The Fall of Fury Company (Part 1)

The ground was damp underfoot.

It squelched with every step, giving ever so slightly, sliding just as you rolled into the next step.

The mud was slick, fed by rotting corpses and blood.

The bare morning light was quiet, eerily so, as a damp fog descended upon the valley.

Shon-Xan will never know true peace. This war has spread more blood across these lands than the rain that falls from the heavens.

The ground was soft from the bodies that lay rotting in the sun from the day before had grown bloated and foul, their bellies bulging from beneath the cracked and smashed armor they had once worn proudly. The bodies were not just soldiers, and their wounds weren’t just from blades and arrows. The corpses were misshapen and deformed, bones twisted and skewed at odd angles, protruding from beneath melted flesh. Rags decorated the bodies of several small corpses, far smaller than the rest.

“Even children do not escape the horrors of war.”

The young captain toed the corpse over with her boot, covering her nose with an arm to try and remove the stench that escaped the body. She grimaced, forcing herself to swallow the bile that rose in her throat and burned her nose.

“Something the matter, captain?” One of the soldiers slowed to a stop next to her, raising a eyebrow as he watched her gaze. “Captain Riven?”

“Kirill. It’s nothing.” Riven said, shaking her head as she pulled her hood back and shook her hair out. She grimaced as she shifted the massive sword upon her back, the strap cutting into her shoulder. “I don’t like seeing so many Noxian uniforms spread through the corpses. It unsettles me, considering we were only met with half the enemy forces Intelligence predicted.”

“These Ionians may be peasants, but they fight like savages.” The massive sergeant Kirill remarked with disgust, shaking his head. “Shall I slow Fury Company and clear the road?”

“No, we don’t have time.” Riven shook her head and stepped away from the body. “We’re still lagging behind the 42nd Standard. The longer we delay here, the farther behind we fall.”

“Very well, captain.” The man said, taking a deep breath before gagging, shriveling up his nose and shaking his head. “Bloody putrid stench.”

“Kirill, I want you to take your platoon forward and scout ahead.” Riven ordered. “And send a courier forward to connect with the 42nd. I don’t want to get opened up on in this fog.”

“Of course, ma’am.” Kirill barked, snapping off a salute and stomping away through the mud. Riven felt the bile rise up in her throat again, it wasn’t just blood that was staining her boots a putrid brown color.

“Captain!” The cry came from the front of the formation.

“Erin?” Riven blinked a few times as the slender, raven-haired woman panted, hunched over her axe. “Erin, what’s going on?”

The woman straightened up, snapping off a quick salute. “We’ve got a survivor, ma’am.”

“A wha…” Riven shook her head. Survivors were an unfortunate part of an invasion. “Show me.”

“Of course. This way, ma’am.” The raven-haired soldier took off at a jog, forcing the captain to keep pace with her, running to catch up.

“Where did she come from?” Riven growled, her soldiers watching her with unsteady eyes as the company ground to a halt. To the soldiers, civilians were a hassle, a pain they were forced to deal with instead of embracing the thrill and glory of battle. Riven forced herself to wear a straight face; if any of her soldiers saw her show even the slightest mote of weakness, the effect upon their morale would be ten-fold. Only the strong survive, so for the sake of my men, I must remain the strongest.

Their advance ground to a halt, Erin pointing forward to where Kirill stood, his platoon around him, weapons raised.

“Step forward with your hands raised!” Kirill shouted, gesturing the pale form forward with his axe.

“Why stop, sergeant?” Riven asked, stepping up beside him, her hand straying to the sword upon her back. “We’ve dealt with civvies before…”

The distant specter swayed slightly, drifting from side to side as the form of a young woman faded from the fog. Long black hair was streaked with dirt and blood, matted against her slender form. She appeared older than riven, her green eyes cold and distant, the eyes of a woman who had seen too much horror. She clutched a bloody, cloth swaddled bundle to her stomach, the pain on her face and the horror of her cries more than enough to tell Riven what the bundle had contained at one time.

“Oh.” Riven muttered, taking a deep breath. “Kirill, take Johannes and move her off the road. Give her something to shut her up. I don’t want to deal with this now. Not in this weather, not here.”

“Shit…” Kirill muttered, running a hand over the side of his shaven head. He took a slow deep breath and then nodded. “Right, captain. Johannes, on me.” The younger soldier snapped to attention, saluted and bounded forward, his armor clanking  with every step. “We might as well get this over with.”

“Yes sir.” Riven could hear the unease it his voice. She watched as the two men swept forward, their weapons sheathed and tucked away behind them. Riven shivered. She ran a hand over the back of her neck, her hair standing on end.

Something’s not right…

“Ma’am…” Kirill approached her slowly, inching forward, his palms toward her. “Ma’am, you need to get off the road.”

The woman’s eyes narrowed, the fear and distance evaporating instantly. Her hand lashed out impossibly fast, a long weapon with hooked blades at each end appearing and disappearing again, an arc of crimson blood left in its wake. Riven blinked once, the action had been so fast she had barely seen it. Two splashes could be heard in the perfect silence as Kirill’s hands hit the ground in front of him. The sergeant looked down, two bloody stumps held up in front of his face as blood splashed over the young girl’s face. She spun, dropped low, and tossed the swaddled bundle, the blanketed lump landing amid the remainder of Kirill’s platoon, a hand full of steps away.

Ice coalesced in Riven’s stomach as the battle around her seemed to slow. The world around her was surreal as corpse rose up to reveal Ionian soldiers clad in black and brown. Some had hid beneath corpses, others were painted red with blood like demons come to life.

Only half the expected number… Riven’s own words rang in her head. The realization struck like a fist to the gut.

Around them, Ionians rose up like an army of the damned, here to drag Fury Company to the depths of hell. They charged like madmen, their fear of death and of the invaders broken, leaving only pure, distilled rage for the butchers that carved through their land. It was as if an army of undead were coming to call, coming to exact is revenge in a toll of blood from the Noxians.

From Fury company…

From Riven’s company.

“AMBUSH!”

The Fall of Fury Company (Part 1)

Kingsbane Teaser

A distant rumble passed through the asteroid as the sharp tones of a buzzer cut through the small cabin.

Valin sat up and ran a hand over his face, mussing the dirty blonde hair aout as he dragged himself into a sitting position on the edge of the bed. He grimaced as he wiggled his toes just above the bulkhead, dreading the coming shock. He took a deep breath and pushed himself up, shivering as electricity ran up ad down his body, from the tip of his toes, to the top of his head, all the way down to the tips of his fingers.

The asteroid rumbled again, somewhere under the bulkhead, the reverberations running up through the soles of his feet, up his spine and rattling his teeth.

Valin waved his hand towards the wall, activating a solenoid flush with the smooth bulkhead. “VeeAy, bring down the shutter and prepare incident reports for my watch.”

The small orange figure shimmered to life in the form of a small child, a ball tucked under his arm. The Virtual Assistant nodded and shimmered away as the shutter outside the small window in Valin’s cabin cracked, sunlight shining through the sliver, spilling brilliant orange light over the floor.

Valin scratched his head as he looked out the window, posting fists upon his hips as he watched the carnage unfold outside his cabin window.

Through two feet of carbon reinforced poly-steel, streaks of orange fire pained the sky above the earth a myriad of shades of brilliant oranges, earthen grays, and bloody reds. The earth sat floating distant, no longer an aquamarine gem, but barren desert pock marked by thousands of meteors that fell with regularity. Orange streaks had just begun to highlight the dark side of the northern hemisphere, streaks of orange and gold lighting the earth just below the horizon.

“Valin, are you up?” The intercomm crackled to life, the solenoid glowing now. The strangled static couldn’t hide the annoyed feminine tone.

Valin scratched his chest as he punched in a quick code into a panel on the wall, the scent of coffee brewing slipping into the air. The solenoid lit up again, but Valin had already punched the transmit button. “I’m up, Jules. Can you have Sergei send the report from last night to my VeeAy? It looks like we’ve already got another meteor shower developing over Canada.”

“I think I can convince him.” Jules’ voice crackled over the intercomm. There was a moment of silence that Valin used to open the constituter and pulled out the cup of coffee. He looked down into the murky contents of the insulated cup and grimaced. He sighed as he stepped back up to the window. The Crepuscular rays that pooled on his floor slowly diminished as something passed the porthole. Valin looked up from his cup of coffee and the floor, only to watch as an Archimedes class carrier drifted past, the blue motes of light of its fighter pickets dancing about like fireflies.

The UCNS Retribution I believe… The mile long carrier drifted past several long moments later, the light pooling on the floor of Valin’s cabin once again.

The solenoid blinked once. “Valin, you haven’t fallen back to sleep again, have you?”

“No Jules.” Valin grumbled softly, trying to keep the annoyance from his voice. “Do you have the report for me?”

“Have I ever let you down?” Valin could hear the smile in Jules voice.

“Not even once.” Valin indulged in a smile as the light on the solenoid blinked out as he set his cup of coffee down on the table and went about dressing himself for the day ahead. “VeeAy, please read off Lieutenant Solomov’s report.”

The orange figure shimmered to life again, nodded once and then blinked into a massive screen that spread across one entire wall of Valin’s cabin.

“Lieutenant Sergei Solomov, watch officer of Meteor Station One-zero-seven-three-Zed-Alpha. Coalition adjusted date: January 7th, 2377. End of watch notes as follow. Light meteor showers observed over Australian DMZ, remnants of the Pan-American Continental remains, heavy showers over the Russian-Georgian Nuclear Reserve. Damage to observation bunkers minimal, nuclear weapon storage bunkers all appear to be intact. Combined force of Jah’Le, Lehnth, and Varth’Kah ships made entrance into the system but was repelled by the garrison fleet. No Coalition losses reported. Salvage of alien vessels has begun. Remains of Luna continue to break up and orbital distance continues to degrade at approximately 50 kilometers per day. Reclaimers attempting to land on the Protected Colonial Reserve were escorted from the battle zone by frigates of Garrison fleet. End of report.”

The Protected Colonial Reserve. Earth. Valin looked down at the desolate remains of a home planet that humankind had once called home and snorted in disgust. We may have lost Earth, our home, but in their desperation to demoralize, they instead galvanized. It won’t be much longer till we’ve crushed the supposed Revolutionaries and their Insurrection.

The orange wall display glowed, casting harsh shadows in the cabin, but as Valin’s eyes glanced over the read out, he could only sigh and shake his head.

The solenoid blinked. “Admiral Valin, Captain Makarov has requesting a meeting, sir.”

“Tell him to come back with something interesting.” Valin growled as he straightened his tie and adjusted his collar. “I grow tired of simply policing the Garrison Fleet and babysitting the meteor scientists who like to watch rocks fall to earth. I grow tired of the endless waiting.”

“The Captain requests to speak with you regarding two things, Admiral.” There was a pause in the transmission. “First is security preparations for the Centennial of the New Belgrade Christmas Massacre. He apparently has some concerns about the dropping of so many caskets as a part of the Return ceremonies.”

“As with every year, Florence has more security concerns.” Valin exhaled sharply, shaking his head. “And the second matter?”

“A Revo Fleet is approaching Agricultural Planet 538, Bessna.” Jules said over the intercomm. There was a moment of silence before the door hissed open and the Admiral’s assistant walked through the doorway, a tablet under one arm and a fresh cup of coffee in the other. Jules smiled at him briefly, her raven hair glimmering in the harsh, sterile light that shown in from the corridor. Icy blue eyes sparkled dangerously as she handed over the coffee and then the tablet. “Naval Special Projects has sent out an alert asking for assistance, clearance level Alpha-Crimson.”

Valin froze for a brief moment. Alpha-Crimson for a junker Revolutionary Forces fleet? That hasn’t been enacted since the end of the first contact war, 112 years ago. What could the Revos possibly have the would call for Alpha-fucking-crimson? “Do we know why the security alert went out?”

“Yes, Admiral.” There was a moment of silence as Jules’ eyes fell to the deck. She took a deep breath and looked up at the Admiral and nodded bravely.

“Kingsbane, sir.”

Kingsbane Teaser