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Norshelm, Rothschild Estate

Titanna's hagged face appeared before an equally tired and blood splatted Mills. Without a word, she jumped into his arms, ignoring the decorum and the scandalized looks given to her by the council members and their wives. She did not care and it was a really tough week for her as she sought some form of comfort from the only man that always tried to protect her.

"Sorry..." Mills whispered as he held her tightly, his eyes turning slightly red from emotions. "I couldn't make it to your position, and you had to suffer."

She shook her head in his embrace, her head buried deep in his smelly armor, her nose already used to the smell of unwashed bodies and death. She closed her eyes, feeling warm and safe as she remembered how the dark menacing looking arcane wagons with more of those deadly thunder weapons rolled up before the gates of the Citadel and how relieved she felt at that time, yet a heavy sense of guilt washed over her for surviving while her people and city burned.

The silent trip back to her Estate that was occasionally punctuated by briefs snatches of conversations by the drivers in front. She looked out of the glass windows, seeing soldiers dressed in thick hooded cloaks and gloves, spraying magical flames left and right, torching the remains of the city and its dead inhabitants as the convoy slowly left the Citadel.

"I... I want to leave this place," She whispered in Mills's embrace. "This place is... too sad..."

Mills nodded, his chin resting on top of Titanna's head and whispered softly back, "I know... I know... Let's leave this place..."

A strong gust of cold wind came, blowing away the stench of death and smoke and Titanna burrowed deeper into Mills's arm and fell asleep while Mills gently rocked and patted her head as he looked up at the remains of the city. The cold wind cleared the smell of haze and Mills could smell a slight earthly tinge in the air.

Autumn has finally come.

-----

Norshelm's Inner City, Abby Street, Apache Company

Private Lorner was humming a tune that only himself encased in the hot sweltering suit could hear. He could barely feel the trigger pipes in his thickly gloved hands as he swept the nozzle left and right, the meters long flames torching anything it touched.

His vision was narrowed to just what his helmet's visor slit could see and to keep himself from feeling claustrophobic, he hummed to the chorus of "Eve of Destruction" to himself as he torched the hundreds of putid bodies and parts, thankful that his view was limited, making him able to ignore the gruesome landscape before him.

As he was working his way through the ruins of what used to be Abby Street, he gave a surprised yelp of fright when a hand burst out from the scorched ground and gripped his boots. He reflectively stomped down at the blackened arm several times before he broke off a couple of fingers, and managed to pry himself away from the hand.

He stumbled back in warily as he tried to make sense of the situation before him. The hand appeared to be trying to force it way out from the charred ground, and Lorner backed off as another hand suddenly popped out with a crack from the crust like ground.

A totally naked and hairless body crawled its way out from the crust like ground. Its body red and leaking pus and fluids. Lorner could clearly see it was a female from her breasts that had its skin peeled off, revealing reddish muscles and nerves.

The female turned its bald scorched head to his direction as he stepped back and snapped a piece of charcoal, her eyes in her empty sockets long boiled and burst away from the heat. She opened her mouth to let out a cry of pain and hate that came out as a hoarse screech from her melted vocals.

"What the fark!" Lorner gasped at the horror trying to crawl towards him. He drew his revolver one handedly and cocked the hammer back, aiming at the forehead of the poor female. "Rest in peace!"

BAAAM!

The shot was simple and true to its target, hitting dead center of the female's forehead but to Lorner's surprise, other than leaving a hole in her head, it seemed to be still alive!

Quickly, he triggered his comms, "Sarge! I got something here! Some kind of mage or undead!"

"What's your location?" His Sergeant replied, making Lorner feel some form of comfort.

"Erm, I think I'm at the crossroads of Abbey Street!" Lorner reported. "Make it quick!"

Following that report, he emptied the remainder of his ammo at the undying creature, inciting several unearthly screams from the creature. Not long after, several figures came running over and they surrounded the creature from all sides.

"What the hell is it?" Lorner asked as he reloaded his revolver. "It ate five shots but still doesn't die!"

"Whatever it is..." The grizzly Sergeant hawed and spat to one side. "HQ says burn and kill everything that isn't normal!"

"Well, what are you all waiting for?" The Sergeant yelled at the Marines. "Kill it with fire!"

The Marines fell back to a safe distance while Lorner and another two flamers equipped Marines stepped forward and ignited their flamer nozzles before the flames flared out and covered the screaming body.

-----

Pain. Agony. Fear. Darkness. These were what was going through the thoughts of Hedone as she blindly stumbled in the dark. Each movement felt like hundreds, no thousands of cuts on her flesh and bones. It was a feeling worst than being exiled to the void.

If she knew that carrying her Divine Spark with her would subject her to such torment, she would had hidden her core in the void instead. She heard a noise and tried to make her way towards it, hoping that it was some of her followers who survived the sudden attack that came screaming out from the skies.

The stars rained down on her and her followers and the next thing she knew, she was buried under hundreds of bodies who used their flesh to protect her while everything burned. Yet it was not enough! Heat like from the forges of Hephaestus slowly roasted and suffocated her and her followers and her insides boiled as she baked, unable to escape the bodies crashing ontop of her before she passed out.

Unknown how long she passed out, when she awakened, she felt the agony of her wounds and used all her divine strength to crawl her way out. Blinded, she could only stumble around, hoping to find some shelter to recover her wounds with her divine powers.

To her surprise, she heard a thunderous roar that almost deafened her already damaged hearing and something powerful and small slammed into her head, making her almost faint from the sudden stinging pain.

She screamed as she felt the pain in her head was about break open her skull and what followed next were a few roars that totally destroyed her hearing and blows that knocked the remaining air out of her host body.

Hedone's mind went blank from the pain, and her base instincts took over, as she crawled away from the source of the painful roars and attacks. Tears that could fall would had fallen had it not her tear ducts were melted and fused to her facial muscles.

She desperately tried to escape as fast as her body could move and when the gush of flames washed over her over and she screamed like she never screamed before.

-----

Lorner held down the pressure trigger of his flamer, making sure to keep an eye on his nozzle temperature gauge as he was taught. He was astonished as the creature was still alive even after several seconds of super heated flames from three farking flamers!

What in the heavens is this creature? He thought just a sudden flash of eye searing light burst out from the creature and he felt himself being lifted up and with a cry of horror, he and the surrounding Marines were tossed dozens of meters away from the force of the sudden unexpected explosion.

-----

Norshelm, Outer City, Shepherd Six Four Crash Site

James stopped the details who was carrying out a black body on a stretcher and gestured for them to give him a minute. He unzipped the bag and a once handsome face now disfigured and turned purple looked back at him.

James let out a long sigh as he sat next to the body, resting a hand on the body's forehead. He looked around the site, absentmindedly watching the Marines' clean up details picking through the pieces of the crash site and retrieving the bodies of their own fallen.

After a moment of silence, James patted the head of Drake Mcguire and leaned down and gave a kiss on his cold forehead. "Go in peace bro. Don't worry. She will be looked after."

He zipped the body bag back and stood up, blinking his eyes rapidly to clear the tears that threatened to break out. After he was composed enough, he gestured the detail to carry the body of his friend away.

As he turned away, a sudden boom of a massive explosion followed by the earth quaking and shock wave slammed into him and his men, knocking him off his feet. As James recovered and climbed to his feet, he turned to the direction of the explosion and saw a miniature mushroom cloud had formed over the city.

"What the fuck? Did a goddamn nuke went off?!"

-----

Outskirts of Norshelm, UN Forward Command

The incidents of the day before now sat in a report before James in his tent. He had read through the report twice and was wondering how to explain the explosion that killed three Marine and crippled several more over to HQ when a voice called from the tent's flap.

"Captain James?"

"Magister Thorn?" James looked up. "Come in."

"Thank you," Magister Thorn pushed the flap open and entered the tent, bringing in a draft of cold autumn wind. "Well, I have some news."

"What news?" James gestured to the camp chair for Magister Thorn to sit down.

"Well, that explosion from before is definitely not from our weapons," Magister Thorn said excitedly. "I caused a Detect Magic spell over the area and found shocking high amounts of magic power, pure magic power that is not of our world!"

"What are you talking about?" James rubbed his temples at the headache inducing explanation from Magister Thorn. "What pure magic? I thought magic is based on several natural elements?"

"Yes! But there are some powers that are not of nature and could only be found from one thing!" Magister Thorn grinned like a twelve year old with a new toy in his hands. "Divine powers!"

"Divine powers?" James blinked his eyes in confusion. "You are saying a God caused that explosion?"

"Yes and no!" Magister Thorn replied. "I mean the explosion is caused by a God or in this case, a Goddess!"

"But it wasn't a spell that made that explosion!" Magister Thorn said. "I spoke with the survivors and they said that they were trying to kill a being that could not be killed with normal means and they were using fire when that being suddenly exploded. And that being was female in nature."

James leaned forward and narrowed his eyes, "Are you saying this being might be that Goddess causing all the craziness in this city?"

"Very high probability," Magister Thorn said, mimicking Dr. Sharon's manner of speech. "What is more interesting was what happened next!"

"The explosion?" James frowned before his eyes went wide. "Are you saying we killed a Goddess with... flame throwers?"

Magister Thorn nodded excited, "Yes! If we can prove that it was the Goddess... than. YES! We had just killed a Goddess with mortal weapons!"

"Holy fuck!"

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