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Falledge, North Star Trading Company

The four business directors of North Star Trading sat around the coffee table of Etoro's office. Each of them had grim expressions on their faces while their cups of tea had long turned cold in the early hours of the morning.

A polite knock came from the door of the office and everyone in the room tensed up, some of them gripped and half drew their swords when the door opened, revealing a clerk in the North Star Training uniform. "Sirs, they are here."

The fat figure of Etoro finally gave out a deep sigh and looked at the rest of his companions and said, "It's time."

The other three nodded and picked up a piece of white cloth from the coffee table and tied it around their left biceps. Etoro stood up and watched the three followed his clerk out and said, "Stay safe, my brothers!"

The three turned around and smiled, "Wait for us to return in victory! And keep a bottle of your finest ready to be opened when we come back!"

Etoro smiled back and watched as his buddies went downstairs, joining dozens of others armed with smuggled weapons and a white armband. He returned to his seat and slumped down tiredly and prayed for his brothers to survive.

-----

Outskirts of Falledge, 0405 hours

Figures slowly crept forward out of the forest and fields, heading towards the dark walls of the town. They bypassed the farms and shanties quietly before they stopped before the massive closed town gates and waited.

Not long, a lantern flashed on the top of the wall and the waiting figures replied with flashing light. A set of predetermined light signals were exchanged and Lieutuant Collins hissed, "Take out the guards now! GO!"

The sleepy guards outside the walls were quickly and quietly dispatched and the recruits pushed forward and waited for the side door of the gates to open. As they waited anxiously, the side door of the gate creaked out and a white arm banded figure with a cloth masked over his face waved the soldiers in.

The soldier recruits rushed in and under the guidance of the instructors, they spread out and took up positions covering the town. Lt Collins came up to a group of masked elves with white armbands and introduced himself, "United Nations Marines, Lieutenant Collins. Who is in charge here?"

"Me," A beefy looking elf stepped forward. He held a long handled blacksmith hammer in his hands and pulled down the cloth mask covering his face, exposing a face covered in a thick bushy beard. "Ahhh... It's hard to breathe and talk in these!"

The beefy elf took a deep breath and exhaled before breaking out in a smile and greeted Collins, "I am called Bock, a blacksmith here!"

"I lead these guys here!" Bock the blacksmith gestured to the group of people numbering over twenty. "We all here suffered some grievances from the Empire and are willing to follow your soldiers!"

Lt Collin nodded and quickly stated his needs, "I need people who know the streets of Falledge inside out. I need them to guide to my men in the town."

Bock turned and pointed out a few youngsters in the group, "They know the streets pretty well and can lead your men wherever they need to go!"

"Good!" Lt Collin nodded and called for his company, platoon leaders and NCOs over.

"I want the Companies to split up and start hitting the barracks, town watch, administration buildings, the Guilds, and local commander and governor's mansion," Collins eyed each commander. "As planned before, A company will hit the Barracks, B company to go for the town watch. C company to push hold the main plaza and the Town Hall, D and E company will take the Guilds and F company will take the mansions."


"These guys here will act as guides," Lt Collins gestured to the elves recommended by Bock. "Each platoon grab one guide and move out."

"And as we have spoken before, a single platoon from G company is to hold each of the gates. No one in and no one out till this is over," Collins said.

"Sir, yes, Sir!" The commanders replied.

"And last of all, we have friendlies in the town," Collins gestured to the white armband. "I don't want any friendly fire! Move out!"

-----

Falledge, 0500 hours

Night watchman Ferris was turning forty two this winter. He had worked as a watchman for over ten years mostly in the night shift. Tonight he had broken up two fights in two separate bars and dumped the offenders into the town jail to sleep their drunkness off.

But he felt a sense of strangeness to the town that night. Something feels off, it was like a gut feeling that something was wrong and something bad was about to happen. Yet he couldn't tell the rest, as they will just tease him and laugh at his worries.

Therefore he could only force himself to stay awake and as alert as possible. But other than the two incidents with the drunks, the night till morning was peaceful. He yawned and rubbed his tired eyes as he sat on the five storey high watchtower that allowed him a view of the town surroundings.

As he was thinking to himself that he must be getting old and worrying too much, he spotted several shadows moving along the street. He stood closer to the edge and peered down into the darkness, the street's glow lamps had long dimmed down as the energy in them had depleted hours ago.

He looked long and hard, but the shadows had stopped moving. He scratched his balding head, wondering if he was seeing things before he returned to his seat while rubbing his tired eyes hard.

-----

0515 Hours

The section's marksman kept his scope at the watchtower, only calling out to the rest when the head disappeared out of view. "Go!"

The rest of his section detached themselves from the shadows of the wall and hurried forward again while another section crossed the open street. They were nearly spotted by the watchman in the tower when his section dashed across the street, luckily the lighting was bad or the watchman would have seen them by now.

He was sure they will get chewed out by the Drill Sergeant later on if they survived this...

-----

0530 Hours

Watchman Ferris yawned again and stood up to stretch his legs, walking around the tower's small 5 by 5 perimeter. His parallax vision spotted some movement and he paused in his stretching and turned to look and this time he was sure he wasn't seeing things!

Shadows were moving along the side of the streets, disappearing into the walls and reappearing again. He stared in fright, thinking he saw some supernatural creature of the night but just nice, one of the streets was slightly better lit as the inn along the street had a couple of properly maintained glow lanterns hanging outside its facade.

The shadows turned into shapes with arms and legs, and Ferris realized that those were not some unnatural creatures of the dark but were people running around in the cover of the dark!

What urgent matter requires this many people to be out in the streets at such an ungodly hour? He wondered as he stared at the movement below him. Suddenly it dawned to him that these people must be up to some kind of evil business to be about at such a time. They could be raiders or bandits!

He quickly slipped on a crossbow belt hook onto his belt and picked up the uncocked crossbow next to him and quickly armed it by hooking the crossbow string with his belt hook and stepping on the stirrup at the head of the crossbow and cocked the arms back.

He dropped a bolt into the crossbow and leaned over the tower and yelled out loudly, "YOU PEOPLE DOWN THERE! STOP IN THE NAME OF THE LAW!"

-----

"-IN THE NAME OF THE LAW!"

The silent of the morning was suddenly broken by those loud words which froze the entire platoon heading towards the town Guilds for a second. The soldier recruits instinctively ducked back into the shadows and raised their weapons up. The marksman paused at the shout and threw him side against the wall and leaned out with his scoped M1, aiming at the watchtower again.

"YOU THERE! HIDING IN THE SHADOWS LIKE THIEVES! COME OUT NOW!"

"Shit!" The acting platoon leader cursed and he crouched low, keeping to the shadows and ran forward to get a better view of what was going on.

"Sir!" The marksman called out as his reticle was placed right at the face of the yelling watchman lit up by brazier fire. "I got him in my sights!"

At this time, some of the windows of the townhouses started to lit up as the occupants were roused up by the noise made by the watchman.

"We have been spotted!" The acting platoon leader hissed into the radio set of the signaler. "Orders?"

"Roger!" The acting platoon leader threw the handset over to the signaler and ordered the marksman. "Take the shot! Go loud!"

The marksman barely responded to his platoon leader. He just held his breath and gently squeezed the trigger, feeling the surprise kick of the rifle butt into his shoulders and the head in his scope disappeared.

The sudden roar of his rifle was like a herald to the sleeping people of Falledge. Curious and angry citizens opened their windows to find the source of the noise while others slept on in bliss, unknown of the changes that were coming like a storm.

"GO!" The acting platoon leader yelled, ignoring all attempts at stealth. "MOVE FAST!"

His platoon's job was to secure the Guilds, making sure none made any contact and communication with the outside world and preventing any attempt for the Guilds like the Adventurers' Guild to form any resistance.

The men of D and E company charged forward, following the directions of the guides and quickly came to the street where the town's Guilds were at.

-----

Falledge, North Star Trading Company, O535 Hours

The sudden thunder jolted Etoro awake from his sleep on his chair. He hurriedly looked around his office thinking that Imperial troops had stormed into his office to arrest him on charges of treason.

He patted his heaving chest when he noticed he was alone, making him wonder what was that noise. Etoro stood up and looked out of his window worriedly as he wondered how his friends were doing.

Several months ago, ever since he met up with his old friend Tyrier, he had been working with the rebels to supply them food secretly. As time went on, those rebels started wanting him to do more, like providing information about the Empire, like numbers of the local garrison, who was the commander and other details.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a strange short eared man claiming to be from the United Nations came to find him and told him the rebels were now part of this new nation. He wanted him to continue to provide information and maps of the Empire and also people who were disgruntled with the Empire and recruit them.

It was easy to find people unhappy or had a grudge with the Empire, especially in a border town like Falledge where exiles and people with questionable past came to hide. It also helped that Falledge used to be a part of the Goldrose Kingdom. Thus a small group of resistance was formed in Falledge and its members had swelled over the months.

And now, this. Etoro thought as he looked out of the window. He had spoken with the strange short eared man a couple of months ago about how to capture Falledge rapidly and without alerting the Empire.

He did not expect this day to come, and now his friends were out there fighting to overthrow the Empire in this town while he stood here safely wishing that he could do more to help.

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