Tyrier slowly and patiently crawled his way forward and stopped just at the edge of the firelight of the torch burning next to the stake walls. He waited till the pair of yawning Orc patrol walking off before he sprung up from a prone position and squeezed between the wooden stakes of the wall.
He quickly slipped next to the nearest tent and heard the monstrous snoozes of its occupants. He wiggled through the bottom of the leather flaps and turned on his night vision in the darkness of the tent.
Immediately his view turned green, and he saw several sleeping shapes laying on piles of animal skins and fur. He ensured that they were all in a deep sleep before he went through the occupants' belongings.
Other than the usual Orcish trinkets and luggage, He found leather holsters with the Orc revolvers stored among the Orc's cluster of cold steel weapons. Tyrier frowned and quickly retreated from the tent before repeating the whole process over again.
After two hours, he slipped past the walls again and disappeared into the night. Making use of the glow of an infra beacon, he made his way to the rendezvous point where the rest of Claymore One were gathering after their initial inflation of the Orc camp.
They retreated some distance from the Orc camp before they settled down and compared notes. "These Oerkins are from the Stonepicker Clan! They not from Plainswalker!" Private Slow informed everyone.
"I see the banners, not Plainswalker!" Slow repeated.
Tyrier nodded, "This is worse than we thought than... It means there isn't only one clan with firearms!"
The rest cursed as they heard the news. "I found the forge, but they don't appear to be making the weapons here," Altied said as he took out some jerky from his pack to chew.
"Yea, I found what appeared to be their armory of sorts," Loke said. "They have only a few crates of ammunition inside. I think they are getting these stuff from somewhere."
"Camp looks strange, camp too small!" Slow suddenly spoke up. "I see no youngsters!"
"Could they all be sleeping?" Hitsu said. "That's why you don't see them?"
"No. no! The guards!" Slow explained. "All old men! No young Oerkins!"
"Wait," Tyrier frowned as he recalled the patrols that passed by him. "You are right! Where will the youngsters go?"
"Raids? But camp too small and no grieving banners placed up!" Slow frowned before he gave a shrug. "Maybe they join another clan?"
"Anyone has seen the chief?" Tyrier asked.
"Me! But the tent is too guarded so I can't go near his tent at all," Hitsu said.
"Why don't we just grab a couple of the guards and ask them?" Mills suddenly asked from the side. "Split them up and interrogate them on what they know of the guns?"
"Well, we can do that..." Tyrier rubbed his chin in thought.
And an hour later, Claymore One dragged two trussed up Orcs back to a hiding spot far away not to be heard and were separated to interrogate individually.
As dawn breaks, Tyrier rubbed his tired eyes and gratefully accepted a mug of hot tea from Mills. "Are they talking?"
"Well, not really," Tyrier replied while sipping the herbal tea. "But Slow did manage to get something from them."
"We know their traders went to some trader city and gotten the weapons by trading their slaves and other goods," Tyrier continued. "Most of the youngsters had left to join that city for promises of riches and a good fight."
"As to the location?" Tyrier frowned. "Only the trade elders know, but it's somewhere south."
Mills nodded, "Then, south is where we go next."
The UNS Matador slowly entered Far Harbor port limits while a gaggle of strange escorts. The Island Whales happily kept pace to the tender as it sailed towards the port.
"I feel like a mother duck bringing home the ducklings... " Ford joked as he peered at the Island Whales with his binos. "Damn things keep following us around like puppies!"
The UNS Floatin Wreck took station on the starboard side of Matador and blew its fog horn as they sailed in and the Island Whales seemed to take that as a signal and they remained behind, baying playfully.
"Damn strange behavior," The XO of the Matador said to Ford. "I think they see us as a protector or mother figure?"
"Need to have a talk with the good Doctor," Ford shook his head. "I would have expected them to leave for other places by now, never thought they would stick around. The mining of their energy crystals can continue but if they keep following us like this, it will make it harder for the miners to work."
"Yes sir," The XO nodded. "Maybe we should mine them while the Matador is docked?"
Ford sighed, thinking this world is getting more and more troublesome. "Well do what we need to do first. We worry about those turtles later."
Great Ocean Plains
The suppressed bark of the M2 ended the dozing Orc sentry as he leaned against a rocky outcrop. His body went limp and collapsed with his shattered head spewing blood and brain matter.
"Uh?" Another sleepy sentry turned his attention to the meaty flop of his companion and before he could take a step, the side of his head exploded outwards with pieces of white bone fragments and brain matter.
"Go!" Tyrier hissed as he pushed himself up with one hand while the other he held his M2 rifle snuggled against his shoulder with his hand on the trigger. The other members of Claymore One ghosted in towards the sleeping caravan, fire light glittering off their bug eyed goggles.
"Clear right!" Hitsu whispered as he shot the Orc sleeping against a wagon and advanced up with Loke in support.
"Clear left!" Altied reported while he and the new guy Wolf cleared the left of the caravans.
Tyrier entered camp site with Mills and Slow in tow, all three with their weapons up and ready.
"All rovers and sentries down!" Kont reported from the sniper perch 300 meter away as he and Drake provided overwatch. "Tangos still remaining inside the wagons!"
Tyrier signaled Mills and Slow, pointing to one of the three of the covered wagons where the Orc traders slept in. They ignored the other open top wagons and the slave cages as they headed to the rear of each wagon.
"Team 3 hold, keep your eyes out!" Tyrier commanded in the squad frequency. "Team 2, form up on 1."
Hitsu and Loke soon appeared from the other side of the wagons, their goggles pushed up on their helmet mounts as the campfire was too bright to use the night vision goggles.
Tyrier looked at everyone who readied themselves at the rear of the covered wagons and spread his hand out, his fingers closing one by one as he counted down for the men to action. As his hand closed to a fist, he yelled, "GO GO GO!"
The men each yanked the flaps of the wagons open while their partners provided cover, aiming their weapons into the interior. Mills's wagon was empty while Tyrier's Team 1 and Team 2 had some Orcs sleeping inside.
The Orcs were jolted awake by the sudden yell and were immediately dazed and disoriented with 1000 lumens tactical flashlights shining in their faces. They have dragged off the wagons and shoved to their knees.
The Orc traders struggled at first till they felt the still warm barrels pushing against their heads. They recognized the weapons as the Broomsticks which they had purchased and it was further confirmed when their sight returned and they saw the dead bodies of their guards being dragged together.
The caged slaves and prisoners screamed and cried for help as they were rudely shocked awake by the yells of the soldiers and the Orcs.
"Shut up!" Altied yelled and hammered his rifle butt against the cage, forcing the locked people to shrink back from the scary painted face.
Tyrier ignored the slaves and he crouched down next to the three Orc traders they had captured. He drew his service revolver and the gleam of the firelight reflected from the dark metal and the eyes of the Orcs appeared to be mesmerized by the weapon.
"Now, tell them this," Tyrier said to Slow who acted as the translator. "I will let them leave if they tell me what I want to know."
Slow dutifully repeated what Tyrier said to the three kneeling Orcs only to receive scorn from them. They cursed and spat at Slow who rosed an eyebrow at their ranting.
"Which is the head?" Tyrier asked Slow who pointed out to the more lavished and colorful dressed Orc. "And who are the rest?"
"Most likely his sons or relatives," Slow shrugged. "I would say relatives as none of them looked like him."
Tyrier nodded and with a smooth movement, he fired his revolver point blank at the nearest Orc which Slow identified as a relative. The 6.5 mm 50 grain bullet left the 4.5" or 120 mm revolver barrel at 730 meters per second, the sudden roar of the revolver broke the silence of the night and the slaves cried out in fear.
The eyeball popped as the 3.2 grams bullet drilled through the eye without resistance before ripping all the nerves and brain matter into bloody mush. The bullet mushroomed as it hit the thick skull and fragmenting into three pieces, before breaking through, with one piece ricocheting within the braincase, further scrambling the brains like eggs.
The remaining two fragments popped out from the lower back of the surprised Orc's head with a splatter of brains and bloody tissue before he flopped forward before the campfire. kicking up embers from the fire.
"AHHH!" The head trader screamed in anger as he tried to get up and break free of his restraints. The cuffs tying his fingers together dug deep into his fleshy thumbs and blood flowed as the Orc screamed in anger and hate. "I KILLL YOU !!!"
Hitsu and Loke both used their full body weight and slammed the Orc trader down, and the Orc could only see the blood and fluids slowly dripping out from his dead nephew's ruined eye socket. "I KILL YOU!"
"Now, if you don't want this fine specimen of an Orc to die too," Tyrier waved his gun in the direction of the other shocked Orc kneeling on the other side. "I suggested you start talking."
"Y- YOU!" The trader gritted his yellowed teeth in suppressed anger. "I WILL KILL YOU!"
"Oh is that so?" Tyrier thumbed the cocking hammer of his revolver back and took aim at the Orc who looked suddenly unsure of himself. "Say good bye then!"
"N- NO! WAIT! I TALK!" The Trader's beady turned large in panic as he saw Tyrier aiming at his other kin. "I TALK!"
"Good," Tyrier smiled. "Now tell me what I want to know and we all walk away happy!"
An hour later, Tyrier reloaded his revolver, replacing three spent cartridges before he reholstered his weapon. Turning to Mills, "So this city they are going, its called Sin City?"
Mills rubbed his face tiredly before he nodded, "It actually sounds kinda familiar..."
Tyrier took a seat, "Never heard of this place before, in fact, this is the first time we ever came to the plains."
"So what are you planning with the slaves?" Mills gestured to the freed slaves clustered around the campfire for warmth. Their threadbare clothing barely provided any insulation against the cold night air.
"Let them go?" Tyrier shrugged. "But then again they might expose us."
"So you plan to finish them off too?" Mills frowned. "Unarmed civilians too?"
Tyrier sighed, "No, I don't kill civilians. I don't even need to lift a hand, most of them will die trying to find their way home."
Mills shook his head sadly at Tyrier's reply and walked away.