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Orwell's Point, Marine Command

The atmosphere in the converted great hall was taut with anticipation as the men and women in the command center watched the screens of the UAV broadcasting live from the plains. The orange glow of the sun rays slowly crept down the plains at the sun slowly set over the horizon and the land turned dark.

The UAV automatically switched to night mode and the view on the screens jumped, flickering white before turning the view into a white and greens. Two pinpricks of light reflected by the God Snake glowed as it made its way cautiously out from its burrow.

Its forked tongue flickered out, tasting the air before it turned and looked towards the direction of Orwell's Point, giving a chill down the spines of the men and women in the command post.

"Start the Operation," Joseph spoke with a subdued voice. "Tonight we kill a God... May the Heavens protect us!"

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Great Ocean Plains, First Line of Defense

"-pration Pied Piper is a go! Repeat, Operation Pied Piper is a go!" Came the voice of the HQ command operator on the radio. "May the Heavens protect! Out."

"Alright, you heard the man!" 2nd Sergeant Tyrier of the Hundred and First, Arcane Tactics and Intervention, Claymore One, yelled. "Roll out!"

He sat on the vehicle commander seat of the jeep while Tavel started the engine. Wolf hung on the mounted machine gun on the rear.

Next, to them, another jeep carried the rest of the members of Claymore One. They drove off into the night heading towards the God Snake that had just woken up from its slumber.

"Sarge?" Wolf yelled over the wind. "What is a pied piper? Why do the HQ always give funny names to a mission? Can't they just name it Kill the Snake like what the guilds do?"

"Well, it sounds cool!" Tavel laughed from the driver seat. He donned one of the hooman's limited advanced night vision goggles, making him look like he was wearing several bug eyes on his head.

"There is a story behind the Pied Piper," Tyrier yelled back. "I asked the Doctor about it and she told me it was some ancient folktale in her land, there was a plague of rats and mice in the village. A piper played a tune and lured hundreds of rats and mice to found it. The piper led the rats and mice into the river and they all downed."

"Wow, that must be some powerful magic!" Wolf grinned. "Bet those villagers loved the piper!"

"Actually, no..." Tyrier replied. "The people refuse to pay for his service, he retaliated by using his instrument's magical power on their children, leading them away as he had the rats..."

"What?" Wolf was horrified. "So what happened to the children?"

"No one knows..." Tyrier said.

"Damn!" Wolf whispered. "Hope we don't end up like those children..."

-----

"Check your equipment!" Commands rang out along the berm of earth constructed by the leftover earth and soil taken from the pitfall traps. A line of six half tracks with their rear rolled up the berm ramps had a small contingent of Marines fussing over them. "All gunners and loaders get ready!"

The half tracks had their rear passenger compartments removed to allow the installation of mounted weapons. Two of the half tracks held a 3" gun while the remaining four held 120 mm mortars bolted on to the backs of the vehicles.

Further down the line, a dozen supply and transport trucks waited patiently with their engines on standby, ready to drive off at a moment's notice.

The battery commander stood on the top of the berm watching the two jeeps disappear into the night and prayed that everything goes according to plan.

-----

It slithered along the plains at an even pace, its scaled body brushing past the waving grasses in the night and leaving behind a snaking trail in the waist length grass.

It kept an eye out for any souls as it headed single mindedly towards the trace of a Sun Gods' presence. It darted quickly down with its jaws and snatched up a plains hopper, that looked like an antelope with a rabbit's head.

It swallowed the petrified tiny creature whole and kept an eye out for more prey. These creatures barely hold a soul in their bodies, but energy was still energy, even if was just a tiny fraction of a pure soul.

Suddenly it paused in its movement and reared it triangular hooded head up. It spotted two pairs of glowing lights in the distance before it and hissed in pleasure. Souls!

-----

"Erm, Sarge," Wolf nervously gripped the spade handles of the .50 cal machine gun. He felt his palms sweating inside his soft leather gloves as he looked at the God Snake's silhouetted shaped and its eyes glowing under the reflection of the two jeeps headlamps. "Think it takes the bait?"

"Shhhh!" Tyrier hissed as he stared at the unmoving shape in the distance. "Tavel! Ready to make a run for it!"

"Team Two!" Tyrier called out to the next jeep. "Hit it with a RPG and run for it!"

"Aye!"

Loke and Hitsu leapt off the side of their jeep and Hitsu braced the RPG tube on his shoulder. "Distance?"

"Roughly 200 meters away!" Loke answered as he inserted the flames runes in place and smacked Hitsu's armored shoulder before dodging to the side. "UP!"

"ONE ROUND AWAY!" Hitsu squeezed the firing runes and a loud crack erupted from the launcher before a whoosh screamed out as the simple chemical fueled motors of the rocket propelled grenade ignited.

Time seemed to slow down as everyone's eyes were following the sparking fumes of the shrieking rocket as it closed the distance towards the God Snake. The rocket dipped down and exploded with a thunderclap and threw up a smoke cloud of smoke and dirt just short of the surprised God Snake.

"FARK!" Hitsu cursed as he watched his rocket fall short of its target. "MISSED!"

"GET THE FARK OUT OF THERE YOU DUMB ASS!" Tyrier yelled while he smacked Tavel to drive off. "YOU WANNA BE SNAKE FOOD?"

"Oh... fark..." Hitsu quickly tossed the spent launcher onto the rear of the jeep before climbing back up a step behind Loke. "Fark me!"

"GO GO GO!" Loke banged the side of the jeep, ignoring Hitsu whose body was still halfway outside the open jeep.

Both jeeps dashed off rapidly, pretty certain that the God Snake will follow them.

-----

"Whaaat?" It reared back in surprise as the shockwave of the sudden explosive shook its body. "Tissss..."

It narrowed its eyes in anger, feeling that the spell was similar to the strange flying creatures that hurt it but on a smaller scale. "Yoou Daress!"

It dropped its stance down and charged after the fleeing mortals. The glows of their magical lamps easily allowed It to followed them. Hissing in anger and anticipation of a good meal, it increased its speed, closing the distance of the fleeing mortals rapidly.

-----

"It's coming!!!" Wolf yelled as he held on to his dear life by the weapon mount. The jarring ride with all the bumps and humps of the plains despite dampened down by the jeep's suspension, was still more than enough to throw him off his feet and off the jeep if he did not hold on tightly.

"Shoot that damn thing!" Tyrier craned his neck back to see a dark shadow looming up rapidly behind them. "SHOOT IT!"

"Oh!" Wolf suddenly remembering he had the machine gun. He carefully stepped around the weapon and swung it to the rear and flipped the safety off. He placed the circular gunsight onto the middle of the shadow and squeezed the butterfly triggers.

The 50 cal roared out, spitting fiery red yellow bolts out and the heavy bullets hammered directly on the body mass of the God Snake, making it shriek in anger. The other jeep's mounted 50 cal also opened up at that point.

Tracers could be seen bouncing away from the shadowy God Snake as the bullets failed to penetrate its body. Tyrier cursed as he glimpsed from the side mirror, seeing the glows of the tracers lighting the God Snake up.

A 'OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR' tag printed on the mirror didn't help either, as he could very clearly see the whole body of the God Snake reflected in the mirror! "It's gaining on us!"

He pulled out a flare gun and pointed up to the skies and fired. A whoosh of a rocket flare popped and the illumination spell imbued inside the head activated when the cap burst and a tiny parachute popped out. A tiny piece of mana stone serving as a battery touched the runes due to the force of the sudden acceleration.

The simple steel cap of the flare was inscribed with an illumination spell instantly glowed brightly as the mana stone touching the activation runes powered the spell. The mana stone had only enough mana to power the spell for roughly five to six minutes which by then the flare would have dropped back to earth.

Almost instantly, the surroundings were lighted up dimly. but enough light was available for 3" guns to spot the God Snake in the flat plains.

-----

"Target sighted!" The gun commander yelled. "Distance, 2900!"

The 3" gun computer directors were made out of the tablets and programmed by the IT departments, turning the devices into a jury rigged targetting system for the guns.

"FIRE!"

Gun One fired, followed by Gun Two, a second later. The half tracks rocked on their tracks as the crew scrambled to reload. "LOAD!"

"UP!"

"FIRE!!"

-----

"Come on, come on!" Hitsu muttered as he sat on the open floor of the jeep with his legs splayed out to support his body. He had the bag of holding slung to his front and he fired his MG - 1 while the rest did the same with their weapons.

The humps and bumps did not help with their aim as they fired at the fast approaching God Snake. "DRIVE FASTER!" Hitsu screamed at Altied who was at the wheel.

The God Snake suddenly snapped forward while Altied just in time swerved the wheel, just barely dodging the snapping Snake from ripping a chunk out of the jeep's rear wheel.

"HOLY FARK!" Hitsu screamed as the snapping jaws of the God Snake nearly gotten his left leg. "PLEASE DRIVE FASTER!"

"SHUT... UP!" Altied cursed as he spun the wheel left and right, trying to throw off the aim of the angry God Snake. "I AM TRYING!!! WITHOUT... KILLING... US ALL!!!!"

Suddenly they heard a shriek followed by another just a second behind and the area around the God Snake erupted into sudden blinding flames. The shockwave of the 3" shells knocked the jeeps a bit, but both drivers managed to keep the jeeps from toppling over.

"HELL YEAH!" Hitsu roared out as he saw the God Snake stumbled. "EAT THAT BITCH!"

Another volley from the 3" guns shriek over again and impacted on the dazed God Snake, sending up more flashes of flames and smoke.

With the God Snake getting barraged by the 3" guns, both jeeps managed to gain some distance from the stalled God Snake. "How far more?" Hitsu asked as he checked his ammunition.

"Another klick!" Came back the reply. "Just a few minutes before we reach the trap!"

"It's coming back!" Loke yelled while Young reloaded the jeep mounted .50 cal with fresh cans of ammunition.

The enraged God Snake seemed even faster as it appeared to swim against the grass and caught up with them almost without effort.

"Almost there!" Altied yelled as the jeep bounced off a hump, temporarily flying before hammering down on the earth hard enough that Altied almost bit his tongue off. He tasted blood in his mouth and without taking his eyes off the fluttering flag coming up, he spat out a glop of blood and saliva.

"Come on, come on... follow the pied piper!"

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