UNS Singapore, Conference Room
Captain Blake listened to the report coming from Orwell's Point with his eyes closed as he sat at the head of the conference table. The rest of the officers remained quiet in their seats but expressions of worry and anger were shown on their faces.
"We still have a pilot MIA from the crash," came the report from Joseph. "We are having serious communications delay, from the ground units to the air units before it is relayed to the Command post."
"The convoy had to turn back due to overwhelming attacks from the city inhabitants that turned crazy," Joseph continued. "We did not expect the entire city to attack our forces."
"What about the Rothschild's girl?" Commander Ford asked. "What's her situation?"
"As of now, they are still holding out," Joseph said. "We have our Griffin helos to run supplies to the besieged Citadel. As long as our men's ammunition supplies are holding, they should be able to hold out."
"Who, what and how is this caused?" Blake finally opened his eyes and asked, staring at the image of Joseph icily.
"So far, our people there suspect that is it done by a localized cult," Joseph said. "They took the opportunity caused by the chaos in the city to carry out their schemes, which in this case caused the whole city to be converted."
"Any known ways to save those people?" Blake asked next.
"Not that we know of," This was said by Magister Thorn who was attending the video conference too. "The mages and healers in Norshelm all came to the same conclusion that anyone affected, their will has already given to whatever evil that changed them. It is impossible to break the hold of the affected unless we kill the main culprit."
"So do we know who is the main culprit that did all these?" Blake asked. "Which... god is killing our people?"
Magister Thorn gave a glance at Joseph before he replied, "We suspect it could be the same one as the one we defeated here in Orwell's Point... Evidence shows..."
"That one that possessed that Hunter girl?" Blake cut off Magister Thorn's words.
"Erm, yes..." Magister Thorn's image nodded. "We think they have a base at Norshelm..."
"What assets down we have available to respond to this threat?" Blake asked his Marine Commander.
"As of now, 2nd Marine Battalion is based at Orwell's Point, together with the Claymore Two and 1st Armored," Marine Commander Lt Colonel Frank replied. "2nd Air Cavalry, 4th Fighter Wing, 1st Bomber Wing and also three PT boats are stationed there. And two heavy weight dragons."
"We have three platoons and Claymore One deployed at the city of Norshelm, with a couple of modified river barges en route with a company of the 2nd Marine Battalion to reinforce them," Frank added. "They should arrive by midnight."
Airforce Commander Tommy spoke up, "We lost one bird from the 2nd Air Cavalry, now they are operating with two helos at Norshelm. If they need to evacuate fast, we might not be able to bring everyone back in one trip. And our equipment will have to be left behind and be destroyed."
"We only have one helo from the 1st doing runs for Orwell's Point," Joseph said. "I could send the helo to Norshelm to support them. Our supplies should be able to last us for a few weeks."
"How about our assets here?" asked Blake.
"We have the 1st Battalion and 1st, 2nd, 3rd Fighter Wings, 2nd Bomber Wing, 1st Air Cavalry and two med weight dragons," Frank said. "2nd Armor is still being outfitted and is the same for 3rd Air Cavalry, they don't have the spider tanks and helos..."
"Captain," Master Sergeant Pike spoke up, "We also have an experimental unit sitting around..."
"What unit?" Blake frowned as he did not remember anything about it.
"Well... since we are changing out the half tracks to the newer vehicles, and they are just sitting around there..." Pike grinned. "And I got dozens of spare 70mm rocket pods laying around... So I got the Engineering boys to work on them to convert the half tracks into an SRM carrier."
Commander Ford gave an appreciative whistle while Blake gave a chuckle. "So you meant you have a mobile rocket artillery in your pocket, Top?"
"Yes, Sir!" Pike nodded.
"And how many do you have?" Frank asked with a frown.
"Not much, just barely a dozen," Pike gave a shrug. "Was hoping to convert more, but didn't have the time to do so..."
"A DOZEN?" Frank's jaw dropped. "And how many rocket pods did you strapped onto the half tracks?"
"Seven each, giving it a 49 tube barrage," Pike said. "Reload is gonna be a bitch, but shouldn't be much of an issue. It will similar to the Katyusha rocket launcher from world war two. I had the Engineers work out a simple aiming and firing system which works."
"Did you test it?" Blake asked in wonder.
"Yup," Pike nodded. "Accuracy isn't very good, but it totally blows the shit out of anyone within its area of effect."
"How much crew is needed?" Frank asked.
"I say about two to three?" Pike said. "Have to work out some SOP for it, but generally a driver, a gun commander, and a spotter should work just fine."
"Frank, I want you to scrape up some manpower to crew those weapons," Blake ordered. "Do it fast."
"Send out two companies from 1st Battalion to reinforce Orwell's Point," Blake said next. "I want 2nd Battalion and 1st Armored to push into Norshelm."
"Pike, once the SRM carriers of yours are fully crew, bring them to Norshelm. I want you to train them on how fire and service those weapons along the way," Blake turned to Pike and commanded. "Get Logistic to supply you as much 70mm rockets you can transport and move to support the troops at Norshelm."
"If that Goddess or God thinks they can screw with the entire city and with us," Blake's eyes glittered. "Then we shall show them not to look down on us! They shall pay for playing with lives!"
Norshelm, Underground Palace
Hedone giggled as she watched hundreds of converts kneed down and bowed. She could see their adoration from their eyes, smiles, and worship. "Hehehe... worship me, my little pretties! Hehehe!"
"I am your Mistress from now on!" Hedone stood up, her shapely figure shown through the thin fabric of her robes. "You can... call me... QUEEN!"
"MY QUEEN!" The converts and her original followers chanted fervently. "MY QUEEN"
"Good!" She laughed, making the closest males swoon at her feet. Her laughter was like a drug, and they craved for it. "I shall release you from the bonds of your desires! Go! Have fun! Do what you want! Make love! Eat, drink! KILL! You, my children, are free to do whatever you desire!"
"THE MISTRESS REWARDS!" The crowd screamed and they fell into their innermost desires. Some started to kiss and made out with their neighbors regardless of gender or age, others strangled each other as they gave in to their violent desires. Others started filling their stomachs with food and wine until their stomachs burst, but they still kept on eating and drinking.
Hedone smiled and walked down between the spaces of the crazed crowd and soon she came upon a battered male. "Oh how interesting," She traced her finger along the ears of the captive, making the captive moan.
"It's been... soon long since I saw one of your kind... The Gods must have granted my wish!" Hedone giggled at her own joke. "I wonder how did you get here..."
She smiled at the barely conscious human before she turned to one of her followers who knelt and bowed. "This is a great gift, you brought me! This is your reward!" She stretched out one perfectly toned leg to the kneeling elf.
"Thank you for your kindness, my Mistress!" Qiem crawled forward quickly and licked the toes of Hedone. "Hmmmmmm!"
After a while, Hedone got bored and kicked Qiem away. "See to his wounds, and when he wakes up, call me!"
"Yes... my mistress!" Qiem remained kneeling, his head almost touching the ground.
"And one more thing," Hedone squatted down next to Qiem, her big beautiful eyes staring right into the soul of Qiem, making him light headed with joy. "He. Must. Not. Die."
"Y- yes! My mistress!" Qiem wiped the saliva drooling out of his mouth and quickly attended to the wounded human he had captured.
"Remember to call me when he wakes up!" Hedone gave a playful wink at Qiem before she strolled through the crowd engaged in orgy and death. "Hehehehe!"
UNS Singapore, Captain's Quarters
Blake sat down wearily on his chair, while Princess Sherene massaged his neck and shoulders for him. He put a grateful hand on hers and pulled her away. "It's alright, take a seat."
Sherene gave a gentle smile and continued to give him a massage. "You need a break!"
"How to take a break?" Blake gave a sigh. "Nine confirmed deaths, and one pilot missing."
"And one of the dead is a human, while the pilot is also a human," Blake closed his eyes. "There's only so many of us left..."
"I know you are worried about your people," Sherene started to rub Blake's head. "I too am worried about my people too."
"Sorry," Blake reached up and held both of Sherene's hands and pulled her to his lap. "I didn't mean it that way... It's not like I don't care for your people..."
"I understand," Sherene leaned against Blake. "You don't have to explain, I know you care for everyone under you."
"The stress of command," Blake hugged the Princess tightly in his arms. "I am not skilled in commanding ground troops and have to delegate it to others but sometimes I really wish they could do better!"
"I understand that feeling too!" Sherene sighed. "But you have to trust your subordinates!"
"I do trust them," Blake replied softly. "That is why each death is on me because they died under my orders..."
"Silly, how could you have foreseen such an event from happening?" Sherene cupped Blake's face and stared into his sad eyes. "You are not a seer! How could you know such a thing would happen at Norshelm? No one could foresee that!"
"But I still think that I could have stopped this tragedy!" Blake leaned his head back on the chair. "If I gave the order to Joseph to stop them from using the helos, maybe they wouldn't have died... killed in such a bad way and we couldn't even bring them home in one piece!"
"Captain Blake!" Sherene glared angrily at Blake and spoke in a fierce tone. "Stop second guessing yourself! There is nothing you could have done to prevent that! Stop punishing yourself! Or I swear to god you shall sleep outside!"
Shocked, Blake stared at the angry expression on Sherene's face, but he suddenly started laughing. "Oh my gods, are you serious?"
"Yes! Am very serious!" Sherene huffed. "You are the lord and no lord acts as you do!"
"Hahaha," Blake shook his head in wonder. "You are right, I shall stop now. But whoever kills my men, shall pay for what they done, regardless if they are divine or mortal!"
"Good!" Sherene gave a smile and gave a kiss to Blake. "Better! This is the man, I fell in love with!"
Norshelm, Rothschild's Estate
The badly ravaged convoy slowly rolled to a stop at the marshaling grounds of the Estate. Both Marines and Imperial soldiers stared at the sorry state the once awe looking vehicles had become.
Mills opened the door and came off, yelling for healers and medics to attend to the wounded. The shocked elves quickly ran over to help, and for the first time, they saw how badly they had suffered under the attack of the entire city.
Mills sat down on the sidewalk and watched dully as bodies were carried out while others washed the interior of the vehicles of the blood and spent casings.