Rathia stepped off the jeep and surveyed his surroundings. Abandoned burning torches laid hap hazardously all around, casting an orange glow to the area while bloodied bodies of people and Oerkins remained where they had fallen.
"Much thanks, Lord Rathia!" A trembling voice spoke from behind Rathia. "You save my people!"
Turok cautiously climbed off the wonderous magic carriage and kneeled down before Rathia. "I pledge my soul to your service, Lord Rathia!"
"Oh, get up!" Rathia tugged at the arm of the Oerkin twice his size. "And stop calling me Lord! I work for a living!"
Turok stood up and gave a deep bow before he ran off to find his kin as they stood behind the barricades staring the newcomers.
"Sir!" A Marine reported. "The enemy is in full retreat!"
"Have our boys fall back here," Rathia ordered. "And assist the Oerkins. Give them whatever aid we could spare!"
"Yes, Sir!" The Marine ran and started yelling orders to the rest.
"Lieutenant!" Tyrier called out and waved Rathia over. He crouched over a body and poked it with his rifle as Rathia came over. "Well, looks like our Messiah has met his match."
Rathia peered down at the eagle spread figure with a couple of gunshot wounds on his chest. The Messiah's eyes were open and he had died with a smile on his face. "This guy is crazy, but now with him gone and his Pact scattered all over, they should die out by themselves."
"Let's hope they do," Tyrier covered the face of the Messiah and closed his dead eyes. "Problem now is how to deal with the remaining factions."
"Oh, once they find out that we were involved in saving the Oerkins," Rathia looked out over to the ruins. "They will come running to us without a doubt."
"Hmmm..." Tyrier nodded. "And the Oerkins? You gonna bring them back to Orwell's Point?"
"Why not?" Rathia asked back. "Can't let them all die here. And besides, their race becoming this sad is also in part our fault."
"You mean those asshole hoomans' faults?" Tyrier's eyes narrowed angrily. "We did what we did to ensure our people's safety in the future!"
"Well, isn't that what Turok is trying to achieve now too?" Rathia replied.
Tyrier kept silent as he considered Rathia's word. "You are right, but it still wasn't our fault that all these came about. They had it coming when they joined those traitors."
Rathia sighed as Tyrier walked off and spoke softly, "But we bombed the shit out of this place and unleashed a great evil here..."
Shaking his head, he wandered off to find Turok to see what help he needs while the rest of the Marines policed up the area. "How bad is it?"
Turok was crouched next to one of his dead kinsman whose body was badly mutilated by the murderous mob earlier. He stood up and said, "Too many of my kin have died tonight..."
"But the old, young, and weak were spared," Turok sighed tiredly. "Much thanks on your part."
"What are your plans for your people?" Rathia asked.
Turok looked at the tired expressions of his people and he let out a growl of frustration. "My people need food, shelter, and safety..."
"I had pledged my service to you," Turok said. "But my people need to be safe before I can commit my honor."
"Why don't your people follow us?" Rathia directly asked. "Your people will be welcomed with us, as long as they don't break any laws."
"Really?" Turok seemed to hesitate. "But we barely have enough food to travel for even a week!"
"Don't worry about supplies," Rathia assured the Oerkin. "As long as you can convince your people to follow us, we can make it back just fine."
Turok scratched his head and raised his thick fingers. "But we have... six... ten... tens of people!"
"Six ten ten?" Rathia looked at Turok's finger gestures. "Six hundred?"
"Yes, yes!" Turok nodded. "How can you feed them?"
"No worries!" Rathia grinned. "Let me show you the power of our UN!"
The next day, as the sun reached the zenith of the sky, a low rumbling could be heard. Rathia stood next to the Marine sentry at the edge of their camp and looked out towards the northwestern skies.
Next, to the Marine camp, dozens and dozens of leather tents had sprung up overnight as the Oerkin people relocated their base next to the Marines for safety. Turok found Rathia staring out into the sky and wondered what was he daydreaming about.
"What is that?" Turok asked Rathia who continued to watch the incoming aircraft. "Is... that..."
Turok's eyes widened as he remembered the same noise was heard before the city was attacked. "We must take shelter! Those flying creatures will burn down this whole place!"
"Relax," Rathia stopped Turok from running off. "Those are our people."
"Those flying creatures are yours?" Turok's eyes narrow in suspicion. "Did you attack the city?"
Rathia nodded and started to explain what had actually happened and why the city was attacked. Turok listened quietly at the tale and when Rathia finished, he asked. "Now you know the truth, what will you do?"
"I have pledged my service to you," Turok gave a shrug. "What has been done, has been done. We no longer have the strength as we once had."
"And we Oerkin might be stubborn," Turok grinned. "But we not stupid! You have great power, we Oerkin cannot win!"
"If we cannot win the enemy," Turok gave a bark of laughter. "We join the enemy! Whahahahaa!"
At this point of time, the droning noise grew louder and two dark silvery appeared in the skies. Their appearance caused some panic among the Oerkin and Turok had to go settle them down.
The two FB - 1 Mariners, flew past the Marine base and circled around while one of the Marines on the ground popped a red smoke grenade on the flat nearby fields. The two bombers turned cargo planes, wagged their wings as in acknowledgment and they flew over the smoke.
A couple of black objects dropped out from underneath the aircraft as they flew over the smoke and parachutes appeared. The aircraft continued to circle back to drop more parachutes before it flew over the Marine base and gave a salute by wagging their wings before they flew back to Orwell's Point.
A total of twelve pallets of supplies were dropped out from the planes. Triple parachutes deployed out from the pallets gently floated the supplies down on to the ground while waiting teams of Marines secured the billowing parachute silks and ensured the contents of the pallets were not damaged.
"Sir," One of the Marines jogged up to Rathia and reported. "We got some minor spillage on three of the supplies pallets but most of the spilled stuff are grains. If we can get some manpower from the Oerkins, we can secure the supplies in an hour."
"Turok," Rathia turned to the ogling Oerkin next to him. "Can your people here move the food under shelter?"
Turok nodded hurriedly and he quickly ran off and bellowed at the gawking crowd of Oerkins for them to go help the Ma-reens carry the food.
"Sir," Another Marine appeared next to Rathia. "We got some representatives from the ruined city here to see you, Sir."
"Got it," Rathia nodded. "Let them wait, I will be there shortly."
In the end, Rathia purposely let the representatives from the two factions sweat inside the tent for over half an hour before he strolled in with Sergeant Tyrier.
"Good afternoon, gentlemen!" Rathia greeted the red faced merchant and the shallow faced leader of the survivors. "What can I do for you?"
"We..." Both of the leaders looked at each other and the beggar looking guy quickly said. "We wish to say, we have absolutely no involvement with the attacks on the Oerkins!"
The merchant bobbed his head rapidly in agreement. "I was asleep last night when the Messiah... attacked the Oerkins! It was till later that we found out and we decided to come here to clarify everything with you."
Rathia sneered inwardly. It was more like they found out how powerful our weapons were compared to the Oerkins and how we defeated the Messiah and the Pact in one night that they decided to come to beg for their lives.
"Really?" Rathia put a frown on his face. "But I seemed to recall seeing people from both your factions getting involved..."
"Impossible!" The two leaders' faces paled. "There must be a mistake somewhere..."
"Enough," Rathia was tired of the charade. "Now, I have two choices for you here."
"One, you continue your pretense that you rule here," Rathia stated sternly. "You can keep on rotting away here in this land."
"Two, you submit to my authority," Rathia stared at the two leaders intently. "And I will bring you and your people out of this hell hole."
"What will you choose?" Rathia simply asked.
"I... chose to follow your leadership!" The leader of the survivors quickly submitted and he quickly kneeled down and bowed. "My Lord!"
"And you?" Rathia turned to the red faced merchant. "What will you choose?"
"I... shall follow your rule, my Lord!" The merchant too kneeled down and bowed.
"Good, now return to your people," Rathia stood up. "Gather everything necessary for a long journey over the plains. Abandon everything that is not of use or deadweight."
"We are traveling across the plains?" Both men looked shocked. "But we barely have any supplies to make the trip!"
"Don't you worry about supplies," Rathia ordered. "Gather your people now!"
It was nearly evening when two groups of elves approached the Marines camp warily. The Marines using powerful floodlights quickly brought the people into order and arranged them into easily manageable groups of a hundred people each with a community leader in charge of each group.
Next, each group was told to line up and given a bowl of steaming porridge made from the airdropped supplies where they quickly wolfed down in hunger. Once they finished the food, they were directed to wash the bowls and another group came in for dinner.
"Tyrier," Rathia sat in the command truck and called out to the Claymore One squad leader. "Tomorrow, I want you to take your men and check out the ruins for any tech and whether our missing target is still alive. I can only spare you one section of Marines to help you."
Tyrier nodded. "Yes, Sir, I will brief the men."
When Tyrier left, Rathia sighed at the numbers on the paper. It was a census of the number of people here currently. There were one thousand eight hundred and nine elves and six hundred twenty three Oerkins.
Out of that number, there were five hundred elves and two hundred Oerkins below the age of sixteen. Almost everyone had some form of malnutrition and will not survive the trip back to Orwell's Point if he returned now. He probably needs a week for everyone to recover their strength before they could make the journey.
This means the Air Force has to constantly resupply them with food and each aircraft could only drop the most a ton worth of food. A ton of grains could only roughly feed two thousand people for a day. And if the Air Force could only drop two tons each trip, he needs other ways to supplement their diet if they were to travel towards Orwell's Point.
Water shouldn't be an issue now as the Pact has been scattered unless they poisoned the groundwater. But when they start traveling, they too will need water resupplies from the Air Force if they couldn't find any sources of water.
I better get Turok to help plan the route back to Orwell's Point, thought Rathia, since they are more experienced traveling and living in the Plains.
And hopefully, nothing major occurs back at Orwell's Point that will force the Air Force to unable to resupply us!