaged with which appeared as small generic round shapes of some sort, their seemingly metallic skin shimmered brightly.  A glance at his radar plot showed his missile closing with the most recent target which also attempted to avoid being hit with some impressive aerobatics, however this time it looked like the enemy aircraft had reacted to slowly and the R-27 closed the range then intersected with the alien craft.  He managed to spot a distant bright explosion which he thought was his target being blown out of the sky, then let out a triumphant cheer as he looked at the radar contact disappear.

"Eat shit and die! Fuckers!"

His taunt went out over the radio toward an enemy who couldn't hear his insults, and even if they could, they most likely wouldn't understand.  It didn't matter to him though, it made him feel better.

Suddenly the entire sky lit up bright green.  Maxim cringed as he expected that an enemy bolt had found his plane, but when he didn't die he got a glimpse at a massive bright column of light cutting through the sky just above and to his left, it must have been over two hundred meters across and he managed to get a glimpse of a half dozen MiGs disappear in bright explosions as the massive beam of light intersected their paths. 

He didn't have time to ponder this as he both realized that he had tone and that there was more enemy fire incoming.  He let loose with his fourth and final R-27 missile just before banking sharply to the right, dodging another pair of enemy bolts.  His vision blurred and dimmed and his chest felt as though an elephant had just sat on it, but when he came out of the turn he was clear of any immediate enemy threat.

Just then he came to the realization that that beam of light hadn't stopped, in stead it raked across the sky, like a powerful searchlight trying to find something in the darkness.  He saw more planes disappear in violent conflagrations as the massive weapon obliterated them.

The distance had dropped down to less than ten kilometers and the enemy 'fighters' were now elongated metallic turtle shells rather than the nondescript dots off in the distance, an indeterminate number of green lights glowed from different points on the alien craft, he couldn't make out where exactly they were located, but he could discern their presence.  He could also make out more details on the massive floating alien ships out there.

Like the pictures he saw earlier, it was clear that the surface of each massive ship was covered in huge numbers of various structures and components, so densely packed that it was almost impossible to discern what they were beyond basic shapes.  Countless points of green light shone out from innumerable nooks and crannies all over the intricate surface of each ship.  It only further emphasized the resemblance that they had to massive floating cities.  He could tell that the large spindly one was the source of that beam, of which there now now several streaking through the air, searching for more planes to kill.

Bright orange flashes dotted the massive ships in various places, and it took Maxim a second to realize that they weren't lights, they were explosions from the Su-27s firing missiles at them.  Their massive size caused the explosions to look miniscule by comparison.

He cast a fleeting glance at his radar plot again then looked back up out of his canopy- he paused then looked back down at the plot.  There was something odd about what he saw there, he gave a closer look, but didn't see what it was.  Mentally shrugging, he redirected his attention back outwards again.

He saw his missile slam into its target, obliterating it in yet another midair conflagration like the last one, and he cheered again as he saw it go off his scope.  He realized then that the number of enemy aircraft falling from the sky had started to go up as the distance dropped.  It was as if the shortened range denied them needed time to react to any attacks. Although their maneuverability should have permitted them to out turn the missiles, especially at such shortened ranges, but they didn't.  This didn't stop them from continuing to kill more human jets though. 

Ivan's voice crackled through the radio suddenly "let's not get too excited now my friend, there are plenty more where that came from.  Also, if you wouldn't mind, I could use a little help down here."

Maxim spotted his friend's plane just below him, crossing at a diagonal path to his own.  An enemy fighter was pursuing him, it fired a shot which flew by Ivan's plane, missing it by a scant few meters.  He suddenly realized that the range had closed to a mere handful of kilometers by then.

The radio chatter had picked up its tempo to a frantic pace as the battle had turned from a long range slugging match into a short distance knife fight.  The air was thick with explosions, weapons fire, smoke, and enemy and friendly aircraft.  It was chaos really, and yet Maxim managed to shut out all of the distractions as he spotted his comrade come under threat.

His mind raced as he pondered all the possible solutions to the situation, time which had been crawling at a glacial pace practically stopped as he watched events unfold in front of him.  Inspiration dawned upon him as he knew exactly what to do. 

Without further deliberation, he nudged his joystick forward and put his aircraft into a shallow dive, the nose of his plane was now pointing directly at the path ahead of the enemy aircraft.  Time was too short for him to properly calculate how far he needed to lead his target. 

He squeezed the trigger on the joystick.  A heavy rumbling cut through even the sound of his plane's own turbines and the entire airframe shuddered from the recoil as his 30 mm cannon unleashed a torrent of high velocity weapons fire.  Tracers streaked out ahead of the nose of his aircraft indicating the trajectory of his fire.  The burst was extended, maybe fifty or sixty rounds thought Maxim as he watched the enemy fighter fly headlong towards an intersection with the torrent of death his plane was spewing out into the air.

The enemy aircraft careened through the air, seconds later it and the hail of high caliber bullets intersected.  Bits and pieces of the mysterious flying machine flew off in a violent show of destruction, then it exploded violently shortly after.  He howled in triumph as he saw the flaming debris from the explosion fall from the sky.

Bright green light filled his cockpit once again. Up above and ahead of him; maybe two hundred meters distant one of those columns of light cut through the sky, two planes disappeared as they were hit.  Without thinking he nudged his joystick further, going into a far steep dive.  He didn't think he was going to make it, that he was too late to avoid running headlong right into that beam of death.  He was wrong however.

His MiG passed mere meters below the beam, and as he did so, he felt the whole plane- no, his whole being; right down to his individual cells, vibrate violently.  A horrid unpleasant humming noise seemed to be coming from within his own head, and the lights on his HUD flickered unnervingly.  As the distance opened up, the sound dissipated and normalcy returned.

He cast another glance at his radar screen, which was when he realized what it was that he had seen before.  The display looked odd to him, the signals weren't as they should have been.  It was like there was a deep puddle of water over the radar plot, sloshing back and forth, causing the radar contacts in the display to distort and shift strangely.

Pulling hard on the joystick he started to pull his plane out of the steep dive, his chest became heavy as the g-forces piled on and he started to level off.  His headset crackled as a single stern commanding voice cut through all the rest of the chatter "all aircraft, pull back and return to base, I repeat, all aircraft, pull back and return to base" it was Colonel Marfina.

Maxim didn't bother trying to wonder at the exact reasoning for the order, he didn't need to.  While he had been focusing considerably on his own struggles, the overall tactical situation was not lost on him, they had taken scores of losses, possibly more, while hundreds of enemy reinforcements poured in through that portal.  Worse was that there was no indication that they had even managed to inconvenience any of those humongous flying warships either.

He looked out at the sky above and saw the chaotic mess as human and alien aircraft maneuvered in vicious struggle for survival.  He saw that the smaller ships had let loose with massive torrents of their own weapons fire, a number of stray enemy fighters seemed to have noticed him and were quickly angling in his direction.  He then thought of his depleted cannon ammunition supply and the two remaining R-60 missiles hanging from hardpoints on his plane and wondered just how he was going to extricate himself from this mess.






-6:07 PM November 14, 1987, Baku, Azerbaijan






Corporal Kadem Tabak threw himself into the crater just as another of those cursed alien aircraft swooped down and fired off it's mysterious green weaponry at a nearby building, a two story tenement from the looks of it.  A deafening blast shook the ground all around them and bits of glass, concrete, metal, and countless other things pelted him and the rest of his squad as they crouched in a desperate effort to take shelter from the explosion.  Things were bad, very bad.  That wasn't just an assessment of the immediate situation, but of entire day leading up to then. 

He had served in Iran for six months against the tāziyāne-ye bozorg, he'd seen countless men die, seen more carnage and violence than he would ever have cared to, and he had learned that he got a feeling when a situation was about to turn to shit.  He had that feeling right from the start.

After almost his entire platoon had been wiped out in a defensive action back in Iran, he had been transferred back home to Turkey a mere week earlier where he was told that he was to be reassigned to a newly formed unit, if only he knew how literal that really was.

So he was in his barracks, organizing his gear when a lieutenant he didn't recognize and had never met before came to him and told him that he was being assigned to a new unit which was shipping out immediately.  He was then dropped unceremoniously into a platoon of men; and a couple women, whose names he didn't even know, and by their own behavior it seemed that many of them had never met each other either.  Worse yet was that many of them didn't even look like they had even fully finished training just yet either.  They were then all packed into a C-130 and flown out abruptly.

At first they weren't even told where they were all going, Kadem got the feeling that nobody knew anyway, including that lieutenant who was his new commanding officer.  They weren't informed of anything until after they had landed, in Azerbaijan.  Finally they were told that they were being assigned to help evacuate and protect civilians, nobody seemed to have known from whom or what they were supposed to be protecting them from, which didn't really improve things.

Rumors abounded about a possible tāziyāne-ye bozorg incursion into Azerbaijan, some even assumed that it was a betrayal by one of the members of the coalition.  It wasn't until their column of trucks had been strafed by one of those strange aircraft that these aliens or whatever they were used for a ground attack purpose that things had started to become clear... or at least less convoluted.  This did not make him feel any better though.

As the last bits of debris and shrapnel fell back to the earth, Kadem and the rest of the platoon started to climb out of their various hiding places, prepared to resume their progress.  Off in the distance he could make out a few massive war machines moving about the city. Even at a distance of kilometers he could make out the deep thumps of their footsteps as their long and massive legs marched from place to place. It was clear that destruction followed them wherever they went as they opened fire on various unseen targets and unleashing more of those green bolt weapons with unnerving regularity. Kadem said a silent prayer of thanks that those titanic things seemed to have more important things to worry about and none had as yet decided to head in their direction.

The street was largely deserted at this point, on the way into the city, they had gone past a massive horde of desperate people attempting to escape the doomed city.  At this point, most of the civilian population still in the area consisted of scattered pockets of refugees or dead people.  Craters pockmarked the street which was littered with wrecked cars and the rubble from two collapsed buildings.  Up ahead dozens of column's of smoke rose into the air, illuminated by the light of the massive bright white ...thing in the sky overhead.

Above their heads, hundreds of aircraft of both human and alien makes danced and maneuvered in a desperate struggle of death and destruction.  The roar of jet engines and rumble of explosions reverberated against the walls of buildings in the war torn city.  Bright flashes flickered and pulsed as aircraft exploded and these alien invaders fired their exotic weapons.  Through it all, about a dozen massive... objects of some kind hovered in the sky, silently moving through the air, strangely juxtaposed to the frantic activity that surrounded them.

A group of four people; three men and two women, rounded a corner down the street, prompting a number of the more jittery soldiers there to bring their weapons up abruptly before bringing them back down again.  Kadem sighed in exasperation at the number of under trained soldiers they had thrown into this unit we're gonna kill more friendlies than the enemy at this rate he thought.

One of the enlisted men shouted in Azerbaijani, a private named Sevim.  Gesturing broadly, he directed the fleeing civilians to head back in the direction from which the platoon had come from, he gave general instructions on how to get to an evacuation point.  It had been fortunate that with all the other fucked up things to happen on the way to Baku, a man who spoke the local language had been assigned to the unit, Kadem did not think it had been an intentional assignment though.

As the civilians ran past, the sound of a high pitched whirring reached Kadem's ears shit he thought as he immediately recognized what it was.  Private Sevim shouted something else is Azerbaijani at the fleeing civilians, probably a warning for them to take cover, they did not heed his warnings and continued to run away.

The rest of the platoon knew better and immediately ran to the nearest place that afforded them some form of protection from above.  Seconds later a moderate sized machine, maybe three or four meters across swooped in overhead.  It took the shape of a large metal ring with a glowing sphere in its center and three smaller non-glowing metallic spheres along the outside edge. Dozens of other components and parts protruded from its shimmering skin.

A series of high pitched whooping noises emanated from the flying machine as it altered course toward the fleeing people.  Suddenly the ground all around them erupted as bits of concrete and dirt flew into the air.

Kadem and the other soldiers there had quickly learned to hate those things, they appeared overhead regularly, and that weapon of theirs was deadly.  Fortunately, small arms fire was effective in bringing them down. Unfortunately the enemy seemed to have an unending supply.

Not wanting to waste the distraction that the civilian's foolish sacrifice had granted them, every soldier there popped out from their cover and drew a bead on the cursed aircraft and opened fire.  The loud pops and thuds of weapons fire echoed off of the surrounding walls as a large hail of bullets flew up to knock the threatening machine from the air.

After a couple seconds of sustained fire, the machine faltered and wobbled, the bright sphere at its center started to flicker and then exploded violently, showering the ground in debris.

Tension remained for about thirty seconds more as they scanned the sky above with their eyes and listened for the telltale low pitched humming sound that they feared would come next.

Shortly after entering the city, they had spotted what had come to be known as a 'gunship' by most of them.  It was a rather large sized aircraft, perhaps ten or fifteen meters in length, it bore a strong resemblance to a stylized combination of a steam locomotive and a European gothic cathedral.  During that first sighting, they watched as it obliterated a formation of five Israeli M113s using some of those strange weapons that fire bright green bolts.

The next time they had encountered one, it had appeared shortly after encountering one of those smaller ones.  Although it wasn't confirmed, everyone believed that if one of those smaller gunships were allowed to remain aloft in the immediate vicinity for too long, one of its bigger siblings would come along to rain down death and destruction.  That second time they had been fortunate that one of them was carrying a stinger launcher.  Although hitting it with a single stinger wasn't enough to destroy the cursed thing, merely enough to damage it severely and cause it to retreat.

Since then, every effort was made to either avoid being spotted by the small gunships or destroy them as soon as possible.

Kadem cast a glance back toward the civilians, they were all laying there, motionless on the ground, blood had pooled around them, and it looked as though a couple of them had lost limbs in the attack.  He said a silent prayer for them as the platoon resumed it's advance down the street.

An hour later Kadem was crouching behind an overturned and smashed car, staring out across a rubble strewn stretch of street as a large metallic disk descended gently over a spot approximately forty meters away.  A loud buzzing noise; similar to that created by those gunships emanated from the disk. 
Whatever it was, it was about twenty meters across and was covered in a complex series of protrusions and mechanical looking parts, some of which moved and shifted in various different ways.

As it reached a height of less than a meter over the rubble strewn ground, part of the craft's exterior slid apart, resulting in an opening about four meters across appearing in it's hull.  A dim green light emanated from the opening and a number of nondescript shapes shifted about inside. 
A piece of rubble shifted somewhere off in the distance as the ground shook from an explosion somewhere and it fell from it's resting place atop a half collapsed building, hitting the ground with a loud thud.

A large tube of some kind suddenly protruded from the top of the disk, it abruptly swiveled to point in the direction of the movement and a whirring noise; similar to that made by the weapons of those smaller gunships but lower pitched reached Kadem's ears and the piece of rubble, the ground, and just about everything else surrounding it for approximately a two meter radius disappeared in an explosion of smoke and shrapnel.

After a few seconds of delay, more shapes moved around inside the aircraft, then something emerged from the opening.  It looked like a man, a rather large man, maybe two meters tall, probably more.  Clad in some sort of gray looking garment which seemed pretty form fitting, it was further covered by an assortment of what looked like beige colored armored plates.  Its head sported some sort of helmet, made of what looked like a similar material to that of the armored plates.  A single green glowing round ...thing of some sort sat slightly off center on the front of the head, Kadem guessed that it was an eye of some sort.  Meanwhile a series of black wires or tubes extended out from the back of the being's head and connected to some sort of complex looking machine on its back.

At the end of the creature's right arm was yet another strange looking machine of some sort.  At the end of the other arm appeared to be a rather large hand.  On the left forearm was a another metallic looking machine of some sort.

Following the first one, another emerged, then another, then another.  Eventually, six of them were standing on the ground outside of the large hovering aircraft.  The six alien beings stood there turning their heads this way and that, most likely searching for any threats.  Their movement was strange, alien, almost mechanical in nature, not the way that a man or any animal Kadem knew of.  After maybe a minute of this the transport behind them closed its doors and began to ascend again and then flew away.  The six alien creatures started to advance down the street in the platoon's direction.

He got a sinking feeling in his stomach perfect, they just had to choose to head this way, didn't they?

Their commanding officer; Lieutenant Sezer, started making whispered orders "you" he whispered, signaling to Kadem "take the third one on the left" he ordered, Kadem nodded as the Lieutenant made similar orders to other men in the platoon.

He checked his M-16, making sure the safety was off and the magazine was properly secured into place.  He inched around toward the side of the wrecked car he was behind and took a peak to get another look at his intended target.  It was walking along like the rest of them, looking around, searching for something, probably something to kill.

The distance had shrunk to just under thirty meters and Kadem was getting tense with anticipation, his knuckles were pale white as he gripped his rifle tightly.  Finally after what felt like an eternity, the Lieutenant gave the order.

"Now!"

The entire platoon popped up from their hidden positions and opened fire.  The clatter of small arms fire filled that section of street, drowning out even the deep sounds of battle off in the distance.

The enemy reacted immediately, their right arms shot up with incredible speed and their walking rapidly transformed into a full on sprint.  The weapons fire didn't seem to be having much of an effect as none of them seemed to have even broken stride.  Sparks flared as some bullets spangled off the armor plates that the aliens wore. The arms of all six of them jerked suddenly, accompanied by a high pitched wump like that of mortar fire, but less deep.

Kadem reacted quickly and dropped back down for cover instantly, others did as well, but some failed to make the move fast enough.

Patches of the walls of nearby buildings exploded, spraying the assembled soldiers in bits of concrete.  Two men fell to the ground, dead, with giant holes twenty or thirty centimeters across blown in their bodies.  A loud metallic bang came from somewhere to the right and an additional man who had taken cover behind another car also fell to the ground, a hole the size of an orange blown clear through his head.  A look over at the spot where he had been crouching revealed a fresh hole about two or three centimeters across pushed outward through the body of the car.  As more wumping could be heard down the street mixed in with the sounds of regular human weapons fire, Kadem became suddenly aware of just how little protection was afforded to him by his choice of hiding place.

He looked back over the top of the car and saw that the enemy was less than ten meters out by then, he also saw that one of them had fallen to the ground and another one was now staggering as its leg had been hobbled good, so they aren't impervious after all he though with a certain grim satisfaction.

He brought his weapon up and aimed at the leader of the group, he squeezed the trigger, letting loose a four round burst which he clearly saw slam into its chest.  This time the creature did seem effected as it seemed to stumble from those impacts.  More men fell dead or screamed as they clutched at massive wounds.

The one that had been hobbled finally went down in a tumble to the ground, and the leader had slowed its own pace as it looked like its wounds were finally taking a toll.  Suddenly the left arms of all four remaining enemies flicked out in a sudden but smooth motion, and suddenly they were longer.  No, not longer.  Rather, something had extended out from those large contraptions on their left forearms.  They were about a half meter long, pointy, and glinted like metal in the light.  Kadem was pretty sure he knew what those were for.

By then he had already shifted over to the next nearest enemy, taking aim at its midsection, he fired off burst after burst into it, bullets spangled off the armor, but no visible effect was immediately apparent.

Leaping over piles of rubble, debris, and wrecked cars, the enemy soldiers moved with a speed and fluidity that was again unnatural.  More soldiers screamed and died as those horrid melee weapons sliced and slashed, effortlessly eviscerating and mutilating.

One of them charged in very close to Kadem, it shoved its weapon right through the skull of the man next to him, killing him instantly.  Kadem fired at almost point blank range, blowing four holes in the thing's chest armor but not stopping it entirely.  Its left arm slashed out quickly.

Kadem reacted with more speed than he thought he had, he brought his rifle up in a defensive motion, successfully blocking the attack.  The blade of the weapon cut about a centimeter into the hand guard of his weapon and his arms and joints screamed in pain like he had just been slammed into by a three hundred kilo rugby player damn they're strong.  The thing pulled its melee weapon back for another strike, wrenching the rifle out of Kadem's hands in the process, he expected to die right then for certain.

Then just as it was about to bring down a killing blow that he was sure would be the last thing he'd see, the sound of an MG-3 hammered at his eardrums, his opponent's head jerked to the right violently, and then it fell to the ground.  Kadem looked over and saw a young female private hefting a light machine gun in both hands.  They exchanged quick glances as she maneuvered it to take on another target.

He looked around and salvaged another M-16 from the clutches of his former neighbor, he saw another one of the enemy soldiers, it had just finished decapitating the Lieutenant.  Kadem's weapon went up, he took aim at a large cylinder protruding from the machinery on the thing's back and opened fire.  The cylinder shattered, and the thing immediately went limp collapsing to the ground, dead.

He spun, looking for another threat to engage, after a second or two of searching, he realized that there were no others left, they had "won."

A survey of the carnage wrought by the quick battle revealed just how pyrric their victory truly was.  All around them, there were six enemy bodies, meanwhile there were twenty two human ones. The cost of victory against this new enemy; it would seem, was going to be high.
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Zim
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-22 02:21am 

Youngling


Joined: 2007-04-04 09:55pm
Posts: 72
What I'm curious about is how this new enemy could seemingly wipe out an entire horde of bozorgs without firing a shot in Iran. Are they somehow disrupting the connection between the mind and its own forces? Has this phenomenon been encountered on any of the other fronts as well?
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Andehtron
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-22 05:13am 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-02-18 07:15pm
Posts: 69
Location: Im not sure...help!
A new faction emerges.....

So, are they comming for us specifically or are their real targets the Bozorgs?

I guess what Im curious about is, "Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Or another eneny?".
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AgentPalpatine
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-22 11:07am 

Redshirt


Joined: 2010-09-19 09:53pm
Posts: 14
I'm thinking that the new attackers arn't Bozorgs, it is'nt the same style.

1. It appears that the Bozorgs do not have transportation capacity anymore.

2. Bozorgs have been showing organic generated weapons (With one notable exception), not some sort of flying armada of hovering warships.

3. The giant monsters that the Hive Mind put out had energy weapons, but also were far more resilent to damage then the new "fighters" of the new attacks.

4. Something is very strange with the new force's weapons, they throw small fighters through a portal, and then throw the things down to small arms range to engage lightly armed ground forces?

5. The new forces weapons arn't designed to fight missiles and cannons, they are designed to kill lots of slow moving weak weapons, such as we'd expect from a force designed to kill Bozorgs, not a bozorg-designed weapon to defeat human air assets.

Other thoughts on the Bozorgs:

5. While the human forces never acquired a useable sample of the largest constructs, they had enough firepower to punch a hole in any frontline, and were "fail-positive", so to speak. The Hive Mind seemed to be assembling more of them to throw in one major push, possibly as a result of the extreme amounts of biomass needed to construct and fuel the things. The Hive Mind might be running out of biomass in Afganistan (which is'nt exactly the amazon), which also indicates that the new faction is'nt bozorg.

6. I think the Hive Mind has one very large surprise waiting for humanity, assuming this new force does'nt screw everything up. The Hive Mind appears to be close to some sort of panic over a successful counter-attack, but the Hive Mind has been able to throw up defenses to every prior countermeasure. The Hive Mind's main concern seems to be about "something" inside it's territory, which means the secret is physical and could ruin the conquest of Earth. A larger set of constructs would'nt be a game-changer, but disclosure of the infiltration force would be...... Since the bozorgs were previously seen consuming humans, and the lack of communication skills from the infiltration force, I'd say the bozorgs are manufacturing human-like constructs, but nothing that could stand up to even visual screening. Could the secret weapon be a "Mark II" Infilitration unit, able to pass at least visual screening?

7. I'm going to have to re-read the entire story from the begining to be sure, but I think the Hive Mind was dragged into this thing from the very begining. The Hive Mind reacted to human (well, we think) probes of teleportation technology in the first place, landed in a less than ideal spot (afganistan with the Red Army sitting on top of them), and would have been all over the world with the unwitting help of Soviet nukes if they had'nt blasted Spain when they did the teleportation trick.

8. There were other teleportations during the Bozorg invasion, which means the Bozorgs had a more extensive infiltration program going (Which seems unlikely, given the current communication issues with bozorg infiltration), or at least one other faction has agents on earth.

9. Did the succesful jamming of teleportation on earth lead to the newest attack?
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AgentPalpatine
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-22 01:40pm 

Redshirt


Joined: 2010-09-19 09:53pm
Posts: 14
After re-reading the story, I have to correct points 1, 6, 7, and 9.

1. Apparently, the Bozorg still have Earth-bound transportation capacity, but they hav'nt made any use of it since the Soviet nuke strike. Obsidian or it's secondary programs would have picked up a transportation and located the portals.

2 (relating to point 6): The afganistan front has some sort of "8 kilometer wide" superstructure being constructed, possibly to begin mining for direct matter conversion. That may or may not be the secret the Hive Mind is working to protect. I wonder when the earth forces will send some NIGHTMARE missiles that way. The USAF was able to deliever 40 (36 working) missiles in a few days, so series production might not be that far off.

3 (relating to point 7): I thought that the Hive Mind was ticked about human teleportation experiments, but with hindsight, it looks like someone else was. The bozorgs seem to have a grasp of time, but the other faction mentioned does not. The Hive Mind did'nt care about human technology until well after invading afganistan.

4 (relating to point 9): It appears that the successful jamming played a role in generating the newest attack, since it drew the attention of "other forces". In addition, the location of the attacks is somewhat suspicious as well. The research program in Antartica that may or may not be under US Government control has ties to mesoamerican languages, and these new forces show up in the Yuctan.
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guest
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-22 07:12pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
@ AgentPalpatine:

As to the nature of the new faction, their combat philosophy and it's 'quirks' will be delved into in more depth in the next update or the one after that, I haven't fully laid out the exact sequence of events. The locations of their initial incursions are actually largely random in nature, with a slight bit of restriction based on where I want the story to go.

As for the mass die-off described in episode 26, I will be getting into detail of just what that was about in the next update.


As a general note, don't get to expecting too many passages from this new faction's POV, they are so alien that doing so would ruin that aspect I think, also I'm not sure I could pull it off if I wanted to. So there will be some things about them that will just never be known(at least not in-text).


Anyway, I actually have the bulk of text already written for the next two updates, but am kind of stuck with a few little corners I've sort of painted myself into as far as moves I've made and where I want to take the story. I think I know how to reconcile these issues, but until then those episodes are waiting in the wings so to speak. However, expect the next update in the next couple days.
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Andehtron
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-23 09:16am 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-02-18 07:15pm
Posts: 69
Location: Im not sure...help!
I'm itching to learn why they have arrived...

Also Im curious if the Bozorgs have encountered these guys before..or if they are as dumbstruck as humanity.
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White Haven
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-23 05:25pm 

Sith Acolyte


Joined: 2004-05-17 03:14pm
Posts: 5992
Location: Richmond, Virginia: The Capitol of Treason
My guess would be that this new faction is trying to skullfuck everything in reach to deny biomass to the bozorgs. That's the only thing that makes sense given the timing of their incursion. There are no coincidences.
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The Vortex Empire
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-23 06:03pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2006-12-11 10:44pm
Posts: 1351
Location: Rhode Island
That makes sense, and it's a pretty good plan if it is the case. A shame we are made of biomass.
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Andehtron
 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future
PostPosted: 2011-05-23 06:49pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-02-18 07:15pm
Posts: 69
Location: Im not sure...help!
I hope it's not totally that....it would be a little too Starcraft....
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