The New World, Source Sea, Beachhead Alpha
Sounds of retching came from the holds as the landing barge pitched up and down in the rough waters. Curses broke out among the men as they avoided the mess while goblins skittered down the decks cursing and swearing at anyone in their way as they rinsed off the mess.
Outside the barge, the skies were dark and grey with heavy rain pelting down as if the Gods were baptising the first major operation of the UN Army. Eleven converted Imperial barges refitted with steam engines brute forced through the rough waters with another six Navy PT boats as escorts.
The eleven barges carried the entire 1st Army Rifle Regiment and all their organic support, a total of over two thousand elves, orcs, goblins, and dozens of armoured vehicles and supply trucks. The journey had taken the slow barges over two days of travel, cutting diagonally across the freshwater Source Sea to finally be able to see land on the other side.
Even under the heavy torrent of raindrops, the flat bottom barges beached against the coast and the heavy forward ramps fell down, slapping hard against the wet mud and sand. Soldiers of the 1st Rifles charged out into the rain, many of them glad to be out of the stuffy transport and onto the ground that was not moving.
The soldiers spread out as they were taught and covered the beachhead while rumbling roars of engines came from the interiors of the landing barges. The goblin cargo master wearing a bright orange vest over a child sized set of 'H' harness, blew his shiny whistle sharply at the ramp.
Headlights shone and a boxy vehicle with sloping armour at all sides rumbled forward. Eight massive wheels almost as tall as an average elf rolled the infantry fighting vehicle forward. A fat turret with a single stubby four barrelled 20mm gatling gun, sat on the top and grey smoke blew out from the rear exhaust pipes as the IFV rolled off the ramp.
The IFV - 1 Hunter, was the UN's latest vehicle to roll out of its factories. Powered by a dragonite engine, the twenty ton vehicle could carry up to twelve infantry inside its armoured chassis. Crewed by a commander, a driver, and a gunner, it carried a 20mm quad barrel gatling gun housed within an enclosed turret with a 6.5 mm coxial machine gun and a seven shot 70 mm rocket pod mounted on the turret's right side.
Another .50 cal machine gun was mounted on the top hatch of the turret, allowing the commander to fire if needed, provided some air anti protection. The armoured vehicle can hit top speeds of 40 kilometres per hour over rough terrain and up to 70 kilometres per hour on flat terrain.
The goblin cargo master excitedly gave another few more blows of his whistle, as another IFV followed from behind. The IFVs that rolled out of the barges made their way off the mud and sand, their engines huffing and growling as the drivers pushed them over the wet slope.
After the IFVs exited the cargo bay, trucks and jeeps followed out and soon the whole beachhead was a hive of activity as supplies and other essentials were offloaded.
"Sarge!" An officer yelled out and gestured to Cork and his men. "Mount up!"
Cork gave a nod, his pot like helmet dripping water down. He stood up and yelled over the rain, pointing to their waiting IFV. "2nd Section, mount up!
The wet and cold soldiers happily picked themselves off the ground and climbed into the rear hatch of the IFV. The interior of the IFV was cramped and the hull was lined with lockers and bins, filled with extra ammunition and supplies.
The ten men section, including Cork squeezed in and the latest man, pulled the rear hatch close, and the sounds of the rain ceased. Unlike the Marines, the Army uses larger sections consisting of ten men instead of seven men. One platoon has forty men and a company has four platoons. Two infantry companies, one mechanized company and one artillery company made up one battalion. An Army Rifle Regiment was made up of two such battalions and consisted of over 1,400 men.
The mechanized platoon Cork was in, consisted of four IFVs, and four infantry sections were attached to one vehicle each. Now they sat inside the belly of the metal beast, sharing the odour of wet uniform and socks as the olive green and blue camo vehicle raced off in a single file with the rest of its sisters heading towards their objective under the cover of the storm.
The New World, East Coast, UN 3rd CorRon
The captain of the UNS Adventurer leaned over the shoulder of the radar operator. The light from the green pings and beeps on the screen highlighted both the captain and the operator's features as they stared at over twenty blinking blips from the radar returns.
The radar operator looked nervous under the green glow and he asked the captain, "Sir... twenty seven confirmed aerial contacts on the radar... and their size is at least triple that of our ship..."
"Thirty klicks away and heading in a south west direction..." The radio operator reported. "Moving at a speed of 24 knots!"
"Pilot, try to keep pace with the radar contacts!" The captain called out. The Goblin Class corvettes could push up to a max speed of twenty eight knots at the cost of overheating the engines and using up all their fuel reserves, but with radar, they could still 'see' where the enemy were.
"Signal the rest of the squadron! We will follow them and see where they are heading!"
The New World, New Protectorate Territory, City of Tena
The monstrous battle engine stood towering over the crumbled walls of the city. Hundreds of red coated Protectorate soldiers marched through the rubble strewn streets with hulking war jacks lumbering between them. The arrival of the Reckoner instantly broke all forms of resistance from the city as they surrendered, barely taking the Protectorate two turns of the glass to take over the city.
The citizens and soldiers of the surrendered city kneeled along the streets as they welcomed their new overlords and the scholarly looking Governor of Tena awaited the arrival of the invaders nervously at the courtyard of the city's castle. He had decided to surrender to avoid as much bloodshed to the people as he had heard the rumours of the massacre of the Capital and especially seeing the giant golem that appeared over the horizon.
The red coated soldiers continued their march as they entered through the opened gates of the castle, and soon the governor and his retinue were surrounded. The ground rocked as two massive war jacks stomped and puffed their way over with several figures walking before them.
The two war jacks paused at the gate's entrance and the several figures continued their way forward until they reached the governor and his men. The lead figure wore a set of red robes and had a plain white mask that covered his entire face, but the mask did nothing to hide the contempt and arrogance beneath the mask.
"Greetings... most... powerful one..." The elderly governor bowed as the masked man stood before him. "We... are willing to surrender the city to you, as long as the citizens will not be harmed..."
Another red robed figure spoke something to the masked man on the side before the masked man laughed and replied in a strange language. The governor felt himself sweating as he awaited the outcome of their fate.
Finally, the red robed figure next to the masked man said in halting common tongue. "You... all put down weapons... gather all at the square!"
The knights next to the governor hearing that they need to give up their weapons felt their honour insulted as they had to give up their swords when they had surrendered. It was common sense that the knights could keep their swords even when they surrendered as they were oath bounded to their words.
Their actions drew the red coat soldiers attention and they lowered their lance like weapons, pointing at the governor and his retinue. The governor quickly tried to defuse the situation by raising his hands and gesturing to his people to stand down. "Give up your swords!"
"It's better to live another day than die uselessly for honour!" He spoke in a low voice to his people. "Do not forget your duty to your people!"
The knights seeing the cold expressions of the red coated soldiers and the pleading looking of their lord gave up their resistance and removed their weapons, dropping them on the ground. All the while this was happening, the masked man did not even move nor show any changes in his posture.
Once the last weapon clanged on the floor, the masked man snapped his fingers and the surrounding soldiers closed in and started to usher them forward. Arms reached out and grabbed the governor and his protesting men and they were stripped of their armour and dragged out of the castle's courtyard.
The governor and his retinue were dragged to the city's largest square where hundreds of the city's population were squeezed in and in the middle of the square was a simple platform. The governor was dragged up the platform first and forced to kneel down.
A red robed priest started preaching about the evils of the world, about how the people in this land have fallen and how they had lost the guiding light of justice. For the people to be judge worthy by the god Ramuh, one must give up their sins and put all their faith and heart to only God in this world.
As the priest continued his preaching, two soldiers hoisted the confused governor up and lifted him up. Horror and realisation soon came to everyone as they watched their beloved lord screaming as he was being impaled with a spear from his rear. He screamed and struggled wildly when the soldiers released him, his body weight and struggle further forcing the spear through his bowels and deeper into his insides.
Finally, the governor's gurgles and struggles grew weaker as his lifeblood bled out. The crowd and his loyal retinue cried out in anger and fear at the brutal execution of their lord. Yet the red coated soldiers ignored their cries and one by one the rest of the governor's retinue was dragged up and similarly impaled right before the horrified crowd's eyes, and all the while, the priest continued his zealous preaching of sins and lawlessness.
Rism smiled as he listened to the screams of the dying and the terrified looks of the lawless citizens. The conquest of the new world was easier than he had expected, his initial force of five thousand paladins and a hundred war jacks had swept through the lands easily. The lawless soldiers were weak and undisciplined, their magic not even worthy to be mentioned.
Barely a quarter of his soldiers were wounded or dead and one thousand settlers that came along had quickly built up an industrial base to supply his missionary efforts. Now, the expected arrival of the second wave of soldiers and supplies would arrive in another few more days which would further strengthen his force against the weak infidels.
With each city, town, and village captured and converted to the glory of Ramuh, meant more resources and faith to their God. Rism's smile widened as the thought of the power that will be his from taking over the entire New World.
By then, even if the remaining six nations banded together against the Protectorate, they will still not be able to stop the Protectorate. And soon the Judgement will come and He shall rise again in this world, granting His power and Justice to those that were worthy!
"Convert everyone to the Teachings of Ramuh!" Rism ordered as he turned away from the scene. He walked towards the castle with his guards in tow. "And send those unwilling to the Judgement!"