Uncharted Forest, Ground Zero

The sharp angular lines of a Valkyrie roared in, banking sharply as its tilt rotors swerved forward, slowing the heavy craft and bringing the Valkyrie to a hover over the blackened ground. Its undercarriage bays swung open on hydraulics and four stubby landing gears deployed.

The powerful wind from the dual rotors blew the green smoke away and kicked up a storm of ashes from the scorched forest. Before the Valkyrie's landing jacks touched the ground, the rear ramp dropped open, and the ship settled down gently. The Marines charged down the ramp, forming up a short distance away before a batten looking Officer wearing a beret and another person with visible wounds dressed in leather armor with a tactical vest.

The second Valkyrie did a single circuit around the destroyed forest and gave a wag of its wings before its tilt rotors swung to the rear and it flew off towards the dispersing mushroom cloud in the distance.

"Sir! Sergeant Arven of 2nd Battalion, Eagle Company, Platoon 2 with two sections at your command sir!" A slightly ashen faced Marine with three stripes on his sleeve yelled over the slowing powered down rotor engines.

"Lt Joesph, this is Specialist Sergeant Tyrier of the Hundred and First." Lt Joesph gave his introduction and raised an eyebrow as a slight stench of sourness drifted over to him, "Are you, ok son?"

"Eh yes, sir!" Arven looked slightly embarrassed, "Air turbulence." He gave a simple explanation.

"Ahh," Joesph smiled, and gave a bark of laughter, "Well, it was pretty rough down here too! Relax, I am no longer the Lord General, just a simple Lieutenant."

"Yes, sir!" Arven grinned back, his nervous tension fading away, "I got medical supplies onboard and medics standing by."

"Good! I will have need of your medics!" Joesph's face turned grim, "There are a lot of wounded. This way."

"Medics! On me!" Arven turned and yelled at the gawking Marines fresh off the Valkyrie, "The rest unload the supplies off the bird!"

Joseph led them towards a small defile, where dozens of men laid in rows with dried blood staining their uniforms. "Most of them suffered internal injuries and broken bones! We need to medivac the more critical wounded out!"

"Eight dead, and seven badly wounded," Joesph said. "And I have no idea how is the rest with the slaves. Our radio is dead."

"We got radio contact with them earlier," Arven replied as he watched his medics rush to work on the wounded. "They had several casualties but thankfully no deaths, but there are broken bones and burst eardrums from the weaker ones."

Joseph nodded, "Well, that's one worry off my back. Any news on the Hero? Is he killed?"

Arven shrugged and turned towards the dust cloud, "If he's alive, he should be something in there, but I doubt anyone can even live through that, even if he is a god!"

Tyrier gave a snort, "Farker is harder to kill than a cockroach! And what the hell is that spell?"

"I am not too sure either," Arven gave a worried look, "The hoomans have such a powerful weapon hidden."

Joseph frowned, "I guess they have some secret cards kept hidden away after all."

The three soldiers turned and watched the dust cloud hovering over the distance, each in their minds wondering how much more hidden away powerful weapons the hooman has in their disposal that could wipe out an entire mountain or even a god.


Uncharted Forest, Impact Zone

Valkyrie One dipped its nose down as it entered the dust cloud, its rotors causing the smoke and dust to swirl away as it came to a hover before a massive hole against the side of the mountain face, its powerful forward spotlight lighting up the insides of the dust cloud.

Flight Lt Peter struggled slightly with the controls as the rock dust interfered slightly with his rotors, making the Valkyrie sluggish as the filters tried their best to filter out the air in the turboprop engines. "Come on baby!"

He spun the Valkyrie on its axis and slowly and expertly landed, the rear ramps dropping open and Greg the goblin yelled angrily, "Stinky Maa-neess! You mess up my deck! Shoo shoo! Go kill yourselves!"

The sickened Marines ignored Greg's jibs and spread out from the rear of the Valkyrie, the dust cloud hovering in the air blocked some of the sunlight, making the late afternoon seemed like evening.

Lt Rathia looked around his surroundings with a sense of dread. The dust cloud had effectively blinded them as they could only see a short distance away while the air was chock full of rock dust, making his nose and throat itch.

Everyone buttoned up their uniforms and pulled up the collar to cover their nose, as they tried to breathe in as little as possible of the dust. Beams of light stabbed out as visibility dropped and the sky grew dark inside as the sun slowly started to set.

"Sir! Found the hole!" Someone yelled in front and Lt Rathia quick jogged over and a dark wall loomed up before him.

"Sir! Up there!" The Marine shone his torch up toward the surface of the cliff walls, and the beam barely reached the edge of an opening with cracks radiating out in all directions.

"That's what? 15, 20 meters?" Lt Rathia gauged, "I need rope and climbing gear!"

The men settled down around the wall, while those who were better at climbing scaled the walls, easily finding cracks and foot holes on the surface. Soon, a yelled came down from above and a rope was dropped down.

"Section One up, Two stays here," Lt Rathia ordered, "I want Section Two to be on alert, watch our backs and also keep an eye on our ride out of here."

With that, he started climbing the rope, and before long, he hoisted his body into the newly created cave, panting with the effect and from the dust. He took his bottle out and washed his mouth and nose before wetting his throat. "What do we have here?"

The men all gathered up and shone their lights into the gloomy darkness, their beams unable to penetrate that far deep into the hole. The lamps were made with flash runes, powered by mana stones and reflected by a simple reflector surrounding the flash rune.

"All ready? Let's go!" They advanced in loose two file formation, as the tunnel was large enough for up to four people to walk side by side. The rock tunnel had cracks all over its surfaces and continued for over 50 meters before the tunnel widened into a sort of circular room.

"Look!" The point men whispered, as their beams of light played over a shape laying against the walls. They advanced on alert, their weapons held ready as they spread out, giving room for the rest to enter the room. Their lights and weapons all focused on the only thing inside the area.

"It's the Hero!"
"No shit!"
"Farker still alive?"

"You!" Lt Rathia patted the nearest Marine, "Go check!"

"Eh, y-yes sir!" The unlucky Marine sighed at his luck and gathered his courage before stepping forward, to where the Hero was, while the others snickered at him. "Sir, he looks dead, if not he wished he's dead."

Lt Rathia went forward and observed the body. Upon closer inspection, the Hero was actually half buried in the wall, with parts of his body missing. What appeared to be the upper torso and what was left of the left arm with the right arm missing at the shoulder. The head portion looked like an over barbequed round ham, with a thick layer of char and pinkish meat underneath the cracked skin.

Most of his skin was gone, and his flesh was either stripped away or charred black with some greyish roasted bones sticking out. He was barely even recognized as a person, as what was left behind was just a vague black shape.

"It that even a person?" One of the Marines commented as he shone his light at the body with less than half its body barely intact. "Look what is that?"

A glint of light could be seen inside the body from the flashlights of the Marine as he played over the body. "Don't touch it with your bare hands!" Someone warned.

Lt Rathia removed his bayonet and poked around at the body where the glint was seen, "Could be just a piece of the projectile left?"

His sword bayonet suddenly poked something hard and with any hesitation, Lt Rathia stabbed in and jerked, ripping the charred flesh open and something fell out with a clink on the rock floor.

Suddenly the body gasped, its chest rosed up and down, and a pair of eyes with startling eye whites opened wide on the blackened and scarred charcoal lump. "UHHHHMMMM!" It suddenly gasped for air scared the shit out of the Marines as they all jumped in fright.

"FARK!" Everyone fired their weapons almost at the same time, cursing and swearing at the suddenly alive body! "DIE!! FARK!!"

The roars of gunfire in the enclosed area deafened the men, and Lt Rathia was yelling, "Cease fire! CEASE FIRE!"

The gunfire slowly died down, while one Marine gave a last shot at the spasming body. "Cease fire!" Lt Rathia glared at the Marine who gave an innocent blank look. "Goddamnit!"

He waved the smoke away while the men kept their weapons trained at the Hero, cursing at the Hero for scaring them and wondering how the hell is he still alive after all this. Rathia noticed the Hero seemed to be struggling desperately to move the remaining stub of his only hand with melted flesh towards the object on the floor.

He glanced down and with his gloved hands, he picked up the strange crescent shaped object and shone his light on it.

"OHHHHhNNNNNNNnnnnNNNnn..." The Hero moaned out, his vocal cords had burnt away, his left arm ending in a melted blackened stub waved desperately at Rathia.

Rathia frowned as he eyed the Hero before looking carefully at the object, and found that it was actually just a part of a large piece of something, only that it was broken into a crescent shape. Complex runes covered its surface coated with bits of overcooked Hero parts and blood.

Rathia grimaced at it before something clicked in his mind, he looked back at the Hero who appeared to be shriveling up as he tried to grasp the object in his hand with his handless arm. "Is this the divine artifact of the Sun God?"

He waved the artifact in front of the Hero who opened his lipless mouth, and a moan came out. "Well, Mr. Hero, no more artifact for you."

The body of the Hero suddenly seemed to sink in, and the eye whites of the Hero turned dull and yellow, and he soon stopped its desperate movements, his head resting down on his ruined chest with his arm stretching out towards Rathia.

"Is he dead?" Someone asked and using his muzzle, he gave the body a poke. "That's dead right?"

"Mine the place," Rathia said, as he held the artifact at arm's length. "Give me your rope pouch," He gestured one of the climbers and dropped the artifact into the sling bag. "Use all your explosives and bring this place down."

The men nodded as they checked their gear, removing claymore mines and grenades. They stacked the explosives against the tunnel walls, into the cracks and crevices. Once done, they unrolled the fuse lines and gathered at the edge of the cave.

"Alright let's get out of here and blow this place up!" Rathia said, and they climbed back down to the waiting men who were on alert due to the gunfire they heard. Once safely down, Rathia gave the command, "Set the fuses, we should have 30 to 40 seconds to get clear!"

"Blow it up! Let this be his tomb!"

A note from neo Koh

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neo Koh


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