Left Hand of God 7
10 minutes later
A small area at the outskirts of the City of Atlantis
If Juno was anything, she was self conscious.
She understood how messed up she has become over the course of the millenia.
She knew how little value she placed on the lives of others. To her, lives was a currency used to further her goals.
She could slaughter both the innocent and the guilty without so much as batting an eye due to this abnormal way of thinking.
And yes, she knew that this was abnormal by current standards.
But she didn't really mind it, because she understood that World War 3 would force this way of thinking upon the civilized world
Might as well get a head start, right?
And speaking of ‘abnormal way of thinking’, Juno firmly believed that she was a warrior through and through.
She may be the (self proclaimed) most beautiful woman in existence, she existed to perform 2 very important function: To slay the enemies of the Machine God and to produce superior warriors via childbirth.
And she took these 2 roles very seriously
She would sink to any low, perform any vile deed and unleash unspeakable evil for the glory of the Machine God.
Was she a religious fanatic?
Absolutely! Or at least, she believed she was.
It doesn't really matter what she was.
All that matter was she was the Left Hand of the Machine God, and she will perform her duty no matter what it was.
However, here lies the problem
She was a HAND. Hands do what their brain dictates. Hands do not think.
While Juno was no stranger to cunning plans, she admits that her ability to see far beyond the battlefield was severely lacking
She knew what her general goal was, and often has to wing it as she went forward.
This was the case in the phases of the Atlantis occupation.
The fully armored Juno walked down the Atlantian street like a girl out for an aimless stroll with the sound of war and violence could be heard in the background and the occasional dismembered body suddenly falling out of the sky.
Once in a while, Juno would stop at what seemed to be a store that catered to women and check some of the latest Atlantian fashion.
“Hmm…. Atlantians really like their skimpy clothings. But then again, they are a sea based society. Bikinis are probably the norm” Thought Juno while checking out one of the two piece clothings on display
As she was about to move to another section of the store, an arm of a troll crashed into the store and destroyed the section she was interested in
“Oh right…. We’re still at war.”
Juno turned on her coms and contacted Shale.
“Shale. Come to my location with a few of your men. I need some extra hands for a little something”
“Yeah yeah! Now don't interrupt me! I’m trying to have some fun here!” Shale roared back.
“Ah. I see. A little stress relieving activities will do you good. You did squeal like a pig being slaughtered while we were on the boat.” replied Juno
“SHUT UP! I didn't squeal! I was just-”
“Whatever you say Shale. Just get to my position with some boys of yours.”
“Damn you!” Shale fired back before ending the communication.
Juno exited the clothing store and jogged towards the first area that she needed to invade before they could proceed further.
It was a 5 story building near the edge of the city proper with a typical Atlantian circular construction. There was a signage at the 3rd floor written in a language Juno did not understand.
She tried to open the door, but a few tugs made it clear that it was locked
“Hello? Is anyone there? The door seems to be locked.” said Juno in a lighthearted manner.
While she could hear footsteps from the otherside of the door, it was clear that no one wanted to open the door for her.
A reasonable course of action given the situation.
Naturally, Juno wasn't going to let a little door with some barricades stop her.
Juno buffed herself with the typical magical and chi based physical enhancement before ripping the door off its hinges.
She then proceeded to push the barricade back like it was nothing more than moving a piece of furniture.
Why didn't she just use her 2 handed mace to bash it all to smithereens?
It was because she was searching for a particular document that would greatly aid the invasion effort. She didn't want to destroy it by accident.
She also did not want to kill any of the people within the building
If this building did not have what she seeked, she would torture the people for answers.
The more non-dead people she could torture for info, the better.
The millisecond that she was able to see a bit of the interior, a spear suddenly went for her eye.
Caught completely off guard, Juno tumbled back to dodge the blow. And not a millisecond too soon, as she felt the spear grazing the forehead part of her armor.
Before she could recover herself, she immediately dodged roll out of the way of a battle axe swing.
5 fish-police rushed forward and constantly kept her off balanced by attacking her just as she was about to recover her stance.
Unlike the usual fish-police that sported bronze looking armor, these were clad in jet black armor with runes inscribed over them.
Their weapons (3 spears, 1 axe and 1 bow) were of higher quality compared to the regular fish-police.
Clearly, these were not your run-in-the-mill mooks.
Juno tried multiple times to draw her weapon, but the bowman sniped her hand just as she was about to grab the handle.
The arrows didn't pierce her armor, but it did disrupt her movements long enough for the others strike which then further ruined her balance.
She wasn't sure who these annoyances were, but they were skilled in taking down powerful singular entities.
Unfortunately for them, Juno was not alone for long.
The bowman, the one who had the least amount of armor, had his head separated from his body as a solid ball of steel violently went through his neck.
The shooter was a duergar with an evil looking blunderbus sniper rifle who was situated on top of a building approximately 200 meters away.
To make matters worse for the swat fish-police, 2 duergar flaming bull riders and Shale on his war chariot were fast approaching
The swat fish-police quickly dispersed in different directions to make it harder for the duergar to catch everyone.
Juno could help the duergars out, but she decided to restrain for now.
Who was she to ruin their fun?
Juno calmly walked towards the building while Shale and his boys played a little game of cat and mouse.
The axe wielding swat fish-police ran into the forest in order to escape his pursuer.
This was a wise strategy to employ when your opponent was a cavalry since mounted units could only maneuver properly in wide open spaces.
Forests were the perfect roadblocks for such enemies.
Unfortunately for the swat fish-police guy, he was up against Shale.
As Shale and his war chariot was about to enter the forest, he performed something that regular dwarves would never even dream of doing.
He pointed his large 2 handed axe towards the forest.
Streaks of fire began flowing from his hand to his axe.
One second later, he roared
The effect was astounding to say the least.
Though no fire was started, the trees turned to red hot charcoal black and withered rapidly until they turned into dust.
Every plant, grass and even the ground looked like it was hit by a firestorm, but not a single spark of fire was lit
The spell Scorched Earth was a terraforming spell that creates an area that buffs up units of infernal nature.
Instantly burning the forest was a minor bonus at best.
Under the effect of the Scorched Earth, the flaming bulls sped up and took barely 5 seconds until they caught up with the axe wielding fish-police.
The fish-police tried to make a last stand, but was turned into paste as he was trampled by the extremely heavy flaming bulls + war chariot.
Shale turned the chariot around and ran over the fish-police again just to be sure that the atlantian was well and truly dead.
With a nod of satisfaction, Shale commanded his chariot to exit stage left.
FACT: Dwarves cannot use magic
This is a lie.
It was not that Dwarves cant use magic, it’s just that their excessively high resistance to magic often caused spells to fizzle out instantly.
And since magic had the annoying tendency of twisting reality based on the collective beliefs, the ‘Dwarves cannot use magic’ myth became fact.
The Duergars are living proof that this myth is a lie.
There was a way around the myth, but like all things, there was a price to pay
And what was this price?
That is a story for another time.
But know this, the Duergars call themselves Daemonsmiths.
That statement alone meant one thing: the price Duergars pay for magic was not cheap.
5 minutes later
Juno and Shale met up inside the building with the item they required.
“So Juno. What’s this thing we needed so badly that you made me and my boys miss the slaughterfest?” asked Shale
“Did you guys kill a couple of those more elite mooks?” replied Juno
“Mooks, yes. Elite? No. I even chose to go after the strongest looking one, but he didn't even last a single trample from the Chariot of the Damned! No way we’re satisfied with such weaklings!”
“Dont worry. We’ll have plenty of fighting later. For now, this takes priority” Juno pointed to the large painting behind her
Though a smith by profession, Shale immediately understood the value of the painting.
“A detailed map of Atlantis. Very nice.”
Knowledge is power
In war, knowledge of the terrain has always been one of the deciding factors if they win or die
And since the enemy had the home court advantage, having a map at their disposal was a lifesaver.
“Have one of your boys get this back to the ship then distribute a copy to the other ships ASAP. While we do have the element of surprise, I’m sure our window is almost gone at this point.” said Juno
“Righto.” replied Shale
Upon receiving their orders from Shale, the duergar bull riders moved quickly and returned to the ship.
At the same time, Juno sent a retreat order to all of her troops.
Juno boarded Shale’s chariot and began heading back while taking out any stranglers along the way.
“By the way, what was that building we were in?” asked Shale as he used his chariot to run down a fleeing fish-police
“That place was a school of sorts.” replied Juno
“Oh. I see…. Now I get it. So that’s why you delayed on attacking that building for a bit.”
“Yup. So that the students can evacuate. I was very surprised when they placed that much resistance on a mere school though. Maybe there’s something there that’s more than meets the eye. We better investigate it thoroughly once we gain control.”
“Roger that.” replied Shale. “But I do wonder, how in the ancestors name did you know all of this? The general location of Atlantis, the barriers, the maps inside the schools. This is fairly specific info that only an insider would know.”
“Hahaha. Sadly that’s not the case. Remember, I used to be part of the HAA. While anything related to the City of Atlantis is top secret, I was able to find someone who was able to dig up a bit of info about it. It wasnt easy though… or cheap.” replied Juno
“Oh my. A spy good enough to get info from HAA without being noticed? I’d like to meet this spy of yours.”
“Sadly you can't. She’s already dead.” said Juno as she thought fondly of Lily Cafin
Who was Lily Cafin?
She was the self proclaimed news reporter that was able to discover Theo’s involvement in the Dionaea Salon and Spa Massacre
Juno killed her for being a backstabbing bitch.
“Oh. A shame. Oh well. On to the next battle then!”
With a loud roar, Shale’s bull chariot returned to the ship in preparation for a very long day.