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Haven, Research and Development Lab, Basement 3, The Cave

"So you are saying that there are duplicates of the same command lines?" Tae Joon asked as he checked the code on his laptop while standing on a relatively clean area of the Trolls' room turned cave.

"Ya, ya!" Magic Mike muttered as he stuffed slice after slice of pizza into his mouth. "Mmh hmm mh!"

"Because of these duplicates code, it's causing the mech to go haywire as the pilot tried to execute a series of maneuvers?" Tae Joon spoke to himself as he scanned the lines of code. "Why didn't we spotted this earlier?"

"Too many redundancy!" Magic Mike licked his greasy fingers and wiped his hand against himself. "Too many sub commands and sub controls and checks!"

"Well, thanks!" Tae Joon closed his laptop after he verified the coding. "Enjoy your pizza!"

The Trolls grunted as they continued to feast on the pizzas delivered, ignoring Tae Joon as he left the room.

Tae Joon left the basement and went up to his work lab and handed over his laptop to one of the IT department programmers. "Triple check everything, make sure there is no virus or backdoors in the code and run the test diagnose program on it once you check and compiled the code."

The programmer nodded and accepted the laptop, plugging it directly to an isolated system before he and a few other programmers started to run checks on the code.

A whopping roar shook his window and Tae Joon looked out to see a skeletal frame of a prototype helicopter passing by next to the lab and headed towards the testing ground. He smiled and rubbed his hands together and sneered, "Pfft, just a helo, my teams' mechs will overshadow the aviation team's achievements!"

-----

Outskirts of Sin City

Kont scribbled down some notes on his notepad while laying on his side on the prickly grass before leaning back to his tripod mounted hi powered binoculars. "Hmmm..."

"Hmm what?" Drake asked as he scanned the city mud walls with his sniper scope. "Seen anything interesting?"

"Well, I observed at least 17 wagons being delivered into the city side gates over the past two hours," Kont replied. "If I am not wrong they should be transporting limestone."

"So?" Drake asked. "The city seems to be still in the state of construction or expansion."

"Yes, but limestone?" Kont frowned. "I see the walls are all clay!"

"So? Maybe they use the limestone to make other stuff?" Drake moved his scope to look at the side gates where a line of carts and wagons were waiting to enter the city.

"But isn't limestone one of the main ingredients used to make concrete?" Kont replied. "I learned that during one of my night classes."

"Hmmm." Drake paused as he considered Kont's words. "Kont, you see that group of laborers working on the wall, roughly a hundred meters left from the main gates?"

Kont aimed his binoculars towards the location Drake indicated and found what Drake was saying. "Yea, I see a large party working on the wall."

"Think you can see what they are using?" Drake asked as he tried to spot what the laborers are using.

"Wait," Kont said as he observed the workers working. "Oh, they are pouring some grey mixture from the barrels into the wall. Shit, is that concrete?"

Drake could see the figures pouring something into molds set against the wall but wasn't sure what they are till Kont spoke of the limestone. "Damn, if they are really using concrete, I think we might have found our deserters!"

-----

Sin City, Palace of the Cabal

Raman dressed in a pair of flowing robes stood at the balcony of his suite and watched the glowing fire lights of his city in the night while sipping some local wine.

A hissing rasp jolted Raman out of his thoughts as he spun around and dropping his wine goblet while pulling a revolver out and pointing at his bedchamber.

He saw a large black serpent, easily as long as five meters coiling its self over the soft furs of his bed. The snake appeared to enjoy the feel of the furs against its black oily scales as it slithered in a circular motion while giving out hisses of bliss.

"Y- you..." Raman was dumbstruck, his hands holding his gun shaking as he stared wide eyed at the snake.

"W- what are you doing here?!" Raman whispered. "H- how did you get in!"

The serpent stopped its rubbing against the furs and coiled up, it's flat triangular head straightened up, its pitch black flint like eyes glittered from the light of the fireplace in his bedchambers.

"Ishh am alwayssss hereee..." The serpent rasped. "Ishh can go whereee ever Ishh want, no mortal can ssstop meee!"

"Haveee you found what issh need?" The serpent slithered off the bed and coiled it way over to Raman. "Havesss you?"

"No! I need more time!" Raman stood glued to the floor, shaking in fear as the serpent coiled around his body. He felt the snake's body slowly constraining him but he could only stare in terror at the pitch black eyes of the snake.

"I sensessssss itssss powerrr!" The serpent hissed at Raman from his ear. "I needssss itsss powerr!"

Raman nodded his head rapidly in agreement, "I- I promise you! I will find it for you! But the world is so big, where are we to find it for you?"

The serpent looked towards the direction where it sensed the power of its archenemy, "Theresss..."

Ramen nodded hurriedly again, "O-okay! I will send people to find it!"

"Ahh... your soul sssmell so good..." Raman felt the serpent licking his sweat that was coming out from all his pores in fear. "Hmmm... feaarr... ssso delicioussss..."

"Find meee what issh wantss fasssst... issh hungry..." The serpent gave a warning squeeze of Raman's body before it released its hold on him and slithered to a dark corner before seemingly entering into the shadows "Failsss mee not, mortal... ish hunt for ssssoulsss now... hungryyy..."

Raman suddenly felt his strength disappearing from his body and he slumped down on the spot, shaking uncontrollably. He flung the gun away to the side and rubbed the sweat off his face and cursed. "Damn, this fucking world!"

-----

Outskirts of Sin City, Hidden Camp

"So you suspect that they are making and using concrete to build the city?" Tyrier frowned as he heard the report from Drake and Kont while everyone was gathered around the campfire for dinner. "If that is true..."

"Than those fuckers are here!" Mills growled. "We need to call this in!"

Tyrier nodded, "Inform Command about this, I want them to send in the UAV to scout more!"

"So what's next?" Mills asked. "We infiltrate the city?"

"No, I don't think we can get in so easily," Tyrier frowned. "We need more intel first."

Mills nodded, "Well, we waited for more than half a year to find these bastards, I am sure letting them live a few more days won't make much difference."

"Alright, remember our main objective!" Tyrier remained everyone. "A, we need to find out where are they making the weapons. B, where are they making the ammunition. C, where are the weapons stored. D, the plans for the weapons if any."

"Next, E, identify and locate all eight of the deserters. F, locate the missing fabricator and WTS generator." Tyrier listed out their mission objectives.

"Once we have all these intel, we move to the next part of the mission," Tyrier looked at each member in the eye. "We destroy everything."

"Are we to kill those eight off too?" Hitsu asked.

"If possible to capture alive, if not... " Tyrier made a gesture across his throat. "Dead or alive, they are coming back with us."

The men nodded. "Good, now get some rest, we will take turns to keep the city under tabs, while we wait for further instructions from High Command."

The men dispersed leaving Mills and Tyrier behind. "So what d you think of our chances in capturing all eight?" Tyrier asked.

"Depends on what intel we can gather first," Mills replied. "Issue is how are we gonna get into the city?"

Tyrier rubbed his chin, "Well, we can pose as merchants, but we will need some props for that."

Mills grinned, "So when are we gonna rob more Orcs?"

-----

Sin City, Palace of the Cabal

It was late morning when Raman entered the Great Hall. His eyes had dark eye bags as he couldn't fall asleep till the sun came up. He looked at the strange tense looks the Orcs and his men were giving everyone, even the slaves appeared to be skittish today.

"What is the problem?" He asked as he sat down for his breakfast, looking at the only one still lounging around the table.

"Didn't you heard?" Kumar took a sip of local tea. "There were a few unexplained deaths in the palace and the city."

"Unexplained deaths?" Raman rubbed his tired eyes and took a cup of tea for himself. "How unexplained?"

"Well, some of the maids found three of their own dead in their beds this morning," Kumar explained. "And guards reported that there were another five more similar cases in the city. Two slaves, two Orc guards and one merchant found dead in the same way."

"All had expressions of fear on their faces but no visible wounds anywhere," Kumar shrugged. "Seemed like they died of fear. So the whole city is kinda on their toes because of these deaths."

"There are rumors of some death god in the city," Kumar continued. "But it should be all nonsense. Hey, are you okay? You look kinda pale! Are you doing with some illness? Want me to call the healer over?"

"N- No," Raman quickly waved away the concerns. "I am okay, just not enough sleep."

"Heh, you should pace yourself, man!" Kumar grinned and winked. "Don't do it too much!"

Raman nodded tiredly, ignoring Kumar's jibs. "Call everyone for a meeting later today, I have something important to say to everyone."

"Got it Boss Sultan!" Kumar grinned and he left the table, leaving Raman alone with the maids.

The private conference room soon filled up with all eight of the humans and they all looked at Raman curiously. "Is this meeting because of the unexplained deaths happening last night?"

"In a way yes," Raman said. "I believe you all remembered the oath we made in the forest before we came here?"

The men all paused and looked at each other uneasily. "Y- yes..."

"Well, the Oath Giver came to me last night!" Raman said and the room went so quiet you could hear a pin drop. "Yes, it came and those unexplained deaths are most likely its handiwork!"

"BLYAT!" Ivan slammed his fist on the table. "What does that... thing... wants from us!"

"It wants what we promised it!" Raman yelled. "And we need to find it for it or we will be dead next!"

"We shouldn't have agreed to its terms that time!" Aaron said. "It wasn't worth the trouble!"

"And then what?" Ramu Garcia asked while making a sign of the cross. "Let it take our souls?"

"Enough!" Raman banged the table to stop the arguments. "We promised it and took its power. Now it is here and it wants payment."

Raman could feel the fear in the room and he sighed, "We spread the word of what we are looking for to the merchants here and put up offers of rewards for any information or best if they have what we want."

"Leung, get your sales guys to ask around too since most of the time they are on the ground, running from one village or town to another," Raman ordered. "See if we can get any clues of what we want."

Leung nodded while Raman continued, "It said it sensed its power and it's somewhere towards the direction where we came from..."

"The Singapore..."

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Hope this clears up some ppl's questions on why n how they managed to survive out there =D


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