Haven, United Nations Testing Grounds, Hangar Three

"NOO! NOO! NOO!" An angry roared reverberated off the concrete walls of the hangar, echoing loudly as the support techs covered their ears from the outburst of the angry troll.

Magic Mike dressed only in a pair of work pants swung his keyboard around madly as he put on a tantrum. "DUMB SOFTY!"

He growled and gave his keyboard another few more swings for good measure before he calmed down and sat down on the floor facing a bank of three monitors before plugging back in the keyboard and mouse carefully to the computer.

"Tell me bug!" He growled to the MAW crew who was watching his tantrum with amusement. "Tell me step by step toots did!"

The crew started explaining what went wrong with the mech and what were the steps before they have done that lead to the mech having control issues. Magic Mike mumbled to himself while he tapped on the keyboard with his oversized fingers, "If... else..."

"Alright, people!" Master Sergeant Pike suddenly stormed into the hangar and yelled out. "Pack it up, and prepare to roll out! We are going on a live exercise!"

"No, no no!" Magic Mike grumbled from his spot as his fat fingers flew across the keyboard, tapping rapidly away. "Not ready yet!"

"No time!" Pike said as he stood next to the sitting troll with his fists on his hips. "Save your work and pack it up, the MAWs are moving out now!"

"But... but... it's still full of bugs!" Magic Mike protested. He seemed cowled by Pike's piercing glare.

"What bugs?" Pike asked as he stared down at the troll who appeared to be squirming on the spot like a child.

"Stupid golem make dance moves still!" Magic Mike explained. "Need to debug controls or it keeps dancing!"

"Then you are coming along!" Pike replied. "Pack what you need to fix the bug along the way!"

"M-me?" Magic Mike looked surprised. "But me no warrior anymore! Me pro grammer!"

"Yes you, since you need to fix the bugs and we need the MAWs in action!" Pike said. "Now get to it!"

"Alright, boys! Pack everything up for transport!" Pike roared to the rest of the support and mech crew. "Bring along the urban warfare kits too! We are going into the sandbox!"


Uncharted Forest, Orc Camp

Aaron sat on a camp stool inside a tent and held the trinket in his hand and whispered to it, "I have found what you required my Master!"

The wiggly worm shaped trinket shimmered and it appeared to come alive in Aaron's hand. A hiss and a tiny forked tongue flickered out from the head while the eyes made of flint came alive.

"Aissss, Ish fewl issst!" It hissed happily. The tiny golden snake turned and flowed off Aaron's hand and towards the skeletal remains that were placed on the floor. "Ahh... the power!"

The snake appeared to drill into the mummified remains and sounds of bones cracking could be heard as the snake appeared to crush the skeleton in search of something.

"NOOO!" The snake suddenly burst out from the mummified ribs and it screamed in anger. "I feel its presence! But isssh not hereeeee!"

Aaron swallowed nervously as the angry snake wiggled it ways up from his leg and onto his hand again. "FIND MEEEE THE SUN!!"

"Y-yes, Master!" Aaron stammered and he exited his tent. He raised the snake to his chest and the snake turned back into a wiggly worm shape trinket when his hand suddenly exploded and he screamed in pain. A second later, Aaron's head jerked back as the second 6.5 mm bullet hit him.


Uncharted Forest, 347 meters away from the Orc Camp

Drake and Slow and followed the Orcs and the deserter back to their camp without them knowing they were being trailed. They climbed another tree and settled down to watch the ongoings inside the camp.

"Where are they bringing the remains of the hero?" Drake asked. "What do you think they want to do with it?"

"Hmm, dark magic?" Slow guessed. "Shamans like dark magic, can make free army!"

"So you think they want his body cause he used to be a hero?" Drake frowned. "Will it be very strong if the shamans turn him into a zombie?"

"Maybe..." Slow shrugged. "Me no shaman, me guess..."

Drake cursed inwardly as he got into a more stable position on the massive tree branch. He wrapped a quick release cord over his body and tied it to the tree, preventing him from accidentally rolling off the branch.

Next, he unslung his scoped rifle and deployed the bipods and settled down to scan the camp, aiming at the tent where the deserter and the hero remains were at. The sun had gone down by then and he frowned as he couldn't see what was going on inside the tent.

Suddenly the flaps of the tent burst open, and the deserter stood there. He wearing the naval security body armor over some local clothes, less the helmet, and gauntlets. Drake quickly made a split second decision and he hissed to Slow, "I am taking the shot!"

He centered his crosshair over the body's sniper's triangle just as Slow called out the distance. Drake barely made any changes to his sights as he was already zeroed in to the tent. He calmed his nerves and released his breath, while his finger gently squeezed down on the trigger till the shot and kick of the recoil came as a surprise.

He quickly recentered his scope back onto the target and saw his shot hit just as the deserter raised his hand to his chest. He went for a headshot next and fired, as he was worried that the deserter might survive the chest shot with his body armor the deserter was wearing.

"Not good!" Slow suddenly cried out. "He no dead!"

"What?" Drake cried out and he looked through the scope at the target he shot twice. "What the fuck?"


Uncharted Forest, Orc Camp

Aaron rolled away as the second shot blew his left ear off and glanced the back of his skull. He cursed and screamed loudly in pain as he rolled to his feet, holding his missing right hand.

"ASSASSINS!" An Orc cry went up and the camp suddenly boiled into action. Aaron quickly ducked back into the tent and slumped over the bed rolls with pain. A couple of Orcs rushed in with weapons drawn and they looked upon Aaron for instructions.

"Find them!" Aaron hissed angrily. "Don't kill them yet! I want them alive and in front of me! GO!"

The Orcs bowed and disappeared out of the tent to follow his commands while he nursed his wounds. He held up his destroyed hand and if anyone were to see his hand, they will be surprised as there was barely any blood or gore.

Instead, a small cloud of smoke like a wisp of darkness coiled up gently from his right slump, same as his missing left ear. Slowly, his right hand reformed back from a wisp of dark smoke and he flexed his newly grown hand and touched his left ear which too had reformed back.

A slithering hiss came from his collar as a snake with tendrils of smoke coming off its body slithered out and coiled around his shoulders. "Find mee the Sun, or your powersss will be forfeited!"

Aaron nodded, "I will!"


"Go!" Drake dropped down from the tree and ran off towards the direction which they had stashed their dirt bikes.

Slow followed behind, his larger frame crashing through the undergrowth as they discarded all notions of stealth. The barks and howls of wind wolves rosed behind him as the Orcs sent out search parties to find them.

"We... need... to... report... this!" Drake panted as he parkoured through the roots of the trees. "We... have... some... big... shit... going... on... here!

Slow kept quiet as he heaved his body over some roots just as a long deep howl came from behind them. "They found us!"

"Keep going!" Drake cried out and they ran and moved as fast as they could. Stomps of something heavy racing through the woods could be heard behind them as the wolves were released to hunt them down.

"There!" Drake yelled out as they came to a lightning split tree. They bunched up the smart camo netting and quickly started the bike engine while Slow hopped on the ASAG. Once the bike was roaring, they swerved in and out around the tree roots and raced off, heading towards the battlefield against the hero as they had planned earlier with the howls of wolves behind them.


Orwell's Point, Marine Stronghold

"Look, I need to talk with your Lord!" A voice could be heard yelling from the courtyard. Joseph sighed as the thought of how badly designed the castle was as he could hear the yells from the courtyard when he was on the third floor.

He looked out of the window and saw a shabbily dressed ex slave arguing with the Marine guards at the gateway before he gestured to his aide. "Bring him up under escort, let's see what he wants now.

"Yes, Sir!"

Not long the ex slave was brought into the study of the previous owner which Joseph had converted it into his own workspace. "M-my lord!" The ex slave stammered out as he saw Joseph seated behind the desk. "I bring grave news!"

"Matthew... Matthew..." Joseph sighed dramatically. "Tell me, what were the promises you gave me when you want to ally with me?"

"Erm..." Matthew's eyes darted furtively in panic as tried to avoid the glare from Joseph. "I, we, follow your rules and l- laws?"

"Yes, rules and laws," Joseph repeated his words. "Now, some might say rules and laws are meant to be broken."

"But, you, Matthew... You disappoint me..." Joseph slapped the desk in mock anger. "You want to lead your people, I gave you the power and right to do so, yet what did you do? Have secret meetings behind my back?"

"N- no... w- wait! How did you..." Matthew words slowly trailed off as he stared in horror at Joseph.

Joseph smiled, knowing his bluff had paid off. He had suspected that Matthew, the representative of the slave faction had some doings with the meeting that they failed to arrest anyone. "I have eyes everywhere, Matthew."

"You wanted an alliance with me, but where is the trust?" Joseph rant on. "How can I trust an ally who meets in secret and make deals with cultists behind my back?"

"N- NO!" Matthew's eyes went wide in fear. "We did not make any deals with the cultists!"

"Then why did you not inform me of their presence in the city?" Joseph pressed on. "You all should know that they will sow chaos within the city but yet, nothing was reported to us? Tell me, what are you planning?"

"I- no..." Matthew's mouth gasped out and close like a fish as he tried to find the right words to defend himself but failed.

"Lock him up," Joseph waved to his men. "We will put out a notice that we have caught the upper management of the ex slaves to be in league with the cultists."

"NO! NOT TRUE!" Matthew squirmed hard in horror in the arms of the Marine guards, knowing that the slaves will tear him apart if they thought he was working with cultists as they hated them to the core. "I SPEAK! I TELL YOU WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW!"

Joseph smiled and gestured his men to pause. "So tell me, what was the agenda on that night's meeting? And what plans are you all hatching?"

Joseph's smile faded as he heard the words Matthew poured out and his face turned grimmer and darker by the time Matthew finished.

"So, I guess, I was right not to trust you all at the start. Your bloody faction wants to kill everyone and found your own nation!"

A note from neo Koh

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