13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
The fifth story. I guess I don't have to give much of an introduction. I'll just link the other stories in here:Story 1: The UEF AcademyStory 2: The Harmony Fighters.Story 3: Phantom SungStory 4: Tessalis
____________Story 6: The New SixStory 7: Purge
I hope you'll enjoy this story! Chapter 1
Los Angeles, 3844
War had finally arrived on planet Earth, the cradle of humanity. For all the time in the Infinite War, the people on Earth were at peace. Never had the UEF fought a major battle on their capital planet.
Many people here didn’t know how bad the war was. Simply because they didn’t care. The only stories they heard were Riley’s boasting speeches, about how the UEF would prevail in only a matter of years, months, weeks and eventually: days.
The ones who stood closer to the war were the people who were involved in the UEF’s military actions. From the commanders on the field to the EarthCom officers, ACU mechanics and the families who lost their son, daughter, brother or sister in a battle.
However, no ordinary civilian on Earth knew of the horrors of the war, like the Aeon cleansing operations. The military still propagated a nationalistic message. The War turned ordinary people into supreme commanders, heroes that kept the universe safe. The ones that made it into an ACU quickly learned the terrible truth but everyone who stayed safely on the home planet of the federation, remained ignorant.
However, now had the time come that they saw it was all an illusion. The Infinite War showed that mercy and compassion did not exist, survival could not be taken for granted, let alone Riley’s victory.
Several UEF commanders tried to evacuate the majority of Los Angeles’ citizens, while the Aeon knights relentlessly tore every building they could reach apart.
Harbingers and Titans clashed while the ACUs fired one overcharged shot after another. While they could cleanse without any resistance at first, the Illuminate pilots met their UEF match now.
Three commanders in particular did a very good job on holding the line against the Aeon hordes. Under direct orders of general Stirling, they did not yield a millimetre. As a team, they held the three to five odds they were up against. Supported by one of the best economy engineers, the two front commanders had the full ability of stopping the enemy.
It was strange, Jeff Lancet had only recently joined the military again and he still did an excellent job. It seemed that he only gained experience during the time he was gone.
The other two commanders were very capable of keeping all enemies busy. Eric Temera didn’t hesitate for a second, as he perfectly knew what he had to do. His task was simple, with the economy he had, he built as many Titan assault bots and Demolisher artillery, Wasps and Broadswords as possible and he used them at the front, destroying one enemy after another.
Still, under normal conditions, he could not manage to stop the endless stream of two of his enemies, something he had to do in order to hold the line.
Luckily, today’s battle couldn’t be further from the normal conditions. With Josh Funky at his side, all five of the enemies were continuously being hammered at their base. Josh managed to break through at a weak spot he found every time he sent a spy plane that scouted the enemy bases.
With an army of tier one artillery, obviously outmatched by the high-tech weaponry around, but very capable of dealing tremendous damage with their first and only shot, Funky continuously hampered the Aeon economy plants. It effectively forced the enemies to concentrate on their own base defences and that reduced the size of their assault forces.
The result eased the situation at the front, allowing Eric to stop what was left of the enemy stream, with Jeff’s support.
They missed only one thing, one element that could have allowed Funky to strike with even greater efficiency. The element that could’ve brought a swift victory to Eric. They missed the information one of their old friends could provide. They missed proper intel.
Marisa and Leython didn’t arrive even close to their destination, they were too late for joining the war at the Hawaiian islands. Doctor Brackman had warned Leython when the battle had started but naturally Niihau and all the other islands were occupied by the three warring factions before Leython and Marisa had travelled.
They didn’t intend to skip one of the most important battles in human history though. Instead of fighting at Hawaii, they travelled to the western coast of North America. The simple reason for that was the sheer presence of the war here. Although it was very far away from Niihau, the UEF, Cybran and especially the Aeon forces fought to control the supplies that were meant for the battle of the so-called Black sun device.
Given the circumstances, Leython and Marisa thought it’d be best if they weren’t present on the same place at the same time. A Cybran ACU that didn’t fight with his Aeon counterpart was suspicious to say the least. Therefore, the two commanders deployed their bases far away from each other.
The battle of Los Angeles was fought between the Aeon and UEF, the Cybrans were not present. Apparently, they shared no interest in the city that housed millions. They should not forget that this place was relatively insignificant compared Hawaii. The supplies that Aeon and UEF commanders should provide, were now used to battle amongst each other. Leython had, only a few minutes ago, lost his spy plane when it scouted the city’s perimeter.
The UEF’s and Aeon’s most advanced weapons clashed while they met. Titan and Harbinger assault bots, Demolisher and Serenity artilleries alike, all units were destroyed. The one person who could claim the current front, had enough mass to reclaim for the rest of the battle. If the Aeon would gain that little section of ground, they’d soon be in control of the entire battle scene, they could then kill the millions of lives in the city.
The problem he now faced, was that the UEF and Aeon commanders knew about his presence, they would certainly search for his base. They’d have a hard time finding a completely stealthed fortress, but since it was immobile, his production and economy centres were bound to be discovered eventually.
In the meanwhile, Marisa found heavy UEF resistance from one enemy commander. In an instant, hundreds of units were destroyed when the seventh nuke, Marisa had counted that correctly, collided with one of the many air superiority fighters that swarmed the field while they protected the Aeon land forces.
Marisa had lost her front line in a cunning enemy missile strike. This commander knew what he was doing. Under normal conditions, she would never get in such a situation but like the three of Stirling’s best six had noticed, this was not a day of normal conditions.
She was on unknown ground, fighting with so much turmoil around her that she couldn’t call out for The Way properly, not for a minor element of a battle.
However, the Illuminate knight still noticed the major disturbances in the series of events. Something was wrong here and it was worse than her failure of noticing any immediate threat with The Way.
Regardless of the unknown catastrophe that was on this planet’s doorstep, she knew that her battle here was over. The enemy commander was pushing on and faced no resistance anymore. She was about to die if she couldn’t get away within a minute. Luckily, she could.
“Leython, I am coming to your base. I have lost all of my forces, the battle here is over. We should think of a plan of action if we want to play a major role in the War’s end. We have little of significance to do here.”
“Go ahead and get over here, Marisa. I’ve got enough territory to keep our ACUs safe. Just teleport and then we’ll continue our talk.” Leython was not all too happy with this, Marisa could tell so. However, she could tell that he accepted the fact that this happened. There was no way around it. She simply wasn’t a strategist like he was and her tactical abilities were not as good either. At least, not if she wasn’t in harmony with her battlefield.
Ten seconds later, she stood in the Cybran base, well hidden by stealth generators. She immediately spoke again: “Leython, I feel very bad about this battle. I do not know what is bound to happen but it is not good at all. It distracted me, keeping me worried and so it diminished my ability to fight.”
“Do you remember our battles. You were always as good as I was. Was your Way involved with that?”
“Definitely. I just cannot work as well in a real battle, so it seems. I am not in harmony, while you are. Do not forget that you have an advantage here. Your life was completely based on fighting and efficiency, according to your sword fighting. My philosophy is about peace.” Apologized Marisa for her failure.
“Then you have to fight with the intention of peace, ask yourself how to keep yourself safe but your enemy as well. That is what you did on Sinivar. We mustn’t forget that we are here to end the war, not just to kill others.”
“I get it now.” Said Marisa suddenly, a lot more confident. “I grew too ambitious, I probably thought that I was fighting an idiot, but turned out to be the idiot myself.”
“Well, you’ve found out what the problem is, just make sure that you’ve worked on that when we surprise the Avatar-of-War. In the meanwhile, think of that ‘bad’ thing that’s about to happen.”
“I will. Instead of the distraction, that will be the main topic in my mind.”
Harm Dygonn was in the middle of the evacuation process. With ‘the middle’, he was thinking positively, since less than one per cent of Los Angeles’ population was away. The suburbs lay in ruins and more than one strategic missile had dominated the scenery already, blinding everyone, even those with their eyes closed.
He was one of the coordinators and found out that fighting against the mass who tried to leave the planet, panicking and wondering about how this could even happen, was a war that seemed to be as hard as the Infinite War itself.
Suddenly even more people panicked as they saw a Cybran spy plane passing by, not only the Aeon were after the city! Where were the UEF commanders they needed?! Harm contacted the person he needed:
“General Stirling, where is your support? I need more commanders up here, damnit!”
“I’ve got no commanders left. I’m sorry but everyone’s occupied all over North America.”
“Get someone. I don’t care who!”
“I can’t do anything, I’m sorry. We’re stuck in between fanatics and assassins. We’re outnumbered, so we’ll have to work hard and make the best of it. Good luck.” Stirling said and he closed the channel.
“Damnit. Damnit!” cursed Harm Dygonn under his breath. “People, we’ve got to move on with this. Get as many people away from Earth, send them to unimportant planets with UEF commanders on it. Then they’ll be safe.”
“Yes sir!” Answered his men immediately. They continued on their jobs, trying to get as many civilians out as soon as possible, but quantum wakes created a bottleneck that kept stalled the whole process.
“Sir, we’ve got to find other planets to send the civilians to. The planets we’re sending the people to at this moment are suffering from quantum wakes as well. Here, it is probably less of a bottleneck because–” One of Harm’s officers said, but he was cut off already:
“I know why we’re suffering less here than at Pollux or any other receiving planet, but where else can we send the citizens to?”
Several Cybran spy planes passed the battlefield again. Jeff was worried about what they wanted here. What would they win by joining the biggest battle near Los Angeles? Why would they want to learn about the Aeon’s goal to destroy the UEF commanders? Surely they knew that their only goal was to cleanse the city?
“Jeff, we’re going to need more support.” Josh Funky said, waking the economy specialist up from his thoughts. “We’ve got five Colossi coming for us and we’ll never be able to stop them unless we can come up with something special.”
“I’ll build tactical missile launchers, rush the construction of some missiles and stab their eyes out.” Jeff said.
“That’ll not work anymore,” Answered Eric Temera before lieutenant Lancet could start on his work. “The Colossi’s weak point has been taken care of, that’s been done more than a year ago. We’ll have to take these five units down in another way. Hurry up and help us, don’t concentrate on further expanding your economy.”
“Then I’ll construct a missile silo, the nuke will damage the Colossi for twenty five per cent. You will have to scratch them enough so that my missile will finish them.” Jeff said, returning on the problem at hand. “If I can launch my missile before the enemy experimental are damaged enough, retreat your forces for some seconds and take care of those left standing after the missile’s explosion.” Jeff immediately sent all of his nearby engineers at work for a strategic missile silo. The structure was expensive, but because the lieutenant had a massive economy, he was able to support constructing it in less than a minute.
Nonetheless, the situation was dire. The Colossi were going to break the front and, even though they’d probably go down, the rest of the Aeon forces would easily destroy the UEF’s bases, kill all three of them and cleanse the city.
More Cybran spy planes arrived, they captured images of the frontlines and the UEF bases. Neither of the Federation’s commanders could see that the Aeon knights had suffered the same attack on their privacy.
“Now why would the Cybrans even bother to see how we’re going to lose?” Captain Temera said while he sent wave after wave of Titan assault bots on the enemy assault bots. Major Funky did the same, but by sending dozens of transports to strike from the rear. It broke the enemy force in two. All enemy tier three bots changed directions, they turned around and concentrated on the Titans.
“I don’t know,” said Josh, “but we might stand a chance after all. I’ll keep the enemy assault bots busy for as long as possible.” The major sent the took the siege assault bots deeper into the enemy zone so that the enemy equivalents would take longer before they reached the frontlines that their experimental counterparts would clean up, creating a bigger interval between the enemy assault waves.
Templar Halley knew exactly what was going on. The omni sensor she had constructed showed that the UEF assault bots moved away from the army that her fellow pilots sent in for the kill. They already ordered their Harbingers to pursuit, but as both unit types walked with the same speed, neither of them would catch up if one ran away in time.
“Hold on, I have got a better idea. Use all air units we have got. That will be enough to take the enemy bots down, especially with our current production rate. We will soften the enemy force up and then we finish it as soon as the units reach our base. Turn the Harbingers around so that our second wave will arrive shortly after the Sacred Assault Bots are destroyed.”
“Why do you keep saying that, Templar Halley? Five Colossi are more than capable of doing the job.” One of her subordinates said.
“Do never assume such a thing, it will be your downfall to take this matter lightly. We also do not know what the Cybran commander is up to, just like we do not know anything about the enemy reserves. If my guess is right, the Colossi will be destroyed by a strategic missile. Observe how they are concentrating their tier three gunships on all experimental units at the same moment, while they could better take down one at a time.”
“I understand, they are weakening the units so one gigantic blast can finish them off at the same time. That is also a reason for not sending the Harbingers in at exactly the same moment. Those would instantly be destroyed by a missile.” An unknown voice said in a cold tone. This knight must have joined the battle only minutes ago, but why did Halley not get a single notification about it?
“Who are you? Why did I not hear about you?” Halley asked. As if it weren’t enough, she just realised that this knight had to be on the field for longer than just a few minutes, as she was sending two flying fortresses in, to join the Colossi.
“I am Marisa Gawain.”
“Impossible.” Said Halley. “Gawain died in the trap that the Avatar-of-War had set out for her. She was a danger to Marxon’s excellent plan and had to be removed from the scene for good for the Aeon’s destiny to be successful.”
“The Aeon’s destiny? We are not destined to kill billions of people, do you realise that? You are currently taking part in the worst genocide that humanity could ever come up with!” Marisa replied, her voice cracking like a whip. “And now you try to cleanse this city, but I will stop you.”
“How can you?” Halley asked. “You do not understand the truth. You do not understand Marxon.”
“Wrong. I understand the truth better than Marxon, I also understand Marxon’s intentions completely. However, I do not understand the Avatar-of-War himself, you are right about that. The fact that you do not know of a better way to end this war than with the violence you permit yourself to be consumed by... It saddens me. I can only hope that you will survive the final hours and learn the proper means to an end. Until then, I will not hesitate to thwart your assault.”
And on those words, Marisa closed the channel. As she had expected, the CZARs wouldn’t last long against the UEF fighters, but that was exactly the plan.
With a thundering sound, the flying fortresses crashed directly on top of the Colossi, taking out several UEF broadswords as well. The Colossi took a lethal blow though, one that would soon be accompanied by the strategic weapon Jeff had launched some seconds ago.
“Contact the Avatar-of-War, inform him that Marisa Gawain is still alive!” Halley said ferociously.
“I will do it immediately, but I am not sure about the time we can speak with him. We must be quick with our message.”
“That was a big crash. I’ll ask major Funky about the situation while you will continue with the evacuation. I’ll be right back.” Said Harm Dygonn immediately after they heard the deafening sound of the Crashing air fortresses.
Harm turned around and left the highest level of his observation tower. One story lower, he found the main communications centre and contacted Josh Funky: “Major Funky, what is going on out there?”
“Two Aeon experimental air units have just given the citizens of Los Angeles some more time. They crashed on their Galactic Colossi and allowed us finish those bots off with a nuke.”
“I thought you had the front under control.” Dygonn said.
“We have been capable to stop them for as long as there is a weak point in their defences. We , especially I, can’t do much now they’ve taken care of that. Now they’re simply outnumbering us with five to three in all aspects, except for our superior strategies. That won’t help us much though.”
“I get it, so the battle will be at an end soon?” Harm asked sadly, losing hope about the outcome of the battle.
“We have got a strategic missile launcher, so we can still take their assaults on in a crude way but I am not sure about the time we can still hold out.” Josh answered.
“Understood, I will double my effort but considering your situation, I doubt that we can get may people away so soon. The quantum gates work hard but by far not at their full potential because the destinations cannot cope with so many civilian transports coming.”
“Send them somewhere else.”
“I’d love to, but what options do we have left. If we send them to the Aeon zone, we can just as well leave them here to be killed.”
“Send them to an empty planet. We’ve got plenty in the quarantine zone.” Suggested Josh.
“We all know that those planets’ locations are forgotten by now. Recovering them is not impossible but it takes too long. I’ll have someone work on it just in case though.” Answered Harm.
“You can send them to Sethis if you want, or any other planet we evacuated within the last years. Those are neglected by the Aeon and the UEF ever since, but it’ll be a piece of cake to recover their location.”
“I’ll work on it immediately. I’ll leave the battle to you. Good luck.”
“Why would you think that those Aeon airships suddenly arrived to crash on the Colossi?” Asked Jeff.
“I have no idea but why would we care?” Temera said. “The problem at hand is far more important than the matter of stuff crashing on other stuff?”
“You are right, captain Temera, but we still have to wonder... Was this coincidence or not? If it wasn’t, the ones that controlled the flying fortresses might want to do more than just stopping that assault. They might assist us in a counter-attack.” Jeff replied.
Before Eric could question Jeff further, Josh intervened: “We’ll find that out eventually, now we will concentrate on our biggest problem. Jeff, you will build new mobile factories, include mobile shield generators as well. We’ll need more than ten to protect one Fatboy, I want the Aeon to do some extra work on taking them down.”
“Understood, major.” Jeff said. “I assume that I have concentrate on the nukes as well?”
“Yes, of course.” Replied the major. “Eric, you’ll be massing more and more units. I’ll do the same and search for an enemy weak point again. I’m not expecting it to find one but it’s good to try.”
Before either of the three UEF commanders could continue, an all too familiar voice sounded in their ACUs, by a public channel that originated from an unknown place. They realised though, that the channel’s source was coming from a Cybran ACU: “I have already found a weak point, Josh.”Chapter 2
“Leyton!” Yelled Funky in response. “What are you doing here?!”
“I don’t want to miss the end of the Infinite War and if it is even remotely possible, I’d like to play a major role in it, so that the end is a good one.” Answered the former UEF captain.
“So you’re piloting a Cybran ACU?” Interrupted Eric. “Why?!”
“Well, I think you can come up with the answer by yourself, if you think about what you said some time ago.”
“Some time is several years, Dygonn, the days we designed the Matar Fortress were about the last that we’ve worked together and since we aren’t very good friends...”
“You’re right about both things. I’ll just tell you then, as this isn’t really the time for games.” Said Leython.
“It’s nice that you’ll tell, but don’t take too long, we’ve got a war to fight and your explanations are a dangerous distraction.” Replied Jeff, Leython’s best friend.
“I hope none of you are too angry with me, but while I was away, I didn’t think of myself as enemy of the UEF. Anyway, I basically joined the Cybrans because they gave me a proper reason to fight. As you know, especially Eric, I didn’t really have a motive for joining the military, they only accepted me because the UEF needed pilots so much.
When I was on the battlefield, I quickly learned of a reason to fight. The Aeon were merciless...”
“Hey.” Interrupted an unknown voice, or at least unknown for the three pilots in the UEF ACUs.
Leython ignored her, continuing on the matter at hand. “...but when I was captured by doctor Brackman, he told me about what the Symbionts really were in the UEF: they’re all slaves. A truth that we all happily ignore because of the Federation’s propaganda.”
“So that’s true then? The fact that we live on without a second thought makes us pretty shallow, doesn’t it?” Said Funky. The people of the UEF were just so ignorant. The Symbionts as slaves, Brackman as a criminal, it was all accepted while many people actually knew better.
“Yes it is.” Said Leython. “When Brackman told me of that, I knew that I could never go back to the UEF, I’d fight for freedom when I’d stop one of the many Aeon commanders, but I’d also support the system of slavery. I cannot be such a hypocrite.”
Eric Temera and Jeff Lanced didn’t say a word. Leython knew that he left his old friend thinking about the UEF, but he wasn’t so sure about Eric, the person he always argued with. He knew that Eric would fight for the UEF indefinitely, he could think that what the Cybrans said was propaganda or not care in either way. However, commander Temera knew all too well that Leython never did something without thinking it through.
“There’s no need to tell me what you think about it, I can already guess, if you’re still the same.” Said Leython, hoping that he could get everyone with him again.
“The thing is, Dygonn...” Replied Temera, while he sent a new group of Titans to clash with their Aeon counterparts. “...I am not the same person as I was several years ago. Go on though. It’s a nice story.”
“Somehow, I knew that Brackman didn’t lie. So I knew I couldn’t get back to the UEF and fight for Clarke or Riley. However, I also knew that I couldn’t just fight any battle with the Cybrans. What if I met one of you on the field? I couldn’t even ruthlessly kill you, Eric.”
“Oh, that’s a good thing to know. One person less who wants me dead.” Said commander Temera sarcastically. “But I think that five Aeon pilots here are enough to get that job done. Could you give us a hand over here. They’ve recovered and are attacking once again.”
“That’s what I’m hoping for. They’re distracted. Jeff, fill your strategic missile launcher up, you’re going to need all of the missiles to destroy the enemy bases. I’ll ensure that the defences go down.” Said Leython, forgetting about the story of his life for now. Stopping the enemy was a more important task.
“I have thought of a sound plan to thwart this Aeon assault.” Said a female voice. “I hope that you can work together with an Aeon pilot.
“Let’s see, we’re talking with someone who left the UEF only to fight with the Cybrans, like this guy is our best friend. So we must also be able to work together with an Aeon pilot too.” Said Josh.
Eric wasn’t so convinced: “Who are you actually?”
“My name is Marisa Gawain, I am Leyton’s girlfriend.” She said.
“To be his girlfriend, you must really be of the same mind as he is, so you really have to be a strategist as well.” Replied Eric.
“I am, maybe not as good as he is, but I’ve worked this plan out with him, so it will work.”
“Then let’s do it already, we’ve got to hurry up because they’re coming quite close now.” Said Josh.
“Ok, you will only concentrate on the Harbingers.”
“Those are? The tier three bots? We have little intel on the Aeon’s arsenal. We know what the experimental assault bot is named, but that pretty much is it.”
“Yes, Harbingers are the tier three bots. While you do that. I will take down the enemy Colossi.” Answered Marisa and on those words she sent two squads of twenty strategic bombers to bomb the enemy experimentals. Being with two as well, the sacred assault bots didn’t last long against their aerial threat. Leython had managed to keep the enemy air force occupied.
“Why don’t you bomb the Harbingers as well?” Asked Jeff. “Why do we have to spend our Titans on them?”
“Because the bombers are going to take down some missile defences which will be to your advantage. Your assault bots are unable to breach the enemy base defences while my air force can get through.” Answered Marisa without hesitation.
While the three UEF commanders concentrated on the Harbingers, their new ally bombed the Colossi into oblivion.
“Get all of the fighters you’ve got left away from my bombers. I have lost some already, we should have thought about that.”
“Why haven’t we exchanged our friend-or-foe codes?” Asked Josh. “We really have to do that.
“We don’t want to disclose our location.” Interrupted Leython. “Don’t forget that the only allies I’ve got are the other Cybrans and those are not here.” He said, while he teleported from one base to another, so he could take out the enemy missile defences that were not directly protected against any land threat.
“We’re no enemies, are we? You help us protect the city, so I don’t get what’s wrong with that.” Said Eric while his fighters retreated from the scene.
“That is true, but I know that people like Riley might want to have me dead and force you to turn against me. If you don’t do it, he might send in other men to kill me and Marisa. We can’t allow that.”
“They are systematically destroying all of our strategic missile defence structures. This is a problem.” Halley said. “Have you contacted the Avatar-of-War? We are in dire need of instructions against these two. They are about to destroy us and we cannot do anything but to watch.”
“We have to predict where this Cybran ACU is going now. We can at least take him down if we have a Colossus waiting at the last place.” Suggested one of her subordinates.
“That would be the one close to my quantum gate, I will send all of the Harbingers I have, you should do the same.” Said the Templar.
“What about your defences near the edge of your base? Those are protected fairly well but might not survive if that commander comes and fires his laser.”
“The enemy ACU will not go there, he will be destroyed. Our enemy does not wish to die. He clings on to life.” Halley had barely said it before Marisa’s bombers arrived and destroyed every single missile defence structure that Leython had left. The SAM sites responded immediately and fired their missiles, which found their targets and blasted them in thousands of parts.
The damage was already done though. All of their strategic missile defences were destroyed, safe from the one near Halley’s quantum gate. With their bases almost completely defenceless, they knew that the battle was lost. How long it would take before it was completely over depended on how much the UEF commanders could destroy with their nukes. The more of their economy was taken out, the sooner it would end.
“Inform The Choir, we are retreating. I will construct additional gates so we can get out of here at the same time, we will be safe then.” Halley said.
“I shall do that.”
“They are sending all of their units towards the last defence structure. I’m going to take a look on how to deal with it, taking that out means we can take out the enemy commanders.” Leython said.
“Wait, let them escape.” Replied Marisa.
“What?! Why? If they’re leaving, they’ll cleanse somewhere else.” Eric retorted.
Leython thought Marisa wanted to persevere because, like he, Marisa was reluctant to battle her own people, far more reluctant than an unknown and unforgiving enemy.
However, Marisa agreed. “You are right. These are the merciless people that have possibly killed millions. If we have to destroy them to save many others, so be it. However, we may never forget that this is not the right way to end a war. This is exactly what makes the Infinite War.”
“We’ll think of that later. Besides, they’re commanders, no innocent citizens,” Josh said. “Leython, I found a way in so I can destroy that missile defence, but you’ve got to take out their air defences at one side of the base. Create a path, so to say.”
“I can do that.” Leython answered.
He had already thought his plan through. There was simply no way that anyone would watch their base defences be destroyed by a simple trick. No matter what commanders formed the enemy lines, they’d do something about a teleporting enemy commander.
Seconds later, he introduced the Monkeylord. Brackman had told that both the Aeon and the UEF had met this weapon and could tell the story. Its existence was no longer a secret as several commanders had survived its attack a week ago.
The experimental spiderbot had a laser as powerful at the ACU’s chest laser, but had much stronger armour. It also had stealth integrated in its hull design, allowing the weapon to go unnoticed until omni sensors picked it up. Without cloak, it was vulnerable to any visual contact, but most of the enemy air force was down and none of the commanders expected this unit, let alone that they knew from which side it would attack.
By the time it suddenly appeared at the enemy base defences, all Oblivion cannons turned at the same time and charged their weapons. Yet, before they could do moderate damage, the Monkeylord had taken out any shields in its path and fried two point defence turrets every second.
At a sudden moment though, the unit was hammered on one of its legs by all that stood left and the experimental almost crashed into the ground. The few air units that the Illuminate pilots had left, joined the fight and dropped their bombs or fired their guns at the same leg the Oblivion cannons targeted.
“I’ve got enough of their cannons destroyed to make it if I teleport there. All that is left is to destroy the enemy air units to ensure my safety. Can you send your fighters to do the job?” Leython asked while the Monkeylord destroyed more cannons as it moved on.
“I will do that.” Answered Marisa, who had managed to build an impressive force of Coronas.
Finally, the combined firepower blew off the Monkeylord’s leg and rendered it immobile. Only five defence cannons stood left, close together. Leython appeared close to them and fired right away. The Oblivions stood no chance as they were, one by one, turned into molten debris.
“It’s going to take some time to destroy those SAM sites and flak cannons, can someone assist? Anything is welcome because they’re sending fifty per cent of the Harbinger force to take me down.”
“I’ve got some Titans left.” Said Jeff, while he ordered the first strategic missiles to be launched. “I’ll send them in, we should fight the tier three bots first. You’ll get mobile shield generators too.”
“That was the unit I missed most when I left the UEF. The Parashields. The Cyrbran stealth generators were a much better alternative for me though and when I met Marisa, she could make up for the lack of mobile shields.” Said Leython while he turned his ACU to the anti-air equipment.
The air screeched as the heavy microwave laser was fired. Within a couple of seconds, several flak cannons and SAM sites were destroyed. The enemy bots came dangerously close though and Jeff’s titans might not be enough.
“Wait a minute, I can just nuke this place and then the most of their anti-air is done for. I’ll do that. You can prepare your drop, Josh.” Leython said, suddenly remembering that he could take a much easier approach in order to clear the enemy base. The sudden advantage was that he didn’t have his ACU on the front line, fighting the enemy Harbingers.
“Leython, you can take on the siege assault bots. The strategic missile will have a better use at a different place.” Said Marisa, as she knew very well how powerful the microwave laser was. It could cut through the enemy lines like a hot knife through butter.
“I know that the maser is extremely powerful, but that force coming at me now is too dangerous.. I’ll be damaged badly even if I have all of Jeff’s support, especially the shields. However, we must realise that they can have a trick on their sleeve as well...” Started Leython and he quickly finished his thoughts in confirmation of his expectations.
“...there it is already, they’ve got a second force coming at me right now.” He said. “But not anymore. I’ve teleported out of there. Continue with your units Jeff, sacrifice them.”
“Why? What’s the use of it?”
“I have launched a strategic missile while my teleporting device powered up. If you send your units to the place where I stood moments ago, the Harbingers will target them and probably be destroyed when my missile explodes. The destruction of many Harbingers will be worth your small loss.”
“Move to my quantum gate as soon as possible!” Hallay said. “They have launched the first missiles and those are certain to arrive within moments.”
She didn’t have to say those words, as Halley’s subordinates were already on the move, they went directly towards the heart of her base. With the complete lack of protection, there was no telling where the missiles would explode.
Only a few seconds later, they could tell it. They could tell by the sudden panicking words of one of Halley’s knights.
“Turn around, Tisia! Turn around and get underneath as many shields as you can.” Said the templar in response.
“It’s no use, that missile is coming down too fast!” Tisia replied while she tried to move away from the strategic missile’s target but like she said, it was no use.
Before she could do anything but transfer her arsenal, the nuke exploded. Halley saw a final terrified look on Tisia’s face before the signal stopped transmitting.
“We have lost Tisia.” The words were utterly unnecessary...
Three more nukes exploded and although none of those killed an Aeon pilot, they did clear more than a path for Josh Funky’s air drop assault that should destroy the last missile defence structure.
“Twenty seconds before the transports drop their units.”
“They’re constructing more gates. If our current missile is shot down, they’ll escape.”
“I’m an excellent in surgical strikes, but I can’t make my air transports fly any faster. Just hope that I make it in time. How long do I have before the missile arrives?”
“Right now, you have twenty seconds.”
“This gives me five seconds to destroy that unit, that’s not enough for my artillery. I hope that the Titans can do just enough.”
But before the last missile defence structure could be destroyed, it launched its missile and destroyed the nuke. Halley’s team escaped thirty seconds later, after all of Funky’s units, vastly outnumbered, were easily destroyed by the Aeon’s army of Harbingers.
They had returned to Seraphim Two. Halley was unable to contact the Avatar-of-War. Apparently, he had more pressing matters on his mind than to coordinate every team that took part in the largest offensive in Aeon history.
But before she could step out of her ACU, one of the Choir’s members contacted her.
“You are to go back to Earth immediately.”
“Excuse me? Back to Earth? We have just left, Elenes. This is no use, we have barely escaped.”
“I realise that, templar Halley, but those are Marxon’s orders. I must say that I do not see the use of a suicidal mission that does not bring any result, the Avatar-of-War agrees. However, with all Aeon forces combined, he will be absolutely sure of our victory.”
“We will assist him whenever we have to. We have sworn our loyalty to him, for the glory of the Aeon Illuminate! Tell us where to go, Elenes. We shall fight in the name of Marxon and emerge victorious.”
“You will go to the city of San Francisco. We are meeting heavy resistance there but when you arrive as reinforcements, we should be able to defeat the UEF commanders within thirty minutes. Afterwards, you will cleanse the city and transfer as many resources to Marxon as possible.”
“Guys, it looks like the city is safe.” Said Josh and he contacted general Stirling. “We’ve done it sir. The city is safe.”
“We know that there are two commanders left. An Aeon and a Cybran one. They are to be terminated as well.” Answered Stirling in an uncompromising tone.
“What’s so important about it sir?” Asked Jeff. “They assisted us and they mean no trouble.”
“You have your orders.”
“That’s not an order you would give, Stirling.” Said Leython calmly. “I, for instance, remember how you allowed a Symbiont commander to retreat, despite for the fact that he was at your mercy. You and he had together fought two Aeon knights and in response your enemies concentrated on the Cybran threat first.
You could’ve killed him, but you didn’t. Only because the two of you were friends for that moment. I couldn’t kill him either. I didn’t even kill the person who killed Simon and Shaldon Beck. So why do you ask Josh, Jeff and Eric to kill me and knight Gawain? Why, general Stirling? Why have you turned into this? Is it because of Riley and Clarke? Are you so urged to support them?”
“Dygonn!” snarled Stirling. “For how long are you in a Cybran ACU already?”
“Since when have you been promoted to general? I think it’s been before the Matar debacle.”
Stirling didn’t say a word.
“When you turned down our design and then came up with something that wouldn’t protect, I realised that the Fortress of Matar was built on bureaucracy and the urge to cut in the UEF’s financial expenditures. More than a year after I joined the Cybrans, I took part in the assault on Matar, the ultimate goal was not to destroy the fortress but to free thousands of Symbionts.”
“But you did take the fortress down. It was our perfect protection because no one had full knowledge about its secrets, not outside the UEF.”
“Intel is the most important part of combat, at least for me it is. Not for Eric and he seems to work fine with that. I however, see it as my ultimate weapon and I used my knowledge to attack and destroy the base. If the highest members of the UEF government had decided to pay a little bit more, then your fortress would’ve been as powerful as mine. Then you didn’t have to think about the ludicrous costs of constructing it.”
“Staying in the Cybran territory after you were destroyed is one thing, but it’s insane to turn on the UEF!” Snarled Stirling. “How could you do such a thing. Where is your loyalty!?”
“Like Eric told me so long ago, I didn’t have the loyalty to fight for the UEF.” Leython answered ferociously.
“Well, he was right! I have the loyalty to protect as many people as possible, see to it that they can live. When I learned the reality about the Cybrans, I knew I could only fight against the Aeon, no longer the UEF. I can only fight for the people’s freedom, not their enslavement. That is why I joined the Cybrans. I must say that doctor Brackman used me a bit, but I prefer it this way.”
When I heard about the plan to free thousands of Symbionts and the involvement also fought to teach the UEF a lesson. A lesson about true warfare. Remember how you praised me as the best student in strategy you have ever had? I used my knowledge to deal with that small piece of injustice done to me and my teammates.”
“Still, you turned on us! Because of you, we now fight on Earth. The fortress could’ve held the Aeon there. Because of your actions, they cleansed millions.”
“I cannot say that I am completely innocent, no, but there is one thing. I based my actions on my immediate information. Every decision I make, is the best option for the current situation. I wouldn’t have imagined that, some years later, the Aeon succeed in taking over at Matar and cleanse everyone on their path. I would’ve thought that the UEF had rebuilt the fortress and this time, they’d have it done properly.”
“You contributed to it. You betrayed us.”
“To that, I must object. The only secret I gave away was the Fortress of Matar, nothing else. I have given no intel about the rest of the UEF whatsoever. I even assisted Josh and Jeff and one of their colleagues at Luthien to protect UEF citizens, because I quickly realised that a certain distraction involved in our raid on Matar could kill millions.”
“He’s right, sir.” Backed Josh up. Stirling was left at a loss of words.
“Condemn me if you wish, general. Just know that I will never actively let millions of people die. I act on all information I have, to do whatever is best.”
“I have general Clarke her, Funky, she has new orders for you.”
Before Josh could say anything, Stirling closed the Channel and the screen he left blank was immediately filled with Clarke’s face.
“Major Funky, I need you at San Francisco. The Aeon have received new reinforcements there.”
“Isn’t that under general Stirling’s jurisdiction anymore?” Asked Jeff.
“It is, but you are no longer. Not now mister Dygonn has paid a visit again.”
“Hello general. I have to thank you. At least you are not so very rigid that you obey Riley to the letter.”
“I still am, Dygonn, I still am.” Answered Clarke, her cold voice returning. “But now is not the time to do that. We must safe as many people as possible, no matter what. We have just lost Black Sun to the Aeon. We have lost Michelle Aiko. The Aeon are taking control over the planet and right now I don’t care so much about how we set things straight, only about when.”
“This means that the Avatar-of-War controls Black Sun?” Marisa asked, this news was shocking. He wasn’t allowed to control that weapon.
“Yes, but something strange is happening. One Aeon commander controls the Black Sun control tower but they aren’t using it.”
In an instant, Marisa remembered her dream of a long time ago.
“I remember something. A dream.” She said. “A member of a family fights as hard as he can to protect his brothers and sisters. He protects his friends and anyone else who is not hostile to his family. In order to survive, he kills mercilessly, but not without the support of those who love him.
Yet eventually, he slips and turns into an extreme of himself. He does not hold back to achieve total power for himself and his family. There, he meets resistance by those who he thought to be his friends. He sets them aside too, killing them if need be. The outcome is inevitable, he is murdered for the better alternative.”
“What does this have to do with our battle? And how can we safe the UEF?” Asked Clarke.
“Do not worry. My dream represented the fall of Marxon. It is only a matter of time. In the meanwhile, I will assist in the evacuation if need be.”
“The UEF officers won’t accept you. I accept your explanation because I need every bit of information about the battle. It has gone ugly, very ugly. However, I can’t see you as a friend, colleague or comrade just because you’ve been with Dygonn or just because you’ve helped us.”
“I do not blame you. I understand how dangerously twisted this whole history is. You do not even know half of the story about us. I forgive your... cautiousness, so to say.”
“General Clarke.” Leython interrupted. “Why had you overruled Stirling’s orders? What had my appearance to do with it?”
“Stirling took his orders from Riley directly, I am sure of that. The president’s orders were to destroy any ACU of any opposing faction. I haven’t forgotten your work at Luthien though. You saved many people. You are still part of the UEF, you just fight with another paint job on your ACU.”
“It’s all a bit more complicated than that general, but now is not the time to talk about it. There’s something else I’ve got to do and I’m going to do it right now. Marisa will come with me. We will not send our ACUs into the city of course, but our bases will stay where they are. I’m going to be notified in case something happens, but please inform me if you suspect something nonetheless.”
“If I have the time, I might. I’ve spent too much on this matter though. Clarke out.” The general answered.
It was clear that this wasn’t a time for chatting, Leython had realised that Clarke had been monitoring several battles at the same time. Like she said, it was going ugly.
“What is this something you’ve got to do?” Asked Marisa.
“Since I’m finally able to, I’m going to get one of my possessions back. Let’s get out of the ACU, it’s time to fly.”
“What is it, Leython?” Asked Jeff. He, Eric and Josh were still here, but were about to leave for San Francisco. Leython had forgotten all about them, but it was better that he could still talk to Jeff.
“I’m going to retrieve my sword, if that’s ok with you. Since it’s in your apartment, taking it back involves a break-in. I’m sorry about --” Leython said, but Jeff cut him off already. Not to object though.
“I don’t have it anymore. Your father claimed it.”
“He did what?!” Leython asked furiously, this was insane!
“He lives in your apartment now.”
“Good, because I still have the keys! And if I see him, the talk is going to be a bit more ferocious than with Stirling!”
Last edited by Plasma_Wolf on 23 Oct, 2010, edited 21 times in total.
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
“Leython, do you remember where your apartment was?” Asked Marisa. They flew at high speed over the most important city of the North American continent. Leython noticed that the city had changed a bit since he left, but nothing major had been altered.
“I do. I know exactly where we are and where we have to go to. The city looks a bit different now, but I don’t think that it is too much. Jeff said that my father lives in my apartment so I’m sure we can assume that my home hasn’t moved.” He couldn’t help but let a slight trace of anger get in his tone. He couldn’t forgive his father for what he had done.
“You are right about that.” Said the Illuminate pilot, comforted by Leython’s reassurance. She immediately changed the subject. “There is something I would like to explain to you. It is about the end of this war, so about the end of Marxon as well.”
“Please explain. You never told me about that dream.” Said Leython while he turned his plane. They almost arrived but now he had to find a place to land and parking it on the road was unwise to say the least.
“I had this vision not long before I was ordered to go to Sinivar. It was the reason for me to believe that I would not have to play an important role in the war to make it to a good ending. All of the faces were unknown to me, except for Marxon’s.”
“Was Marxon actually present in your dream?” Asked Leython, stunned by how accurate The Way was for Marisa.
“No, it is not literally like that. I had the distinct notion that Marxon was the one who was killed. By who, I could not tell. I did not see myself resembled one of the assassins. She was not like me.”
“Yes, there was only one female in the group. The rest was male. From that information and the knowledge that one of the killers and Marxon came from the same people, I could tell that Marxon would die in battle, at the hand of at least one Aeon commander.”
“And still you tried to delude Marxon, making him think you did your best at Sinivar Island. I guess that you’ve done that in the hope of assisting this ‘killer’ in destroying the Avatar-of-War.” Said Leython while he landed the plane.
“Now why are the streets completely empty? I’d reckon they’re completely in the evacuation process.”
“Perhaps they have done the job in this part of the city. It is huge, now I see it. How could you possibly make a city this large?”
“That’s about two thousand years of work, Marisa. Two thousand years of work on one city. It is indeed massive. I don’t really like a place that’s so large, now you mention it. I stayed here because the military wants me close to my work.” Said Leython, smiling because planets like Sethis could hardly be dubbed ‘close’ compared to the distance between his apartment and the quantum gates he used.
“Close is relative, as you probably know. It is a paradox as well.”
The evacuation of a city as vast like this was a daunting task. It would take days, if not weeks to do it and when the citizens were out of here, they’d need to be able to live again: food, water and a proper house.
“Sir, we’ve got a problem in the North-Western sector. Civilians are worried about an unknown plane flying there.” Harm Dygonn woke up from his thoughts. It was not surprising that unsuspected things were happening.
“And I’ve got to worry about that? I’ll contact Funky, he’ll deal with the problem at hand.”
“The UEF commanders at the Northern edge of the city have left. The battle there is over.”
“Then why is this plane flying here? Why don’t we have any more information?”
“We don’t know sir, perhaps we’ve got no priority anymore, not now we’re safe.”
“Safe, I don’t know what’s so safe about an enemy plane flying here.”
“Relatively speaking, sir. Shall I try to contact high command to ask for more information?”
“Yes, I’ll go there and find out by myself in the meantime. It’ll take me ten minutes at most.”
“That is if the roads are perfectly clear, sir. Are you sure that they are? It looks very busy at the quantum gates.” His subordinate didn’t even try to stop Harm from doing something as reckless as this.
“The North-Western sector is the place where evacuation went quite well. I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’ll be back.”
Ten minutes later, Harm arrived at his apartment. As he had expected, the streets were empty. Rebelling Symbionts were nowhere to be found, this was the only place where virtually no Symbiont had a house.
Well, when he thought of the word ‘house’, he actually meant ‘room’. Not long ago, he had managed to see one of those places and he wasn’t very impressed by what he saw. For a long time, he thought of the Symbionts as the proud workhorse of the UEF.
However, eventually, he realised the truth that the Earth Society denied so much. He was sure he saw nothing compared to the whole matter. It was happening for more than a thousand years already, so there was more going on that could be --
The door was open...
The intruders, who had been seen around here, went here, according to the intel that the few people on the street provided him with. They had broken into his house. Why would they do that?
It wasn’t a break-in...
The door wasn’t damaged. Harm couldn’t find a scratch. The lock was still there, the window next to the door that wasn’t broken...
Whoever entered his house, had his keys. Only one person had they keys but he was, sadly, dead.
Within the blink of an eye, he knew what this meant and all of the sadness, sorrow and desperation had immediately disappeared.
“You see? One hair. It is cut in two just by letting it fall on the blade’s edge. This kind of sword is the best that humanity has ever known. There are more powerful weapons, but this has a history of perfection in its own class. It represents the culture of the ancient Samurai more than the ACU represents the Infinite War.” Said Leython, showing the sharpness of the blade.
The fact that he could was a relief. The weapon hadn’t been used by anyone but him. No one dared to take the weapon after he had disappeared.
“This weapon also represents my life. The training I had wasn’t limited to wielding a katana. No, it was more than that. It is also the reason why we understand each other.”
“Someone’s coming. I heard footsteps, Leython.” Said Marisa, reluctant to drag him back to the reality of the finale. She nonetheless did, as it was too dangerous to let him and herself dwell in the life they both wanted to live. They had to work now and do their best so that they could live when the time was there.
Leython turned around and saw a man standing in the living room that belonged to both of them. Within a couple of seconds, he spoke so fast that it was barely audible.
“You took my sword. You took my last wish. Is that what I get from a father? I’d not know it, true, but it’s despicable to say the least. How can you do such a thing. How can you give in to greed and take someone’s last wish away?”
Leython expected Harm to question his rage, to make false excuses or even to become angry and try to justify his actions. However, what he said couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Do you have any idea of how glad I am that that’s the first thing you said? Do you have any idea of how glad I am that you say anything at all? Do you have any idea of how glad I am that you are actually alive?
All the time since you supposedly died in that battle, I couldn’t do anything. I only went to work, returned to home, I ate and I slept. How many times have I not mourned your demise? How long have I not missed you and your mother?
Yes, it was in greed that I stormed in Lancet’s house and took the sword. I acted out of the hunger for a representation of you in my life. A memory of you. For years I sacrificed everything of myself to support you while you were only a kid. When your mother died, I didn’t allow myself nor you to mourn her. I spent all of my time working to make our lives as liveable as possible. I was focussed so much on the possession of wealth that I completely neglected the real benefits of life.
It your ‘death’ that threw me back into reality, but I just couldn’t handle it. I flipped to the other extreme of my desires.”
Leython raised his eyebrows. Had his father learned from the harshness of life? Had he valued his son, although it was supposedly too late? Leython didn’t speak, as he knew that it was better not to. His father had more to explain. He had to tell more about ¬what had happened in the meantime.
“It wasn’t until you were gone that I realised how it all went out of hand. I only lived because I lived.
I regret my greed while I gave into it... I’ve got nothing but regrets.”
“This won’t be over in a single day.” Said Leython, understanding the problem his father had at this moment. “Just like the Infinite War. However, this is a good start.” He said. “Dad.” Reluctant to add the last word.
“I am sorry to interrupt your reunion, but there are more important things to do. We should return to our ACUs. The recovery of your sword was the only reason for us to come here and we have promised that we would be no bother to the UEF when we accepted her refusal for help.”
“Yes, we’d better be going back to our command units and then leave Los Angeles.”
Harm Dygonn’s cell phone rang. He too realized that he was taking too long here. He had to go back to work and this call was probably to remind him of his job, or ask him about his progress here.
“Dygonn here, what is it?” He asked.
“Sir, you might want to listen to this, I’m sending the signal through.” The man sounded so serious that it shocked Harm. It had to be important.
“Leython, turn on the screen.” Said Harm before turning back to his officer on the phone. “Is it on television as well?”
“Yes sir, where are you?” Said the officer, shortly before Leython found out that the man was right, he saw an Aeon lady on the last channel Harm had left the television on, the first channel he saw.
“Marxon is dead.” Said Marisa. The cold tone she spoke those words with explained why it was Rhianne Burke, not Marisa Gawain was chosen to be the princess of the Aeon Illuminate. Leython didn’t mind her harshness though. She always made clear that she couldn’t be fooled with and accepted no alternative to the best option.
“This means nothing but good news. The Aeon can finally freely speak to the Cybrans and the UEF now.” Said Leython, listening closely to what Rhianne said.
“I don’t believe it. The UEF has lost the war but this is far from losing.” Said Harm. “This is not a faction’s victory in the war, this is a victory for our entire race. Unbelievable.”
“This is exactly the way it should end. The peaceful alternative, but only after the inevitable violent battle. Death cannot be averted in wars like this, but only that necessary kill has been made today. Many of us still know how we should really bring an end to this, how we should settle our differences. I am certain that the first step has been set. The first step to peace.”
As the princess spoke her final words, all three standing in Harm’s living room knew that she shared the same ideals as many others on the galaxy now. The war was at an end. Just at the moment they thought nothing more could happen, the Black Sun device beneath her blew up and she was blown away as the image became engulfed with flames.
“Wow.” Harm couldn’t say more.
“She sacrificed herself for peace. She gave her life to safe millions. If only Marxon would understand the real meaning of sacrificing lives for a better future...” Said Marisa.
“We should better be going. If we stay here with our bases, we will surely give the wrong impression. We cannot allow any blunder to be made. We are at peace but a fragile one it is. Let’s go immediately.”
“I hope that we can meet again soon, Leython. I haven’t explained all, there’s more to this matter.”
“Our problems go back longer than one day, so we need more than one talk to settle this. Not unlike the war, but now is the time to show our good intentions to the universe, we should delay resolving our personal affairs for now.” Answered Leython to his father while he set the first step to the door already. He too doubted what he should do next. The best thing to do was to leave the planet for the best impression, but he’d rather settle the matters with his father.
“Do not forget to search for me when you’ve got the time. You have got an ACU, I cannot just go anywhere I want.” Said Harm.
“Just as long as you don’t ask me to search for Lyndis.” Replied Leython immediately and his father laughed.
“I won’t do that again. That was, again, a stupid thing to ask. I thought I could ask you to search for a constant in your life and preserve it. I thought you’d –” Harm wanted to continue, but Marisa raised her hand cut him off.
“I am sorry, mister Dygonn, but we should really be going now. Any more delay now will jeopardize the fragile peace we have now.” Then she and Leython wasted no more time on getting back to their plane.
“Sir, are you still there?” Asked the officer who had contacted him at first. “We’ve kept contact with general Clarke. Something is happening. She’s got a direct channel open with president Riley. He’s, damn it, this can’t be true! Sir we should get out of here right away. He’s... He’s out of his mind!”
“What’s going on?” Asked Harm, cautious but unable to even imagine what was going on.
“He’s planning to blow the entire planet to dust. That’d kill every good enemy commander on plane and tip the balance in favour of the UEF. We’ve still got Hall’s men somewhere.”
“Get out of there!” Said Harm, this was outrageous! “Get as many civilians with us as possible, there’s nothing more we can do!”
“Leython, I should have realized this from the beginning. It is still bound to happen and I should have known it already.” Marisa said, her eyes cast down. How could she miss this?
“I knew from since before the battle of Sinivar that the Avatar-of-War would surely fall in battle. When I sensed this major disturbance that blocked my knowledge in the battle near Los Angeles, I thought that it had to do with the possible victory of Marxon. I should have known better. I should have known that we had nothing to fear from him.
It was not until now that I realized that the oncoming deception had nothing to do with Marxon. Something is about to go wrong and it is unclear to me what it is.”
“I’ll contact Clarke. She’ll know what to do.” Answered Leython immediately. What it was did not matter as long as they didn’t know what it was.
“How can you contact Clarke? You do not know the channel’s codes.” Said Marisa. This was one of the few moments she noticed the danger but did not know where it came from. It was most terrifying.
“I left it on of course. In the case she’d need my assistance in one way or another, I’d be able to help her at a moment’s notice. Now we can turn it around and ask her for advice.” He called for the general’s name for several times but to no avail. Something was wrong.
“I can’t get in touch with Clarke. I don’t know what’s going on.”
It was another minute before the general answered.
“I’m sorry, Leython. The last few minutes have been hectic to say the least. Riley tried to burn the entire planet using outdated nuclear missiles. Intercontinental ballistic missiles and tactical nukes alike. It was to destroy the majority of both the Aeon and the Cybran military force, tipping the balance of the war, that has ended now, into UEF’s favour. Luckily, he has been stopped.”
“That could’ve ended very badly, but it appears that everything is alright then.” Said Leython.
“We are no longer at war, but we’re not at peace either. The Cybrans have not come here to listen to the Aeon princess’ speech, they came along to liberate every Symbiont from the loyalty program. That is what they’re still after, so in order to get peace, I’ll personally transfer the first Symbionts to the Cybrans. I really have to go now, they’ve put up a tight schedule for me.”
“Cybran efficiency at its best, general. Good luck.” Said Leython and he closed the channel before he spoke to his girlfriend. “Well, I don’t see any problems at hand, Marisa. Could you be wrong?”
“Do you not know me better by now? We have worked together for some years now, we are a perfect match and now you ask me if I am wrong?” Asked Marisa rhetorically, not waiting for an answer. “No, I am not. Something is bound to happen and it spells doom.”
“I’ll try and contact Josh, Jeff and Eric, they must know about this. I’ll also see if I can get in touch with any Cybran commander.”
Luckily, the apocalypse that Riley had set up had been averted. The world would turn to normal again. Then they could finally stop this nightmare entitled to be an evacuation program. Harm had not yet fully contemplated his thoughts, or he was called again.
“Sir, could you come back to us immediately, we have an evacuation to finish.”
“What?! The planet is safe, isn’t it? We’re safe. What’s to be done?”
“The city has taken a lot of damage. General Clarke has taken over, you know that of course, and she told us to evacuate the people from Earth. We should continue immediately.”
“I don’t get it, but I’m sure she’ll make the right decision. Perhaps it works if we want to rebuild our homes on Earth. My house is undamaged, luckily.” The euphoric mood was gone. He couldn’t allow himself to think about Leython at the moment since the call meant that he had to go back to work. One final time, he had to sacrifice his life for the better of countless of people.
“I have just been told that we’ll get a commander who’s going to assist us. It’s commander Temera.
“Good, let’s get this job over with so we can finally have some rest then.”
Leython and Marisa were both back in their ACUs. They could perhaps do something useful here and they would surely work at the maximum of their potentials if they had the most powerful technology at hand.
“This is Leython Dygonn on a public channel.” Said Leython. “Is there anyone who can hear me and might need assistance with any sort of job? I would gladly help.”
“Dygonn, this is commander Temera.” Replied Eric and Leython sighed in relief. Perhaps he could tell more about what was going on. It was all too quiet at the moment and that was no good sign, especially not with Marisa’s daunting forecast.
“We’re evacuating Los Angeles completely, so if you can give me a hand with that, it’d be fine.”
“Of course, we will gladly help.” Said Marisa, but before she could say anything more, another commander appeared on their screen.
“My name is Petrine Ellessar. I am one of the knights under command of templar Halley. She and her entire team have left Earth, when they heard of the Avatar’s death. What they are doing, I do not know but I guess that she does not follow Rhiza’s orders, the crusader who has assumed command over the Aeon’s military for the moment. I have decided not to go with her and search for you instead, Marisa Gawain.”
“Why did you guess that I was still here? I have disclosed my presence to Halley’s team but I could have left a long time ago.”
“I merely guessed, if you were not here, I would have left. In fact, I told crusader Rhiza about your survival. She was surprised but delighted. You might help the Aeon to a better future, if you ask me. Rhiza has left the past behind her already and you might have to help her as well.”
“A bit too soon, I think.” Said Marisa. “But this is not the time to chatter about the life of one person. I will prepare to return to Seraphim Two then, if Rhiza is there as well. Will you inform her?”
“Currently, I cannot contact her. There is some serious static on all channels away from Earth. It could be because of the Black Sun’s signature, but that is not important now. Let us assist with the evacuation for a moment and then go to the Illuminate’s territory together.”
Leython heard all of it without saying a word. In a selfish moment, he thought he’d rather see a universe at war. He was with Marisa in the past few years but now she immediately concentrated on going back to the Aeon society. He understood that Marisa could have a great influence on the Aeon politics, as she was not unknown there.
Her return might be just what the Illuminate needed after Rhianne’s demise and if it was, the obvious choice was to go but Leython doubted he could follow her that easily. Would the Illuminate accept him without a doubt?
Then there was this evacuation, his father and the three others who were still left of Stirling’s best six. Which way did he have to choose? He couldn’t possibly help millions of people, resolve the problems with the only biological family member he had left, be with Marisa and work with his old friends all at the same time?
But what if he left her? Would he see her again, being her fiancé? Or would she be concentrated on the Aeon community so much that his presence was too much?
“Leython? Leython! Wake up.” Said Marisa and he looked at her directly, he decided to confront her with the question at hand immediately: “Are you going back to Seraphim Two again?”
“I might have to. We have to work on this fragile peace. I know what you are thinking...” Said Marisa and Leython cursed at himself for letting her see it through. “...but do not worry. I am sure that we will not be separated for long. I still have the intention to live the rest of my life with you. Now you must help your old friends first, as they are just as important as I am.”
“I understand, let’s get this over with.” Said Leyton, reassured by her.
Harm worked continuously, trying to manage as many people as possible, sending vast groups of civilians throughout the city, hoping that Eric, Leython and the two assisting Aeon pilots had their quantum gates ready.
The four commanders worked for the best they could, but the gates suffered from a bad quantum wake effect. They all thought it was due to the activation of Black Sun and that that stalled the process.
Each commander had his or her quantum gates ready to send the citizens to a different planet. When those arrived at Capella, Pollux, Matar or Sethis, they weren’t done yet. The civilians had to get a house and food to be able to live, but then Leython remembered the flaw in the plan his father and the team had made.
“Guys, who came up with the idea to send the civilians towards Sethis?”
“Josh.” Answered Harm and Eric immediately, indifferent about the matter. Of course, they were concentrated so much on getting the civilians out of the trouble, that they didn’t think of what kind of situation they’d be putting them in, even Leython almost did that.
“We’re going to have to manage the people there, give them shelter and get food and water for them. The planet has been evacuated four years ago and no one’s been there ever since. Well, Marisa and I have but that’s a different story altogether.”
“What story is –” started Eric, but Marisa cut him off immediately.
“We do not have time for that right now. I am sure that we can tell the story eventually, but not now. We have to think of what we can do to help the people there. They have food and water for two days, three if we are lucky but then they are in trouble.”
“I think we are in trouble right now, guys.” Said Harm. He was the only one who had more information about the status of the entire planet and there was a more disturbing matter at hand than the requirement for shelter of the evacuated civilians...Chapter 4
“What is it?” Asked Marisa calmly, although she knew very well that this ‘trouble’ was what kept her so anxious.
“It’s coming from Niihau. These things, I’m getting images from the island and it’s all ash. It’s been bombed back to the stone age.” Said Harm.
“How can that be?” Asked Leython. “The war’s over, we can’t have such a thing now!”
“It’s been destroyed completely. What I’ve got are satellite images. I don’t know who’s been pulling the strings behind this but they want some serious trouble – What is that?!” Harm sounded shocked and terrified at the same time.
“Send us the photos, dad. That’ll say more than you can explain about it right now.”
Harm did so immediately. What they saw shocked everyone. Near Niihau, they saw a bright straight line that seemed to radiate blue light. They couldn’t see anything else of it, because the satellites could only give a view from directly above. However, the entire island had been turned into ash. Every tree that still stood would surely be destroyed by the flames that could burn the ocean, or so Eric thought.
“What that is may be unimportant.” Said Marisa. “I do not think that the destruction of all on Niihau is caused by that directly.”
“We have no idea of what it is, how high it reaches in the air, it can be anything.” Replied Leython.
“I’ve got more images. I also know where they’ve come from. The people who were in the Black Sun control centre have managed to activate their surveyor satellites to send it to body of the UEF military all over the planet. I can’t see anything but ash though.”
“I’ve got more, a three second film. Josh just sent it and he tells us to get out of here ASAP!” Said Eric and he showed the files Josh had sent to him.
“Wow, what are those?” Asked Petrine, who didn’t say a word until now.
“The design isn’t so very much different from our weaponry, only more... evolved.” Replied Marisa. “These must be the weapons that annihilated Niihau.” Said Leython. “They’re devastating and with hundreds, if not thousands!”
“Whoever is behind this, plans to obliterate the whole planet! We’ve got to keep moving. Let’s get back to work!”
“Eric, see to it that we inform...” Leython couldn’t continue, the danger would be here within two hours if those things kept moving at the speed the saw them move on that small film.
“The whole North American continent? Josh and the higher members of the military are already doing that.”
“No, the whole planet and the core planets too if possible. If those things can come out of something that looks like a giant magical doorway, then they can probably use our quantum network as well. It’ll not be long before they’re upon us, we’ve got to get as many people out now!”
For some time, everyone in Los Angeles worked frantically to get as many civilians away from the planet, but it was too much work. There was no chance that they could ever get even ten per cent out before those gigantic planes would be upon them.
“Prepare an army, perhaps we can take those things down. Build shield generators and a lot of air superiority fighters. We’ve got to do that.” Said Leython. While they had known about the oncoming danger, they hadn’t prepared for it. On strategic level, they had just wasted important time.
Petrene activated her teleportation module, she remembered a place where she could find the best wreckage graveyard in a commander’s dream. Eric immediately followed him, but Marisa and Leython stayed behind.
“We will build shield generators to cover the quantum gates and the civilians. We’ll also do everything we can to get a mass of fighters but I doubt that we can build very much because the shields are our first objective. Building more planes is up to you.”
“That’s what we’re here for at the moment. We’ll also build quantum gates so we can make a run for it when we really have to.” Said Petrine.
“I’d rather not have to before all of the civilians are safe.” Replied Harm, his voice seemed full of fear. The words shocked commander Temera, Marisa saw it on her screen. He had either forgotten them for the moment or not thought about Los Angeles’ citizens at all. Leython had expected that they had to abandon the people that were still on Earth. He couldn’t think of anything else too, but unlike Eric, he knew it already.
“Eric, concentrate on building an army first. The more you let yourself to be distracted the worse we’ll be off later on.” Said Leython, he had to take a leading role here, the better the work was organized, the better they’d be off in the battle.
For some time, they worked on their defences and air fleets as much as they could. The problem was that they didn’t know how much time they had and that they’d probably wouldn’t have much of a chance.
“Guys, I’ve got an update for you.” Interrupted major Funky, he had been monitoring the new enemy’s progress carefully, while he and Jeff, accompanied by others, tried to evacuate San Francisco. “They’ll arrive at the western shore of North America within twenty minutes. I’ve heard SOS-signals of fishing fleets in the pacific. Based on that I can tell how fast they’re going and when they arrive.”
“We can’t work any faster than this, can we?” Asked Eric. He seemed desperate on saving as many people as he could and it looked like they had no chance of winning against the armada that was due to arrive within half an hour.
“We might be able to, but I do not have the schematics for a refined quantum gate, anyone of you has them?”
“I’m sorry, Marisa, I don’t.” Said Leython.
“I am sorry, I was not authorized to construct a nexus facility.” Replied Petrine immediately.
“I do have them but it’s taking hideously long to construct them It was a better idea to construct the new gates so we could use them by ourselves and let the civilians use all other gateways.”
“You’re right about that but build them nonetheless, I’ve got this feeling we need them.”
“It’s going to take twenty minutes for each of the gates to get that done. I can’t ever hope to do it on my own.”
“We’ll help then.”
“Jeff, Cole. Let’s get the fighters up. Those enemy planes are almost here.” Said Josh, he sounded anxious. It was the first time that Jeff heard him speaking like that. He couldn’t mind that, being incredibly nervous by himself on more than one occasion. This unknown new enemy had weapons they didn’t know anything about. This was a step into the deep unknown and every step in the deep involved terrifying creatures. Even the most hardened and experienced person, or the most insane like Josh, couldn’t do that without flinching.
Spy planes, closely followed by hundreds and hundreds of Air Superiority Fighters took off and flew towards the coastline. It was near sunset and Josh could see the enemy armada flying in front the orange coloured sky.
“Those things are going fast. I’m surprised.” Said Cole. Surprised was an understatement, it was plainly shocking to see how fast the largest weapons surged through the sky. Out of the video’s from some of the UEF commanders on the Hawaiian islands, they knew that they could expect this but these weapons were going as fast as tier three fighters, if not faster.
“That’s not the worst of it, look. They’re bombing the sea and those bombs are massive, they’re creating waves that I’ve never seen before.”
“I’m not expecting the fighters to hold out for long guys, but let’s hope they do.”
The fighters were confronted with bombers as large as the Aeon Czar’s but the Illuminate’s experimental weapon didn’t move nearly as fast as these experimentals. It was simply terrifying.
Josh’s fears became the truth when he saw all of his units charge at multiple bombers at the same time. He had ordered fifty fighters to attack one unit but it did virtually nothing. Jeff noticed the same thing.
“I’m only scratching these things. What is this for madness? They’ve also taken half of my force down already.”
Cole could only nod. He saw exactly the same thing. Half of his air force was obliterated by the crossfire of what seemed only a few bombers. They hadn’t lost the battle before it even began, no, the word battle was too much for this encounter.
“Eric, we’ve got to go! Get out of here while you still can! There’s nothing we can do!” Yelled Leython. The city was bombed to the ground and turned into ashes with the first wave and they had lost all of their air units in only a matter of seconds. With one single bomb, hundreds of citizens died on the street. Huge skyscrapers collapsed and that ended the lives of more than thousands who had ran for shelter inside when Harm had warned for the attack ten minutes ago.
In the meanwhile, Leython’s father had left. His subordinates pressed him to leave so he left for Sethis, with the last transport that would go through the gate near his command centre, only a minute before it was destroyed.
Marisa and Petrine tried to go to Aeon territory but for some reason, they couldn’t make it, despite for the gate complex that they had built. As soon as Marisa saw her base being destroyed with Los Angeles alike, she and Petrine decided to go to the eastern coast of the United States and try again there. Luckily and thanks to the advanced gate, they didn’t have to get rid of their resource allocation system and engineering suite.
Due to the constant evacuation of the citizens, it was a miracle that they managed to get away from Los Angeles at all, despite for the fact that their quantum gate complex was quite far from the city.
Their departure meant that Leython and Eric had to wait for a renewed quantum wake to dissipate.
It was not for very long though, again thanks to the quantum gate complexes they had built, far away from each other. They thought it would be easy to hold out for less than a minute.
Thanks to Eric’s shield generators, which would be able to hold multiple strategic missiles, they would surely be safe against the huge enemy bombs.
They were wrong and they should’ve known better. Before even one bomber dropped a bomb on their generators, they had seen Marisa’s and Leython’s old base go down, forty kilometres away.
Leython urged Eric to join him before the bombers would arrive at their quantum gates but Eric had different plans.
A car drove towards his ACU at the maximum speed the terrain allowed it. Letting it through would mean that he had to wait for a some more time, time he just didn’t have but he couldn’t prevent it.
“Eric, what are you waiting for, we really have to go.”
“Don’t you value their lives?”
“I value their lives as much as ours but – ” Leython couldn’t go on. He knew exactly what the UEF commander meant but if they didn’t survive, the people who had been evacuated to Sethis would surely be unprotected. No one knew exactly what would happen but Leython was sure that they would die in the first attack of these new enemies. Sacrificing their lives for the people in the car could be worth it but it was no use compared to the hundreds of thousands lives they’d leave at Sethis.
“If I leave now, I’ll abandon them!” Yelled Eric.
“If we die here, you’ll abandon them and everyone on Sethis as wll!” Yelled Leython back. It was the inconvenient truth they had to accept. Neither of them had ever to sacrifice innocent lives for their own and others’ continued survival. Leython knew that he had to be selfish for the first time when it really mattered but he was willing to take the burden. Yet Eric seemed to be unable to cope with the fact that being selfish was a lot worse at this time, than at any other moment.
Eric still hesitated as both commanders saw that the car stopped and a woman stepped out and took a girl with her.
“The bombers are getting close!” Said Leython desperately. If they’d get near...
“We’ve got to help them!” Retorted Eric and he opened his ACU’s hatch and climbed out of it as soon as he could.
The woman ran to the ACU with her child on her arm. Leython saw she was yelling to Eric but he couldn’t hear it. He therefore turned back to the enemy bombers. They had three minutes at most.
“Take my daughter with you. Take her with you!” Said the woman.
Eric couldn’t answer. She was willing to stay behind in the raw destruction this new enemy. She realised that he and Leython had no choice but to go and accepted that fact. She knew that they had to continue to protect those who made it off the planet. He had to accept it too.
“Protect her!” She said while Eric took the little girl on his arm.
“Mum!” Cried the little girl. “Where are you going? What’s going on?”
“I... I can’t go with you, Lucia. I... I can’t.” Said the mother, tears rolled over her face.
The four year old girl didn’t understand, she cried as she couldn’t comprehend the fact that she would never see her mother again, like no one could grasp what was going on here on Earth.
She cried more and more while Eric climbed up again as soon as he could.
Leython was left speechless at the sight of what happened. The woman cried as well but he thought he saw a slight trace of relief, even of victory in her eyes. Her daughter was safe. For now.
As soon as Eric jumped in his ACU and closed the Hatch, with the four year old girl in his cockpit, he immediately went back to business. “How long?” He asked, in a matter-of-factly tone. All of the desperation was gone.
“Twenty seconds and closing, get in that gate so we can get out of here.” Said Leython, so nervous that it was a miracle he could still speak normally. He was surprised that Eric didn’t want to stay here for longer, but quickly realised that he too knew and accepted there was nothing left to do, no one left to safe, except from themselves.
“I’m in the gate...” Started Eric, while he walked towards his quantum gate, which seemed to take hours. “...now.” And he and Leython linked the two gate’s interfaces together and ordered to bring the ACUs away from Earth, to Sethis.
While the air screeched, Lucia’s mother saw the ACUs disappear. She turned around realised the horrific reality of this invasion from an unknown aggressor. The front of bombers had met her and the last UEF structures. The terrible fear engulfed her as she saw size of the weapons. As she realized that she stood at the ground zero of the first bomber’s payload, she thought of the victory she just achieved, the safety of her daughter.
Silence. It seemed to endure for an eternity.
Leython and Eric didn’t say a word. They had barely escaped, both knew all too well that they left millions of people behind to die but they couldn’t do anything about it, not anymore and not in the first place. Leython understood what Eric felt. He too knew that it was a vile deed to abandon other people just for his own life and he’d give anything just to be able to safe them, but he accepted the harsh reality sooner than his fellow UEF commander.
On the other hand, if Eric didn’t want to stay for a few minutes longer, then this four year old girl Lucia would have been annihilated like her mother.
In silence, Eric walked his commander to the city to where they had sent all of Los Angeles’ citizens. Only seventy thousand people were here now.
“Eric, what are you doing?” Asked Leython cautiously. He knew that his rival at the academy might start yelling at him with the first wrong words, but they had to work together so they could make a plan of action.
Commander Temera remained calm though. He did his best to answer rationally and maybe he only succeeded because there was a little girl in his cockpit, still sobbing. Or had he found reassurance in saving her?
“I’m taking her to the city. Will you start building a base? We mustn’t let our guard down now.”
“That’s exactly what I wanted to tell you. Keep her with you for a moment so you can help me with this. Keep her with you for some time because bringing her to the city is the same as letting your guard down.”
“She needs to go there immediately. The ACU is not a place for her to be.” Retorted Eric. Leython heard he was doing his best to keep his emotions under control but he also noticed the frustration in his tone. He had to try to be as calm as possible, even though it was hard for him too.
“We’ll do that as soon as we can, we must first build a base of operations so we know what we are up to. We mustn’t hold back on preparations, Eric. I know that this invasion by whatever it is has put us on the verge of collapsing, both physically and mentally, especially because it all happened right after what was supposed to be the final battle.” Explained Leython carefully, he knew exactly what Eric was going through now, he was going through it by himself but he was, thanks to Lyndis’ teachings, able to get up and work at his full potential again. He just had to convince Eric.
“This scars all of us and it probably scars her the most because she’s so young but we will never forgive ourselves if that, whatever it is, comes for us and we didn’t give it our all, whether it’s in the actual battle or in the preparations for a battle. We now have the chance to get ready and we don’t know for how long so we really have to get started right away.”
The girl realized they were talking about her but she didn’t try to stop either of the commanders. Eric couldn’t blame her. She had just been handed over by her mother, to a complete stranger who took her in a device that looked as overwhelming and intimidating as the enemy bombers that she was saved from. Before she’d finally be able to cope with those impressions...
“You’re right.” Sighed Eric. “I’ll do whatever you want me to do. Just give the orders and keep me concentrated. I’ll start building some power generators now. I don’t have any mass deposits in the area, but I’ve got an oil field large enough to power six hydrocarbon plants. How is it on your end?” Asked the UEF commander, who finally seemed to understand what Leython wanted to tell. Leython sighed in relief before responding. He had an ally who trusted him blindly in this, all too sudden, uncertain time.
“I’ve got plenty of mass extractors. I’ll transfer them as soon as I can. Just build one more power generator before you build a factory and then pump out the engineers to build the hydrocarbon plants. Transfer four of them to me so I can jump start my economy and my intel, keep two for yourself so you can upgrade your mass extractors and build an air force as soon as you can.”
“What’s got the force to consist of?” Asked Eric, he found it easier to keep on talking now.
“Bombers and fighters, as usual.” Replied Leython, almost rolling his eyes as he expected that Eric would remember that. He managed to control himself though. He had to be patient. “Start with two bombers. I’ll try to contact the Cybran nation in the meanwhile.”
“They might not even know of this threat. It’s only been two hours ago since those things invaded Earth. Now we’ve got the time, we should warn every corner of the known universe.”
Leython barely listened anymore, he already opened various channels to the most important members of the Cybran community.
Dostya, Brackman, Redfog, none of them responded. Only QAI replied to Leython’s message.
“QAI, send a warning throughout the Cybran nation. No throughout the entire universe. There’s been an invasion by unidentified units. Their weaponry outmatches ours by far and they’re able to turn Earth into ashes entirely.”
“Affirmative.” Responded the quantum AI in a tone Leython was sure he never heard of before. “The Seraphim are unstoppable. Their victory is certain.”
“What? How do you know that? Their technology is powerful but we might be able to analyze it. You can reach through the quantum network in a way no one else, or nothing else can do. Whenever they use it, be it for travel or communication, you can analyze their signatures. Use that information so we can stop them. There must be a way!”
“There is no way the humans can accomplish a victory over the Seraphim. They are the gods of sentient live.”
“Wait a minute.” Eric interrupted. Leython already knew what the UEF commander wanted to ask, he had noticed it as well. The invaders had a name. “Did you just say ‘Seraphim’? The aliens who died in the assault of that crazy commander from the Earth Empire?”
“Affirmative.” Answered QAI. “They will be victorious. The human race will be driven to extinction.”
“We must do something against it. Don’t you hear me QAI? I already said it. We must stop them. Don’t you treat everything like a fact, do something about it, fight the odds.” Said Leython angrily, what he thought the artificial intelligence was planning to do couldn’t be true. It just couldn’t be...
However, Brackman’s best assistant confirmed Leython’s worst fears: “I have failed to clarify myself, according to your response. I will not fight the Seraphim. I will assist them in their mission to see humanity destroyed. It is your time to cease to exist.”
Twelve Cybran ACUs entered the gates QAI had built for them. Carefully stationed in a bunker facility no one, not even Brackman knew about, these command units were reserved for the destruction of Leython Dygonn and all of the people he protected and all commanders who fought alongside him. He had expected him to return to Earth for the end of the war, but also to survive the Great Seraphim’s initial assault. Dygonn was too smart to stay behind and die.
However, he couldn’t back off this time. This time he had to fight and this time he would die.
Not more than an instant later, Leython detected twelve quantum wakes, whose signatures he immediately recognized as Cybran.
“Well, at least we know what we’re up against this time.” Said Leython. “The Seraphim may outmatch us, but you certainly won’t. Your force is going down.”
“Are you going to take all of my ACUs on, with only one assistant? Your attempt is futile and as humans phrase it, ridiculous. You will be destroyed.” Said the Quantum AI in an indifferent tone.
“No, I won’t, you may be a quantum AI but there’s one thing that we humans are better with. Creativity. You just sent the worst machine complex down on this planet so as soon as I see one of your moves, I know all of them.”
“Negative, my command units have been updated with the profiles of the best commanders of the Cybran nation. These ACUs are more creative than you claim to be by yourself. Your defeat can be the only outcome.”
QAI closed his transmission, Leython immediately terminated all transmissions he had with a single console order. Eric was the only one with whom he was actively communicating, but there could be more on the background that the quantum AI would use to spy on him.
After closing the transmissions, he contacted Eric on a public channel, but he made the signal so weak that it would be a miracle if Eric’s ACU had noticed it at all but that was exactly his plan. It was Leython’s own way of contacting someone privately without having to deal with all of the encryption algorithms at the beginning.
“I just killed all processes that didn’t have anything to do with my ACU internally or my units on the field. Then I thought it was safe to take your message by now.” Said the UEF commander, who had reverted to his old and familiar tone again.
“Good job, I already hoped you’d do that, I did the same.” Replied Leython, grateful that his companion had turned back his usual character.
“Looks like we’re in deep trouble, despite for the fact that these enemies don’t outmatch us, Dygonn.” Continued Eric while he gave the two bombers and three fighters he already had, to take off and strike at the nearest enemy they had.
“They only outnumber us, that’s not a problem. Well, perhaps it is with twelve but as soon as we’ve figured out which ACU is working with which pilot profile, we know how to deal with them.”
“Shall we contact the people in the city to prepare for evacuation already? We mustn’t let our guard down, like you already said.”
“You’re absolutely right. How’s the little girl?” Asked Leython.
“I think she’s terrified, to be honest.” Replied Eric. “That’s not so very odd though. Are you thirsty?” Asked the UEF commander after he turned his head to her. Leython thought he heard a faint ‘yes’ and he saw Eric grab a bottle of whiskey from one of his cabinets.
“Don’t worry, there’s no alcohol in it, nor something else you shouldn’t have at your age.” Said the UEF commander. “It’s just water.”
“Now tell me, why did you put that in a bottle of whiskey, Temera?” Said Leython in his best demanding tone, with a big smile on his face. Now that they could concentrate on a battle again and save civilians by doing so, Leython thought it was safe to talk like Eric in the way he had always done. This felt like a second chance, like a moment to take revenge on the crushing defeat they swallowed on Earth.
“It makes me think it’s whiskey, even though it looks different.” Said Eric with a smile. Thanks to the new danger, his morale sky-rocketed within seconds. He too felt the new chance and without a doubt, the little girl at his side would be his inspiration.
“Aren’t you too old for such tricks?”
“Hey, it worked with her, why wouldn’t it work with me?”
Last edited by Plasma_Wolf on 10 Sep, 2010, edited 5 times in total.
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Sins The Way condemns
Five hours after the Seraphim arrived at Earth...
“Knight Ellessar, you returned.” Templar Halley stated it as a simple fact but sounded dangerous nonetheless. “You disobeyed my orders.”
Marisa was not intimidated so easily though. She faced the wrath of Marxon, this was nothing compared to that.
“The Avatar-of-War died, chaos reigned in the Aeon’s military force. If you cannot obey orders of any superior, then I will be unable to follow you.”
“I am your superior, so you follow me wherever I go.”
“Perhaps you do not know about my loyalty, then I shall explain. I am loyal to the person who fights for the good cause, not to monsters like Marxon, so I am also not loyal to you.”
“Then why did you join the military?” Asked Halley furiously.
“I fight for a better future, not for genocide. I thought I could do something good in the army but that was not the case. I regret my decision since I joined only a few weeks ago.
“So that is why you searched for Gawain? You wanted to turn yourself in and join her?”
“That is correct. I might have been unable to side with the princess, but Marisa would have been a great help too.”
“We have some new information for you. The princess is dead.” Said Halley. “Can you live with that fact?”
“I have already seen Marisa die in front of my eyes. Word of the princess’ demise is shattering but not as terrible as Marisa’s death.” Answered the supposedly dead person.
One hour earlier...
“Marisa, only one of us can make it out of here. The enemy will arrive within five minutes and we cannot leave together.”
Marisa Gawain had noticed it as well, but before she could inform Petrine Ellessar, the Aeon knight had already told her. The distortion in the quantum network was as bad as near Los Angeles. It seemed that the entire planet had turned into one vast wake that let a few commanders through and only sporadically.
They had been able to build one advanced gate complex, but no more than that. Only one commander could leave and make it to Seraphim Two. The other one had to leave through a standard gate, which couldn’t do anything.
“One of us has to try it somewhere else.” Said Marisa.
“I’ll do that, if you can make it to the Aeon community, you might be able to take over both the spiritual wing and the military wing. With Marxon destroyed, the right words can rally the Illuminate against this horrible new war machine.”
“Try to go back to Los Angeles. They have been there and you have a fair chance of leaving undetected.”
“Thank you Marisa. Now we must hurry, prepare the gates for departure. These planes are coming close!”
Marisa activated the gate complex and air screeched as it powered up. The standard gate did the same but sparked unnaturally now it tried to connect with the quantum network.
“I hope that it is going to work. We have to leave at the same time, otherwise one of us shall meet the uncompromising fate.” Said Marisa. This was one of the few times she had to pray for a good outcome, one of the few times she did not know what was about to happen. They were dependent on part of the Aeon’s most advanced technology and that stood no match against the issues with the quantum network.
A colossal explosion that engulfed Petrine’s ACU with fire told enough. It didn’t work. The quantum gate they had constructed didn’t hold. It overloaded when it charged up. The quantum wake proved to be too much.
“It does not work, Marisa. Do not mourn my death.” Said Petrine, knowing that her life was at an end.
“The bombers are here within a minute, I am sorry that I am unable to save your life.” Replied the exiled Aeon commander, knowing that it was too late to build a teleportation upgrade that could allow Petrine to go anywhere on the planet, despite for the wake.
“Do not blame yourself for this loss, this situation is beyond our power. Now go.”
Marisa entered her gate that was able to withstand the distortion in the network, but before she disappeared, Petrine spoke again.
“Wait, I have this for you!” She said and she transferred several extensive files of herself and her ACU’s information to Marisa.
“I found a file about you and noticed how much alike we were. You may need this, I have got a distinct feeling you will need it. I cannot explain it but I am convinced that all information you have now will be of use.”
“You experience The Way better than many in our civilization. I am very grateful. Farewell, Petrine. I hope you may find peace.” Said Marisa at the moment the bombers dropped their payload not far away from the gate complex. As the ground shuddered and the gate complex continued with the gating process, Marisa was blinded by the explosion of Petrine’s core.
“You seem a bit heartless, am I right? Gawain was the same.”
“That is true. She told me. The Avatar-of-War had great expectations of her but she fought for life, not death.”
“Have you been brain-washed so easily? Marisa was weak, just like the princess. Neither of them have accomplished anything. They have only provided us with a setback.”
“Yes, I have seen it by myself. Because of the activation of the UEF weapon on Earth, princess Burke has given us the wrath of the Seraphim. I heard what they are called. I also heard that evaluator Kael has assumed control over the Aeon Illuminate.”
“The wrath of the Seraphim will spare us as we are the ones who followed their teachings. Evaluator Kael informed us. They shall guide us to the future of enlightenment.”
Marisa couldn’t believe what she heard now. Rhianne’s end of the war had to bring peace to the Aeon, Cybran and UEF. It had to stop Marxon’s quest to cleanse every nonbeliever. However, the death of the princess and the ascension of Kael had done exactly the opposite.
“Kael is wrong.” Said Marisa in denial. Ten minutes ago, when she heard of Kael’s coup, she decided to go undercover and work along with the new regime for the time she needed to infiltrate and undermine it, but she couldn’t let this blatant lie go. “If these Seraphim are truly the same as Kael claims to be, as you think to be...
No, they are not. If they cherish life, why do they destroy all life on Earth? If they cherish life? Why do they wish to cleanse all nonbelievers? If they cherish life, why do they try to eradicate people who disagree only on some view of life?”
Halley had her answer ready for who she thought was Knight Petrene Ellessar: “You really have been indoctrinated by people like Gawain or Burke. Do you not understand that that was their weakness? They were not willing to sacrifice for a better future. I need you in my team again, Ellessar. We are not weak and I have confidence in your success, so we can finish what the Avatar-of-War started and the Seraphim continue at this very moment.
Rest assured, the Seraphim are our masters we shall obey for a better future. With them, we can finally end the war. The Seraphim are not going to cleanse us.”
Shilon was trapped somewhere in UEF territory. He didn’t see the final moment of the Infinite War on Earth, but he had witnessed the Aeon princess’ message. Afterwards, he tried to return to Minerva but he found himself unable to do so. He therefore decided to wait until the distortion in the quantum network had dissipated.
Calmly developing his base further now, Shilon noticed the increase in the distortion of the network. He ordered his gate to shut down as a pre-emptive measure.
“It looks like I’m stuck here for a while.” Said the Symbiont to himself, just before the gate in his base overloaded and exploded. Amidst the fire and flying debris, he saw a UEF ACU appear.
“Who are you and how, for god’s sake, have you managed to use my quantum gate?”
“My name is Jeff Lancet and I found out that your gate was left unencrypted for outsiders like me. I decided to use it so I could get to this planet at all. I just came from Spica Prime. We’ve got a problem.”
“A problem worse than that you had no choice but to let my gate explode in order to get here? I’m Shilon by the way.”
“Nice to meet you. Yes, we’ve got a problem, a big one. It’s an alien invasion.”
“Let’s see if we can get ourselves to Sethis, Cole.” Said Josh Funky. Jeff had just left Spica Prime and the people who live here had been warned and the commanders stationed at the planet prepared for the possible threat. They had to go on and try to help Leython and Eric.
“Sir? Shouldn’t we try to contact other people in the galaxy. Probably no one in the UEF territory knows about this invasion.”
“You’re right about that. See if we can contact every planet that’s relatively close in the quantum network.”
Cole tried contact anyone for several minutes, but to no avail: “There’s too much static in all of the channels. I tried any UEF channel and now I’m going to try it for the public channels.”
“No, don’t!” Said Josh loudly. “We have no idea about what’s going to happen if anyone picks up that message.”
“Wouldn’t they pick up the encrypted messages as well?” Asked Cole, preventing his ACU from establishing public channels across the universe.
Josh sighed, he couldn’t tell whether it was a good action or actually dumb to try and contact anyone via the quantum network.
“I don’t know. The Cybran and Aeon had a hard time finding out what we were up to if we used encrypted channels. I guessed that would be the case with our new enemy too. You’re right though, they probably don’t really care what we’re going to talk about, they only want to know where we are so they can kill us.”
“Than that might be the case too if we travel with our ACUs.” Suggested Cole and Josh nodded.
“Yes, absolutely. We’re simply stuck or they know where we are. Well, we could go and try to hop from one planet to the other. If we then act fast and build two new gates, we might be gone before someone catches us.”
“What about sleep and food? We can’t work in our ACU like we’re some drone or something. I know the ACU is a drone, but last time I checked, we’re flesh and blood.”
“We’ll find a way.”
“So that means we’re stuck here, right? We can’t do anything.” Said Shilon. Jeff had told him all details about the travelling issues.
“That’s correct. I’m just happy to know I’m not all on my own. I’ll start to build a base as well. We’re just going to have to wait and see.” Replied Jeff simply.
“I don’t like that prospect. What if ‘they’ arrive here?”
“That’s why we’re going to build a massive base, wait for the quantum wake is going to disappear, hope for the distortion in the network to weaken a bit and then travel to some place we know we’ve got friends and we’ll ally with them.”
Jeff had barely explained his plan or he detected a wake near Shilon’s base and two about fifty kilometres away. “This is commander Jeff Lancet.” He said while he allowed Shilon to bring his ACU to some mass deposits so he could build his base. “State your business.”
“The business of these three ACUs is to destroy you and commander Shilon. My intel appears to be inaccurate. Shilon was supposed to be alone.”
“Tough luck for you, QAI.” Said Shilon before Jeff could ask who the commander of the three ACUs was.
“What was this all about?” Asked Jeff as he closed the channel he used to contact QAI’s ACUs.
“Looks like QAI has turned against us. That means, it probably turned against the whole Cybran nation.” Answered the Symbiont while he quickly ordered his air factories to produce some tier one bombers, the closest enemy ACU would soon be under siege, QAI had been very careless in positioning it.
“Why does he know you’re here? How can he find us?”
“This is QAI we’re speaking of. I never understood what it exactly is. It’s more than just a big computer. It can be that he found my by picking up my signals through the public channels. Whatever the reason is, the simple fact remains that he just sent only three ACUs towards us and one of them will be destroyed in five minutes.”
“Yeah, he put it too close to us. However, you’re putting me directly in between your base and that ACU. I’ll be the first target and I’m not very good with putting up an army fast. I need time to set up some sort of economy before I can concentrate on building units properly.”
“I’m already working on it to buy you some time. Bombers will soon decimate that commander. You should learn to do that by yourself though.”
“I know but we don’t have the time to do so now. Whenever we get in another battle, I’ll do the supporting job, if it’s okay with you.”
“Sure, no problem, I’m better at controlling the armies, but I usually neglect the economical management.”
“That’ll make a good team of us. I’ll get us to the resources and units and you do the work at the front.”
“I heard that before, just ensure you also know the progress of the battle as a whole. I work on the small scale, you’re going to have to provide us with intel like one of my friends did.”
“Is this friend called Dygonn by any chance?”
“Good day, Choir member Elenes.” Halley had come to the Choir’s headquarters personally for a meeting with her. As the war continued unintentionally, Kael’s new Order of the Illuminate was in dire need of commanders. Selene Elenes was a risk though, but a risk Kael was ready to take, or so was Halley informed.
“Good morning, templar Halley. I wish I could say that I am glad to see you, but I am sorry to have to tell you that that is not the case. The last thirty hours have been very disturbing.”
“Do not fear, miss Elenes. The arrival of the Seraphim will guide us. The war has not ended and we have the unfortunate but inevitable task set for us to join them in the quest to free humanity from decadence, corruption, murder and all other sins that The Way condemns.”
“Free humanity from the sins that The Way condemns? An unfortunate task? We should be honoured that we have the privilege to lead humanity to the right path.” Answered Selene. Halley was surprised because like Petrine Ellessar, this Choir member had been indoctrinated by Marisa Gawain.
Petrine had refused to join and had therefore been stripped off her piloting privileges. Halley hoped she could convince Elenes. She had to join, so had she explained to Kael’s advisors. Their answer was simple but it disturbed Halley: if there was no other option, lie.
Luckily, thought Halley, that was not necessary. By telling the truth from her heart, Elenes not only agreed, but her motivation turned out to be even better than Halley’s.
She was wrong.
“A privilege, it would be, if it were no sin by itself. An honour, if it were no genocide! I have nothing to say to you, templar Halley. I will not join and by today, I will resign my work as a Choir member so that I will not be involved in the mindless murder of billions. I should have done that a long time ago!”
And on those words, Selene stood up and walked out of the Choir’s headquarters, planning not to return ever again.
Three nuclear missiles were launched in rapid succession, their targets were identical: the middle of Shilon’s base was to be destroyed, with his ACU. Of course, Shilon had prepared for that already, as he had time to do so for hours.
QAI was not worried though. His vast database had enough information about the Cybran commander to know that he couldn’t build a proper base on his own. Yes, to know, as QAI didn’t just process data, he thought, he knew, that was clear to the artificial intelligence.
Knowing all about Shilon, QAI also knew that three missiles were enough. The Sybmiont had surely messed up his economy so badly, spread out his resources so much, that he would never have more than two interception missiles at his main base.
As the missiles descended upon the enemy base, two were taken out of commission but the ACU didn’t frantically try to step out of harm’s way. What was this? While QAI accessed his database and instantly found out that Shilon was not someone who would ever give up and accept his inevitable fate, it realised that he had also improved. The Symbiont had learned.
But so could the Quantum AI, it thought. It immediately adapted and sent five more ACUs towards the planet. There were free mass deposits all around Shilon and his UEF ally. They would soon be standing amongst seven enemies, something they certainly could not survive.
“It’s a good thing that I learned to adapt a little bit.” Said Shilon, after another five strategic missiles were intercepted. “I’ve got plenty of anti-missiles, something I would’ve forgotten otherwise.”
“Yeah but you’re not nearly as good as I am, which may not be such a problem after all.” Replied Jeff kindly. He stood in the middle of a base that was now twice as large as Shilon’s. The massive economical farm produced enough resources to build an experimental mobile factory in less than twenty seconds.
“Your ability to control an army and mine to provide the means to build one should be exploited. We know our field of expertise and we should use that.” Said the UEF commander.
“That’s what we’re doing now, isn’t it?” Replied Shilon while finally sent the fleet of destroyers, cruisers and battleships to bombard one of QAI’s bases. It had taken him quite long but as Jeff suggested, it was better for the first assault to succeed immediately and that was what they were preparing while taking out everything QAI put at them.
After an hour past the Quantum AI’s latest reinforcements, the artificial intelligence had not progressed a millimetre. The destruction of his first command unit turned out to be insignificant compared to the current situation.
“Battleships are commencing fire now. Cruisers are on the alert for any aerial threat and the Destroyers have engaged combat with enemy submarines. This should be over within five minutes.” Told Shilon to his new ally while the first shield generators buckled.
“Be careful, an air experimental is coming for your fleet. What is that for sort of thing?”
“It’s a Soul Ripper. Those things are incredibly strong but my abundance of cruisers should do the trick. I’m ordering my Battleships to move away. I expect only minor damage.”
“I’m going to help you out on this one. I haven’t built my own piece of experimental weaponry for nothing. Experimental weaponry with its own arsenal.” Clarified Jeff as Shilon gave him a questioning look.
Because the Symbiont still didn’t understand what Jeff meant when he spoke about this secret weapon, the UEF commander decided to give a demonstration.
With a single order, a colossal submarine rose out of the water and opened all of its hatches. In a matter of seconds, thirty Wasp superiority fighters and twenty Broadsword gunships appeared out of the experimental ship and immediately directed their attention to the Cybran Soul Ripper.
“That ought to do it.” Said Jeff as the experimental gunship’s armour was torn wide open by the constant barrage of missiles and plasma bolts. The enemy unit went down in seconds.
However, QAI had adapted immediately, registering the UEF commander’s tactic. Counter-attacking with his own impressive force of superiority fighters was a bad idea as the sea was swarmed with cruisers, but he had a new set of nukes ready. Those should at least deter the enemy fleet and allow him to build up a new defensive position at the side of the base.
“Strategic launch detected.”
“Time to get the fleet out of there. Good to see you’re retreating. Take a look at the grand scale and see if you can take out something else with those gunships.” Said Shilon to Jeff while he ordered his fleet to withdraw from the enemy base. In the meanwhile he used two Monkeylords to deal with QAI’s land assault, directed from the five command units that were the last to gate in. Normally, the two units would have been destroyed as they would need too much time to cut through the ranks of the Loyalists but this time, they had support from Jeff’s fatboys and the remainder of the enemy threat was no problem at all.
“This is getting irritating. We can’t break through just so easily. We’re going to have to win the battle at one of the two fronts soon or he might recover and charge for us at all sides.” Said Jeff. “Do you have a plan B?”
“Yes, in fact, I’ve got five.”
“You’ve got five extra plans? Tell me, maybe one of those will get us a swift victory over one of the enemy commanders.”
“That’s not what I meant, I’ve got five plan B strategic submarines. They’re all filled with missiles and tha’s going to be a big surprise for QAI, but we’ve got to destroy his countermeasures first.” Said Shilon while the enemy strategic missiles detonated closely above the water’s surface, destroying nothing as the Cybran ships and UEF Atlantis had already moved away.
“I remember the time that those things made it through despite for the missile defences. That time is over, luckily.” Said Jeff.
“Or perhaps not, it could’ve come in handy today. That means that you’ve fought against me on Matar.”
“Yes I have, if I remember well. We shouldn’t be wasting our time on being emotional about our memories though, it’s time to get to work. I’ll launch my Broadswords and Wasps again. They’ll not stand a chance against the tier three SAM sites and the enemy fighters but they will last long enough to deal with at least three strategic defences and those are protecting half of his energy source and they’re at the water’s edge of the sea.”
“I can take that part out with my ships, even though it’s going to take some time. We’d better take out his own nuclear silos. Where are those?” Asked Shilon, unable to find QAI’s strategic weaponry.
“Last time I checked, they’re at the base’s back yard.” Replied the UEF commander. “If I take them out, you’re still going to have to send the submarines further. That’s going to get dangerous with his fleet.”
“My plan B submarines have an enormous range, I can circumvent the enemy fleet and still get a clear and direct shot at the enemy base. I can get around it so I don’t have to face any missile defence structure you can’t get your hands at. The only problem is that it takes a lot of time. You’ll have to wait with your assault for some time because QAI will have his defence systems restorerd before I can launch my missiles.”
“Ok, we’ll concentrate on something else then.”
“So you managed to escape and concealed yourself as Petrine Ellessar?” Selene couldn’t believe what her friend Marisa had done. Not only had she survived the Avatar’s trap, she also could tell the story of the tragic destruction of Earth and as if it weren’t enough, she lied about who she really was, to everyone who she met.
Everyone except her.
“Yes, I am very lucky to get away with this but I doubt that I will be so lucky when they take a closer look at my ACU. As soon as they check its identification code, my cover will surely fall and I will be hunted down.”
“I fear that we could not live so peacefully as we have done when the military was still under Marxon’s control, with the Princes as powerful opposition. I fear that Kael will hunt us down blatantly, whereas Marxon had left us at peace, albeit exiled. Or as a mere Choir member.”
“Even as a Choir member, you managed to be very powerful. You allowed me to survive the trap that Marxon set for me and Leython.” Said Marisa. “You are right about Kael though. I suspect that she will do anything to accomplish her goals. I fear that she is already worse than Marxon could possibly have become at the final moments of the war.”
“I have been templar Halley’s direct advisor. Despite for the fact that Marxon did not thrust me at all, I have, like you said, managed to accomplish something. While I was her advisor, I realised how zealous she has become. From that point of view, she seems fit to be the new Marxon.
However, how she was when she approached me in the Choir’s headquarters, shocked me more than anything else. She was different, even worse than before. Even now, I cannot understand how this is possible, how this can be.”
“Did you notice anything else? What did she say?”
“When I said that I would be honoured to free humanity from the sins that The Way condemns, that was how she justified the genocide,” Said Selene when she noticed Marisa’s questioning look, “at that very moment, her face betrayed relief. She was relieved that I understood what she wanted while she said that it was an unfortunate but inevitable task.”
“It is a blatant lie!” Said Marisa angrily. “A lie far worse than my attempt to deceive the new governing body.”
Selene nodded as even she noticed Halley’s vile attempt to win some souls for Kael’s order.
“But how can your lies be bad. You do so only to survive.”
“Despite for the fact that I lie to survive, whilst Kael and Halley do so for genocide, it still is a lie. I think that I do not think of it as an issue though. I guess that I have changed more than I realised, when I was with Leython. I have always thought of The Way as some asset in the times of war, even though that is absolutely wrong. Being with Leython could have made this worse.” Said Marisa with a grim smile on her face.
“Then we must never forget the real intention of The Way.” Replied Selene.
“No, never. The fact that Marxon has forgotten and that Kael and Halley forget The Way’s true meaning now, is the reason for us to be at war like this.”Chapter 6
Twelve to two
Even before Marisa left Earth, Leython and Eric were already fighting QAI, knowing more about their new enemies than many others in the universe.
The two had already started their work on a base, beginning with the construction of mass extractors and power generators. They’d better be working already as the artificial intelligence had sent twelve unmanned ACUs to destroy them.
QAI claimed that he had uploaded all ACUs with a real Cybran pilot’s personality, along with his own vast strategic database. Leython was sure that this allowed the ACUs to battle efficiently, turning them into a dangerous threat.
However, he also remembered how he lost only once on the UEF’s computer simulations, which was supposed to contain the best characteristics of the UEF pilots. After he found out how to defeat a computer, he always did. QAI was probably a lot harder because it adapted according to every event on the field, be it on Sethis or any other location in the universe.
One thing remained the same though. The intelligence expert was able to learn and adapt sooner than a computer and he could also come up with a counter to any assault while he was analysing it.
By the time QAI had arrived, the two commanders had transferred the mass extractors and hydrocarbon plants to each other, so they’d no longer lack either of the two elementary resources in battle. Additionally, Eric had sent his first bombers and fighters to attack one of QAI’s drones.
“That’ll take one of them down.” Said Eric. “I’ll be sending the other bombers and fighters I’ve got now to deal with the commander closest to you.”
“No, I’ll be able to get him. I’ve got the first assault bots available and they’re going to harass some engineers. My command unit will join in the battle, supported by Mantii. You’re going to have to send additional fighters and bombers to that other guy. QAI’s got twelve ACUs in total, those will support the ones we’re attacking now. If we let our assault forces be destroyed so easily, the battle’s over. Concentrate on one enemy after another.” Answered Leython quickly.
“But we’re outnumbered, can’t I just get two at a time? That’d mean they’ve got one front more to support, so that’ll spread them thin.” Asked Eric.
“That’s true but our advantage in time is just not enough to get that done right now. We’ll be spread thin even more than they’ll be if we try that. Let’s take these two down, I’m sure we can do that, but I’m not convinced that your idea works.”
“Well, okay, you’re the strategist here.”
The strategy seemed to work so far. Despite for the supposed differences in QAI’s drones, the front command units all seemed to begin with the construction of two engineers before they built any combat weaponry. By the time the artificial intelligence had constructed the first Mantii, the engineers were under attack by Leython’s hunter bots. The drone near Eric’s position didn’t fare any better. Before it even completed its land factory, Eric’s bombers had done their initial bombing run on the Cybran power generators.
“Why does it allow us to do what we’re doing? I’m sure that QAI said he was... well, smart?” Asked the UEF pilot.
“Yes, but it based its full strategy on what I would do. He stated that you were merely an assistant. His biggest mistake is that when I am on the battlefield, the strategy from my side is to build up forces only to defend ourselves, so we’ve got the time to set up some radar towers, carefully plan our assault and destroy what we want to take down when we execute our plans.” Answered Leython while he destroyed another engineer that strayed too far away from its base.
“You’ve been doing it differently now, haven’t you?”
“Yes, the first time I was prompted to actually build a raiding party on my own was probably on the planet of Tessalis, where I later met Marisa. I was at a disadvantage in time because Marxon expected me to go there and he already sent a commander to that planet when QAI transmitted data there in order to find the planet’s exact location.” Answered Leython while he sent a couple of Mantii to the enemy base. They were to contain the Cybran ACU and prevent any backup from arriving.
“I was forced to build raiding parties and use them. I didn’t get the chance to actually raid with them but the fact remains that I learned to do something else for a time and I practiced a bit with that initial tactic.”
“QAI didn’t register those battles and your training in his database, did he?”
“He did before I left for Tessalis, but not afterwards, so he’s missing information about everything I’ve got now. He can put all of the information together but not anticipate on a surprise. He just got that and for as long as our enemies aren’t anticipating, we’re at an advantage.”
While the only two biological commanders talked about Leython’s new commanding abilities, Eric’s bombers had decimated the QAI’s first base before the ACU had constructed a factory. The drone was now being bombed while it tried to walk away, hoping to miss as many of the napalm strikes as possible.
“That ACU is almost down. I think it’s a speed record on rushing an enemy to death. It’s only ten minutes since I started building my base.”
“Don’t get cocky just yet. We’ve got only one down and one is in trouble but there are ten more building their bases at their leisure.”
“I’ve got enemy air units. Interceptors.” Said Eric before Leython could say anything else. “I’m having my own fighters to take care of them, it should be no problem.”
“My units are meeting resistance as well. The ACU is building point defences. Get your new bombers over here.” Said Leython while he ordered a mass extractor to upgrade to tier two. He shouldn’t forget that.
“Do you need an air transport as well? I guess you could use it to get radar everywhere.”
“Yes, please do so but not before you’re sure about the security of your own frontlines.” Said Leython just at the moment that the first ACU exploded, thanks to a couple of Scorchers.
“I’m quite sure I’ll manage. First enemy down, I’m sending my units towards your closest enemy.”
“You’re having a problem at your end. The enemy is down but a couple of engineers have been dropped. By the time that ACU was being damaged, QAI already anticipated for its loss.”
At the moment Leython said it, Eric already ordered two of his bombers to go to the place where QAI dropped his engineers. While the bombers flew ahead, Leython had his own issues.
“I’ve got Cybran bombers at my end, can you get interceptors here?” Asked Leython while he ordered all of his units to spread out as much as possible. “I’ve got my second tier two radar online, my entire front is covered with my intel and I can tell you that QAI is slow with his assault. There’s not much coming for me. I also have my first deceivers online so if you’ve got that transport ready, I can get radar everywhere and finally get to work.”
“My bombers are moving in on your frontline. QAI’s most forward positions will then be taken out.”
Twenty minutes later...
QAI had lost its first two ACUs soon after its army of twelve arrived on Sethis. The goal, destroying Leython Dygonn proved to be a harder task than it anticipated at first. The former UEF commander managed to come up with a quick assault of Mantii assault bots and Medusa artillery, thwarting one of the forward ACU’s efforts to build a base.
After Dygonn’s ally had destroyed the other ACU at the front, this UEF commander concentrated on the first ACU and the two human pilots took it down in a combined assault of Cybran land forces and Federation air units.
Having adapted even before either of the ACUs was taken down, the artificial intelligence sent in his own batches of low-tech forces soon enough to prevent his enemies from gaining the mass deposits that were now left unoccupied.
QAI didn’t expect that Dygonn would hold against a quick rush of two ACUs but he prepared just in case he was proven wrong. Not such a bad strategy at all because the intelligence expert had adapted and he started with an advantage.
That advantage was nullified though. They still faced ten versus two odds and the Quantum AI’s bases were well developed now. Two enemy bases were insignificant to the huge force that was constructed now.
While QAI mounted his assault, it noticed the presence of three unidentified structures. Considering the energy signature of those buildings that the Cybran omni sensor picked up, it was an enemy omni sensor, with a stealth generator and a shield generator.
Having no strategic bombers ready yet, as it had prepared no army for high-tech aerial weaponry, QAI sent a dozen of Loyalists to destroy Dygonn’s most powerful weapon. It knew that if Dygonn lacked intel, he would lose the battle for sure.
“It’s taken the bait. It’s distracted.” Replied Eric when Leython told him QAI fell for the supposedly unprotected outpost.
“Don’t forget that it cannot be distracted. It can give orders in a rapid succession like no living being can. We are now luring him into a trap with this strategy, not distracting him.”
“Yeah, whatever you want, it’s still the same to me. I don’t care what it is as long as it works.”
“You’re going to be partially responsible for that. Did you load up your units in the transports yet?”
“Yes, I have, they’re going already, they’ll arrive close to the omni sensor before that Cybran computer takes it down and lets our assault force break through unnoticed.”
It took Leython a complicated explanation in order to convince Eric of his idea that was just as complicated. Sending an assault force into enemy territory was dangerous and it would all be for naught if the enemy noticed it and sent his forces to intercept.
This time however, it was their goal. The result would be that QAI had to take the pressure off at the front, allowing Leython and Eric to break through there, gaining another ten mass deposits together, allowing them to increase their mass income by fifty per cent, which they needed badly.
As QAI’s weaponry moved in closer, Eric sent several spy planes, all the spy planes he had, to scout for QAI’s four closest bases. Air transports followed, all covered by Leython’s stealth generators. The ones full with Leython’s Loyalists Eric’s Parashields were to be dropped near the omni sensor that was about to be destroyed. The others, only carrying a mobile stealth generator and as many tier one light assault bots as they could, moved on and followed the spy planes.
As soon as Leython spotted an omni sensor in one of QAI’s bases, he’d alarm Eric who would then immediately order the transports to land and drop the assault bots off. The chance that the enemy radar stations would actually be destroyed was slim, because the base would probably be protected by flak guns and land-protective weaponry alike, but it was worth the try nonetheless, especially because of the cheap units that were very capable of destroying such high-tech equipment if they came close.
“I’ve spotted an omni sensor Eric, the north-western base.”
“Ok, I see it too, I’m ordering the units to be dropped now. Our forces near your own radar station will land shortly as well.”
“This is where the fun begins.”
Dygonn was known for his strategic plans but this was a grave mistake. Having used spy planes, QAI could tell that Dygonn and his ally had used seventy five per cent of their army only to prevent his twelve loyalists from destroying the forward omni sensor they had. The small task force didn’t stand a chance but now the Quantum AI could take out the enemy bases with ease if it pressed on immediately.
Dygonn’s attempt to destroy its ACUs was futile and ridiculous. He could have saved himself already
but chose for a crushing defeat in the hope of keeping the civilians alive.
Moments later, QAI noticed how he was about to lose all information about the battlefield. Having sacrificed all spy planes in order to keep the intel about the enemy bases at a maximum, QAI could do nothing but watch as several transports, too much to take them all out, arrived at one of his bases. Detecting unknown units arriving at other bases as well, it knew that Dygonn aimed for all omni sensors it had.
At first, the artificial intelligence assumed that building omni sensors at a remote location, concealed by stealth, was a mistake. Dygonn would surely search for those places, like QAI would have done if its first omni sensor didn’t reveal any. It was a better idea to build the sensors in the middle of the bases, where they were safe, especially if there was an economy for ten commanders pumping out units to put the heat at the enemy.
Yet, QAI had not accurately predicted Dygonn’s behaviour. In the millisecond it took the Artificial Intelligence to realise this, it had also come up with his counter-measure and its units immediately went to work. Fifty per cent of the Loyalists, Deceivers and Trebuchet artillery that were preparing for the assault on the enemy UEF and Cybran bases, moved back into QAI’s own territory. They were to pursue the enemy spearhead.
All of the units that were inside QAI’s four bases that were closest to the front, converged upon the location where the transports would drop their units. Whilst not enough to prevent the fragile omni sensors from being destroyed, they could keep the enemy units from doing any worse.
Seconds later, the task force of twelve Loyalists was destroyed, while the enemy omni sensor still stood, now protected by three UEF mobile shield generators. As if it wasn’t enough, QAI had lost its own radar towers and its only option was to use spy planes in order to find the enemy army back. It would take half a minute to restore the intel capabilities but that was long enough for the human commanders to retreat with their armies, to any location where QAI’s intel was limited to conventional radar, which was any location near the frontlines.
Given the fact that the enemy army was equipped with mobile stealth generators, Dygonn and his friend had just started playing hide-and-seek.
Not that it would be that much of a problem to find them and wipe them off the face of the universe, but considering it was Dygonn, more unexpected things could happen.
“The first part of it worked out. Now move the units to the east at full speed and prepare to engage one enemy group after another. I’m upgrading the radar in your base to tier three so even when we lose the only Olympus we have at the moment, your front is covered perfectly.” Said Leython, glad that it all worked out so well.
“What are we going to do with the rest of our forces? It isn’t much but I’m sure that we’re needing them badly.” Said Eric, anxious to do more.
“Those will join the battle at the east.” Answered Leython while he ordered the loyalists and mobile stealth generators to load up in the transports Eric had left.
One minute later, while QAI destroyed the forward radar post with the massive force he had taken away from the front, the symbiotic army clashed with the enemy units that were left behind at the edge of QAI’s territory.
Leython’s complex strategy worked out, for as far as now. Just before the forwarded post was destroyed, Leython established a new intelligence centre at Eric’s base and that allowed him to keep track of the enemy units they were about to attack first.
They were outnumbered by at least three to one but the sudden surprise gave them the ability of taking on the enemy forces in an advantage of five to one odds.
“How much time do you think we have with this strategy? I’m sure it won’t work indefinitely.” Said Eric while he did his best to keep all units protected by Parashields. As the Titans’ guns fired without a pause, the enemy Trebuchets and Loyalists were destroyed, one after another. One of the groups was destroyed but there were six left to deal with.
“Not long enough and I missed a detail. Our force just exposed its position. QAI knows where we are and it also knows what we’re going to attack now.”
“That what are we going to do now? Turn around and attack the enemy base instead?”
“That’s a good idea, but we’re going to have to take one of these groups at your front down as well. If we can do that, we’ll secure that destroyed base and its mass deposits. However, QAI is sending half of its army there for support so we’re going to have to find another way of dealing with them.”
“I’m going to dig in and build point defences, lots of them.” Replied Eric after Leython explained the new problem they had. “If he goes for me, your base won’t be suffering from an attack, assuming that he keeps his squads there in order to keep his frontline under control.”
“Yes but whatever he does, I’ve got a surprise for him. My upgrades are almost all completed and the only thing he can do about it is building an omni sensor somewhere in the middle of the field or use a lot of spy planes.”
“Cloaking generator?” Eric said the two words that summarised Leython’s new strategy perfectly. The two commanders had put all effort in controlling their economy and it paid off now. QAI had chosen to attack with sheer numbers and it was Leython’s speciality to win a battle despite for the overwhelming odds. Eric did everything he could in keeping his units alive and by neatly obeying Leython’s orders, those units formed a devastating army.
“My next question is,” started Eric but before he could continue, Leython already answered.
“Ten minutes at most, then QAI will realise he really needs strategic missiles to do the job. That means we’ll really have to build some defences now.”
The enemy’s army had taken QAI’s forces away from the front, delaying Dygonn’s defeat. Despite for the fact that QAI was still certain of his victory, it realised that it couldn’t afford any mistakes. Therefore it checked every possible scenario with the intelligence it had. QAI concluded that it needed more but it also knew that Dygonn couldn’t do without sensors either. It had made an important mark in the file of the former UEF commander already.
Apparently, Dygonn was able to fight while he knew little to nothing about his enemy. With only one omni sensor, it was able to locate every single squad QAI had. Granted, the artificial intelligence didn’t use mobile stealth generators, assuming it would confuse Dygonn. However, his enemy saw right through it.
Yet, even after he destroyed Dygonn’s tier three radar tower, the commander still managed to do the unexpected. Sending a large force to trap the small group of Loyalists, before taking this group towards the UEF base in order to give that commander some breathing space, Dygonn kept the artificial intelligence busy.
What was most surprising and very important to note, was that Dygonn didn’t bother about the forces near his own base. While QAI considered the possibility to attack, it realised that whatever it did, he had just lost his frontline again.
At the moment that one of its bases was equipped with an omni sensor again, QAI noticed an abundance of enemy units converging on that base. It had to work quickly in order to destroy as many of those units as possible. Unfortunately, QAI had built nothing but air superiority fighters in order to preserve control over the skies. Sending some strategic bombers quickly was no option.
While the artificial intelligence constructed as many point defences as possible, knowing that the weapons couldn’t do much more than just scratching the enemy assault bots, it also noticed that Dygonn had started with his second assault. A microwave laser seemed to be coming out of nowhere, decimating any weapon it met. QAI immediately ordered his spy planes to move to the group that was under attack but it knew that those units would be destroyed and the enemy ACU would be gone before the spy planes arrived.
It now had four squads left at the front, with his main army being at the wrong place to begin with. Nothing could be done about the enemies with this weaponry. QAI immediately adapted and started construction on strategic missile silos.
“Leython, why doesn’t QAI send his main army yet? What’s going on here? It should’ve attacked already, shouldn’t it?”
Eric’s question caught the Intelligence expert’s attention immediately. Having destroyed the second group and having built another tier three sensor, Leython had perfect intel about his part of the battlefield, but using his ACU at the front cost him time he should’ve spent paying attention to the whole battlefield.
After one quick scan, he knew what was going on.
“He’s building missile silos already. Get some proper defences up and see to it that you destroy that enemy base.”
“I’m almost done with that.” Eric said. The two commanders had decided to keep the enemy ACU intact, as its explosion would cause all of the mobile shield generators to collapse and QAI could have prepared some strategic bombers.
“Good, as soon as you’ve destroyed the base, the enemy ACU will likely go with your force and try to destroy it, or at least keep track of it. QAI’s main force is still going to pursue our battalion.”
“I see, it’s going to try to kill us in another way, right?”
“Yes. I’m working on my defences as well. You’ve got some engineers in your transports to work on reclaiming the enemy base?”
“Those are ready to go. I’m sure we’ll take that base before the enemy nukes come down.”
“We’d better. Don’t build something else than tier one mass extractors, those won’t be a waste instead of a gain.”
Nine missiles were launched at the same moment. QAI had spent the majority of his resources in order to build the silos but now he could send nine missiles every minute. Being able to wield such firepower to would be thrilling to any human commander but was nothing more than a formality for the Quantum AI.
All missiles were targeted at locations of which it was sure that the enemy would lose something. QAI didn’t target either the UEF or Cybran base. Those would probably be protected by missile defences already and those had to be destroyed first, or being out-produced by his own silos.
While the latter was a possibility, it would take too long. Many things could happen. Dygonn would see it coming and retreat before he was destroyed. This battle was still mostly in QAI’s control, especially because it could now spend his resources on building Loyalists and Strategic Bombers again, but Dygonn was able to do the unexpected.
The missiles hit their targets. QAI had located five spots where Dygonn would have built his omni sensors. After extensive calculations, the Artificial Intelligence found out that there was a one hundred per cent chance of finding a radar tower at all of those locations and a chance of zero that there was a intelligence station at any other place, except for Dygonn’s base and the base of his UEF ally.
The other four missiles were supposed to destroy the only army the two human commanders had and also those succeeded. QAI had sacrificed some spy planes to keep constant visual contact with the Titans, Deceivers and Parashields, changing the strategic missiles’ coordinates as the enemy force moved.
Unfortunately, one of the ten remaining ACUs was lost. As soon as the spy planes took their role of bringing in visual contact, the automated command unit retreated. It was no hard guess for either of the enemies about what was going to happen. The Titans’ guns responded immediately on the retreating weapon and it went nuclear only seconds later, leaving the army, protected by the Parashields, unscarred. Those mobile shield generators collapsed, leaving the army underneath open for an attack but QAI had nothing to attack with, not within a couple of seconds.
But now, the Cybran nukes did a better job, as they had no problem penetrating the layers protection that was formed by the mobile generators. Instantly, all enemy units were destroyed, mostly vaporized by the intense heat.
“This isn’t so very nice. We’ve got an enemy army incoming and we can’t do anything about it. There are spy planes covering the army’s vicinity so I can’t go in and destroy it. We’ll need a plan or we’re done for.” Said Leython only moments after the first strategic missiles destroyed their only military force.
In the meanwhile, they had spent all of their resources on building the defence to QAI’s strategic missiles, assuming that their land force could delay the enemy’s land units for even longer. That was no longer the case.
“What if I start building some superiority fighters?” Asked Eric. Leython had told him not to do so because QAI would probably be able to outnumber them in the skies by four to one odds. In addition to that, the UEF weaponry had no stealth ability and would be seen on the enemy radar all too soon. They had made a mistake by letting Eric concentrate on air at the beginning of the battle and let Leython do the work on land units.
Whilst both had their land factories up and running at the tier three stage, only Eric had a proper air production centre. Letting Leython take that job over would take too long, but letting Eric continue with the tier three Wasps, Broadswords and Ambassadors was a waste of mass.
“No, that’s just stupid. I admit, we’ve only seen QAI working on spy planes but I’m sure that it’s building a massive air force, hoping to surprise us. Part of the air force is the precaution, protecting the bombers with fighters and I’m sure that QAI has also thought about that, even though it allowed itself to make more mistakes already.
If we’re going to build fighters on our own, in order to deal with those spy planes, he’ll just send new Spooks in, protected by Gemini. So that’s just a waste of time.”
“What’s the plan then? We can’t do nothing, can we?” Asked Eric desperately. “I’ve got nothing, only protection with Point defences and Demolisher artillery, which might stop them.”
“I’ll build as many Loyalists and Trebuchets as I can. We can only wait. I think we’ll be able to stop QAI for now and I also think we’ll survive its spree of nuclear missiles for the next five minutes. I’ve got about a hundred anti-missiles in my base.”
“Ok, then it should work. Would that computer decide to attack you first?”
“No, it assumes I lost most of my intelligence centres and that I can’t see anything. We’ve also just seen those units disappear, so QAI has just added mobile stealth generators in his army, that was about time.”
“If it thinks you can’t see anything until its units are virtually in your base, why wouldn’t it attack you first?”
“Our success depends on my intelligence warfare and your incredible unit management. QAI has adapted and finally understands how dangerous you are. It already noted your abilities at the beginning of the battle but now that latest ACU is destroyed, it really marks you as dangerous. The priority to kill you is as high as the priority to kill me now QAI thinks that I can’t see his force coming.
Because QAI assumes you’re more dangerous in the current situation, it will attack you.”
“That’s what you think, but wouldn’t you think that QAI finally understands he has to think a couple of more steps ahead and turn its plans around and then attack you.”
“Well, it’s turned its plans around too much. You seem to be the most dangerous one, so QAI attacks me, but I know that and it attacks you again.” Said Leyton with a smile.
“Then why are you building units?” Asked Eric, looking at the little girl behind him. They had forgotten about her but she had fallen asleep, standing and leaning on one of the cockpit’s walls.
“Because of the Monkeylords it’s going to send at me as soon as the battle at your base has ended and the nuke’s it’s sent at me have all been shot.” Answered Leython quickly.
The battle was far from over and despite for being smarter than the Cybran computer, Leython knew they still had a lot to do.
Last edited by Plasma_Wolf on 15 Sep, 2010, edited 6 times in total.
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Despite for the fact that it would take too long, QAI unleashed a constant stream of strategic missiles on Dygonn’s base. Dygonn had lost all of his intelligence capabilities but still knew how he was going to die. He had constructed several defence structures, forcing QAI to spend many resources on building nukes. This would cost the intelligence expert some resources as well, too much to mount a defence against QAI’s next strike, or so concluded the artificial intelligence after its extensive calculations.
In the meanwhile, the bulk of his army moved towards the base of Dygonn’s assistant. QAI had found information about him only moments after the Seraphim invasion, it was a profile retrieved from the UEF main database. The commander’s strongest points included quick rushes and powerful tank management. He was good with air and naval units as well, which explained his strong initial bombing runs that destroyed one ACU and assisted in the destruction of another.
According to the file, the commander was named Eric Temera and he was a captain under command of major Josh Funky. All information was irrelevant, except for the name of Temera’s superior. QAI had also retrieved Funky’s profile and was now using it.
Several Cybran commanders had perished because of Funky’s superior aerial assault drops. The Artificial Intelligence had noted that of a long time ago, but all of the information had finally been compiled together and it had now been uploaded into the ACUs. Dygonn’s time to play was over, he would be destroyed.
“Your defeat can be the only outcome.” Eric repeated the words QAI said to them. “That computer was overconfident.”
“So are you now.” Answered Leython while he built as many Trebuchet mobile artillery as he could. “It may have been caught off guard but it no longer is. It has taken control over its units back and finally understands that I cannot be fooled by employing the wrong tactics on purpose. It also knows that I can do something without intel.”
“Yes, true,” admitted Eric, “the battle’s just begun actually.”
“Exactly. QAI will now find out that attacking your base cannot be taken out by that simple assault force. It’s coming within omni range now, just as I suspected.”
“Yes, that looks an awful lot like mobile stealth generators in its army, but QAI’s a bit late don’t you think?”
“Yes, it’s up to something. Watch out and prepare for anything.”
“Like I haven’t done that yet.” Answered Eric, his base was enormous and protected with every sort of defence turret the UEF army had available. Perhaps he should self destruct the tier one point defences in the middle of his base. The last time those fired was two minutes after the first two ACUs went nuclear. The Quantum AI had sent in some land scouts.
Eric quickly set his thoughts aside as he looked at what Leython warned for: “Air transports coming in! Get ready and take them out. Whatever QAI’s got in there, it can’t be good. Air transports are coming to me as well!”
Despite for the constant stream of spy planes, Leython’s and Eric’s anti-air guns didn’t have to fire at anything. None of those spy planes revealed the omni sensors the two commanders had in the middle of their base, the two towers that allowed them a constant view over the majority of their front until QAI finally included some mobile stealth generators in its army.
Leython was sure that the air units were Dragon Fly transports, despite for the fact that he hadn’t seen them with visual contact. Only moments after the units showed up on their radar screen, the flak cannons and SAM sites came to life and greeted their enemy with a massive stream of missiles and grenades. Many transports were destroyed by the surface-to-air missiles but not all could be taken out of comission. QAI’s drop ships carefully changed their course every fraction of a second, trying to evade the rain of grenades, set upon them by the flak guns.
The transports didn’t drop immediately and QAI seemed to accept more losses in order to get a little bit closer to the centre of their bases. Leyton immediately knew what was going on. As Eric’s units responded to the main land force’s threat, QAI understood that they still had omni sensors that gave away its Cybran units. The airborne assault was planned, but QAI’s target had initially not been the tier three radar stations, but probably their economy.
“Guard that omni sensor at all costs Eric.” Said Leython, fearing that QAI would win this round.
“I’m working on it,” answered the UEF commander, working frantically on the construction of several mobile shield generators while Titan assault bots converged on the various open spots in his base. “We’re lucky that we can predict the enemy’s drop zones. I’ve got assault bots everywhere so that QAI’s units won’t get far.”
“Good, I’m working on my part as well, but I’ve got a problem because I don’t have any Loyalists available. I will probably lose my radar tower but I’ve got backup on that end.” The intelligence expert quickly ordered his trebuchets to hold their fire, in order not to destroy his own base. Then, he charged with his ACU, charging up the main laser.
Targets destroyed. The simple conclusion was enough for QAI to initiate his second move of his plan. His land force was on the move again, now unnoticed by the enemy, and it was to destroy the UEF base.
While the tier three army moved on, QAI’s experimental Spiderbots approached Dygonn’s base. They were carefully protected by several spy planes, ready to expose the cloaked Cybran ACU.
Continuously launching strategic missiles, ready to adjust their flight path every millisecond, QAI ensured that Dygonn would be nuked as soon as the missiles exploded in front of his own Monkeylords. This time, Dygonn would finally be trapped. This time, he would pay the price.
The Monkeylords came closer to the base by every minute, still unnoticed by the enemy but it would not be for long. Dygonn had lost his omni sensor but knew all too well about the two massive weapons coming for him. His ACU would soon be spotted and destroyed. The nuclear missiles would destroy his experimental soon but Dygonn wouldn’t expect it and go down with him...
QAI’s plan was repeated in an infinite loop, it would not be stopped before Dygonn’s ACU was destroyed.
Which would not take long.
The careful planning had paid off. Leython had been able to find a pattern in the flight path of QAI’s spy planes. He now knew where he should not be going to in order to stay hidden from the artificial intelligence’s sensors. That was exactly where he was going.
Having dropped his strategy of cloaking, Leython’s ACU was now equipped with a teleportation module. Moments later, he stood right behind the Monkeylords. QAI would have noticed it immediately, thought Leython and he wasn’t disappointed. The Spiderbots tried to turn around immediately but Leython’s ACU walked closer and charged his ACU’s microwave laser.
“Can you take them down?” Asked Eric, frantically working on his own problem. “I mean, can you take them down fast enough?”
“No.” Answered Leython simply. “But I can teleport away and then try it from the other direction. Or I could teleport away and wait for QAI’s missiles to strike.”
“How do you know that so well?”
“QAI never expected that only two Monkeylords could ever break down my entire base, with me in it. It might take down half, or seventy per cent. There’s just no way that to experimentals, backed up by some spy planes and a lot of nuclear missiles will deal with my whole force. So it also prepared for a trap, if I’d fall for it, I’ll die.”
“Don’t tell me you just got trapped, did you?” Eric was shocked by the simple way Leyton seemed to face the most powerful of the Cybran arsenal without a second thought, being sure that he would foil QAI’s plan. “What kind of an idiot are you?”
“An idiot who’s spending too much time on planning the most stupid strikes, even though I could’ve taken those Monkeylords on with the mobile artillery I’ve got here.” Answered Leython while his microwave laser cut through one layer of armour after another.
“I suppose you’ve got something useful for planned for those artillery?” Asked Eric, who did everything he could on slowing the enemy progress down at his base. The enemy force kept moving, ignoring the rain of shells that descended upon the Loyalists and their escorting units.
“Get some transports ready, I’ll fill them up with Trebuchets and deceivers. We’ll get as close to one of QAI’s bases without being noticed and then we’ll see if we can take that base down, one way or another.” Said Leython, who fired another Overcharged bolt to the Monkeylord he wanted to destroy. Sensors showed that the experimental had lost more than seventy per cent of its armour and a part of its structural integrity already, but the former UEF commander couldn’t continue.
Immediately after his ACU unleashed its powerful main gun for a second time, Leython ordered it to activate its teleporting module. By the time the command unit would be gone, the Monkeylords would have turned their guns towards Leython’s location and commenced firing.
“Strategic missiles, coming for my ACU. Did QAI really think it could deal with me in such a manner?”
“What do you mean? Did he use those in the hope of destroying you? The Monkeylords would’ve done that job.”
“Not because it knows I’ve got a teleport upgrade. I’m gone before the Monkeylords turned around far enough to fire at me. But then...” Started Leython. He didn’t understand why the strategic missiles were fired. He could see them coming more than fifteen seconds before they arrived.
“You can see the missiles in time, but QAI can probably adjust the course of his missiles?” Asked Eric, he finally saw the end of the seemingly endless stream of units that breached his base defences.
“Yes but that isn’t useful with my teleporting upgrade. I could be at the other side of the planet.” Answered Leython, now safely back in his base. The Monkeylords had fired at him with their laser for a second, melting his ACU’s armour away faster than anyone would deem safe, but he was still alive. “I believe that QAI didn’t know about my new upgrade yet.”
“Regardless, we’ve got rid of his Spiderbots now.” Said Eric. “Wait, shouldn’t those nukes have exploded already?”
“The missiles need a very powerful detonation trigger to explode. They normally do blow up if they reach their target but QAI has cancelled it, like we can too, if the missile is under our control.”
“Oh, can we? I really have to pay more attention.” Said Eric, now destroying the last of the enemy units. He put his own ACU on the line and used several Overcharged shots to take out more than one Cybran assault bot at the same time.
“We can’t trigger those weapons by firing some artillery shells, could we?”
“No, that would only destroy the bomb, not trigger it’s detonation. It might have worked with the first atomic bombs humanity knew, but not anymore. The current triggers are much better designed. It’s really sophisticated nowadays.”
“Ok, that’ll not work, can you beat the Monkeylords in the conventional way?” Asked Eric.
Before he got an answer, Leython’s mobile artillery fired a folly of shells, targeting the enemy experimental units. As nine more strategic missiles were shot out of the air by Leython’s defensive arsenal, the Monkeylords were hit by almost one hundred highly explosive rounds.
Having targeted the damaged experimental unit, Leython knew that the first one had to go down soon and he wasn’t disappointed. The second wave of grenades made one Monkeylord collapse and explode.
“That’ll give us some mass.” Said Leython. “Now we have to find a use for it.”
“I’d say it’s time to build up a massive assault force and attack some enemies.”
“Yes, but attacking a base now, when facing nine to one odds, including enemy nukes, is suicide for our units. It’s a complete waste. We need spy planes, a lot of them. An enormous lot.”
“We’ve got to destroy his omni sensors. He may not be creative, but he responds sooner to a detected threat than any living being does.”
“Our assault will be the best example of creativity, it will be QAI’s downfall. He will lose two ACUs within the oncoming ten minutes.”
Two Monkeylords lost. The main tier three army lost. QAI worked on a new army even before its first one attacked but the artificial intelligence understood it couldn’t break through. Dygonn’s strategy was powerful enough to keep the Cybran forces away. The time QAI estimated it needed to overwhelm Dygonn’s strategic missile defences was too much as well. They now had long enough to retreat.
At this rate, QAIs victory was no longer certain. It required a new strategy. Dygonn was adapting excellently. He learned from scenario’s that he didn’t even experience in person and already found the counter of anything the Seraphim creation could throw at him. A vast mass of units could do the trick, but it just took too long.
QAI compiled new data every fraction of a second. Vast quantities of options were all checked but discarded. Dygonn would see it through. The lack of good options would infuriate any human, but QAI did not allow any of its processes to simulate the emotion that humans would call ‘disappointment’. All of its power was used to create a strategy that worked. A tactic that was capable of destroying Dygonn.
Then, it finally got the answer. New algorithms were uploaded into the ACUs on Sethis. QAI upgraded itself with new algorithms as well, so that if the new strategy would not work, the artificial intelligence had the next step prepared.
“They’re constructing teleportation modules. QAI’s got a new plan and I know what it is. We’ve got to get out of here with our ACUs!” Said Leython, after one of Eric’s spy planes made it all the way through in the enemy base.
“Roger that. I know what you mean. Those ACUs don’t have pilots, right?” Answered Eric and he discarded his construction drone backpack, redistributed his resources and five seconds later, his ACU had a new upgrade.
“Where are we going?”
“We’re going to set up shop behind enemy lines. Far behind enemy lines. We’ll see if we can destroy some of those ACU’s that merely support the ones at the front. Destroying those will not instantly help us out of trouble. We’ll have to survive the first ten minutes of fighting after the ACUs and their bases are down. Their economy is still represented in the army that’s left.”
“I understand, but now’s the question of how we’re going to get close enough to them without being noticed.”
“We’ll have to find out where QAI’s constructed its tier three radar towers. We can’t get anywhere close. We’ll have to be outside of the conventional radar’s range.”
“Those will just be in the bases, won’t they?” Asked Eric, he saw QAI’s intel equipment in the middle of the well fortified bases, so why would the artificial intelligence consider a badly protected location?
“No, it realised that those places are unsafe, so it’s built at random places in the field as well. There’s no chance of guessing when we’re not inside of the sensor range.” Answered Leython, basing QAI’s new strategy on his own. Situating a sensor in a base was a sound thought, but the seemingly flawed idea of constructing one in the middle of an open field, only concealed by a stealth generator was very smart.
“We’ll just have to be as far away from the bases as possible and then look for the best spot.” Said the UEF commander, understanding Leython’s reasoning.
“Absolutely true, Eric.”
No sooner had the two agreed on their new approach on the battle, or QAI sent another wave of spy planes to scout their bases. Leython and Eric immediately activated their teleport upgrades at the moment they were sure that QAI’s live intel was gone by the destruction of these Spooks. Their target was an unimportant zone where they could build a secret base, or so they hoped.
Before they were gone, two of QAI’s drones appeared in front of Leython’s ACU. Leython heard the air shriek and saw his artillery turn their guns. While he, again, quickly ordered all of his Trebuchets to hold their fire, to prevent himself from blowing his own base up, the two microwave lasers activated and hit his own command unit.
He could not even hope to survive for more than two seconds but it was too late. With fifty per cent of his armour left, he felt the nauseating effects of a successful teleportation. Because his ACU had weaker armour than Eric’s, he was sure that his ally made it through as well.
“What was that? I don’t feel well.” Said a weak voice, Leython suddenly remembered they still had a four year old girl in their battle. A four year old girl who would probably be traumatized beyond help by the death of her mother and the battle that followed shortly afterwards which still endured. This teleportation and the many that were to follow would not help her cause.
“We just teleported. It feels funny, doesn’t it?” Said Eric kindly, while Leython constructed an omni sensor.
“It makes me feel sick. I hope I don’t have to throw up.”
“I’ve got to have these sickness pills somewhere...” Started Eric, but Leython cut him off immediately when the two commanders finished the construction of one omni sensor.
“No time Eric, we’ve got to go again. QAI’s got a sensor very close to us. We’ve got to go.”
Ten seconds later, they were gone again.
“I really don’t feel good.” Said the girl. Eric wanted to calm her down, but Leython didn’t let him to:
“We’ve got to keep moving. We totally forgot to think about him having the sensors concealed by stealth generators, like I have. We’ve got to get out of here.”
Eric obeyed reluctantly and continued searching for his cure against nausea, but faced another problem when he found it.
“I can’t give these to you, it’s not good for anyone under the age of eight.” Said the UEF commander shortly after they teleported again. “Leython, we need a better plan of action.”
Another drawback. Dygonn’s ACU disappeared a second before it would be destroyed. QAI immediately noticed that they arrived in behind its own lines. They were going to play a game of agility. Whoever was the best would win. Dygonn only had to shut down QAI’s radar towers and the human commander would be able to build a base at his leisure.
A second base, backed up with stealth would prove devastating. Especially near the bases that were supposed to give nothing but economical support.
The command units that the Quantum AI had sent to destroy Dygonn and his ally, were called back immediately. Their destruction was only worth it if the human commanders would go with the nuclear explosion.
QAI immediately distributed enough energy to the assassins so that those could make it back but the Eric Temera was too fast. While the UEF ACU still stood in its base, its owner gave all of his titans the order to attack one of the ACUs. Five seconds later, the Cybran command unit was pounded from all sides. Two seconds later, the teleportation module overloaded and exploded, causing the command unit’s core to rupture and explode as well.
Luckily, QAI had transferred the four bases before any of the command units made their jump to the enemy ACUs, but the loss of one of its own was another setback, another step closer to defeat.
QAI launched some extra missiles, now at the new location of its adversaries. Before the nukes reached orbit, the UEF and Cybran command unit were gone. QAI immediately gave the missiles a new target but was certain that it would be of no use. Dygonn would be able to evade the weapons.
Therefore, the artificial intelligence searched for a new target. One of its spy planes had just found a lone omni sensor. Humans would feel surprise at this moment, so indicated QAI’s vast database, as it was certain that it had destroyed all of Dygonn’s omni sensors near his base and in the vicinity of the front lines. The Quantum AI had its response ready though.
One strategic missile had its new target, the tier three Olympus tower. Within moments, another missile was given a new flight trajectory as well. The two destroyed Monkeylords were about to be vaporized completely. QAI had found the exact location to make the missile arrive and detonate close enough to the experimental Spiderbots, while it was not within an SMD’s range.
“Strategic launch detected.” Leython heard it over and over again. Teleporting from one end of the battlefield to the other, not knowing where the next strategic missile would strike.
“It’s really hard to tell whether I should ignore that or not. I have no idea what QAI’s doing and it really hurts my efficiency.” He said.
“I’m just building units.” Answered Eric, he was in his base again. Luckily, the little girl felt a bit better now, resisting the urge to vomit all over Eric’s instruments. “What’s the plan with it, Leython?”
“Keep them in your base. Build fatboys. We’re going to need those. Those are the only UEF weapons on the ground that can keep a full scale army at bay.”
“Ok. How are we going to attack now?”
“We’ll stick to the plan. We just have to find out where QAI’s got his omni sensors and then we can plan a course.” Answered Leython.
“We can’t sit here indefinitely, you know that, don’t you?” Asked Eric, urging Leython to work as efficiently as possible.
“I know, QAI still has four times the mass as we’ve got, if we’re lucky. We still only have access to what’s behind our lines, the locations of the first two ACUs we destroyed are still inaccessible and we can count on that computer that it’s claimed the base of the third ACU we killed. The fourth base is still operational. He’ll be sending more units to us eventually. We’ll have to reclaim the mass of those units in order to keep up with him. Even then, it’ll be hard.”
“Do you have any idea why he’s not sending in more units now?”
“He’s building strategic bombers, in the hope of destroying me. I’m going to discard my teleportation module and revert to the stealth generator, move away and then build another omni sensor.”
“That’s too dangerous! If it finds you...” Eric couldn’t continue, but he didn’t have to. Leython knew all too well what would happen if QAI found him.
“I know that as well. It’ll be a huge gambit because QAI has finally become a bit efficient. That’s why I’m going to start with it right away. Stay in your own base at all costs. As soon as I get detected, you’re going to have to send your forces in with air transports. Use tier two gunships do draw attention of its Gemini fighters and then use your land force to attack one of the enemy bases.”
“Should that give you the opportunity to get away safely?” Asked Eric, uncertain about a good result.
Breaking the Odds
Dygonn’s ACU disappeared from QAI’s sensor range like six times before but this time, it didn’t appear anywhere else. The artificial intelligence responded immediately, ordering spy planes to scout anywhere it had no radar towers in the vicinity. If Dygonn managed to stay unnoticed for too long, he could easily mount up an army and build a new base without fear for a counter-attack.
The spy planes rushed towards the front and flew further as fast as they could. While QAI sent in another wave of strategic missiles, it immediately changed their targets. They were no longer flying to be taken out by Dygonn’s defences, but had to destroy several Olympus radar towers that QAI failed to detect earlier.
Immediately, the Seraphim’s creation programmed and compiled a new set of algorithms, again. Dygonn had built the omni sensors at locations QAI would not look in case its forces would be attacked. QAI understood why.
Dygonn had been monitoring every single one of its forces and took the time to plan a trap. The traps were set at the end of the line: the Cybran and UEF bases owned by the human commanders. Any unit that would be sent in, was destroyed. QAI had taken all possible scenarios into account, safe for this one. Dygonn was a commander who always wanted to deal with a certain threat as quickly and as efficiently as possible, so that he suffered the least harm and was absolutely certain about his success, but that wasn’t the case this time.
Within a millisecond, the artificial intelligence found a way to find Dygonn and started to calculate where it exactly had to target its strategic missiles, so that the strategist noticed he was going to die when it was far too late.
Leython’s first action was to build a static stealth generator. As soon as he realised that QAI wasn’t searching for him behind its own lines, he started working on his base.
Seconds later, the Twilight stealth generator was active and Leython added a tier one land factory to it. With those two buildings, the base should start working on its own so that the former UEF captain could teleport back to his main base if he had to.
Suddenly, he noticed that he was going to be set back in his plans. A strategic missile descended close to the two Monkeylords he had destroyed just before they entered his base. No Strategic Missile Defence was able to take the weapon down and Leython didn’t understand why QAI hadn’t done this before. An artificial intelligence could not feel any emotion and was therefore unable to be nervous. Its capabilities on the field were not depending on a good or bad mood and would be employed in the best way, always.
Then again, they were still alive even though they had eight ACUs against them. It should’ve ended badly for the two human commanders before they even got their hands on the destruction of the fourth command unit.
“Eric, how much fatboys do you have?”
“None yet, I don’t have that much resources available and it’s just been thirty seconds since we’ve been working on our new plan.”
“How far are you with the first one?” Asked Leython impatiently.
“Thirty per cent at this moment, don’t rush me!” Shot Eric back.
“Sorry, but I’m not very sure about whether this is going to work or not.”
“Neither am I but we don’t have much of a choice, do we?”
While Leython continued with his base in the middle of QAI’s territory, he noticed that his enemy wasn’t doing very much. It was waiting for something and that meant they would be in trouble very soon.
A minute later, Leython knew what QAI was waiting for. The omni sensors near the front, carefully hidden by stealth generators, were now facing the devastating power of multiple strategic missiles.
They didn’t stand a chance.
“We just lost our main source of intel, Eric. Be ready for anything, especially strategic bombers and experimental Spiderbots.” Said Leython hastily. “I’m discarding my stealth generator and rebuilding the teleporter. I’ve got my land factory upgraded to tier two and it’s building mobile stealth generators, which will cover up my base. Tier two engineers, and tier three versions of them later on, will fortify my base and build an assault force.”
“What do we have to do in the meanwhile? Like you said, we can’t sit here and wait for QAI to come.”
“QAI knows that it can’t breach our bases with land forces, it is building air units now. So we’ll be safe if we use our own land units to deal with one of its bases.”
“What if QAI knows that as well? Then it’ll wait for us to fail and attack us afterwards.” Said Eric. “I’m going to send in spy planes to check in on his defences.”
“You make a valid point and that’s why you’re going to have to hurry up with those Fatboy experimentals.” Said Leython. The better Eric could defend his own base, the safer they both were. Leython could protect his own hideout with his ACU and the possible support from Eric’s experimental factories.
A minute later, Eric’s spy planes disclosed the secrets of QAI’s bases that were located closest to the front.
“Nothing special.” He said while his Blackbird planes fell like leafs. “I’m losing my aircraft to base defences, not to air superiority fighters. You’re right about that assault. We should do it now.”
“We’re going to have to be careful. We’ll bring the forces in with air transports, covered by Deceivers. Then we can get close to the enemy base without being detected. We’ll have to send spy planes with our force too though. We cannot allow QAI to destroy our air fleet if it accidentally stumbles on us with Geminis, or if we forgot about one of its omni sensors.”
The eighty-ninth wave of Spooks detected Dygonn’s ACU in his own base but QAI calculated that the enemy had enough time to build a stationary stealth generator and at least two factories for the time that the ACU’s location was unknown.
Building additional omni sensors everywhere, in order to disclose the enemy’s hideout, was an impossible task. It would cost too much energy and by the time the job was done, Dygonn would have constructed an army that was very capable of destroying his economical bases.
The strategic missiles QAI had sent, continued though. Those were targeting the exact location where Dygonn was while he wasn’t found on the artificial intelligence’s radar. That was the area where the human pilot would have built a base.
QAI didn’t have to build tier three radar towers to find Dygonn’s secret base, it only had to calculate the location by known intel and vast databases about the strategist’s strategies.
To be absolutely certain, QAI started building yet another group of spy planes, which were to find the remains of Dygonn’s futile attempt of a backdoor assault after the strategic missiles exploded.
In other words, they were to find a pile of rubble right now.
“I’ve got my first fatboy up and running, Leython.” Said Eric half a minute after three nuclear explosions occurred at some random location of the battlefield. “How are things on your end?”
“The usual, I’m being besieged by strategic missiles.” Replied the former UEF captain while he built another missile defence structure to cover his latest addition of his base. “I’m building some mass fabricators and power generators. Getting myself lots of Loyalists, Trebuchets and mobile flak as well, along with the deceivers.”
“Good, when were we attacking again?”
“Let’s load up the transports, are your gunships ready?” Asked Leython. Whether their new plan worked or not depended on the Stinger class gunships that were supposed to draw QAI’s attention.
“Everything’s ready. Give me the flight path for our diversion.” Replied the UEF captain. Leython could hear his eagerness in his voice.
“Don’t get too excited. We don’t know if this really works or not.”
“Doing nothing will definitely not work.” Said Eric while thirty air transports took off. Every transport carried a mobile stealth generator, a Parashield, a Loyalist and a Titan. Leython was sure that he and his ally were able to destroy the entire base before any strategic bomber arrived.
While Eric concentrated on the flight paths of the gunships and the air transports, Leython sent some Dragon Flies to follow. His tier two transports carried nothing but engineers and a single Deceiver. A destroyed base was still very useful and Leython wouldn’t allow QAI to have it.
“The front is incredibly silent. We’re facing no land forces and air units aren’t coming for us either.” Said Eric. “I really wonder whether this computer is stupid or actually preparing a trap for us.”
“Perhaps I can answer that question for you. I’ve got some units on radar. Send some Blackbirds to find out what it is. I’m fairly certain about what we’re going to see but just in case I’m wrong...” Answered Leython and several UEF spy planes took off immediately to find out what it was.
Leython’s expectations became truth with the first sight on QAI’s weaponry.
“Well, I can answer that question. This computer is just stupid. It’s not creative. I wouldn’t expect anything but Hunter bots as a diversion of his tier three assault.” Said Leython and Eric became so excited that the little girl who watched what he did became scared of him: “Leython, just teleport in with your ACU and shoot those things down with that laser.”
“I might actually not want to do that. QAI’s got bombers as backup and I’ll be dead in an instant. Calm down a bit, Eric. It’s not for me but you’re about to give that girl a heart failure.”
“Oh yeah, sorry.” Said the UEF captain and he glanced at the girl. In that tiny moment, Leython noticed the tier three land force that the spy planes discovered shortly after they left the light assault bots.
“Ok, I’m in trouble if we don’t do anything about that. It’s forty Loyalists at least, with backup from Wagners, Deceivers and two Monkeylords.” Said the strategist. Eric immediately ordered his first fatboy to move to Leython’s base and Leython thanked him for that.
In the meanwhile, the Air transports arrived close to their target. The Stinger gunships had to be targeted by now, thought Leython, but the simple fact was that nothing happened.
“Land with the transports here.” Said Leython, marking the closest possible location that was still out of reach for the enemy flak towers and SAM sites. “Attack the base to the west with our gunships. Perhaps we can kill two bases with one plan.”
“This is ridiculous.” Answered Eric. “We should have been attacked already.” He had barely spoken the words or all of his air transports were destroyed. It was too late to salvage the damage, all hope for QAI to thwart this plan was gone. The UEF Sky Lifters had already dropped the units, only moments before the one hundred Gemini shot them down.
“There’s the response we’ve been waiting for. QAI anticipated on our plan. It’s about time.” Said Leyhon, glad that his Dragon Fly transports still flew. They were supposed to arrive a minute later than their UEF counterparts and that saved them. Leython immediately turned to the situation of Eric’s gunships: “Divert all power to their thrusters and see if you can destroy the power plants in that other base.”
“If we get these two bases down, QAI’s intel won’t reach to the location of its first two losses, will it?” Asked Eric.
“No, it won’t. That’s why I asked you to attack the other base as well. If we can deal with this, we’ll push the frontlines away from our bases and QAI will lose a lot of its zone of control. We can finally expand forward instead of having to use our backyard.”
Thirty Titans and thirty Loyalists continuously fired their guns as they entered the enemy base. Leython had told Eric the targets of interest: tier three power generators, mass extractors and mass fabricators. As usual in this battle for intelligence, QAI’s omni sensors were to be destroyed as well.
“It’s barely got any volatile buildings clumped together. This isn’t really good for us.”
“Divert your groups. Make groups of two Titans and two Parashields. I’ll do my best to include two Loyalists as well, but I’m a little busy retreating the stealth generators.” Said Leython while he sent every Deceiver back to his own base. They had served their purpose by concealing the UEF transports but were useless now QAI had spotted the army within its own base.
Meanwhile, the tier two Gunships had arrived at their target and the first part of the group already fell.
“I think we made a mistake by letting them attack this base. It’s thick in anti-air.” Said Eric while he managed to destroy two Ion Reactors.
“Locate the omni sensor and destroy it.” Said Leython shortly after he powered up his teleportation module, although it was too late. The gunships that survived the first waves of anti-air grenades were quickly destroyed by the several SAM sites that all targeted an individual Stinger.
As the last gunship crashed, Leython suddenly stood directly in front of the light assault bots that were only two minutes away from his base. The tier three army would follow less than a minute later.
The Cybran ACU’s heavy microwave laser powered up and the red beam cut through the enemy ranks like a hot knife through butter. Leyton added an overcharged shot to it and then activated its teleporter again.
The Gemini fighters arrived shortly after the last gunship fell. QAI had successfully ignored the diversion but was too late to destroy the real threat nonetheless. As if it weren’t enough, the UEF gunships had managed to destroy a critical component in the artificial intelligence’s front lines.
Not only they destroyed three ion reactors, one of the last few that were to be destroyed, took the tier three radar tower with it in its crash.
The only two Olympus towers QAI had left now, was the one in the base that was under attack and the one hidden in the long since destroyed base: the first outpost that was attacked by the UEF commander Temera.
QAI counted on the fact that Dygonn had found it already but apparently, the strategist was not smart enough to do so. The longer it would take him, the better it was for the Seraphim’s creation.
Ten of the forty Revenants that were to destroy the compound of UEF and Cybran assault force, were suddenly ordered to turn around. QAI noticed Dygonn’s bold move as it detected a Cybran ACU in front of the Hunter bots, decimating five within a second. Within fifteen seconds, they would arrive and end Dygonn’s life.
Five seconds later, they turned around again. Dygonn had, without knowing it, activated its teleportation module a second too early and QAI made another mark in Dygonn’s extensive database: the commander had an increased quantity of what humans called ‘luck’.
It was not much of a problem, so concluded QAI, ordering the other bombers to fly in five groups of six. Each squad would be able to deal with two shields and their generators, while damaging the heavy assault bots as well. The Revenants that were lagging would end it.
Having to do that three times over meant that most of the base was lost, but this was the fastest way to deal with the problem.
Engineers reclaimed as fast as they could and it paid off for Leython. While he originally planned to stop production in his factories of his primary base, in order to build an army for a sneak attack on QAI fast enough, he could now just build weapons with everything he could.
Sadly, it meant that Eric got no advantage from the wrecks yet, while he did deserve at least half of it, thanks to his role in the battle.
However, Eric didn’t need it, yet. He wouldn’t be under attack so soon and he would probably not face any enemy unit in his own base anymore. Not today.
As Leython teleported back into his own base, closely monitoring all progress on the known battlefield, he thought about a possible secret omni sensor that QAI could have.
While he continued with his job, he noticed the Cybran Revenant bombers that closed in on the compound of Cybran and UEF forces. The bombers were carefully grouped and could almost destroy one squad in one bombing run. For some reason, QAI made a mistake though, by being one bomber short in each group. The shield generators would be destroyed but all assault bots were strong enough to survive the first run.
Leython carefully looked at what happened and the result was exactly as he predicted. It was a flaw in QAI’s plan, one that came apparent as the units managed to take some structures down before another squad of bombers arrived and finished the job on five of the fifteen groups he and Eric had.
“You’re right Leython, we can take this base down.” Said Eric. “I took the liberty of building some spy planes again. Where do you want them?”
“Scout the gating points of the first two of QAI’s drones we destroyed. I’m sending stealth generators to you, order your engineers to assist them so that I can order them to move out and then we can finally claim those locations.”
“How is the enemy land force doing?”
“Still alive. I’m working on trebuchets and I’m also trying to get my cloaking generator again. If I can do that, my ACU will be able to help.”
“Isn’t that dangerous with those bombers near?”
“The bombers will be shot down long before I put my ACU on the line. I’m allowing the land force to enter my base, the Revenants will follow in order to take my fragile shields out. They will fall like leafs and then I’m safe.”
“That’ll cost you your base.” Retorted Eric. Leython was all too easy with his sacrifices. Eric remembered that it was the other way around at the time of the Academy. Normally, it was Dygonn who thought the plan through and won the battle with the least casualties. It was Eric who didn’t care about his units and just sent them in.
“It’s a necessary sacrifice. I heard you saying such a thing before. Wondering whether it couldn’t be done in a better way.” Answered Leython while he checked his base in the north, far behind QAI’s lines.
“I don’t, frankly. I usually don’t care about how much I lose, as long as I can keep going. You won’t be able to do so at all if you lose your base.” Said Eric, destroying the final buildings of one of QAI’s bases. The attack had been very effective. A base that seemed to cost more than ten minutes to break down with tier three weaponry, was actually flattened little more than three. It had to be anyway, because that also happened to be the time the bombers needed to deal with the threat.
“It was when we had to destroy a Cybran commander, hidden by its cloaking generator. Under my command, we used tier one bombers and dealt with the problem. You objected, thinking it wouldn’t work and it would take too much bombers down.”
“Oh, yeah, but what does that have to do with this?”
“What I want to say and what I wanted to explain back then, was that if the casualties are worse on the enemy’s side, then they’re worth it. Especially because there’s not a single human life on the line.”
“Will your casualties be worth it?”
“Yes, assuming I can keep some SMDs alive, I’ll be able to reclaim and rebuild everything that’s destroyed. It’ll actually make me some mass I think. Don’t forget that I will also be able to take one of QAI’s economy bases out of commission.”
Six thousand three hundred and thirty ancient ticks, or, as humans phrased it: ten minutes and thirty three seconds.
It was the time Dygonn and Temera needed to destroy one of QAI’s bases and thwart the renewed assault on the strategist. QAI now had eight bases and eight commanders left, as the ACU in the besieged base could retreat soon enough.
However, it didn’t do the artificial intelligence any good to have it. By now, the Cybran command units were nothing more than a glorified engineer. However, every ACU could control thousand units and that was needed in order to succeed.
The total of its arsenal could rise to eight thousand, while Dygonn and Temera were limited to two thousand. It was time to dig in and leave the uncontrolled zones uncontrolled. Constant use of strategic missiles could prevent the two human commanders from gaining the mass deposits that once belonged to the drone ACUs, but it was expensive, even with its massive economy.
Another five minutes went by as QAI constructed one unit after another, launched several nukes, all hitting their targets and sent spy plane after spy plane in order to find out what Dygonn was up to.
Unfortunately, the former UEF captain was up to something that would frustrate any human being.
Out of nowhere, more than hundred units appeared. By the time QAI detected them on radar, they already entered a base. The base solely built for economical purposes.
Visual contact immediately showed the Artificial intelligence that he faced tier one artillery, covered by Deceiver stealth generators.
On their own, facing an enemy unit of some sort, these weapons could do virtually nothing, but now a vast group converged on the only base that had no defensive weaponry, because there was no chance that Dygonn would find a way to attack the base.
Not even when he managed to get away with the construction of a secret base, he would be able to reach out here. He couldn’t possibly send his units through. It would only be possible if he had built the base incredibly close to QAI’s economy farms.
Within a millisecond, the Seraphim’s Creation simulated this scenario and by reversing the program, it calculated exactly where the base would be. Another millisecond later, the strategic missile launchers opened their hatch and launched every missile they had.
More than twenty nukes ascended in the air, their course being plotted to the nanometre precise.
Not only the base would be destroyed, but the whole surrounding area would see death itself.
The damage on its base had already been done though. QAI could do little but send the ACU in and charge with its overcharge functionality. The ACU wasn’t equipped with a microwave laser to save some mass. Additionally, if the assassination attempt of some time ago would fail badly, QAI still needed a command unit to control the battlefield.
Artillery shells exploded at the edge of the base and their explosions were immediately followed by the destruction of three economy farms. One minute later, forty per cent of the base’s income was gone.
Another ten seconds later, the air was filled with a massive thermonuclear explosion.
“Five down, seven to go.” Said Leython. The explosion caused by an Ion Reactor created an enormous chain reaction and instantaneously decimated the base. As if the catastrophe wasn’t enough for QAI, one of its drones was inside. It couldn’t hope to survive the explosions that were good for several nukes.
“Don’t you think it will find your secret base now?” Asked Eric. Even for someone who’s weakness was intelligence warfare, it was obvious that QAI knew where it had to search.
“It will. I think it has already launched its entire nuclear arsenal in order to deal with it. We both know that QAI’s built so many omni sensors everywhere, that it deemed its own backyard secure. I’m certain that it has build a perimeter, around its economy base. Using bombers then, as soon as some units are detected, is better than any other sort of defensive weaponry.
The fact that I managed to break through virtually unnoticed, means that QAI knows the base can be at only one location. QAI calculated where that would be.”
“It calculated it before and was wrong. What’s the chance that it’s wrong again?”
“Nil. I’ve been able to hide my ACU relatively easy and walk away from where I teleported, early on. Then I built the base at a completely different location than QAI expected. That’s why its calculations were wrong before.
This time, I’ve sent a large army, making it impossible to manoeuvre through QAI’s nets of omni sensors. So a simple calculations remains.”
“If QAI knows where your base is, you can tell where its omni sensors are.”
“I already know that. I’m working on that issue now. Medusa artilleries were not the only units I built.”
With a series of orders, Leython sent several air scouts and tier one bombers in the air. Being fairly certain about the location of QAI’s radar installations, he only had to find the exact spots. He wasn’t so good with calculations as the artificial intelligence though, so it would still take some time. Time his enemy could use to take his small air force down.
Nonetheless, the assault would prove disastrous for QAI, because Leython soon found three sensors.
“This means I can easily build a new base.” He said to Eric, ordering engineers to leave his old one, protected the mobile stealth generators that were used to guide the Medusa artillery.
“I finished another Fatboy. I’ve got ten now.” Replied Eric. He also had a new tier three army, carefully covered by more than fifty tier two shields.
“Send them in. Fatboys covered by the Parashields. QAI’s bombers will attempt to take those out first and your experimentals aren’t the strongest that could be built in the field.”
Eric obeyed Leython and ordered his army to move. Less than half a minute later, Leython’s air transports dropped several mobile stealth generators off, so they could hide the assault force.
The advance went excruciatingly slow and it took them ten minutes to get halfway through. Leython sent another group of transports to join the assault force. This time, they were carrying engineers, covered by Deceivers, as usual.
While they continued with their creeping death, Leython had built another base behind enemy lines. The strategic missiles QAI launched, had done their job and his old base was completely vaporized. As the new base, concealed form QAI’s radar, slowly but steadily grew, Leython noticed that the artificial intelligence had decided to give it another try. Another wave of Spooks surged through the sky and discovered the platoon of Fatboys. It would certainly not take long before the strategic bombers arrived.
“Eric, stop moving, order your Fatboys to build tier three engineers and build some tier two shield generators.” Said Leython, while he constructed some SAM sites.
Shortly before the experimental factories had built their engineers, ten Revenant squads arrived and dropped their payload. The ten Fatboys’ shields immediately collapsed, as well as the shields directly in front of them.
Tier two mobile flak responded to the thread, launching grenades into the sky. Fast as they were, the first few Revenants made it through without any damage but the ones that followed took the full folly. Despite for the deadly barrage, none of the bombers crashed to the ground.
“Leython, why don’t you build an omni sensor here? Then we can see the bombers the whole time.” Said Eric. Leython wanted to agree, but they had more pressing matters at hand.
“Build SMDs, QAI will launch strategic missiles and the Fatboys won’t be able to get out in time.”
The missile defences were expensive and took some time to build, but Eric had a second batch of engineers available and he ordered them to work together.
While suddenly half of the bombers fell out of the sky due to the extensive damage dealt by the mobile flak guns, managed the two human commanders to build two defence silos and the engineers immediately went to work to fill them up to the maximum.
“You’re able to get some extra construction drones, Eric, so you’ll have to build the omni sensor now.” Said Leython. Without a word, the UEF captain went to work with his third group his Fatboys built for him and ten seconds later, his new radar tower detected a vast group of units moving in on the assault force.
“The Fatboys will deal with that, keep them where they are.” Said Leython, watching at the strategy screen, with Eric’s information forwarded for him. QAI apparently knew about the new UEF omni sensor as well: “The units are trying to retreat. That computer knows it can’t deal with the threat.”
“Strategic launch detected.” Leython and Eric heard it in their cockpits simultaneously but neither of them were alarmed. Even though they didn’t have a missile now, the nukes would take too long before they’d arrive. By the time they should explode, the two commanders had gotten their hands on four defensive missiles.
QAI was unable to do anything, safe for witnessing the loss of two more bases. Apparently, some of Dygonn’s units had survived the missile strike that was supposed to deal with the secret base behind the artificial intelligence’s lines.
The wrong calculations set QAI further back by every moment that passed. Fatboys took its bases out while it was unable to do anything against it.
QAI spent many of its processes in analyzing the battle, to find out what went wrong. While the seventh ACU went nuclear, it could not conclude anything, safe from the fact that the approach of destroying Dygonn had failed to begin with. The intelligence expert had been able to analyze the artificial intelligence’s movement and used that to his advantage.
UEF wasps appeared and it was obvious that QAI now had to give up its air superiority as well.
Every moment that the Seraphim’s Creation discovered another of Dygonn’s tactics, the strategy expert altered his approach and changed small but important details in his battle plan. Along with the advantage in time, it gave him the edge required to hold the line, reclaim anything that was within reach and strike back.
There was only one way to destroy Dygonn now. However, the creators had made it in this universe only several hours ago. They could not go here immediately, having planned a relatively slow but steadily moving apocalypse. It was time to lure Dygonn back into the centre of UEF territory.
Last edited by Plasma_Wolf on 03 Apr, 2010, edited 5 times in total.
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Beyond the battlefield.
“We have only been subjects of a test.” Said Leython. The commanding abilities of QAI’s drones were, mildly put, below average.
“How can you be so sure?” Asked Eric, while he sent transports, filled up with engineers, to every location of QAI’s bases, so he could reclaim everything the artificial intelligence had left behind.
“This is incredibly bad in comparison to what he could get from the databases of battle replays. It suffers from a repetitive machine complex worse than the recruits do. Even you wouldn’t try a land assault for the gazillionth time in a battle. QAI still has much to learn.”
“Well, we’d better not tell that computer. Not that we can. Its ACUs are all gone.” Replied Eric, recalling QAI’s retreat of ten minutes ago.
“There are more ways of contacting QAI than just by opening a channel to one of its ACUs.” Said Leython. “We’ve got more pressing matters though. You now have the time to get the girl to the rest of the evacuees. I’ll oversee the battlefield for now.”
“Is this pilot a threat?” Asked Seth-Iavow simply. QAI informed only of its issues against a simple commander. It had not notified the War Leader at the moment it initiated its assault upon the human, so the artificial intelligence had possibly, if not probably, calculated that twelve command units were enough to destroy someone. It had not concluded that the outcome of the battle was unknown.
“The commander in question is dangerous. If he manages to survive, he can strike back. He has the ability to survive three-to-one odds. Despite of the Seraphim’s superior technology, I suggest the immediate removal of Dygonn. I am unable to destroy him.”
“Concentrate on Brackman instead. Also continue your effort in delaying general Clarke’s meeting with Dostya. A single commander, no matter how intelligent, is nothing compared to the continued survival of the father of the Cybran nation or peace between the Federation and the Syombionts.
We have passed the Quantum Rift and prepare the finale of our assault on Earth. None shall survive.”
“As soon as you complete your task on humanity’s first planet, I will lure Dygonn into a trap on a planet near Earth, so you can find him shortly after his arrival.”
“If you find him more important than the best commanders of the UEF or the Cybran nation,” said Seth-Iavow to the artificial intelligence, “then why do we not know more of him?”
“I estimated that twelve of my ACUs were able to deal with him. My calculations are wrong. It is preferable to dispose of him with superior technology.”
“I understand...” Said the War Leader slowly. Dygonn had become one of their primary targets. It was imperative that they spread out through UEF territory as soon as they could.
“Mister Dygonn? I have been able to find a food processing centre in the city. There is one problem.” Said Reid Let, the only advisor Harm still had.
“Tell me. It’s not a manufacturing centre, but only a processing centre for the crops that grow on the lands surrounding the city?”
“It is not that bad, sir. The problem is that we can only support a mere ten thousand with the crops manufacturing plant itself. We also cannot get something eatable from it within three months. That is, if we’re lucky enough to have a specialist amongst the civilians who can get that thing to work within a week or so.”
The bad news devastated Harm. The cities on Earth, even cities of similar size as London Sethii, all had powerful food manufacturing plants to support every citizen. They were carefully maintained in order to keep the population healthy, well-fed and, most importantly, content.
On planets like these, planets that housed fewer civilians compared to Earth by far, growing crops in the natural way was probably a much better and much more preferable way of producing food.
All of this wouldn’t be a problem if Sethis wasn’t evacuated several years ago. Harm remembered that his own son had participated in it, although he heard about it much later than the actual evacuation. If he made the correct conclusions out of what he heard and saw about Dygonn and the female that was with him, in his apartment, she was his loved one and he developed that crush during his battle on Sinivar Island.
“Sir?” Asked Reid. “What are your orders?”
“That we should find the means of scavenging this land as soon as possible so that we may find food. Perhaps hunt deer, if that is possible. I’ll ask my son and commander Temera to help.”
“I understand sir. Should we half the rations in the meantime?”
“Yes. The people won’t like it, but then we’ve got six days to find food.” Answered Harm, while he was interrupted by an incoming transmission. “Wait a minute... Dygonn, what is it?”
It was Eric. He came to the town as fast as he could to get the little girl to a more peaceful environment. “I’ve got a girl in my ACU and now that the battle’s over, I’ve got the time to get her out. Can you get her some water so she can recover?”
“I’ll do what I can, but we’ve got more trouble than just this, captain.” Said Harm. “I need you and Leython here immediately.”
Leython didn’t know what to do after his father explained the situation. “We must act immediately. With supply for six days, on half rations, we simply don’t have the time to support seventy thousand people. I have got blueprints for a food production plant in my ACU but it is only for a few people. I would have to build thousand of those things and every single one requires contact with its ACU.”
“And it would take some time before the first supplies are produced, I assume?” Asked Reid Let to Leython.
“Yes, a couple of hours. It’s not much but it can be critical if we require so much.”
“But not everyone has to eat at the same time, right?” Asked Harm. “If we can distribute the food correctly, everyone will be eating at a different time. That’ll surely double the number of people we can support.”
“I didn’t think of that. Good idea.” Answered Leython. “I think we’ll triple the number but we’ll still be able to support a mere thirty thousand. I don’t think that the civilians will be happy with less than fifty per cent rations of food that doesn’t even taste well.”
“No, that is correct.” Said Eric. “We’ll need something better. We’ll have to explore the area. Perhaps go to another city and see if they have a major production facility there. That’ll relieve us in a couple of months.”
“Yes.” Said Harm. “Reid, search for some scientists. Some engineers who know how this stuff works. We’ll have to get that working as soon as we can. Leython, you will build food production facilities while Eric will build a defensive base and use spy planes to explore the area. Any fertile land can be turned into farmland. We’ve got a great chance of finding ourselves in the middle of farms that have been abandoned years ago. With a bit of luck, we can get something eatable from that pretty soon.”
“Well, we destroyed part of the farmland in our battle with QAI. So you can be sure that we’re compromised. Cybran strategic missiles pose no nuclear threat despite for the fact that we still call them nukes, so we’re luckily save from any sort of radioactive contamination.” Said Leython.
“Leython, get to work immediately. We need everything we can get.”
Three hours later...
“I’ve almost finished construction on my supply base. We’ll need the means of distributing it to the people, dad.” Said Leython after hours of work. The small structures had their own power supply and required very little resources to work, compared to the Cybran weaponry, but Leython had built more than nine hundred.
“I can take care of that. Don’t forget that I’m good with any kind of logistics.”
“We are still short on food, we’ll have to think of something.”
“Perhaps one of you can go to another city and search for a large food processing centre to power up. We can then distribute food from there.”
“It’ll not be much. I think that the only cities in the vicinity are Tharod and New Venice. We can take a look, if those cities still exist.”
“How do you know that?” Asked Harm. As far as he knew, Leython wasn’t so interested in the current geographical state of a planet.
“How I know it, isn’t important. We’ve got to take a look, but I’m not sure how we can do that. I’ve got my fighter though. I’ll work on that as soon as I can but I can only take one person with me.”
“Perhaps you should leave that to someone else. You’re more use to us in that ACU.” Interrupted Reid Let.
“I know, but I doubt that you know of any pilot who can fly my plane.” Replied Leython. “The handling is ancient, from the twenty-second century or something like that, so if you can find someone who can fly with that sort of equipment...”
“I’ll do my best. I can do that while I’m looking for other useful people. I already found some new assistants for your father. He can’t do it all by himself.”
“I’m trying to find a way to get the production plants to work without the ACU’s contact. There should be a way to do this, but I haven’t found out how.”
“Why do you want to do that? Building another base? Asked Reid.
“No, I want to find out what’s going on in the universe. We might be one of the few who actually know that QAI has turned against us. The whole Cybran nation relies on that thing and not having it is an issue, but having it fight against you while you just send thousands of requests and enormous files of data to that thing is nothing short from direct suicide.”
“The trap for Dygonn is ready to be deployed at your discretion, master.” Said QAI. It had dedicated one of its major processes to the search for Dygonn. If it found out that the human was travelling through the quantum network, it could warn the Seraphim warriors immediately, who would arrive within Dygonn’s vicinity five minutes later. If the human pilot was lucky.
“We are currently in the stage of cleansing Earth.” Answered Seth-Iavow. “The Ahwassas are successful, but most of our ACUs are here as well because we are seeking to see the entire planet free from any humans. We will not continue until Dygonn is the primary target. We are engaging the high-ranked members of the UEF and Cybran nation soon, they are more important.”
“Affirmative. My calculations conclude that the death of Clarke or Dostya is fifty point three times more significant than the death of Dygonn. When you are ready to attack the strategist, I suggest to do it immediately.”
“You will arrange the trap, yes.” Said the War Leader. “This is the second time you wish to elaborate about Dygonn’s destruction. I will not forget.”
“I really wish we had the support of some more commanders, Leython. We can’t possibly hold the line on our own if those Seraphim come to attack us.” Said Eric, tired by what had become hours of work.
“Not to mention that we’ve got to keep ourselves awake for twelve hours, in this ACU. We’ll have to keep watch in turn.” Replied Leython simply.
“I’m sure that we’re going to live in our command units. I’m the only one with a proper base now.”
“Yeah, one with only three omni sensors. You’ve got to build them all over the field. We must know all about it.”
“Oh, sorry. I’ll start working on that immediately.” Said the UEF captain. “Hey, I’m sorry about what I did at the Academy.”
“Oh please, you’re not getting sentimental, are you?” Asked Leython, unable to hide his irritation. “I know it’s not easy to apologize and even harder to find the right words for it so I understand that you’ll sound stupid, but please don’t make it too bad. Besides, I’ve had my share in our constant arguing as well.”
“Yeah, but you were right about everything you said.” Retrted Eric, as if he hoped he could condone Leython’s behaviour.
“So were you, except for the ‘loyalty to the UEF part’. Or maybe you were right about that too. I don’t think I could turn to the Cybrans so easily if doctor Brackman hadn’t explained his situation.”
“How was it there, in the Cybran nation?” Asked Eric, suddenly changing the subject.
“Well, I’ve been in a node that’s got a society much like the UEF. I can’t tell you much about the other nodes, except that they’ve all got the same ugly tasting food.”
“I think that the first groups of citizens have found out by now.” Answered Leython, hoping that he didn’t do more wrong than right by using the Cybran manufacturing devices.
“It’s dreadful. Disgusting.” Said Edward. His mother sighed. Edward had always been a troublesome boy if it came to food, but this time he was absolutely right about it. He wasn’t the only one who hated it, only by taking a look at the other people in the street was enough that Dygonn’s food production facility turned out to be bad.
“It’s not that it actually tastes bad, I don’t taste it at all and that makes it bad because I’m chewing on something that feels and looks like... Like molten plastic.”
“I know Edward. I know, but there’s not much we can do about it.” Sighed Sephia. “We’ve been told we can eat some of the food from Earth, but we’ve got to try to do five days with that... and this.”
Edward didn’t answer, but took another bit of the gray goo on his plate, trying not to vomit.
Suddenly, they both heard a sound of something flying through the air. As they both looked up, like many around them, they saw a plane that was of Cybran design.
Leython landed at a clear spot on the street, thanking his ability to take off and land vertically. He jumped out immediately and ignored the angry glares cast at him by almost everyone who saw the former UEF commander.
Sephia noticed that the twenty-six year old man carefully looked around while he walked and that he eventually turned to her, seemingly forgetting everyone else.
When he stood close to her, he immediately talked: “Are you Sephia Alaric? I’m Leython Dygonn and my father’s assistant has identified you as a pilot.”
“I’m sorry, what is this all about?”
“Have you learned to fly with the twenty-second centuries’ plane equipment? With that I mean the cockpit of that fighter.” Said Leython and he pointed at his plane.
“I think I can.” Replied Sephia, still not knowing what Leython wanted her to do. “Why?”
“We need you to check neighbouring cities. I know of two cities nearby, named Tharod and New Venice. The UEF type of food manufacturing plants produce much better crops than the Cybran ones, as you have experienced by yourself now. There is one plant in London Sethii, but that’ll not do for more than ten thousand people. I suspect that most of the food here was still done by manual labour on real farms, a concept that is barely known on Earth.”
“You want me to look at cities nearby to see if those have a manufacturing plant as well? Why me?”
“If you can pilot the plane, I’m relieved of that duty and I can do what I’m best at, protecting this place against any sort of enemy, I’ll be of better use in my ACU but we still have to see if we can get more UEF food, if you know what I mean.”
“I get it, so what do I do if I find those production plants? How will I find them in the first place?”
“My father’s assistant, Reid Let, is searching for either of the engineers who work in such a plant. We’re very lucky to have them, because they might know how to get such a thing started.”
“What if we manage to do that?”
“Then you’ll come back here and we’ll discuss the next step. We hope that we can have enough people to run such a thing.”
“Ok, I think I can do that.” Said Sepia, looking a bit scared nonetheless. “But what about my son?”
“I’ll take him to my father. I think he found someone to take care of the girl captain Temera took in his ACU, he’ll also find someone for your son for the time being.”Chapter 10
Hundreds of fish swum close to the surface of the water as if they wanted to enjoy the sunlight. After having adapted to the environment of Spica Prime, they flourished near any coast. Their peaceful day met an abrupt end as they were greeted by the largest predator the sea had ever seen.
The fishes scattered as fast as they could in order to make way for the UEF Ace class vessel. The nuclear submarine moved on forward at full speed, not even notifying its parent control unit, major Funky’s ACU, of all the marine life.
“Cole, report.” Said Josh, as he suddenly noticed a gray dot on his strategic screen. It was outside of his own sensor’s range, so it could only mean that Cole had an omni sensor nearby. Josh’s memory and a glance at the area confirmed that.
“I’ve seen it sir and I’m already sending a spy plane.” Replied Cole. Half a minute later, the spy plane identified a Cybran ACU building its base. Before Josh could even open a transmission channel, the Cybran pilot did: “This is Leython Dygonn for any UEF commander in the field. Please identify yourself.”
“Leython, it’s Josh.” Sounded the answer and Leython sighed in relief.
“It’s good to hear that you survived. Is there anyone with you?”
“I’m lieutenant Cole Wigan.” Said another pilot after he joined the conversation.
Before either of the UEF pilots could speak, Leython already continued. “Whatever you do, don’t contact QAI, he’s turned to the Seraphim. I don’t know how many Symbionts know about this but we’ve got to inform the Cybran nation.”
“With all of the static throughout the whole quantum network? We can’t do anything. How did you make it here by the way? Last time I checked, you went to Sethis.”
“I did make it there, barely. Eric is still alive but I don’t know about anyone else.” Answered Leython. “When I made it to Sethis, QAI attacked us with twelve ACUs but it’s going to have to upgrade a lot of its own algorithms if it is expecting to win even one battle. I think that it’s working on that problem now.”
“Now answer me the more important questions. How did you get here? If we know we might have a way of going to Sethis, while evacuating the people here. This is dangerously close to those Aliens that attacked Earth.”
“I found an open spot within the distortions, I’m surprised that you guys didn’t see that.” Said Leython simply.
“We haven’t seen anything.” Replied Cole immediately. Leython’s heart suddenly skipped a beat...
“A trap! QAI’s done this for me.”
“Sir?” Said Cole. “I’m detecting that the distortions are dissipating. They’ll not be gone but it might be good enough for us to get out of here.”
“Let’s help Leython first.” Replied Josh to his subordinate before turning to his old friend. “I’ll be sending engineers towards your position, I’ll order them to assist your ACU. In the meanwhile, Cole will provide you with the resources you will need. You’d better build a whole base instead of one quantum gate because we’re going to evacuate as many civilians as possible. We’ve got a town nearby.”
“How big is this town?” Asked Leython immediately, ordering his ACU to construct a land factory, as he was already done with his mass extractors and power generators.
“Eighty thousand I believe. I’m contacting the governor again, to begin with the evacuation. I hope that we’ll be in time.
“Dygonn is on Spica Prime as we speak, master.” Informed QAI. It had almost been two days on Earth since the Seraphim arrived on Earth and they now made their progress in UEF territory. Unfortunately, they were slowed down within the first hours. The vast Quantum Rift turned out to be unstable, drastically reducing the forces they could make available.
Nonetheless, an adequate number of Seraphim pilots made it through and now they were not only obliterating anything on Earth, but the hunt on the highest ranked members of the UEF and Cybran societies had begun.
According to QAI, Dygonn was one of the best commanders of the current time and his immediate demise was advised.
“Gialumeth, you will go to Spica Prime and attack Dygonn. He is your first target, you should not concentrate on any other commander before the Cybran commander is dead. He is the only one commanding a Cybran ACU. The other two are, according to the Quantum AI, piloting UEF command units. They have a fully operational base but that should be no problem for our superior technology. I recommend to rely on aerial weaponry.”
“I understand, War Leader. I will go immediately. I presume that, when I am successful, I must turn my attention to the civilians on the planet?”Said the Seraphim commander. Seth-Iavow nodded and Gialumeth immediately ordered the five warriors he had under his command, to join and follow him.
“QAI,” said the War Leader, “it is no longer required to concentrate your processes on Dygonn. Superior numbers and technology will soon end his life.”
“Affirmative. There is a ninety-nine per cent chance that you are correct.” Answered QAI. “Reallocating the processes now.”
Three minutes later...
“Sir, I’m detecting a quantum wake in my vicinity.” Said Cole to Josh. Leython listened as well and he immediately answered.
“Send me the signature.” He said while he constructed his first tier two power generator. Josh’s and Cole’s assistance was more than welcome at this moment.
Cole sent the image to his own superior and to Leython while he tried to explain what sort of commander could have caused it.
“I don’t get it, it looks like some interference is causing the readings to spike off the charts but it looks like the total energy required to gate is not more than what Leython needed to bring his own ACU across the quantum network.”
“Cole, get spy planes up and send them in all directions. I can’t explain what sort of commander it is. The Aeon’s signature may look like this but it really won’t have such high readings in its chart. Not even with the current state of the quantum network. Besides, the gate to this planet isn’t even blocked anymore. I’m barely reading any distortion.” Said Josh, fearing the worst.
“It’s Seraphim. Prepare for combat.” Said Leython. He knew that the readings he saw couldn’t be caused by any ACU made by the human race.
“Seraphim?” Asked Josh, while he immediately ordered his transports, filled with artillery, to move out to the first wake eruption they had noticed. Leython called it off though.
“That’s the name of the aliens, the teachers of the Aeon Illuminate’s ancestors. Stop the transports. Wait a few minutes while we check that zone with spy planes. The Commander will be able to overcharge the first group of units, destroy the second while it is dodging the grenades and then use another overcharge shot to deal with the third. That’ll cost you fifty per cent of your squad and you haven’t done anything.”
“You want me to wait until the enemy’s got a base?”
Six Seraphim command units started their work immediately, ignoring the land they set ablaze upon their arrival. The commander, Gialumeth, had ordered the frontal warrior to construct a regeneration upgrade on his ACU immediately. Spica Prime was too far away from Earth to travel with all of the enhancements, but their tier three construction arm could be maintained while they travelled away from humanities cradle.
Lianta was the person who entered the battlefield closest to their enemies and the only one within the enemy’s active ACU range. He had to keep the UEF and Cybran forces busy while the others built their base and armies to deal with the enemy. Satisfied that all did as ordered, Gialumeth himself finished construction on his air factory and his command unit immediately turned to build some power generators. Mass extractors would soon follow and then he could upgrade his economy exponentially.
In the meanwhile, two of his subordinates had already begun construction on a tier two power generator, ready to assist the others whenever it was necessary. The last two would soon be ready to upgrade their land factories to tier two and construct the Ilshavoh bots, units designed to take out an enemy tier one army in rapid succession, while even outranging every direct combat unit the humans had in the tier two stage.
One light air transport took off, the first air unit Gialumeth had built in the heavy realm. It was ready to intercept the enemy plans…
Three minutes later...
“Josh, you should be able to do maximum damage with your air drops now. Let’s get going.” Said Leython. The UEF major immediately responded and relayed the orders to his forces. Air transports took off, carrying nothing but Lobo artillery, ready to delay the enemy.
No sooner they arrived, or the mobile artillery were taking damage by enemy tanks.
“Ignore everything, just get the buildings. Overkill if necessary. Get a factory.”
“I know, I know.” Said Josh frantically. He ordered the units to fire and they did, but not before one entire group was taken out by an overcharge shot. Another group didn’t fare any better, several units were already destroyed by small jets of plasma that seemed to come out of nowhere.
“Cole!” Yelled Leython and Josh’s lieutenant yelped in surprise: “What is it sir?”
“Get spy planes up. I want full intel on the enemy, move your ACU ahead if necessary. We must know where we can strike next. Where are the Broadswords and Ambassadors? They should be able to do something.”
“I’ll send them right away but it isn’t very much.” Answered Josh immediately. “We’ve primarily built air superiority fighters because of the enemy experimental bombers. That’s more important. One of those things can level an entire base.”
“Nukes?” Asked Leython immediately. Strategic weapons should be able to do something.
“I’ve got two in a submarine but that one’s on the other side of the battlefield. I’ll order it to return immediately.”
This was a setback. Josh Funky was an excellent commander if it came to a surgical strike on the enemy. However, such tactics were useless for as long as the enemy had an ACU in the vicinity of his own base. Realising the threat the possibility that the enemy could execute another bombing run, he didn’t build very much bombers or gunships, but relied more on the defence of his own base.
“The missile sub has turned around. It’ll take some time though...”
“That means it’ll destroy more.”
“The city’s evacuation has begun. Perhaps you could get some transports with your mobile stealth fields there. You could get the civilians out without the Seraphim knowing.”
Thanks to QAI’s vast database, Gialumeth had enough knowledge about human warfare to know what his advantage in this war was. Far before the humans discovered quantum travel, they already displayed that superior technology was capable of destroying vast enemy armies. However, with such an edge in battle, a dangerous form of overconfidence could lead to defeat.
Gialumeth understood that crafty traps were well capable of causing a setback for the enemy, if not worse. Armies were destroyed because their generals thought they could deal with the problem at hand within a day or a week, severely underestimating the enemy.
“Lianta, air transports are inbound. Ilshavohs will support you. The units will be transferred for the optimal effects of the regeneration field. I am also arriving with some engineers, those will construct tier two point defences.”
“Thank you, commander.” Answered warrior Lianta in gratitude. They had survived the first wave with ease but while they were working on their initial base, the enemy had time to send in more units in a vain attempt to destroy them. Even though everyone was confident that they would not suffer any casualties, they were very well aware of the economical disadvantage they had at this moment.
“Commander Gialumeth,” Said Ri-Entish, one of the two commanders responsible for the economy they required to destroy the enemy base and cleanse the planet. “I detect several spy planes of UEF design flying over my base. I take it that we are on an arrival site too far for the enemy to reach, as is our plan? Only Lianta is in the combat zone, is he not?”
“That is correct, warrior Ri-Entish. You know however, that we are not far from the enemy ACU’s command zone. They need to move no more than a few kilometres if they wish to reach us.”
“Should we construct shield generators immediately, commander?” Asked warrior Quen-Terah, the one who was specialised in land and air combat, who was therefore closest to Lianta, ready to support him.
“I suggest to do so.”Advised Yxilianeth, Gialumeth’s first lieutenant. “You, Lianta and warrior Perlutowin will be the enemy’s primary targets. I have watched the grand scene and they have discovered you with their spy planes as well. Soon, you will see strategic bombers and advanced gunships.”
“I concur.” Filled Gialumeth in. “It are my air factories that will play a critical role in our battle now. While you prepare yourselves for battle, I will be able to support warrior Lianta with tier two bombers. Those weapons, whilst slower than the humans’ air superiority fighters and strategic bombers, are very capable of decimating the enemy’s assaults. Do prepare yourselves properly though, as I am not able to cover everyone at every moment. Construct shields and anti-air units.”
Werder Dorvaro, governor of Tiverda, stood in the middle of living hell. Eighty thousand citizens frantically tried to get away as soon as they could, rushing to the transport convoy. He and his predecessors always had an urge to be prepared for a surprise, to be ready for a sudden attack and in order to accomplish that, they built hundreds of transport trucks. In case they had to evacuate, by orders of a commander, they could.
However, they only prepared their materials for an immediate evacuation, but not the people, a mere instruction booklet was a critical flaw. Tens of thousands had to get away, many of them not exactly knowing how bad the situation was, none of them aware of the time they had left. Even Werder didn’t know it.
The group of policemen that were available, was already stretched to the limit. The mass of people that frantically tried to make it to the transports looked like a large colony of panicking ants. The people of Tiverda lacked organization and their governor was unable to do anything about it.
“Sir, you should get into a transport as well.” One of his police officers said. “You’re the most important person of our city, we should get you to safety as soon as possible.”
“I’m the most important person? Then why do you want me to leave? Give me some more time to be here. Perhaps I can think of something.”
“Sir, with all due respect, you do the best job in the universe while you’re behind a desk. Let us handle this. We’ve got whole security programs available for big events that draw more than a hundred thousand people, from all over the continent. The only difference between that and this is the fact that we’re caught by surprise. Really, you should get out of here so you can manage us as soon as we’re evacuated.”
“Ok then, I’ll go.” Said Werder, knowing that the police officer was actually right, but he also saw that the man didn’t allow any retort. While the governor walked to the transport, noticed an air unit arrive in the city.
“I’ve got the first group of civilians.” Said Leython as he ordered the Dragon Fly to go to Josh’s base and drop the civilian trucks off.
“Good, we have to hurry up. The longer we take, the stronger they become. We haven’t been able to do so much yet.”
“How long until you can launch those missiles?”
“It’ll still take ten minutes before we’ve got that within range of their frontal base. My strategic bombers are arriving there now, they should be able to deal with the threat.”
Josh Funky couldn’t be further from the truth. He had a squad of thirty Ambassador bombers, a number that was capable of taking any normal commander out, even if it were in an Aeon base, fortified with four heavy shield generators.
However, before one single bomber even managed to get close enough to the base, a squad of Seraphim fighters appeared in front of them and opened fire. Leython didn’t know at what tier level those weapons were built, or whether the Seraphim commanders had tier restrictions at all, but each single one of the small group of fighters took one Ambassador down.
As if it weren’t enough, the remainder of Josh’s strike force met some shield generators that turned out to be more than adequate to stop the bombers’ payloads. Tier two flak guns returned fire and tore wide holes in the planes’ wings. Before Josh could do anything, another group of fighters arrived and decimated what was left of the air group.
“I didn’t do anything!” Said Josh. “Cole, send every land unit we have. I’ll bring my army. We’re going to end this now.”
“Yes sir. My units are moving out.” Answered the lieutenant.
A vast group, larger than Leython and Eric had commanded while they were fighting QAI, moved out immediately. Transports picked them up and Cole mentioned that he had an omni sensor available that reported the location of every single Seraphim plane in the area, so that he could safely send the units by air. Josh agreed and did the same while he ordered some newly built spy planes to move out and as soon as they reached the limit of his ACU’s range, he’d immediately transfer them to Cole.
After three minutes of flying, Cole’s units came dangerously close to the enemy fighters and he decided to drop his force of Titans, Parashields and Sky Boxers.
“He’s too late, now we’ll finally do some damage in return.” Said Cole as he noticed that the Seraphim’s air force arrived to try and take his units out. What he didn’t know, was that the fighters turned out to be bombers.
“Our Nothas are only taking minor damage from the enemy.” Said Gialumeth, his satisfaction clearly notable in his voice. “Their shield generators manage to hold the first wave and will likely withstand the second as well, but only because I order my bombers to spread out for a maximum effect as soon as the shields buckle.”
“The Ilshavohs are ready to support my ACU and I will stay behind the shield layers.” Filled Lianta in. “They will stand no chance.”
No more than half a minute later, the enemy units arrived and Lianta fired an overcharge shot, destroying three assault bots. Notha bombers and Ilshavoh bots took more units out in rapid succession, one after another.
“Another wave is incoming. My bombers will intercept, warrior Lianta. I thrust that you can deal with what is left of the first group.”
“Easily, commander. Our weapons prove to be more than adequate for our work.”
“I’ve lost every Titan in my assault force, captain.” Said Cole desperately. “Your units won’t do anything.”
“I’ve sent my air superiority fighters, they should be able to deal with the enemy bombers now.” Replied Josh immediately while the Wasps already closed in. They outnumbered the enemy but Josh feared that it would be a close call if the units were to turn their attention to his air force instead of the land assault.
His fear, caused by the enemy’s capabilities on land combat, turned out to be the truth as the bombers paid attention to the new threat and attacked Josh’s Wasps.
“At least my land assault can continue. I’ll move on with the Titans and Parashields, they’ll destroy the base and the enemy commander.”
But the UEF major was wrong. Before they even made it close, two Seraphim air transports arrived and dropped mobile shield generators, along with some assault bots Leython and Josh thought they saw before, but two command units stood amongst them as well. They both fired simultaneously, but targeted two different units. Instantly, five Titans exploded.
“Well, we’ve seen the effect before but this officially confirms it, they have the ability to overcharge our units.” Said Leython. “More air transports have taken another group of civilians away but we’ll be working on this for some more time. You’ll have to help me. We’ll stand no chance against the Seraphim so we’d better build some defences near the city.”
“I’m already working on that.” Replied Josh. “Omni sensor coming online in some seconds, then I’ll build SAM sites and shield generators.”
However, before Josh could erect the first shield, he noticed a large air unit flying at high speed. None of them even had to think about what it was while the last of Josh’s Titans was destroyed.
“They’re panicking even more.” Said Leython, commenting on the civilians. Unable to do anything, Cole returned his ACU to his base: “They’ll be wiped out. We’ve got nothing.”
Still, both the lieutenant and the major frantically tried to attack the enemy bomber. Hundreds of air superiority fighters took off and rushed for the enemy.
“I hope this can do something. Cole, use every single unit of mass you’ve got to build Wasps! Leython, you should do the same. We might be able to deal with this enemy unit but we’ll take huge losses. If they have another one, we must be able to retaliate.”
The tier three fighters were too late to prevent the experimental bomber from dropping its first payload. Leython had witnessed them up close in Los Angeles, but either he forgot how powerful they were, or the bombs magnitude had tripled since as he saw how hundreds of bodies flew in all directions, whereas even more were instantly vaporised.
“Josh, how far are you with that nuclear sub? Get the first base. Most of the land forces are probably still there, only to protect their front. If they decide that they no longer have to defend themselves, we’ll face even more trouble. Nuke that frontal base!”
The UEF major reacted immediately, noticing that the strategic missile sub had the base already in its range. “Two missiles launched. That should keep them busy. Perhaps their command units can’t deal with that and we might take out three.”
The enemy fighters returned, ready to protect the experimental bomber from the UEF Wasps but apparently, the vast aircraft didn’t need any. Josh couldn’t believe the sight of his fighters crashing in rapid succession only because of some guns on the enemy bomber.
Still, the enemy fighters displayed their terrifying firepower by decimating the Federation air force, although they were unable to catch up with the air superiority fighters that survived.
“I’m hardly doing any damage.” Said Cole, although it was completely unnecessary to report it. All commanders noticed that the bomber’s integrity was incredible, almost three times more than the Cybran Soul Ripper’s.
“It’s regenerating its armour!” Said Leython, noticing how the gaps in the bomber’s wings, although it were only minor scuffs, disappeared under a layer of solidifying metal.
The bomber dropped another bomb, remorselessly killing even more citizens. In the meanwhile, Leython sent in more air transports as it was the only way the people might survive. He chose a flight path that might go unnoticed to the enemy, but he soon noticed how an armoured command unit arrived near the town and started construction on an omni sensor, with the support of several units Leython immediately identified as engineers.
“Damnit, I’ll not get out of the town in time!” Said the intelligence expert. Before he even said it, he already ordered the transports back, wondering how the civilian trucks were loaded so soon.
However, as he predicted, the seraphim’s radar tower was ready before the transports managed to get away. The enemy fighters, no longer having to protect the experimental bomber, changed direction and immediately gave chase to the transports.
“I can’t do anything.” Said Leython, losing hope for the citizens, but still trying to save them. He ordered an emergency drop for his transports shortly before the fighters arrived. All trucks were dropped successfully but Leython was sure that several civilians would be unconscious by now.
Josh had been given the command over the trucks’ automated systems and he ordered them to move away immediately while spreading them out.
Two more commanders arrived by air transports, directly ahead of the convoy. As soon as they stood on the ground, they charged their guns, destroying three or four at the same time with their overcharged bolts.
Before any other truck could do anything else, the experimental bomber arrived and dropped another bomb, instantly dealing with a large portion of the convoy .
“We failed.” Said Josh, unable to hide his disappointment in himself. “We can’t do anything, they’ll be destroyed.”
“Do you have another nuke? Launch it at the commander near the edge of the city. You’ll destroy the omni sensor.” Said Leython.
“That’ll kill thousands of civilians.” Tried Cole to retort.
Josh had his answer ready though: “They’ll die anyway, if there are any left. The evacuation wasn’t supposed to be at that location. If there are any left, we must sacrifice them for another chance to safe the others.”
Cole was horrified. How could his superior, major Funky, make such a decision? How could he so easily sacrifice people while he always had an answer to every problem. Even worse, he knew that Josh was right. There was no answer to this problem.
“We should get out of here as soon as possible, before they turn their attention to us.”
“They already have. Their land units are moving out.” Said Cole. “They’re sending them directly to you, Leython. Air transports are moving in to pick them up.”
“We’ll have no choice.” Said Josh, while he looked at the two missiles that made it at their destination. It instantly destroyed parts of the enemy base but it was no real use. The Seraphim assault bots were already moving out and the commanders were wreaking havoc on the town and the convoy. The third missile was flying through the air and would soon destroy the omni sensor that Leython wanted to take out of commission but even that would be insignificant as the two supporting commander had constructed more radar towers.
“Enemy units coming for me!” Yelled Cole suddenly. He stood at the edge of his base, ready to move towards his quantum gate as he saw several air units fly towards him. The units were larger and faster than the fighters they had seen before and they already dropped their bombs. Explosions that were not as large, but seemed to be as destructive as the experimental bomb’s payload, took the shields out, as well as the anti air defences underneath it.
“Enemy command unit detected!” Said Cole. “It’s in an air transport and its flying directly overhead. I’m targeting it.” Immediately, the ACU fired an overcharge shot that directly hit the Seraphim ACU. The air transport should’ve been torn apart by the blast but for some reason, the commander seemed to absorb the shock.
Terrified for what was coming, Cole gathered all forces he had to converge on his ACU while he saw the transport dropping the enemy commander near one of his shield generators. The Seraphim command unit turned its gun around while Cole fired another overcharge shot. This time, the bolt exploded even more ferociously than the commanders had seen any time before.
The shield generator exploded and a strategic missile defence silo was heavily damaged but that was nothing compared to what was about to happen. The ACU’s weapon charged, blinding Cole. As the screens lowered the brightness, a colourful jet of energy surged through the air and hit Cole’s ACU.
Instantly, the core ruptured and Josh could do nothing but watch how the command unit exploded. Shocked by this, he ordered his two quantum gates to link up with each other and the Cybran one while Leython tried to contact the gate of Sethis, unable to speak.
The Sinnta strategic bombers had done their job well, thought Gialumeth. Within the time any human would ever deem possible, he, Ri-Entish and Yxilianeth managed to gain air superiority over a fully-fledged tier three air force.
Now, while Yxilianeth waited for the nuclear explosion to dissipate, he and Ri-Entish made their way towards the two enemy commanders. Ri-Entish had a small but powerful air force available to deal with the UEF commander, he would destroy Dygonn. The Cybran ACU walked towards the quantum gate but the Ahwassa had changed its purpose and was ready to eradicate the means to escape, if not destroy the enemy ACU at the same time.
Air transports moved ahead and were taking fire from the enemy SAM sites but they dropped their forces before even one could be taken down. Gialumeth felt that his ACU smoothly hit the ground and immediately he fired an overcharge shot on a tier two power generator. One of the three reactors exploded immediately, seconds before the other two were destroyed by the Ilshavoh bots.
Three seconds later, the Ahwassa bomb would explode in the quantum gateway, but Gialumeth already contacted his War Leader: “I am too late. The attempt on Dygonn is not successful.”
Leython and Josh both took a deep breath. They survived, barely. Leython immediately contacted Eric and spoke in a: “Get Ambassadors all over the place. We’ll begin with the immediate construction of our bases. Prepare the whole city for evacuation and build additional gates so we can all make it out of here in time. Prepare strategic missiles and use what economy you have left to support us.”
The news surprised Eric and he immediately asked what was going on: “Are we going to be under attack?”
“Possibly.” Answered Josh, his face showed nothing but disappointment and defeat. “We don’t know but if they come here, we’re done for. I’m surprised we actually managed to make it here with the static and distortion all over the network.”
“QAI is responsible for that. It hampers movement but especially for me, it made a clear passage from Sethis to Spica Prime. That makes it a little harder for bring the distortions back in, if it expected it had to do that in the first place. QAI assumed I would die.”
“Why did you go here in the first place?” Asked Josh.
“I wanted to see if I could warn the Cybran Nation, but before I got the chance to look for any other way to contact Dostya, Bagby, doctor Brackman or anyone else, the trap already sprung.”
“I managed to send an emergency broadcast all over the planet to warn for the Seraphim invasion, that immediate evacuation was required. We couldn’t leave them without at least warning them, could we?” Said Josh, hoping that some would survive.
“Are there more UEF commanders on planet?” Asked Leython.
“Yes, they will assist, but I hope that they’ll survive the onslaught. The stronger they become, the harder they’re to contain. They only need those experimental bombers and when they’ll have enough, they’ll just repeat the trick of planetary bombing.”
“Leython, I’ve got your father here for you.” Interrupted Eric, before Leython could reply. “It’s got to do with the food supply.”
“Yes dad, what is it?” Asked Leython, tired because of the little sleep he got after the battle against QAI.
“We found a crops facility in Tharod and thanks to two young and smart engineers, both are up and running already. However, we have to wait for at least three months. The same goes for the farmland. The vast regions would normally provide more than enough corn but we’ve got to take a close look on the quality. It’s been growing here for several years unchecked now. Weed is growing everywhere and we still have to wait for some months before the corn is eatable.”
“That isn’t our worst concern. I’ll build a base first, then I’ll build additional food production plants. Is the broadcasting tower still holding?” Asked Leython.
“Yes it is. It’s a perfect thing to keep those small plants online but I think we’ll need another one, so we don’t stretch this one too much. It’ll also come in handy if one of them actually malfunctions.” Answered Harm.
He looked at the radio tower that stood in the middle of London Sethii. At first, he was surprised to see such ancient techniques in the modern world but he quickly realised that such things were cheap to build and probably very reliable, while most of the people knew how such things worked. Either way, technology of more than nineteen hundred years old allowed the people here to eat something, even though it was not much, while Leython could try to contact the Cybran nation elsewhere in the universe.
It didn’t work though. Instead, he met the more advanced technology of the Seraphim. Listening to Josh Funky’s battle report, they didn’t stand a chance against one single bomber, were forced back by mere ground forces, lost a UEF commander to one single Seraphim ACU and slower, seemingly less powerful fighters decimated their state-of-the-art air force.
Even now, the Seraphim could be preparing their assault on Sethis, to deal with his son and the two UEF commanders once and for all, while the human pilots had worked for an insane period of time with little to no sleep...
Last edited by Plasma_Wolf on 28 Sep, 2010, edited 5 times in total.
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Two weeks had passed since the Seraphim arrived in the universe that was known to humanity. Their arrival caused disarray in the UEF ranks, decimated the Cybran military force and cleansed planets faster than the Aeon could ever hope to do.
In the Aeon society, the aliens were welcomed as their great leaders. The princess was nowhere to be found, providing the opportunity for evaluator Kael to rise and fill up the vacuum of power.
Her words were heard and the Aeon continued their bloody and zealous war. Not even doubting the teachings of their leader, the people of the Illuminate easily forgot the princess’ attempt to end the endless fighting.
Marisa sighed. She and Selene still refused to join the military, for Kael a reason to brand them as outcasts. They were, reluctantly, allowed in the capital city of Seraphim Two, but anywhere they walked, the people glared angrily at them. Now they were left without a job, Selene would soon have to sell the house and beg for food and a place to sleep.
Marisa had heard about Rhiza’s rebellion but she doubted if she had any chance of joining them for as long as she didn’t have an ACU. She realised how perfect the Aeon civilisation was, as long as she could agree with the main body of government. Disagreeing with the evaluators though, had become a direct request to be exiled, if not worse.
She and Selene were locked up on their planet. The longer this crisis endured, the more she realised her mistake by leaving her ACU and confronting templar Halley, before leaving for Selene’s house. She wasn’t allowed in the ACU’s hangar and they had taken her command unit, erased all of the data in it and were about to turn it over to a new knight. Within a couple of days, she would have lost the monumental weapon that represented her impressive clash against Marxon.
“We have no choice but to join the ranks of Kael.” Said Marisa, after she considered all of their options.
“What?! Why?” Asked Selene immediately. “That is insane. We cannot commit ourselves to murder, can we?”
“Have you ever murdered? Have you ever killed thousands of people for Marxon’s so called great plans?”
“No, I have not. Neither have you, but we have never fought at the front, I have had only one real battle and I was so inexperienced that I couldn’t do anything.”
“That is the same with me. I was always working as support commander on resource duty. Building up a large economy farm and sending out experimental units to the front only to transfer them to others. I never did my best. When I was forced on the defence, I fought good enough to drive the enemy back and if necessary, I killed a Cybran or UEF commander.”
“But now we will be forced to attack civilians, I hope you understand that.” Said Selene in disgust.
“We will not have to do that.” Replied Marisa immediately. “As soon as we make it elsewhere, we flee and make it to Sethis.”
“Do you really think that they will let us go so easily?” Asked Selene. “You were lucky with Marxon because he made the slightest mistake and did not know anything about your intentions. It is all known to Kael.”
“As soon as we are on the battlefield, we can go anywhere. They have no chance to stop us.”
“The distortions will. Apparently, the static is barely affecting the network in Aeon territory but I am sure that our movement is hampered at the border.” Retorted Selene. She could not believe that Marisa thought it would be so easy.
“We need not to worry. As soon as we arrive on a mission to cleanse our so called enemies, we will turn on the people who are supposed to be our fellow knights, save the citizens on the planet and make our way out. The distortion on the quantum network is not so bad that we cannot make it into the UEF or Cybran Nation at all.’’
“We managed to destroy QAI’s ACUs but we can’t make our way out of here.” Said Jeff. “The network is disrupted. Do you have any ideas?”
“Perhaps, but it can take a lot of time.” Replied Shilon. “We’ll have to build a powerful gate complex and we may not be able to leave together.”
“That’s a problem. The person who arrives at the destination first will be in a world of trouble.”
“Yes, we’ll be detected by QAI immediately. It’s either you or me who’s going to face overwhelming odds. Let’s not forget that we’ve got ten thousand people under our protection now.” Said Shilon, commenting on the town they were now. They were helped nicely, being provided of food and water for the past fourteen days.
“What if we spread out over the planet?” Asked Jeff. “Then we might be able to get out all at the same time.”
“No, the problem is with the quantum network itself, not with the arrival site or, in our case, the location of departure.”
“So that means...” Started Jeff, but he couldn’t make a solid conclusion. This situation was completely unknown to him.
“It basically means that we’re going to need a lot more energy to make a clear path for ourselves and the civilians, so much it’ll be impossible, if we’re not lucky. Perhaps we should go planet-hopping but that means we’ve got to be fast, we’ll run out of food in no-time.” Said Shilon.
“We’ll have to make it to a remote planet where we have food directly available and we’ve got one day to go there. That means we’ll have... How much jumps of making it there?” Asked Jeff. “Assuming we need two hours to set up for the next jump through the network, we’ll have twelve chances of making it to our destination. But we don’t have much time, with those Aliens coming for us. We’ll have to make our decision, do you have the Fedaration’s territory mapped in your database?”
“I have and I know about a couple of planets but none of those must be more than twelve junctions away from us, right?”
“As by our own calculations, yes.” Said Shilon immediately. They were making the correct assumptions and that was good thing, because they couldn’t afford any other mistakes now.
“I’ll take a look at the map, I’ll tell you in five minutes. You should prepare the town for the evacuation.”
Plenty of food, that wasn’t the problem. Leython’s small food production devices worked perfectly and the broadcasting towers worked as they wanted as well. However, the quality reflected the people’s mood. Leython was used to the kind of food that he knew of the Cybran Nation, despite for the fact that he spend most of his time in the Three-Rivers node, which included proper meals like he was used to from Earth, before he left for Tessalis.
Their quality of food wasn’t the worst problem though. They were unable to make a connection with any other planet. They were blind and had no idea about the Seraphim’s progress through the galaxy.
Now, after they fortified their position on Sethis, Leython, Josh and Eric analysed all information they got from Cole’s spy planes. The result was simply shocking.
“What we’re looking at, are low-tech air units that not only deal more damage, but are also a lot stronger.” Said Leython, directly addressing the main problem.
“What makes you think they’re low-tech units?” Asked Eric.
Josh answered immediately, commenting on the last moments of his subordinate’s life while sending a small video to Eric: “These planes are faster than the ones you’ve seen before and the bombs are devastating.”
“I see, sir.” Replied Eric. “Those are not as strong as the experimentals’s bombs and they don’t have such a massive blast wave, but they’re deadly nonetheless.” He didn’t see any reading of sensors, only the images he got from major Funky and that still told more than enough.
“That’s what we found out. It destroyed Cole’s shields, the generators and his SAM sites. Those things are as powerful as our strategic bombers. As we have established with the other weapons, they’re much stronger than our weaponry. Our anti-air equipment is capable of destroying our aerial technology, but is no match for what they’ve got.”
“A big problem. As soon as they’re on the planet, we’ve got to get out. We don’t stand a chance against them.” Said Eric, fearing the worst. “We should prepare for an immediate evacuation, quantum gates have to be built everywhere around the city. In the meanwhile, we should look for another remote planet.”
“A higher priority is to contact the rest of humanity.” Said Leython. “For as far as we know, the Cybran Nation still relies on the Quantum AI. That is a cancer growing in their military body they’re asking for help.”
Josh sighed, they were outnumbered, outmatched by superior technology and they still knew only about a small portion of the Seraphim’s arsenal. “So we have two priorities. Inform the outside world of QAI’s betrayal, which is important for the Cybrans in particular, but also protect the people here and evacuate them if necessary. That’s not going to be a cakewalk because we only have three ACUs.”
“I know Josh, I know.” Said Leython. “It’s going to take a long time before we can even think about forming an army to charge against the enemies we face now.”
“How about the Aeon Illuminate?” Asked Eric. “Their forces were loyal to a person who’s been killed, or the princess, who surely is gone as well. We’ve all seen the moments of which I’m sure were her last.”
“I do not know. Marisa’s abilities in combat can compete with other powerful commanders and her knowledge about The Way is as extended as Rhianne Burke’s.” Answered Leython. “If she is in the Aeon society, she may be able to rally the military and the spiritual wing and forge a powerful force that can hamper the Seraphim’s progress, despite for the Alien’s superior technology. However, she was exiled and it’ll take much to achieve her goal. If she made it away from Earth alive in the first place.”
She did, but was in no position to assume control of the Aeon community and prepare for the Seraphim’s onslaught. Treated as outcasts, Marisa and Selene had nowhere to go and therefore, on Marisa’s encouragement, they decided to join the military force again.
It was a dangerous gambit but Marisa didn’t think she had any choice but to do this, hoping she had a chance of rebelling against the Order of the Illuminate and forcing evaluator Kael to her knees.
“So tell me.” Said templar Halley after she heard Marisa’s story, still under the impression that she was talking to Petrene Ellessar. “Why have you not considered this before?”
“I... was uncertain about the intentions of the Seraphim.” Said Marisa, trying to show anxiety. If Halley fell for it, she’d believe that her new knights were easily controllable and would not have to be carefully watched on the battlefield. No one would think they might turn against the Order.
“I see. You are certain about their intentions now?” Asked Halley, disregarding Marisa’s tone.
“Yes, I am.”
“Good, I will see to it that your ACU will be returned to you. Elenes,” said Halley while she turned to Selene, “you will be granted a new command unit. Both of you will first patrol the Illuminate territory and cleanse any UEF or Cybran refugees that might arrive on one of our planets.”
“I understand.” Said Marisa, thinking about a possible way out if they were kept so close to Seraphim Two.
“As soon as you might meet a rebelling pilot, you will destroy her without any communication. If there are too many enemies, request for reinforcements but also build quantum gates in case you may have to retreat.”
“When will we be granted our piloting privileges, templar Halley?” Asked Selene, she suspected that it would take some time.
“Your ACU will not be ready within seven days. Then, you will be sent to the boundaries of the Illuminate’s territory. Ellessar will have to wait for that time as well. You will have more than enough to do for the current week though. I am sending you to work on a training program.”
“Harm?” Leython Dygonn’s father heard the little girl’s voice as she walked into the observation tower.
“What is it, Lucia?”
“I found this in the backpack mum gave to me when she saved my life.” Said Lucia and she showed a small data chip. “I just found it and I don’t know what it is.”
“That’s a data chip, but it must be a very advanced one, I never saw that sort of design before. I even don’t know if we can read it with the technology we’ve got available here.”
“Did your mother tell you where she got it from?” Interrupted Reid Let.
“I’ll show Leython, maybe he knows more about it.” Said Harm and the little girl gave the data chip to him and then she walked away again.
“Leython.” Said Harm after he opened a channel. “How much do you know about the Seraphim?”
“Not enough yet.” Was the simple answer. “Not enough to tell about the size of their arsenal or the firepower of their weapons. I can tell you though, that their destructive abilities outmatch ours on every level. Especially on air. Their land units are perhaps twice as strong as well, but also deal twice the damage.”
“That is bad. So you don’t stand a chance?” Asked Harm.
“We’ve got large bases now, Josh and Eric have built Mavor artilleries and we’ve got strategic missiles. So we’ll slow them down a bit, I hope. We might be able to evacuate but we’ve got to find some planets we can go to. We’re short on everything but food. We need clothes in case we arrive on an arctic planet and so on, we’re very lucky to be here and I hope that we can stay here for some time.”
“Ok, we’ll have to find some other planets then. What about the quarantine zone? Do you have any idea of planets there?”
“Tessalis, we could go there but I’d rather not to. The quarantine zone is a nice place to hide, I know that because I stayed there with Marisa, but we also have no contact at all. Even if the distortions and all static in the Quantum Network disappear, we’ll be hard pressed to communicate, especially because we have to know who we want to speak with and where he or she is. That also means we’ve got no idea of what’s going on elsewhere in the galaxy, whether we can go back or not.”
“We’ll have to think of something.” Said Harm. “Now I’ve got another question, do you know more about this?” He asked and he showed the data chip.
“I have seen something similar in the Cybran Nation, but nothing looked exactly like that. It’s unique I think. You’re sure the data chips in the Federation don’t look like that nowadays?”
“I thought about that as well and I’m absolutely sure that nothing looks like this on Earth.”
“Then how did that end up with you?”
“That girl Eric rescued, Lucia, had it. Her mother gave it to her but she didn’t notice until now.”
“Odd, how can a normal citizen end up with such a thing. Perhaps it’s designed by the mother herself. See if you can get access to the data in any way. Is the interface recognizable?”
“Not at all. I can’t plug it in. The UEF computers don’t have the port this chip requires.”
“Perhaps I can analyse it. Come to my ACU, then I’ll take a look at it.”
Ten minutes later, Leython looked at the chip in confusion. None of the tests he ran gave a useful answer. The chip’s interface didn’t match any of the current Cybran ones and analysing it by one q-bit at a time gave no result either.
“It looks like this thing is encrypted with a very powerful code.” Said Leython. “I can’t let my ACU analyse it manually and I also can’t plug it in.”
“You ran every decryption tool on the data after you had it analysed?” Asked Josh? “If so, plugging it in won’t help you, even if you could try it.”
“I know...” Answered Leython. “Perhaps you can analyse it.”
“No, we don’t have such equipment in our command units. We’ve got to do that at a UEF base.”
“Ok, we’ll have to think of that later then.”
“Why do we bother?” Asked Eric. “This is a chip owned by a civilian, it’s not like they’ve got important data on that thing.”
“If you don’t have any important data, why do you put it on a chip that can’t be plugged in a Cybran computer and that isn’t even recognized in the UEF in the first place?” Replied Leython. “Manually analysing it will leave you lost with the next stage: encryption. If this thing is from the UEF, I can tell why I can’t decrypt it but how big is the chance that it actually is from the UEF, given the fact that no one recognizes it?”
“You think it’s from the Cybran Nation then?” Retorted Eric. “Come on, you can’t explain how it got on Earth.”
“No, I can’t. Strange things have happened in the last thousand years but this is a total mystery. However, the design looks a lot like what we’ve got in the Cybran Nation today.”
“Let’s focus on something more important for now.” Said Josh, to end the matter. “We’ve got to look at neighbouring gates that allow us to travel to hospitable planets, planets we don’t have to build a whole life-support infrastructure on just to house the civilians.”
“You’re right. We can still travel a bit but we’ve got to be careful not to do it too soon or too late. If the Seraphim are upon us, evacuating to a neighbouring gate will not save us. We’ve got to stay a few steps ahead.”
“Evaluator Kael. Good day.” Halley managed to speak with the most respectful tone possible and Kael seemed to notice that. “Petrene Ellessar and Selene Elenes have come to me today. They are no longer our concern. I have ordered them to patrol near the Illuminate border. The quantum distortions and the quarantine zone will probably prevent desertion.”
“A fine achievement. They are the last that know about Gawain’s false teachings.” Said Kael, the tone of satisfaction clearly audible. “with that problem out of the way, we can now fully concentrate on the rebellion of Rhiza and her friends.”
“Should we monitor Elenes and Ellessar to be certain about our control?” Asked Halley.
“No, such a mission is beneath the abilities and expertise of your team, it is a waste of your talents. I will assign two new knights to that. The two we have under control are inexperienced. Ellessar is commanding an ACU for only a short time now and Elenes has not commanded troops on the battlefield for years. Their training will be enough to keep them alive in case of a major assault, which will most likely not occur. They do not know much more than that.”
“Then two less experienced knights will suffice.” Concluded Halley.
“That is correct. I will find the commanders that are more experienced than Ellessar and Elenes but who do not have the skills to be wasted by keeping them on this assignment.”
“I understand, evaluator Kael. I also have a second matter to attend to. Since Ellessar is no longer in my team and one of my knights perished during the battle of Earth. I have need of new commanders.”
“I will assign you additional pilots. You will now command a team of five knights. A group of six commanders in total is perfect for a swift attack but also for a long battle. Undoubtedly, you are aware of that, given the excellent teaching of Marxon’s military academy.”
“Yes, evaluator. When I receive word of the reinforcements in my team, I will go anywhere where you deem us necessary, for the glory of the Seraphim.”
Although she was locked up on a planet, a concept that she couldn’t comprehend, she had to run. Run faster than the two years older friend she met two weeks ago. He had found her and it now came up to who could go back and call dibs.
The problem was, Edward was faster and that was the reason for having not won a single time. Using the whole story as the field, Lucia could think of a hundred, if not a thousand hiding places, but she was too afraid to go somewhere else after hiding for the first time. If she’d run into Edward then, she would’ve lost anyway.
Perhaps it was a plan to try nonetheless, as not doing anything until he saw her wasn’t any better. If she could just think of something else.
The words barely formed in her mind as she saw a crawlspace that would lead to the room she and Edward were running for. Edward missed it and even if he would have noticed, he couldn’t fit in. It forced him to go around, which took him a long time. Hopefully, it would take him too long.
She could and she immediately crawled through, seeing an empty room. As she stood up, she heard Edward’s steps coming closer. A second later, he stormed in, stunned to see her, but unable to hide a smile as she said the winning word. She had finally beaten him.
Three months after the destruction of Earth...
Gialumeth gazed down upon the destruction he caused with his ACU, his team and more than a hundred Ahwassa bombers. Again, millions of human lives were lost. His warriors attacked without remorse and death followed them closely.
The Way’s teachings were to respect all life and the ironic aspect of this war was to destroy life in order to be able to respect it in turn. Gialumeth had been informed about Jaran Marxon, Avatar-of-War of the Aeon Illuminate. He too knew that the death of humans was not an obstacle to avoid but a necessary sacrifice.
This time, it would not stop with the sacrifice of only the UEF or the Cybran Nation, but the Aeon Illuminate was to disappear as well, although that would have to come later, as the Seraphim’s arrival met issues at the first hour.
Not that it mattered for humanity in the end, thought Gialumeth, not that it mattered for the millions people who died here. Not that it mattered for the small group that managed to escape this day. Eventually, they would all be wiped out.
Gialumeth was sure that he would soon meet the Cybran and the Federation commanders again, the two who led the evacuation of the small town they were protecting. It gave the Seraphim commander, as well as his warriors, time to think about the arsenal that the enemies had at their disposal. Dozens of strategic missiles had been launched and even though those things didn’t do very much to the experimental bombers, which had left ground zero before a missile would arrive, it was a force to be reckoned with.
“Warriors.” Said Gialumeth to his subordinates after he had altered the approach of the mission. “We will no longer directly confront the enemy. We will build up a base of operations at a relative safe location of the planet. When our armies grow steadily, we will attack. The possibility of attack by strategic missiles will then be insignificant.”
“Well reasoned, commander,” replied Yxilianeth, “but we have to defeat the enemy commanders as well. When they die, the civilians will have no protection. Then we can cross the galaxy without resistance.”
“That is correct, but if we work fast, there will be no difference between our preparation and the possibility of slowing down due to a strategic attack. We will – ” Gialumeth stopped, he had just proven how useless his own idea was. If there wasn’t any difference between the time they took by preparing and the slow down they suffered from a possible strategic missile, then there wasn’t any difference the other way around either.
“Do no longer think about my new approach, it is not better than the old one. We will attack our enemies directly.”
It took more than six weeks before Leython heard about the first victory. The first direct victory over their new aggressor. QAI had been disabled for a small period of time, thanks to doctor Brackman. He managed to clear the quantum network of any distortion, which allowed the UEF and the Cybran Nation to move freely again. That wasn’t all though, since the father of the Cybrans was smart enough to include QAI’s betrayal in his message.
Being able to communicate with the rest of the universe again was a nice gesture, but it came with a dangerous problem as well. Any message might be tracked by QAI. Leython was certain that the artificial intelligence would be able to decrypt every message he sent and that wasn’t even a necessity as merely tracking the message would be enough to disclose the possible receivers’ locations. Leython would also not be surprised if QAI tracked the data soon enough to find out where he was hiding with Josh and Eric.
“I have a plan.” Said Leython to his colleagues after some hours of thinking. “It’s a dangerous idea but I don’t see how we can make our way to a larger community or more commanders in any other way.”
“Tell me, what’s the plan?” Asked Josh. “And what do we have to do?”
“I’ll travel to a UEF planet somewhere in UEF territory, a planet of which we know it isn’t habited. Then, I’ll broadcast an emergency message throughout the galaxy, claiming I am under attack by the Seraphim.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Said Eric furiously. “You’re an idiot if you think anyone will rescue you. Everyone knows what the Seraphim are capable of. Claiming such a thing is claiming you’re living your last moments. Anyone joining you to rescue you will only join you in death.”
“The Cybrans will reply.” Answered Leython calmly. “They’ll not come to the rescue directly, but we’ll find a rendezvous point where I will go to. Dostya, Brackman and others are smart enough to see I’m coming up with a ruse.”
“What about the Seraphim? QAI?” Asked Josh. “You’ll need a way to deal with that.”
“QAI will track me right away, I’ll have to work fast in order to get a quantum gate up. Given the fact that we haven’t been attacked, the Seraphim have ordered their computer not to attack me, or concentrate on me at all. They’re either underestimating the threat we pose or they’re right when they think they’ll eventually kill us when they accidentally stumble upon us.”
“If that is true, why will QAI track you?”
“It’s ordered to track everything, I think. The distortion hampered QAI’s effectiveness but it will now be able to track a lot of the network’s traffic. That is the best way to inform its masters where any humans are hiding. Since we have cut ourselves off of the network since the message from Brackman and we’re far away from Earth, we’re relatively safe. However, as soon as one of us travels, QAI will note that and strike. If we get too close to Seraphim territory, they’ll attack and we’re done for.”
“That’s not going to be easy, picking the best planet. We’re got to be far away from the Seraphim, but not too close to Sethis, then we’ll jeopardize the people here.” Said Josh.
“Not to mention that you put anyone on the planet you arrive on in danger if you accidentally go to an inhabited place.” Concluded Eric.
“Not just anyone there, but also the people who live in the immediate region of my arrival gate.”
“What about Aeon territory?” Asked Eric, but Josh had a better idea:
“Perhaps we should use the quarantine zone. That’ll provide a safe haven for you or the civilians. It’s far from the Seraphim, not easily detected by QAI and we also stay away from Aeon territory, which is good because we don’t know about them either.” Added Josh to answer Eric’s confusion look as to why travelling to the Illuminate was a dangerous plan.
“That might be a good idea. You will go to Tessalis, but not before we’re sure you can construct the food production facilities that I can build. The same problem must be solved for the radio towers. We need them to control the production facilities.”
“If we have that, what will you do?”
“I’ll travel elsewhere, sending a message from Sethis directly after you left will be a danger as well.” Said Leython.
“How so? QAI has already anticipated that you’re here, right?” Asked Eric. “That’ll make it less of a danger to be here when we communicate.”
“You’re right.” Said Josh. “Leython, why didn’t you plan this before?”
“I didn’t think of it, not before you mentioned the quarantine zone. Even I need some time to alter plans and conclude what the new situation is. I don’t have that problem in the heat of a battle of course.”
“Can we get on now?” Asked Eric. “We can talk about our characteristics later.”
“You’re right. I’ll stay here and wait some time, a couple of hours. Then I’m sure that you’ve got a base or something like that. Just for good measure. In case Aeon forces attack. They might be hostile now.”
“Then we’ll just contact you. If we can.” Said Josh. “You’ll join the battle and we’ll then have a good chance of taking them on.”
“Exactly. If it’s silent for some hours, I can safely assume that QAI has not tracked you and attacked, or ordered to attack. Then I’ll send a message through the network and the Cybrans will find a way to contact me. When that whole procedure has been dealt with, we’ll escape from QAI’s grasp and come up with a plan of action.”
“What makes you so sure the Cybrans will help you?” Asked Eric. “They’ll be hiding, assuming they’re still surviving. They’ll not risk their lives for a mere seventy to seventy-five thousand people.”
“I have designed a plan to successfully attack the fortress of Matar and even if the fortress we had designed would have made it through the UEF bureaucracy, I would’ve been successful. They have learned from that, in addition to the strategically and technical geniuses they already had there. They’ll come up with a plan that’ll get us to safety and keep them alive in the meanwhile.”
The dread of the night cast a daunting shadow over Marisa’s and Selene’s base. Two knights had joined them, named Jelea and Tomin. They were inexperienced, having joined the military ranks only a few weeks before the end of the Infinite War.
They had fought more battles in their ACU than Selene, but in turn, she had advised dozens of commanders with information, only to protect the Aeon community. Marxon had never allowed her to be involved with an assault on the UEF or the Cybran Nation, not after her so-called failure when she attacked the Three-Rivers node.
It allowed her to willingly put the most effort in her duty without being directly responsible for the massacre on Federation citizens or Symbionts. By the years that past, she gained more and more knowledge about the war, battles, the ACU and the Aeon, UEF and Cybran arsenal.
It was not nearly as much as what the best commanders knew, like Marisa or crusader Rhiza, but she could keep up with her ally who was disguised as Petrene Ellessar, the person who had trained with her loved one during her years on Tessalis.
Then again, there was nothing to fear for, as long as she stayed on Virdona, which was her job. Her base built, she took a careful look at the fortifications that knights Jelea and Tomin had constructed.
“Bad protection.” Said Marisa through the heavily encrypted channel they had made. “It is clear that they know nothing. Technically, this is a good thing but it saddens me as well, how has it come to this?”
“How we can send such recruits to battle?” Asked Selene. “We have been like this as well.”
“That is the most saddening fact.” Answered Marisa, but she corrected herself immediately: “No, that the war still is, is the most saddening fact, but inexperienced people fighting at the hardest front comes in second.”
“We had senior commanders on our field at least.” Said Selene in disgust. “Halley thinks that we’re four inexperienced knights and she willingly did this. What if we are attacked?”
“We will escape. Knights Jelea and Tomin think that we will all retreat deeper in Illiminate space but in fact, we will have our route towards the Cybran Nation or the UEF. Perhaps we may be able to contact Leython.”
“He may no longer be alive. I know, Marisa, that we must not give up hope, but...”
“Should we consider the possibility?” Asked Marisa. “As long as we do not know anything about the outside world, the only thing we can do is learning what has happened and act as soon as we know everything. Then, I will contact Leython or mourn his death. Not before I know what has become of him.”
“Yes, Marisa. I understand. Let us train now then. The bases of our fellow knights are not very good, to say the least, but I can use some more battlefield experience as well.”
“Then we shall train.”
A day after Josh and Eric evacuated the civilians to Tessalis, Leython arrived as well. Anxiety chilled Josh’s spine as he called the former UEF captain through an encrypted channel.
“Leython, come in! Did you have any success?”
“I did, we’re going to have to prepare for evacuation immediately. We’ve got one hour before we have to go.”
“One hour? We’ll have to start right away.” Said Josh while he opened a channel with Leython’s father. “Prepare for evacuation immediately. We’re going to leave within an hour. Prepare everyone!”
“An hour?!” Gasped Harm in surprise. “How are we supposed to get everyone through the quantum gates by that time?”
“Just get everyone in the convoys, mister Dygonn.” Said Josh. “We’ll worry about the gates.”
“Dad.” Said Leython. “The Cybrans can evacuate in a matter of minutes. They have given us an hour, if we fail, we’ll have to do this all over again. Failure is not an option.”
“I get it, I’ll do everything I can, keep this channel up.” Replied Harm.
“Leython, we’ve got company.” Said Eric and he immediately send spy planes in every direction. “Reading the wake signature now...”
“I’m building a base. Tell the citizens to be calm and rational, that’ll make things go faster. We’ve got that time to keep the enemy away, but if it is Seraphim, we’ve got to be very creative to hold it out for more than ten minutes.”
“It aren’t the aliens. The quantum signature I’m reading is from the Aeon.” Said Eric, having analysed his graphs.
“Contact them.” Said Josh, although it was not necessary, they were already hailed.
“This is Templar Halley of the Order of the Illuminate. You will be cleansed. For the glory of the Seraphim!”
Leython, Josh and Eric immediately shut down their channels with the Aeon pilot and Eric launched two strategic missiles as he spoke: “I’ve got more of those, but I’d rather wait some time.”
“We can take those idiots with ease.” Said Josh. “We’ve got tier three weaponry, two Mavors, nukes, Broadswords and Ambassadors.”
“Get busy, I’ll start working as well.”
Less than two minutes after Halley’s team arrived on Tessalis, she was spotted by spy planes. She immediately concluded that they were too close to the enemy’s base. Strategic bombers could attack any moment so she had immediately built a tier one radar system and ordered her subordinates to do the same, glad that her ACU was now able to do so. It would buy them some time, perhaps enough to retreat into one of the many small lakes or rivers since they were close enough to those.
That would not safe them indefinitely though, if the enemy had tier three bombers, torpedo bombers could be built in little time. As if it weren’t enough, strategic missiles could follow and those were powerful enough to decimate all forms of life and any machines in the lakes.
“Templar, I am under siege by artillery fire, considering the blast, it is a Mavor, no it are two.”
“Understood, knight Rhilasa. We will request a recall immediately.” Answered Halley.
“They will be unable to withdraw us now.” Said the knight who was under attacked by two UEF artillery at the same time. “I am retreating to the nearest lake but I do not know if I can make it. The spy planes are on me and those weapons –” Suddenly the message stopped, as well as every signal from Rhilasa’s ACU.
The only message that remained was the ACU’s destruction notification, confirmed by its explosion.
“– are accurate?” Finished Halley for the knight who had just perished.
“Seraphim Two, this is templar Halley. Our landing zone is too close to the UEF commanders, we are done for if we cannot be recalled. We are making our way to a location where the quantum wake is insignificant. However, we are running out of time, so please withdraw us as soon as you can.”
“I will prepare for that. Two minutes should be enough.”
“I estimate that we need slightly longer than that to arrive at a good location.”
“One enemy down!” Said Josh, excitement clearly audible in his voice. “We’ve got them on the run already, that’ll allow us to concentrate on the evacuation. How long do we have left?”
“Fifty-five minutes.” Replied Leython quickly. “Our biggest problem is the evacuation. How is it going Harm?” Asked the former UEF captain as he turned his eyes to his father’s screen.
“I think we’ll get everyone out in time. The civilians are cooperating, but that explosion caused some panic. I’ve got it under control, I think. Just ensure that the battle doesn’t come any closer.”
“No problem.” Said Eric. “I’ve got spy planes all over the place. Leython’s monitoring everything.”
“Enemy commanders are retreating. Should we finish them?” Asked Josh to the intelligence expert.
Leython and Eric both answered at the same time, but they didn’t agree. Leython immediately explained why they had to leave the Aeon commanders alone:
“If we kill another one, the civilians will notice. The longer they keep their cool, the better. Get gunships and strategic bombers across the field to destroy enemy structures if they give it another try. Keep the Mavor’s constant fire as well, but don’t aim for anything within the enemy’s ACU’s vicinity.”
“Why, won’t that get on the citizen’s nerves?” Asked Josh. Harm answered immediately: “They know we are in a storm, too much silence is no good either. They know something is going on, so it’s a bad thing if they don’t feel something is going on. The constant and periodic Mavor barrage will actually soothe them.”
Leython had to do his best not to succumb to his anxiety as he knew all too well what could happen on the planet, but he didn’t see any results. The Mavor artillery fired but unlike the civilians, Leython’s guts told him what he already knew, nothing really happened. He wondered what was going to happen. Was QAI planning reinforcements? Were the Seraphim about to strike? Whatever was going on, he knew that at least a small part of the Aeon military force was still fighting alongside the Seraphim forces.
Minutes passed like hours, days or weeks as Leython noticed that the Aeon commanders suddenly disappeared and Harm passed on that news to the citizens who quickly boarded the convoy’s trucks.
“General, we have uninvited guests on planet. I am unable to check who they are by their signature. Spy planes are now checking in.” Said major Johnston through his channel.
“The wake is massive, I suspect that it are some commanders evacuating civilians.” Filled one of his subordinates in, lieutenant Fer.
“This is lieutenant Yale.” Said another subordinate as he saw several Blackbirds identify one of the ACUs as Cybran. “Identify yourselves.”
“I am commander Shilon, good to meet you. I am with Jeff Lancet, a UEF commander, I’ll patch him through.”
“Commander Lancet? Report.” Said the general immediately. “Give us a brief summary of your past few months.
“We’ve been fairly lucky. I got away from Earth seconds before the enemy bombers decimated my base. Since then, I have been attacked by QAI once, only a few hours after the Seraphim invasion. We’ve retaliated the assault but couldn’t pass on the message about QAI’s betrayal. Luckily, we’ve been left alone since that giant computer failed.” Said Jeff before he had to catch some extra breath. Shilon immediately continued.
“As soon as the distortions in the quantum network stopped, we’ve planned a method to evacuate the small town we’ve protected. The other people on the planet have been warned and the local commanders said they would be preparing for evacuation. Unfortunately, the Seraphim attacked Uranus Delta too early for them. We left in time and we’re a bit surprised to find you here.”
“We have been waiting for commander Dygonn.” Said the general. “They should be here in two minutes. We will send transports for you, commander. Hop in with the civilians, we’ll take you away at the same time as Dygonn. I’ll tell my other commanders to build additional gates.”
“Understood.” Replied Jeff. “Shilon, you’re coming with us, whether you like it or not and whether the general likes it or not.”
“Don’t worry about me, I’d like to stick with the UEF for a little longer.”
It was only ninety seconds later that another group arrived on the planet. A larger group this time and Leython was contacted immediately.
“Commanders, I’m ready, let’s get us out of here.” Said Leython immediately but the general, unknown to him, had different plans.
“We have encountered more refugees. Ten thousand civilians extra, who all have to make their way to the Cybran hideouts. While we have prepared ourselves with redundant quantum gates, we don’t enough. I expect we have to wait five minutes longer.”
“Five minutes can be too much. It is what killed lieutenant Wigan.” Said Josh immediately. “We’ve met some Seraphim and their weaponry is extremely powerful.”
“We know, commander.” Replied the general. “We’ve met them as well and it has cost us dearly. I have an alliance with the Cybrans and they have sent me and a squad of UEF commanders on the job of rescuing you.”
“So this is how Nihavi looks like. How is Dostya?” Asked Leython. “I planned this with her.”
“She’s working on the diversion and that’s all we know.” Answered the general. “For as far as we know, they’re holding the line, but they aren’t aware of the extra time we need.”
“Well, contact them and tell them.” Said Eric impatiently. “They’ve got to delay the enemy for longer.”
“Unfortunately, that won’t work.” Said Leython. “Their diversion is planned so that QAI’s drones and the Seraphim commanders will not go to this planet as soon as our UEF general arrives. Then, he can calmly build a base and quantum gates so that we’re away less than a minute after we’ve arrived. The Cybrans don’t have a strategy that’s designed for longer than that and it cannot be altered at this stage.”
“What if the strategy fails?” Retorted Eric, but Leython already had his answer.
“It won’t, they’ve set some of the greatest minds on that and Dostya is leading the assault group. I helped them with it, so even with superior technology, the Seraphim will be hard pressed to actually kill a commander. That doesn’t mean they’ve got an easy job. Their defences will be compromised badly by the time they retreat, which should be right now.”
Leython barely finished or more commanders arrived on Nihavi, this time, wake’s signature clearly gave away what was going on.
“Seraphim commanders, Cybran ACUs. The enemies are here.” Said Leython.
“Did QAI notice us going to this planet?” Asked Eric.
“We can be certain that QAI knows just about everything in this region.” Answered the general.”It is not nearly in the deepest reaches of space and Brackman has told us that the Quantum AI probably built more mainframes than the Cybrans originally thought. All of those mainframes are processing as much network activity as possible and eighty thousand people travelling go this planet will easily be detected as a priority target.”
“Ok, I get it. We’ve got no choice but to fight, do we?”
“We’re going to put the heat at them as much as we can but you’d better just stay where you are.” Said major Johnston as the transports dropped the commanders and the civilian trucks. “The trucks control authority should be given to us so that we can make it out of here safely.”
“Understood.” Said Leython and he immediately transferred his authority to the UEF allies. He just had to sit the next four minutes out, but that would probably be no problem. Even with the Seraphim coming for them, they should be able hold out for that long. The UEF commanders had already sent their forces towards the enemy and this time, the Seraphim were much closer to the Federation base, which meant that they would have less time to prepare for an assault. A small delay in their initial plans would probably not even be necessary.
“We’ve encountered QAI’s drones at the front. They’ve made a mistake.” Said lieutenant Fer.
“That’s no mistake.” Replied Leython quickly. “QAI will take the first blow while the Seraphim can mount up a small strike force that’s capable of breaking through. Our anti-air equipment is not nearly enough to take air transports out. Continue with your bombers, I want to delay the Seraphim at their bases, Cybran weaponry isn’t a problem when that arrives at our base.”
“The civilian trucks are almost at their gates.” Said the general while he constructed a new gateway. “I just have to build one extra for myself.”
“We’ll arrive at the Seraphim bases in twenty seconds. They might have gotten their first interceptors in the air already.” Informed lieutenant Fer.
“Possibly but that small period of time and that minor expenditure will be enough of a delay to save all of our civilians from them. The enemy artillery may then be only one second too late, but that doesn’t make a difference from a minute or an hour or even a day. It is too late.” Said major Johnston.
The Seraphim didn’t construct an interceptor though. They were doing exactly what Leython thought. They had carefully planned ahead. For each commander that built artillery units, the other constructed air transports, effectively halving the time they needed to prepare their first attack.
“Destroy their power generators!” Said Leython, realising that it might not be so effective. QAI’s drones would have anticipated on the tactic to deal with the Seraphim by taking their economy and they would in turn ensure some additional income. Leython immediately spoke again: “No, wait! Attack the artillery. Destroy those weapons.”
“They’re late. We cannot allow this. They should’ve been here for three minutes already.” Said Dostya impatiently.
“What should we do?” Asked one of her squad members immediately. “The longer we wait, the more danger awaits for some of the Cybran nodes.”
“We have a plan B and a plan C, so we can stay here for some time. We should be extra careful though.”
“I have prepared my strategic missiles for immediate launch if necessary, commander. Any enemy that arrives here will be destroyed or delayed immediately.”
“That is not the problem. The problem lies with the enemies on galactic scale. As soon as one order commander or one of QAI’s drones discovers any of our hideouts, we face a huge setback.”
Luckily for Dostya and her men, it was less than two minutes later that the vast UEF company arrived.
“Dostya,” said Leython immediately after opening a channel, “we’ve met some friends who wanted to join us in our escape. That delayed us. The Seraphim didn’t have the chance to get their hands on us though. For as far as I know, we can continue our plan as intended.”
“To be absolutely certain, we’ll not do that. We’ll take another route than originally intended. Let’s go.”
An hour later, Leython stood in the main control hall of the outpost Dostya and the unknown UEF general had constructed. They had nothing but bad news.
“The UEF military destroyed, Clarke somewhere but we don’t know where, if she is still alive, the Aeon under control of the Seraphim, QAI gone and several nodes wiped out? Including the Three-Rivers node?” Asked Shilon. “Do we have any good news?”
“We’re still alive.” Answered Leython. We’re just going to have to wait until we can beat those Seraphim. As long as we’re not dead, we can fight them or hide from them. It should work. I’ve got something else though.”
“What is it?” Asked the general.
“It is a data chip a girl had with her. The chip looks of Cybran design but the strange thing was, that this girl lived in the UEF. It doesn’t fit on any UEF computer port and the ports I have in my Cybran ACU aren’t good either. To make it worse, manually analysing the data gave no result, it is encrypted with a very powerful key.”
“What’s so important about it?” Asked Jeff. “That girl most definitely got the chip from one of her parents and who knows what sort of job they had. Perhaps it’s full with all adult content made on Earth. The UEF society is pretty wicked if it comes to that.”
“I’m more surprised that those words come from you, than with the idea in general.” Answered Eric with a smile. “But we don’t think so. The girl remembers clearly that she got that from her mother shortly before she was put in my hands. If you do that, the chip should’ve something important on it and even though we don’t like to say it, adult videos are not rated in the category of ‘important’.”
“We’ll take a look at it. What was this girl’s name?” Asked Dostya. “We might know more with just that.”
“Lucia Yale, but she clearly said that there’s no commander in the army who’s related to her.” Answered Harm.
“No use for us. There’s no important person called Yale in the history for as far as I know.” Said Dostya immediately.
“We’d better get back to our daily business then.” Said the general and he turned to Leython, Eric, Jeff, Josh and Shilon. “You five will join our forces. We’ll immediately inform you of your duties but first, I’ll formally introduce myself. I am general William Hall.”
Last edited by Plasma_Wolf on 08 May, 2010, edited 3 times in total.
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
This should be enough
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 04 Jun, 2007
Location: N 29° 24' 53.04" W 90° 17' 50.74"
Nice start to the story. Let's see where you take us.
In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules, I remember. And they all live again.
13 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Nice start to the story. Let's see where you take us.
I'm taking you to LA of course
19 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Chapter 2 is up. Enjoy!
19 Feb, 2010
Joined: 02 Apr, 2007
Chapter 2 is up. Enjoy!
i knew i forgot to mark this thread to watch.
first chapter was most interesting, but Los Angeles are on the west coast of north america. that confused me for a bit.
reading chapter 2 after class
19 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
That's been fixed now. I know where LA is, but I seem to mix west and east up some times.
19 Feb, 2010
Joined: 02 Apr, 2007
That's been fixed now. I know where LA is, but I seem to mix west and east up some times.
it happens to the best of us. i like where this story is going
19 Feb, 2010
Joined: 04 Jun, 2007
Location: N 29° 24' 53.04" W 90° 17' 50.74"
Good job. The excitement and action are building nicely. Looking forward to the next chapter.
In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules, I remember. And they all live again.
26 Feb, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Third chapter is up. Enjoy
(Then we've got something good amongst all the bad news)
26 Feb, 2010
Joined: 04 Jun, 2007
Location: N 29° 24' 53.04" W 90° 17' 50.74"
Good job. I think our buddies the Seraphim are about to make their entrance.
Keep up the good work,
In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules, I remember. And they all live again.
28 Feb, 2010
Joined: 16 Mar, 2008
01 Mar, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Uhm. . . *points at thread title* Update?
Also, I added the fifth book in the fanfiction index.
Done and thank you
05 Mar, 2010
Joined: 02 Apr, 2007
quoted from dots' book 12 thread
I'm going to play the game this weekend, then I'll see if I can come up with something for a story. Or I'll keep it to myself and start writing it as soon as I've dealt with the Seraphim in my current story.
finish the seraphim plz! your writing is great stuff
05 Mar, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
quoted from dots' book 12 thread
I'm going to play the game this weekend, then I'll see if I can come up with something for a story. Or I'll keep it to myself and start writing it as soon as I've dealt with the Seraphim in my current story.
finish the seraphim plz! your writing is great stuff
I'll leave a small spoiler here: dealing with the seraphim is going to take at least 3 stories. And I really hope I can put a big battle at the end (but I think that'll be doable).
05 Mar, 2010
Joined: 02 Apr, 2007
05 Mar, 2010
Joined: 08 Sep, 2007
Location: In an RTD!!!
Chapter 4, Invasion, is up. Enjoy