The rattling of the guns was deafening."Hold the line!"
"They're coming through! Fire! Fire!"
They'd been under attack for weeks now. The area in front of the base was slick with blood and littered with bones, but nevertheless wave after wave of undead and Inquistadores kept descending on the base. Private Ralph Misch couldn't remember the last time he'd had sleep. Even despite the screams of the dying and wounded and the rattling of the guns, he almost fell asleep at his post. Even adrenaline couldn't keep him awake for much longer. He was able to do little more than squeeze the trigger on his Zerreiser and lean forward onto the wall that protected him.The message... someone must have heard... the message...
he kept thinking over and over as the skeletal and armoured shapes kept creeping closer and closer.
This was the end. They'd been fighting so much, they were almost out of ammo. The enemy had never gotten this close to the base.
"If only someone could reactivate that damn turret!" he heard the harsh voice of Angel, a fellow trooper, cry out.If I survive... I'll tell her... I'll finally... tell her
Ralph thought, his eyes falling shut once again.
As if on command, the defense turret suddenly activated, the guns automatically finding their targets and immediately opening fire, tearing through the closest Inquistadores and skeletons with ease.
Suddenly the enemy was under fire from every direction. Large shells blasted into the Inquistadores from behind. Ralph thought he was delusional. He must have been, because this couldn't possibly be happening.
"I'm happy you didn't make me afraid of heights, miss!"
"Let's have ourselves some fun, ja?"
The sound of the guns was nothing compared to the hell the Gheistschlag unleashed on their foes. Systems blazing, it took out skeletons and Inquistadores alike, blowing them away like snow in the wind.
"Hold your fire! Let the gunship handle it!"
Ralph heard his acting officer, the medic Necro, to who he owed his life, shout. When he let go of the trigger, he felt a cramp shoot up his finger.
The Inquistadores knew they had nowhere to go and were making their final stand, but the Gheistschlag could handle them on her own.
Rather than blasting the final enemies to bits, the gunship slowly turned in midair, shrugging off the small arms fire effortlessly. As the energy shield defending the back opened, Ralph gasped at the sight of the Prussian commander that calmly walked out, and he wasn't the only one.
"Will you look at that. Just when I'd stopped believing in angels" Hierro, the Inquistadore deserter, remarked as the woman looked around slowly, seemingly oblivious to the enemy fire. It was almost like an invisible force field was keeping the Inquistadore's bullets from hitting her.
She suddenly leaped down, activating a duo of beamsabres, and deflecting every shot fired at her as she spiraled towards the ground at breakneck speed.
Amazingly, she didn't break her legs when she landed. The final skeleton was the first to go, falling prey to a vertical slash, but the Inquistadores, seeing the futility of their efforts, reached for their chainsaws. "You've made the mistake of your life, puta!"
Ralph brought his Zerreiser up to take one of them out, but Necro's voice stopped him. "Don't fire! You could kill her!"
"You had something to say?" Bragina remarked as she slashed through both heavy troopers with apparent ease. Compared to her, they moved like slugs.
The aftermath of the short, but violent fight left the squad stunned. As the Gheistschlag landed, it crushed the bodies of their defeated foes. No one even said a word until Bragina had reached them.
"Who... who are you? Did you get my message?" Ralph stammered, stunned by her appearance. Despite the fact the enemy was defeated, he still didn't feel safe. There was something about this woman... something threatening
"Who I am is not so important right now" Bragina said quickly. "What I really want to know is why there are Inquistadores here, and more importantly, how they managed to ally with the undead."
"Valenza. It's him. He controls the undead" Ralph heard himself say.
?!" Bragina exclaimed. "But he's dead
! He died along with the rest of the Inquistadorial council. How could he be alive?!"
"I don't know, but he's still alive... well, sorta. We don't understand it either, but we can show you a message we received from him a while ago. Maybe it'll make more sense, then" Ralph said, wondering when exactly he had become the spokesperson of his squad.
"Fine. Show me this message" Bragina said, giving Helena a meaningful glance as she started following the wolves into the base. These troopers had spent too much time bereft of water, food, and hope, what they said couldn't possibly be true... could it?
When the screen was displayed Bragina stifled a gasp. It was Valenza, yet it wasn't. The sight of the Archduke's head kept in a jar and attached to some sort of life support device nearly made Bragina vomit, and she got even more disgusted when the head started talking."Cease your pitiful resistance, you so-called Wolves! This world, this planet, is mine. You believed you had killed me, but you hadn't, and now I will turn this planet you call home into a paradise of eternal darkness. No creature shall live, no plant shall grow, no sun shall shine. The life of this planet will be wholly consumed to feed my war machine, which will march across the Brikverse and kill all in its path, and none of you pitiful mortals, not even the Immortal Alliance, nor the Anti-Immortal or Third Alliance or even the remains of my own wretched kinsmen will be able to do anything about it! I shall personally-"
"Enough of that" Bragina said as she turned off the recorded transmission. She'd seen enough. "I need some fresh air" she announced as she walked outside.
Once outside, the fresh air made Bragina feel a little bit less sick, but her head was still spinning with the overload of new information she'd just received.
"Valenza couldn't have acted alone. He doesn't have access to this kind of technology, both the technology to keep himself alive as the technology required to control undead is simply beyond anything the Inquistadores have at their disposal! He's getting outside help... someone else set this up! But who...?"
"It sounds like something the Immortals would, and could do..." Ralph suggested.
"No" Bragina said, shaking her head. She narrowed her eyes as she pondered on something. "It's that scientist, Sir Bragallot's doing" she finally decided. "After all, it is he
who sent 'Angelica' to destroy Valenza. No doubt this is his
ploy to take complete control over New Prussia, by using Valenza as a puppet. Why else would he have simply vanished in thin air after this planet was overcome?"
The silence of the troopers told her this was far too complicated for them to comprehend, or perhaps they simply didn't care about anything but their survival at this point. No surprise there.
"Look, I am on my own, there is no larger rescue mission going on. I had a plan for exterminating the undead, but I didn't realize we'd be facing organized resistance. We need a ride off this planet, and return when we're more powerful, more organized. I will
save this planet, but I won't throw away my own and your lives fighting a battle we can't win. Your only chance of survival is to follow me and help me get off this planet. Will you obey my commands?"
"We owe our lives to you, mistress, we'll follow you to whichever end!" Ralph shouted eagerly."To whichever end!"
the rest of the troops repeated, saluting their new commander.This story will be continued, but consider this the end of my Magic Soap Opera contest entry. I thought it was a fitting place to end part 1, and it's 23:20 here at the moment, so I wouldn't be able to add anything either way. Enjoy.