Kuhm moaned as his hands were forcefully wrenched to his back and something tied his two thumbs together painfully. Next, he felt hands jerking him up to his feet and he startled as he saw an Oerkin holding onto him on one side and another person on the other.
The two strangely dressed barbarians sat him down next to several others. He recognized some of his guards and drivers among the group, all with various expressions of confusion and fear.
The barbarians yelled and barked in a strange tongue, but he could recognize some Commons words were mixed with their speech. And the strange thing other than their clothes was that all of these men and Oerkins had their hair cut till every short. Their hair was barely visible under the pot shaped helmets they wore.
The barbarians yelled at them to get on their feet in Common and they lead them deeper into the city. Kuhm realized why the merchant's convoy before him had stopped when he saw at the head of the convoy was a large barrier that blocked the road.
He noted that the side streets were all walled in and there was even more of those barbarians on the roofs of the street.
After crossing the barrier, Kuhm found himself and the others at the main square of the city. He saw locals watching the ongoing behind their windows while also many others lingering at the edge of the square.
A small platform for public proclamations sat on the end of the square where several figures in that strange colored clothing stood. Kuhm noted that there were almost a hundred of his men and the other merchant's people gathered here.
A small commotion broke out at the rear and Kuhm saw the slaves that he brought to sell here were being led in. The slaves looked around their surroundings with unease and fear as the barbarians led them next to Kuhm's group.
"Alright! Everyone's here!" A booming voice came from the platform and a figure wearing a strange hat stood at the front. "Now, for the confused people here, this city, Orwell's Point is now under the control of the United Nations!"
"All laws and rules imposed by the Empire of Bluewood are now hereby voided and only laws stated by the United Nations will be in effect immediately!" The person said as he stared at Kuhn's group.
"Slavery is banned in the UN, anyone found to be in the possession, import, export, or trafficking of slaves will be subjected to a hefty fine, and also imprisonment! Repeat offenders will be caned and jailed or subjected to hard labor!"
Kuhm and the other merchants' jaw dropped when they heard this news. Orwell's Point has fallen to these barbarians! How is it possible?!
The crowd watching the ongoings remained silent as if used to such scenes while the merchants under arrest started to voice their disagreements and displeasure.
A suddenly crack of thunder shocked the merchants to silence as they flinched from the roar.
"I will not repeat my self again. You all have witnessed what happens if I have to repeat myself again," The man held a strange smoking handbow in his hands.
"Now, all your properties will be seized and impounded by customs!" The man said next. "While those who are to be sold as slaves will be released."
"That is all," The man finished his speech and stepped off the platform.
Kuhm was stunned as were the other merchants. "All our properties will be seized? Where is the justice in this law! JUSTICE!!"
"Aww, shut the fark up!" One of the barbarians rolled his eyes at the merchants' outroar. "Come on! Move it!"
Joseph stood at one of the balconies of the stronghold and watched the wagons and carriages that they had seized being brought into the courtyard and parked together with dozens of other wagons that they have collected over the week.
Soon a team of local trusted bookkeepers and laborers swarm over the goods on the wagons. Each item was detailedly noted down and the laborers will move them over to the warehouses for storage.
"At this rate, all the warehouses will be filled to the brim!" His second in command, Lieutenant Rathia said. "We can't even move all the materials back with the planes working overtime!"
Joseph grinned as he looked away from the view and said to his old friend, "Well, most of the stuff here we can just resell it to the locals or use it ourselves. It's only the minerals and ores that needs to be shipped back to Haven."
"And most of the goods they brought to trade here are mostly junk weapons and armor, which we can get the local blacksmiths to melt them down to ingots," Joseph continued. "The other is slaves and food."
"Good thing most of the merchants here carry a lot of gold to trade in the slaves!" Rathia said. "Now I know why everyone is dealing in slaves."
Joseph nodded, "So how goes the pacification of the region?"
"Well, we have hit the nearby farms and fishing villages," Rathia said. "They aren't so happy with us taking away the slaves that worked for them."
"Some of the slaves even rejected to be freed," Rathia shooked his head. "We left them there, but we did issue a warning to the people that owning slaves are illegal now and will be subjected to strict punishments if found."
"But the worst is the copper mines we found," Rathia sighed. "We liberated the mines but most of the slaves are so badly abused and worked, their minds are gone except for the newer slaves."
"We moved the badly affected slaves to a holding area outside the city with 24 7 medical care and support," Rathia said. "But I doubt we can save any of them. They have been scarred too deeply."
"Tell the medics to do their best for them," Joseph sighed. "Also, inform High Command, see if they can send us more doctors and nurses for support."
"Got it," Rathia nodded.
Great Ocean Plains
Tokk the Brute scratched at an itching scab on his head and looked back at the crude wagons being pulled by a pair of scrawny wind wolves. The drivers of the wagons flipped their barb tipped whips at the wolves, inciting a tired growl from them as they moved faster.
"Come on!" Tokk roared out. "I want to be in the city before night!"
Tokk gave a wide toothy grin as he looked at the crates of merchandise he is planning to sell at Orwell's Point in exchange for good slaves. He was very sure those soft skins have never seen such a product before!
Recently, all the tribes seemed to be crazily raiding any settlements and villages in the Ocean Plains and causing all those soft skins to run away. Now, all the nearby villages were all abandoned and Tokk could only think of coming to trade the items he has to the Empire soft skins so that he can get more slaves.
Even the soft skins slavers also were grumbling about the shortage of slaves! Tokk shook his head as he thought of all the competition among the tribes to get more slaves. Well, Tokk smart! Tokk goes to city to get slaves! Haha!
After several hours on the road, Tokk and his men finally caught the glimpse of the city in the distance. He wondered why soft skins like to live in such a smelly and cramped place. It further reinforced Tokk's impression that the soft skins are weak and cowards to hide behind walls.
"Faster!" Tokk ordered. "Faster we sell the faster we get to eat meat!"
"What is the meaning of this!" Tokk roared as he faced several strangely dressed soldiers. "You do not take Tokk stuff!"
"Drop your weapons! NOW!" The soldiers pointed those pointy sticks at Tokk and his men which suspiciously looked like those Boom Sticks from Sin City!
"Boss?" His men looked eager to charge forward at those soft skins. They fingered their revolver cannons as they stared down at the group of soldiers cowering behind those barriers.
"WAARGH!" Tokk roared and quickly drew his weapons. "Kill these treacherous scum and escape!"
Tokk laughed as he squeezed the triggers of his cannon revolvers, enjoying the kick from the recoil and the rotten egg smell. The thick dirty gunsmoke blocked his view making him unable to see where his shots had landed.
Thunderous roars answered him back as he dove to the side and he heard the yelp of pain from the wind wolf as he rolled under it.
His men laughed madly as they fired their guns as they stood their ground. The strange soldiers cursed as the barricades around them exploded from the larger caliber rounds.
Tokk emptied both his revolvers at the barriers which the soldiers were huddled behind and broke open the revolvers and started to reload.
As he finished reloading, he looked up and saw his men fall, as a rapid thunder roared out, and he saw the dark red blood of his kinsmen blossoming.
"NOOO!" Tokk cried out in rage and he charged up, both his guns roaring as he fired at the enemy.
"DIE YOU SOFT SKINS! DIEEE!"
"Captain!" Joseph's staff called out urgently from the great hall. "Gunfight at the main gates!"
"What happened?" Joseph quickly walked over to the command post.
His staff quickly show his a video of the short skirmish that happened at the main gate. They had install dozens and dozens of closed circuit cameras all over the city.
Joseph frowned as he saw the video of the caravan of Orcs started shooting the troops at the gate. "Are those guns?"
"Where the hell did they get guns?!"
Sergeant Mills kicked away the guns from the burly body of the Orc laying face down on the ground. He was on rapid respond duties when the call came in of Orcs with guns. Luckily none of the Marines at the gate were badly injured, most had cut from shrapnel but were otherwise fine.
They managed to suppress and cut down the rampaging Orcs with the MGs covering the gate and with Mills's team in support, the Orcs went down fast.
"Fifteen bodies, Sarge!" His men called out as they ensured the Orcs were thoroughly dead. "No survivors!"
"Damn," Mills cursed under his breath. "We taught these guys too well..."
"Check their bodies and wagons, see if we can find any clue or something to how these Orcs have gotten guns!" Mills ordered. "And get someone who knows how to handle the wolves to calm them the fuck down!"
The wind wolves were huddled together at one side and while hissing and baring their teeth aggressively at the Marines who eyed them warily.
Mills bent down and picked up the large frame revolver, feeling the hefty weight of the weight in his hand. "Damn, this looks almost like a copy of our Single Action revolvers!"
He broke the action of the revolver open and ejected the shells inside, letting them drop onto his palm. He whistled as he looked at one of the unfired rounds, "Damn, this must be like 20mm or something!"
The weapon looks simple and crude, with a solid frame, top break cartridge firing revolver and a 'J' hand grip made out of polished wood. Mills sniffed the chamber and grimaced at the rotten eggs smell of saltpeter.
"Fuck, something is fucking wrong with this!" Mills frowned. "Hey, I need a runner! Get these to command now!"
"SARGE!" One of his men yelled from the top of the wagon he was inspecting. "I think you want to see this!"
"What now!" Mills had a bad ominous feeling as he climbed up the wagon. "Aww, fuck..."
A couple of crates had their lids peeled off by his men and he saw the shapes of the revolvers covered by sawdust. He did a quick count of the number of crates on the wagon and cursed.
"Where the fuck did they get so many guns!?"