Great Ocean Plains

A large dust cloud trailed behind the group of wind wolves with riders on their backs as they traveled as fast as they could. The Oerkin Shamans and their escorts had ridden hard for more than a day and a half before a massive dark mound appeared before them in the dark moonlit night.

As they came closer to the mound, it turned out to be a massive outcrop of rock that barely had any life on it. "Finally! The Ancestral Hill!" The elder shamans cried out as they came up to it. "Quickly, we must hurry! Or we miss the time to call the spirits!"

The group quickly dismounted from the tired wolves where a few tenders stayed behind to care for them while the rest made the climb up the steps carved out on the rock surface.

Legend has it that this was a massive piece of rock that fell from the heavens before landing on the earth. Their forefathers revered the rock and all great warriors were buried in it, turning it into an Ancestral Hill, as they believed their spirits can travel to the gods with the help of the Rock of Heavens.

Soon the party arrived at the top of the hill, where the summit was mostly flat. Thousands and thousands of weathered and torn flags of every color imaginable covered the top of the Hill, where underneath each flag, laid a great warrior of the clans.

The Oerkins kneeled down as one and bowed, praying their respect for their ancestors before walking carefully around the graves to the center of the hill where a circular stone hedge sat.

In the middle of the stone hedge, was an altar made of stone. The elder shamans quickly split up their duties, some went around to recarve the ancient magic circles already laid on the surface many centuries back, while others prepared the items needed for the ritual.

Thirteen slaves were dragged in by the Oerkin guards who were brought along for the ritual. They each were chained up on against the thirteen stone pillars of the stone hedge. The Oerkins ignored the cries and pleas of mercy as they went about their business.

Once the preparations of the ritual were completed, thirteen shamans stood before the thirteen slaves each holding a ritual dagger. The rest of the shamans formed a circle around the stone altar and started chanting. The Oerkins guards quickly left the vicinity of the ritual as the magical chants made them feel super sick.

The cloudless night sky suddenly seemed darker and out of nowhere, storm clouds appeared. The clouds gathered into a vortex that spun right above the skies of the altar as the chanting grew in intensity. Green bolts of lightning flashed and cracked across the skies while an unnatural wind spread through the area.

The Oerkin guards that retreated well away from the ritual could feel goosebumps forming on their skin as the magical energy in the area soared higher and higher. The chanting rose higher and higher, driving the slaves chained to the stone pillars insane and suddenly with the shamans before the slaves seemingly as one, wielded their daggers skillfully, cutting apart the skin and muscle of the screaming slaves and they reached into the chest cavity and ripped their hearts out.

Thirteen beating hearts grasped by thirteen shamans were placed onto the altar. The ring of chanting shamans continued without skipping a beat while the blood from the slaves flowed down from their bodies and pooled into ancient grooves on the stone floor.

The flowing blood raced along the grooves and not long an arcane formation was formed out from the life essence of the dead slaves. The ancient formation glowed an eerie green and the shamans suddenly stopped the chanting.

The ground shook slightly while the shamans watched the thirteen hearts blacken and purpled as the gathered arcane energies consolidated into them. "It is done!" The elder shaman cried out. "ARISE WARRIORS! ARISE!"

The hard rock surface of the tomb hill cracked and broke apart as skeletal hands dug and crawled their way out of their disturbed eternal rest. One by one, the reanimated bodies of the Oerkin clans climbed out of their graves and gathered around the stone hedge.

"Warriors! We disturb your rest as an ancient evil that has reappeared in this land! We need your strength to fight it as you once had done so!" The elder shaman called out to the specters ringing them.

The army of undead stood silently before the shamans, the glows of green fire in their empty eye sockets grew brighter as they heard the Elder Shaman speak of the Thing that has reappeared. And as one, without a word, they turned and marched towards the direction of the evil that has appeared in this age.


UNS Singapore, Command Bridge

Blake leaned forward to look closer at the replay of the UAV broadcast of the aftermath of the battle between the Orcs and the Serpent. Hundreds of bodies laid everywhere, most of them were missing some body parts while others died due to internal injuries.

He forwarded the video till the portion where the Snake broke the Orc's army and headed towards the campsites of merchants and slaves still in the area and another massacre happened. He turned off the video after watching countless people getting swallowed up into the Serpent's mouth and had enough.

"Captain?" Ford appeared next to his seat and called out. "You okay?"

"Yea, no... I mean after seeing so many people get eaten live..." Blake sighed. "There got to be some way we can take that thing out without having so many casualties!"

"Well, the only thing we can be certain of is that it's nocturnal," Ford said. "So far we only see it move during the night."

"Well, at least that is something we can work with," Blake leaned back on his chair. "Now hopefully our weapons would work on that thing..."


Skies over Great Ocean Plains

"Say, you think this time we won't get shot at?" Airforce pilot Goldan asked his companion as he peered over the cockpit of his FB - 1 Mariner.

"Well, Intel says that the city and the Orcs are all destroyed by that Giant Snake..." His co pilot replied. "I doubt we get any more AA fire, but... "

"Please don't jink it!" Goldan cried. "Please don't say that the snake can spit acid or something!"

"Heh, I didn't say anything!" His co pilot grinned. "You did!"

"Ahh.. fark..." Goldan cursed. "Damn it! Better pray that it doesn't come true then!"

"Hehehe," His co pilot snickered and looked back at the flight of two other bombers on each of their flanks. "Well, lucky, we all managed to make it back in one piece previously!"

"Yeah... Damn Intel didn't warn us of any AA weapons," Goldan sighed. The whole flight of three bombers had miraculously survived the bombing of the city. As the planes returned to their base, they found gaping holes all over their fuselage and wings when they landed. One of the bombers even had one of its tail wing blown off from its fuselage while another had one of their engines down.

This made the pilots and crew even more endeared to the bombers and they started to make up pet names for their planes. Some of the crew had even commissioned some local artists to paint decals on the side of the cockpit.

For Goldan and his crew, they had an image of a sea wyvern clutching a bomb under each claw with the hooman number One behind it. At first, they didn't know what a seagull is, till the hoomans showed them some images of the strange looking white and black feathered birds. They wanted to the locals to paint the seagull as its wings looked very similar to their bomber, but none of the locals know how a seagull looked like, so in the end, they opted for a dark blue sea wyvern instead.

"Hey, I see it," His co pilot had taken out a pair of binoculars and were spotting into the distant horizon, "The city is coming up ahead of us."

"Roger that," Goldan turned professional as he checked his gauges and dials. "Seagull One, to Seagull Flight, target in sight, check and make ready your presents!"

The co pilot unbuckled his seat restraints and went to check on their bomb loads together with the radio / navigator onboard. As the distance was way beyond their endurance and loads, the planes only carried the two pilots and the radio operator while the rest of the load was taken up by up the napalm canisters, 250 kg bombs, and fuel.

Goldan could finally see a black blob in the distance with his naked eyes. Intel given was that the Giant Snake will not move in the day, most likely it's nocturnal hence they were making this bombing run in the day which took them a couple of days to transport all the extra fuel and bombs for this mission.

Their objective to try to hurt it as much as possible, but if they can, it was best if they could kill it when the loads of bombs and napalm they carried but Intel was not so confident that they could do it on a single bomb run.

"All good!" His co pilot sat down back on his seat and buckled up. "All presents signed and ready to be delivered!"

"What's that hooman mystical creature that they called?" Goldan snapped his fingers, trying to recall the name. "Sanna? Sanda Class? That one in the red suit and a thick white beard..."

"Santa Claus?" His friend laughed. "You been watching too much moobes!"

"Ha! I feel like Santa now!" Goldan laughed back. "You know delivering presents and gifts! Maybe we should repaint the plane red?"

"You want the Commander to come down on you hard?" His co pilot grinned. "Alright, keep her steady! I can see the city clearly now!"

"One to All, proceed for fly by for recce of the target!" Goldan ordered to his flight.

The three bombers formed up into a single file and they dropped their altitude lower as they did a large yawing loop to try to spot the snake hiding in the city. "Damn, even if we bombed them, I feeling sorry for them!" Goldan sighed as he saw how the city turned into.

The once proud city had been reduced to rubble and wisps of smoke still drifted out from parts of the totally destroyed city. The flight of bombers did two loops around the city before they pulled away. "One to All, the target seemed to be hiding at the ruins of the Palace, do you all concur?"

"This is Two, I concur."

"Three, yeah, saw its tail there!"

"One to All, alright, we will drop first, Two and Three to observe bombing results!" Goldan gave his instructions.


He dipped his nose lower and aligned the bomber towards the Palace in the distance once he had completed his loop. He flipped the bomb bay controls and a whine could be heard throughout the plane as the hydraulics hummed as the bomb bays swung open steadily.

"800... 700... 600..." Goldan counted down the distance. "500... 400..."

"Keep her steady!" His co pilot said as he poked his eye onto the bombing sights. "Steady... DROP DROP DROP!!!"

The bomber suddenly sprung up as the weight of the bombs disappeared off the bomb bays and Goldan pulled up the bomber from its low altitude run just as bombs and napalm went off behind them.

Flowers of flames and plumes of smoke erupted behind their tail as the Palace burned once again. Both pilots looked back to see a madly thrashing shadow within the flame and smoke and they both grinned, knowing that they had executed a perfect low level bombing run on the target.

"One to All, switch to high altitude bombing and carpet bomb it!" Goldan quickly ordered. "I think that Thing likes our presents!"

"Yippie kai yay, motherfarker!"

A note from neo Koh

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