The New World, City of Hensink, New Protectorate Territories
Inquisitor General Rism smashed the golden goblet in his hands to the ground as he watched the disgraceful retreat of his men from the crystal recording. The other officers flinched as blood red wine splattered over the rich carpets and sweated nervously as they awaited the outburst from their commander.
"These... heretics!" Rism fumed. "How dare they! How dare they strike against our holy warriors doing Ramuh's justice on this land! Heresy!"
"What do we know of them?" Rism asked in a cold voice to his gathered officers after he had calmed down. "Why had we not encountered this... demonic force?"
"Lord Inquisitor General," An officer stepped forward and said, "The local lawless seemed to know them as the Un An... A force that is also deemed heretic by the standards of the locals here."
"A heretical force among the heretics?" Rism laughed. "What a joke!"
"Find out everything you can of this... Un An..." Rism growled. "They dared raised their hands against us not once but twice!"
"My Lord," Another officer stood forward. "These Un An appeared to possess weapons that... uh... might be superior to own our..."
"Be careful with your words... Colonel Acolyte..." Rism warned. "Blasphemy will not be tolerated!"
The colonel acolyte bowed his head in apology and changed his words, "The enemy possess weapons of unholy powers, especially in the air. Their flyers are fast and deadly. Our ships are slower and... more likely to be hurt by the heretical flyers."
"So?" Rism asked. "Can they stop our Will? Our Faith?"
"No, Lord," The colonel acolyte continued. "The lawless and heretics cannot stop our Will and Faith, but we are on their land now..."
"We have limited troops and weapons," The colonel acolyte explained. "While they have an entire nation or kingdom of people and resources to draw upon."
"In this manner, we are... lacking..." The colonel acolyte nervously said. "We do not have the numbers to win if they can call upon such unholy powers on our warriors."
Rism gave a unhappy grunt, as he too know this was a fact. "What do you propose than?"
"We... need to pull back our forces..." The colonel acolyte said. "Dig in and hold out while building up our strength and with one decisive action, we bring Judgement to the heretics!"
Rism frowned as he did not like give up things that belonged to him. "We will be a laughingstock to the other Great Nations if they knew we retreated before a bunch of heretics and barbarians!"
"My Lord, we have to think of the bigger picture!" His officers advised him. "Once the fleet returns with the third wave of reinforcements and supplies, our position will be stronger!"
"As the Judge had once said," The colonel acolyte added. "One can run from his sins, but no one can out run the Judgement!"
Rism gave a curt nod, "Alright! Pull back all our forces! We shall build a stronghold here!"
"Start transporting all the new converts and sinners here!" He ordered. "Put them to work in the mines and farms!"
"Gather all the magic crystals we can!" Rism said. "I want every single piece of crystal in our hands!"
The New Kingdom of Mecca, Town of Turnstead
Sergeant Cork closed his fist over the dog tags in his hand with a deep sigh before he shoved them into his breast pocket. He turned his attention to the small crew of combat engineer goblins and elves who were all over the husk of a downed golem laying on its side.
A goblin in a kid sized overalls wielded a crowbar and had one end of it inside the cracks of the frontal armor. He leapt off the golem and dangled at the other end of the crowbar, trying to pry open the armor plating. Other goblins giggled and laughed at his antics and joined in, climbing over the golem and one by one they added their weight to the crowbar.
The weakened armor plating with dozens of fist sized holes gave way with a moan of twisted metal and the rivets popped off. The goblins fell off the end of the crowbar with cheers and laughter as they swarmed over the removed plating to stare at the golem's innards.
Cork feeling curious, went up to join the small crowd of soldiers who were watching the engineers take the golem apart. Suddenly, the goblins who were fiddling with something inside the golem's innards, caused a hatch opened up just behind the head and a thick viscous smelly fluid spew out from the opening.
The goblins cheered again and they ignored the smelly fluid and gathered around the opened hatch. This time, they dragged something or someone out and dumped it on the ground without ceremony. A twisted figure laid curled up in a fetal position with tubes and hoses sticking out of it withered body.
Cork went closer to examine the body, and the sour stench of decay and rot grew stronger. The body that laid twisted in death did not seemed to have passed away just recently. Instead, the naked body looked like someone who had died months or even years ago. The skin was grey and leathery, muscles and flesh had atrophied away, while the some sort of leather mask was sewn over the mouth and nose with two hoses that stretched into the hatch.
The eyes of the body was stitched shut, including the ears. Two more hoses were attached in a row at the upper spine, one hose each at the elbows and back of the thighs and even the privates. Cork stood back in disgust as the body remained him of the Emperor's experiments in making the Bronze men.
The goblins chatted excitedly over the discovery as they continued digging about the golem while Cork gave a sad shake of his head and went off to find his surviving men.
The New Kingdom of Mecca, Reachfield, United Nations Forward Operating Base
"How long more must we wait?" The Silver Lord asked as he stared down at General Joseph. "It has been many five days! Yet there is still no word from the King!"
"I understand you concerns," Joseph replied. "But from what we know, the Royal Capital had fallen weeks ago! It is not uncommon to not have any news!"
"I do not trust you!" The Silver Lord said, which the other gathered local lords nodded and yelled their concerns. "You must leave this land at once! This is not your land! Not you... Un An can just come in as you please!"
Joseph sighed as he looked at the group of local lords who had gathered here. Fear, greed, and confusion filled their eyes as they put up a front. Joseph knew that they had received word that the King had mostly perished with the rest of Golden Lords in the Capital, making the Silver Lords the next highest nobility in the kingdom and also the fact that the Protectorate appeared to be retreating.
This made the local lords greedy for the power vacuum within the kingdom and also the fear of the UN as they had the strongest military currently inside the kingdom. Joseph was very certain that despite the bluster they were showing off here, once the meeting was over, some of the crafty ones will approach him secretly for some under table deal to help push them to power with some agreement.
Just Joseph was to open him mouth to dismiss the meeting so that they can get on with the fake show. The flaps of the meeting tent opened and a tall coated figure limped in. Joseph seeing the figure quickly snapped to attention and saluted. "Sir!"
Captain Blake waved away the salute and took off his peak cap and asked, "Are all the lords of the surrounding lands here?"
"Yes sir! Except for a few lower ranked nobles, majority of the east, south and western NKM nobles are all gathered here!" Joseph replied while the Silver Lords stared at Blake with curiosity and confusion.
"Good," Blake put down his cap on the table and stood in the front. His appearance made some of the Lords gasped in surprise.
"A short ear!"
"I am Captain Blake," Blake introduced himself. "Some of you may have heard of me, some don't..."
"I am the highest ranking officer of the United Nations and also its king, governor or whatever you want to call it..." Blake said as he eyed the gathered Lords with a cold glare. "In other words, I am the UN!"
"Now... I got two choices for you all..." Blake tapped his fingers against the table top as his earlier words had gain the full attention of the Lords. "One... submit to the rule of the UN immedately without any demands..."
The tent erupted into chaos as the Lords protested at the absurd demand. "What right do you have to force us to submit to you?"
Blake continued on as if he did not hear the angry protests given by the Silver Lords. "Or I will kill everyone single one of you right here right now and take your lands by force!"
He snapped his finger and a dozen black armored soldiers entered carrying sub guns all aiming at the indignant Lords. Even Joseph was surprised by this move, as he stood there watching in silence.
"What right I have is the ability to dictate whether you live or die now..." Blake coldly said. "Do not waste my time... Yes or no?"
"Never!" A more fearless Silver Lord yelled out as he stood forward. He tugged loose his peace bonded sword and drew it out, pointing the sharp tip at Blake. "You demon worshippers shall never take our lands away!"
Blake gave a nod in appreciation and drew a pistol out from his coat in one smooth move before firing it point blank at the Lord that stood to him. His gunshot rang out loudly within the confines of the tentage and it was also the signal for the rest of his guards who open fired at the group of Lords.
Joseph let our a deep sigh and gestured his men away when they came rushing into the tent with weapons. Outside there was more gunfire as Blake's men executed the guards of the Lords. Blake reholstered his pistol and turned to Joseph and ordered in low voice. "Take control of everything."
Following that, Blake turned on his heels and headed out. Joseph frowned at the carrage and called to the Captain, "Sir... is all this worth it?"
Blake paused without looking back and said, "Like I said, don't waste my time... Send your men and secure their treasury! Loot all their valuables!"
Joseph watched Blake leave the tent and he sighed again. The smell of gunpowder, blood and voided bowels hung thickly inside the tent. He sat down heavily on one of the chairs and stared blankly ahead until the tent flaps opened and one of his aide popped his head in. "Sir? What now?"
"Clear the bodies," Joseph said. "Get them all a decent burial. And call 2nd Battalions senior officers in for a brief."
"A brief here, Sir?" The aide's face was pale at seeing the leaking bodies laying crumpled together.
"Of course not!" Joseph cursed. "We do it in another tent!"
"Oh... Yes sir!" The aide quickly left to carry out his orders.
Joseph stood up and packed up his stuff, thinking that it was really a waste of time to have the meeting with the local lords if the Captain was just going to kill them off in the end. In the end, while he might not approve of such cold hearted methods, these executions were actually quite common in the past before he joined the UN.
He also understood the rational behind the Captain's choices, as it was the fastest way to secure funding. Ultimately, won't wars waged to make money?
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