Anime & Manga GATE: And Thus the UNDF Fought There V2

Chapter 1: Timeline


Beware My Power-Green Lantern's Light
Humanity had spent most of it's history on Earth warring with each other. Never for more than a few years did we stop fighting each other over our different ideals. Even after the Second Korean War in 2025, when the worlds powers worked to deal with the former rogue nuclear state of North Korea, that relationship was only temporary. China took a buffer zone of 25 miles from the former nation to prevent US military assets from being on their direct borders. In 2027, NASA made an amazing discovery. Bright flashes of light at the edge of our solar system. The scientific community was overjoyed at the prospect of first contact. However as telescopes kept being pointed towards the object, something frightening was observed. More flashes. Hundreds of them. It was deduced fairly quickly that this wasn't a scientific expedition. A fleet of ships that large meant only one thing, invasion. That was only further solidified when the first messages from them reached our antennas. They called themselves the Phauthi. They had observed humanities wars via TV and radio transmission over the years and had deemed us a threat to them and all life. They had deemed us a wasteful and dirty people. They saw how little we cared for our world and stated it'd be better under their control. After that, they refused all contact. Calculations estimated that they would arrive at Earth in 5 years. The worlds governments used those five years to buildup existing nuclear arsenals, recalling all foreign military assets, and shifting their economies for war. They did it in the hope that we would stand a chance and survive.

Year 1: When the Phauthi first landed on earth and began their war against humanity, they landed in nations that would've offered the least resistance to their landings. They tried simultaneous invasions of every continent, but soon found out that it would've been impossible to launch a direct attack on the Northern Hemisphere. They instead focused the bulk of their initial landing forces in the nations of Argentina, Australia, and South Africa.

Within a week they eliminated most organized resistance, forcing the remnants to either flee or hide. They soon began using those as staging points to offload their military forces for conquering earth. It was from there on they began their offensive against Africa and South America. Within a month, they had offloaded enough equipment to begin their campaign against the world. Within a week of their offensive, Santiago fell, forcing what was left of the Chilean military into neighboring Peru and Bolivia. In Africa, they had pushed into the Congo meeting light resistance after conquering South Africa.

Within six months of the war, Phauthi troops were engaged in the East Indies, had subjugated all of Africa below the Equator, and locked down the western coast of South America. It was at this point the nations of the world realized they couldn't just idly by and wait. US and Canadian forces reinforced the front in Guinea, Brazil, and Colombia. The Europeans had set up a defensive position in North Africa with the nations of Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, stretching from Morocco to Egypt, and down to Somalia. Meanwhile China and India began deploying forces into Southeast Asia to blunt the Phauthi offensive.

Year 2: The war swung violently from side to side, with both sides tasting victory and defeat. But as the war entered it's second year, the tide began to turn against the nations of Earth. American forces, alongside the surviving elements of South American militaries, fled into Mexico and Central America. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos had fallen to the invaders. It was at this time Phauthi forces finally landed in the Middle East, swatting the local military's aside with frightful ease. It was only due to European, Russian, and Israeli forces that they held onto Egypt and Jordan. Morocco was the last North African region aside from Egypt that hadn't fallen to the Phauthi.

Year 3: At this point, the entirety of the Middle East had fallen to the alien invaders. Bahrain and Qatar were entirely destroyed via nuclear bombardment and Kuwait was being flooded with remnants of Saudi military forces. Arab militaries were incapable of mounting effective resistance on their own. This left gaps the Israel and Iran had to fill in many areas. Even with Russian support on the ground and in the air, it was a harsh fight. Seeking to break human morale, they began targeting humanities religious cities, hoping it would be the crippling blow they needed. In the span of an hour, a mass orbital bombardment completely destroyed the cities of Rome, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Varanasi, Lhasa, Pushkar, and Bodh Gaya were reduced to rubble.

However they didn't foresee the consequences of what they had done. Humanity only fought harder as they saw their holy cities get destroyed by an otherworldly enemy. In retaliation, every nuclear armed nation responded with a nuclear barrage against what was left of the Phauthi fleet in orbit. Despite the technological advantage their ships held, the vast majority had been destroyed after their point defense systems were overwhelmed from the combined assault by thousands of ICBM's.

As the war approached it's fourth year, the invaders had gained more ground steadily. US and Canadian forces were locked in heavy fighting in Southern Mexico and the Caribbean. Egypt had lost everything south of Cairo and west of Alexandira, while also barely holding onto the Sinai. India and China were fighting in their own territories, Iran and the Caucasus were invaded, and the Phauthi were on the brink of launching their deadliest operation of the entire war.

Year 4: It began with orbitals strikes on key infrastructure using newly developed kinetic rods supplemented by tactical nuclear strikes, they hit power plants, dams, and noticeable military bases in the Southern portions of the United States, China, and Europe, with secondary and tertiary strikes on Israel, Turkey, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. However shortly afterwards a nuclear barrage was launched into orbit destroying 27 Phauthi military vessels, the remainder of every weaponized vessel the Phauthi had left. This was due to submarine launched and ground mobile ICBM's. The damage was done however as this gave them an upper hand over the nations of earth.

They simultaneously launched invasions into the Southern United States, Southern Europe, Central Asia, and into Southern China and India. Similar gains were made in other parts of the world when Greece and Albania fell . Phauthi forces poured into the Caucasus mountains, but were stopped in Georgia proper. The majority of the Stans were under Phauthi control as well. Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, the last vestige of organized resistance in the Middle East, were barely hanging on due to fighting on all sides. Pakistan was dealing with a similar situation, losing 80% of it's territory.

Without six months of the offensive, India lost all provinces east of Calcutta and South of Bangalore. China lost control of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong provinces. In Europe, Portugal, Greece, the Balkans, and southern Italy and Spain had fallen. Fighting in Europe didn't stabilize until the fighting was directly on the doorstep of France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Meanwhile America had lost Florida and Louisiana, with Alabama and Mississippi being battleground states, while San Diego was the site of the heaviest urban fighting seen in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of troops on both sides fought in the ruins of the once great city.

Year 5: It was at this point the war had raged on into it's fifth year. Both sides were exhausted, but the nations of earth wouldn't give up. It was at this point the remaining nations of the world launched one last strike to push the invaders out of their countries and off our planet. Operation Hammer Down was initiated. The operation consisted of a multi front assault in the air, land, and sea against key strategic targets the Phauthi had on earth. Multiple tactical nuclear strikes were launched against the Phauthi bases in South America, Africa, and Australia. Only 10% of the missiles hit due to missile defense systems set up to protect their bases.

North American forces launched one massive push into the Southern United States and Mexico, while European and Asian forces were tasked with uprooting the enemy from their hold on mainland Europe and Asia. Within two months the final Phauthi forces were killed or captured in North America. Greece, Italy, and Spain were the only holdouts left in Europe. Meanwhile Russian forces liberated, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and the Stans. Indian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese troops pushed the Phauthi out of Pakistan and much of Southeast Asia. What was left was concentrated in mostly the Middle East. By the eighth month Europe and the Middle east had been secured, along with North Africa. The Caribbean had been secured, while the US Marine Corps had begun amphibious landings with the French in Guiana and Venezuela. alien forces in Central America were cut off from supplies and were forced to surrender.

Realizing they made a huge mistake, seeing how this campaign was unwinnable, the growing peace faction of the Phauthi overthrew the warring leadership. They consisted of mostly reserve units who refused to take part in much of the campaign, much to the of Phauthi generals, who, despite the orders of the High Council given decades prior, ordered the annihilation of the human race, seeing us as far too dangerous to be left on our world. Not everyone agreed with the drastic change in orders. Despite this mission being one of subjugation, most went along with the orders given. But those who didn't, carefully planned their moves, doing what they could to save those they could and refuse to take part in genocide operations in occupied territory.

Seeing as how they've lost 25 million of their own in a failed endeavor to conquer earth. They met with remaining world leaders in Geneva, Switzerland for a peace summit. They agreed to leave earth and stay around the outer solar system. All Phauthi forces would take withdraw from earth completely and as soon as possible. This was accepted and both sides POW's on both sides were exchanged and any military technology captured by either side was kept. Thus marked the end of the Earth-Phauthi war.

When the Phauthi first entered our solar system, we hoped they would be peaceful. They weren't. Not the Phauthi in charge anyway. Their leadership had decided to claim the entirety of our solar system and make it their home, by force if necessary.

There was one thing they didn't count on, human tenacity. Before they had arrived, they saw our world as disorganized and polluted. They saw all our different nations, cultures, and languages, and thought we'd be easy prey. They were wrong. We fought and we fought hard. While many of the world's poorer and least equipped countries fell to the Phauthi, they soon engaged them in brutal guerrilla warfare. However the Phauthi were not above laying waste to cities and killing off populations of area's that resisted. It was that fact alone that saw the global death toll reach nearly half of the global population.

This only strengthened humanity's resolve against the alien invaders. While they managed to beat the weakest of us, they were met with defeat at the hands of the world's strongest nations, such as the United States, Russia, China, and Europe. Together they held the line against the invading armies when they attempted to push into their territories. Even when those nations finally got beat back in some regions, it taught the Phauthi one thing. Humanity would not go quietly into the night. We wouldn't vanish without a fight. We'd fight tooth and nail for our home world. And if worst came to worse, we'd turn our world into a radioactive hellhole they wouldn't survive in. If we couldn't have earth, no one could.

After five years of bloody war, half of the world's military might was destroyed, billions lay dead across the globe, and dozens of earths cities ravaged by an alien race who sought to conquer humanity. But they also bled heavily as a result. They lost the vast majority of their own military in a failed bid to beat us into submission. In the end their peace faction overthrew the warring leaders and agreed to leave our planet, but stay in our solar system. And thus, on December 25th, 2037, the bloodiest war the human race had ever endured was officially over.

However after their invasion, there was a power gap left across the world. Few standing governments were left to help those in need. America, Canada, Europe, Russia, China, Korea, and Japan were the only nations left on Earth with stable governments and militaries. Even decades later and the equivalent of trillions of dollars later, most of Africa is still without stable governments and much of the middle east is left radioactive from the war decades earlier. Out of the 190 nations that existed in 2032, less than 90 are on the UN in 2080. But as the 43rd anniversary of Victory Day approaches, an event would soon shatter the peace that the people of Earth was enjoying.
Chapter 2: Shattered Peace
Imperial Calendar 687

Alnus Hill, Falmart

It was a new day on the sacred hill of Alnus as Emperor Molt Sol Augustus prepared to give a speech to the Imperial Army, the most power in the land. Now that the Gate had opened, he planned on expanding his Empire into this new world. A grand force of 100 thousand legionaries and cavalry, backed by over 50 thousand auxiliaries made up of Goblins, Orcs, Warrior Bunnies, Elves, and Dark Elves. And with 150 members of the wyvern corps, they were unstoppable. Now they had a job to spread their Emperors influence to the barbarians on the other side of the Gate.

"Glorious soldiers of the Empire, the time is right to bring civilization to those who reside on the other side of the Gate" He triumphantly shouted to the army before him. Off to his left stood his Sons, prince Zorzal El Ceaser and Diabo El Ceaser. And to his right were his daughter, Pina Co Lada, and her order of Rose Knights. They all stood proudly as their father gave his speech.

"I must say father, this seems a bit much for a simple conquest over a few barbarian tribes." Pina said.

"Nonsense" Her brother Zorzal said proudly. "They will learn our true might so that they never cross us, or do you want a repeat of the vassal rebellion?" He of course referred to when the vassals of the Empire had tried to rebel and had paid a heavy price for their treachery.

"Of course not brother, it just seems a bit much. Shouldn't they be watching over the vassals on our borders?"

Suddenly a voice from behind interrupted her. "Worry not Princess, they will stay in line or else". It was the voice of her trusted mentor, Grey Co Aldo. They wouldn't dare only seven years after their previous attempt."

Zorzal chimed in again, only this time with information brought back from the Dark Elf scouts sent a few days prior. "And from what
our scouts reported, the nation were invading is but a small island nation with no military. Only some strange mages wearing black were seen patrolling some areas. They even brought back this flag, which they say was from their Kings palace." The flag had a snow white cross with a red cross surrounded by blue.

"Hahaha, how poor is a nation that can't even defend itself." Laughed Norma Co Igloo at this nation's feebleness.

"One that will bow to our Empires righteous might" replied Zorzal, who was grinning eagerly at the prospect of new slaves.

"However these people seem to possess great magic, our scouts reported horseless iron carriages and some even saw flying metal birds" said Grey. "And those same mages wield wands that make thunderous noise"

"They might be a vassal of some kind; our scouts had reported seeing small palaces with different flags atop them. One flag was described as having an all-white background with a red dot in the middle, while another had almost the same design as this one, only with a blue cross within a white one, surrounded by red."

"It doesn't matter if they are a vassal or not" Zorzal spat. "They will fall and so will their liege nation with them."

"Your highnesses, I bring important information about the other nations on the other side of the Gate". The voice was from a forest elf of the Koan forest. He kneeled and saluted to the royals and nobles before him.

"Rise scout, and tell us what you have found" said the voice of Grey.

"I have recovered a map detailing the entirety of the other world sires." As he unrolled the map and presented it to them, they all stood
with wide eyes at what they saw. Seven whole continents, each surrounded by great oceans. At the top was the land nation they were about to invade, and right across from that island was a much larger one, which lay next to a whole continent.

"Well, it seems these people are travelers, not fighters. This only strengthens my point against them." Zorzal said smugly. "Perhaps once we've finished conquering this world, we'll have them explore the rest of our own".

"This map will work wonders when we can properly study it and plot our moves against the rest of that world's barbarian countries."

Everyone spun around to see Emperor Molt stand before them. "We are the empire; no nation can stand before us no matter who they are." He turned around to face the army that was gathered and loudly proclaimed, "With Flare as my witness, we'll bring their entire world under our righteous and fair rule."

The army before him was cheering and applauding their Emperors speech.

"Now begin this righteous conquest and make your Empire proud."

Legate Tiberius had formed at the front of his legion and had made a forward motion with his hand, signaling the beginning of the long march through the Gate.

Before the elf was about to head back with his unit, he was stopped by a hand on his shoulder.

"What is your name"? The Emperors words were cold, but caring.

"H-Hodor Marceau, your highness." The elf had replied nervously.

"I'll put in a good word for you to the legate when you have returned. That information is invaluable to our cause." He spoke softly to the elf before him. "Now go and join the rest of your unit." The elf kneeled and ran to his unit.

"What now father?" Zorzal asked impatiently.

"We wait until Legate Tiberius has subdued the barbarians on the other side. Until then, we shall wait here." Emperor Molt looked as his army marched into the GATE, ready to claim more land for the Empire.

Bessastaðir, Iceland

December 3rd, 2080

1600 Hours

Residency of the Icelandic president

Freyja Mínervudóttir was not having a good morning. First she awoke to find the flag stolen by someone last night. Then she received a phone call from the police chief of Reykjavik that a large group of cloaked figures had been running around the city the past few days while stealing various items, and even assaulting police officers.

Two of the officers were even hospitalized due to injuries. One of the attackers was shot dead by police and the assailant was a dark skinned male with point ears and a sword. She didn't know what to make of it. One of the officers even had their gun stolen from them. Her thoughts were interrupted by one of her guards however.

"Madam President, you may want to come and see this." The words came from Kristjan Jónsson, one of her personal guards.

"What is it Kristjan, I'm still trying to process what's happening." She said groggily and tired.

"There is a large structure to our east, it's been there over an hour and is attracting a crowd". She listened to what he had said and gave him a strange look.

"I'm sorry, but what are you talking about?" She didn't understand what he meant. "I still have to get back with the police chief about what happened last night." She said annoyed.

"Kristjan, you need to get out here right now."

"Roger that." With that he left the room and went out the front door.

Now with her curiosity piqued, she left to follow him. When she turned and faced the east, she was greeted by the strangest sight she'd ever see. She saw a massive Romanesque structure sitting just of to the east of the presidential residence. A large force of Roman era soldiers and what she could only describe as monsters from a fantasy novel. Her guards had drawn their weapons and began to tell the civilians to leave. Sirens blared as two police cars pulled up and the officers drew their pistols at the large force, all while yelling for the civilians to leave the area. Suddenly dragons began flying out of the structure and began swooping down on the crowd. Her guards and the police began to open fire at them to no affect. The man in the front of the large army in front of her opened a scroll and began yelling in an unknown language.

"Sursum omnes barbaros bene Nos Imperii Sol Sanctus nomen Augusti et auxisset narrabo omnes terras victoria!"

"Ma'am, we must leave immediately." Kristjan grabbed her and rushed her to the nearby car, got in the drivers seat as the other guard hopped in the shotgun seat and he took off. When she looked back, the police had been overrun and the civilians being slaughtered.

"We need to get you to Keflavik, I'll call them about the situation."

"What the hell can they do, there's only a small fighter wing based there, we need an army to fight those bastards."

"Well it'll take time for the UN to send an army to fight them." The guard riding shotgun said. "Looks like you were wrong to not pass that legislation the police needed for new firearms." His words were directed at Freyja, who could only look down with her head in her hands. He didn't approve of the current president, but he had a job to do.

"I didn't think this would happen. We expect invasions from space now, not wherever that fucking thing came from."

"Regardless, there's nothing we can do but get you to safety and let the police slow them down." He gripped the steering wheel as he looked in the rear view mirror. They had company. "Bardisson, we have company." He yelled to his friend in the passenger seat. he put down the phone and readied his MP-5 and shot at the dragon following them. Unfortunately, 9MM rounds only bounced off the thick scales of the dragon. "Aim for the man on top." Kristjan yelled. He steadied it again and let out a few more bursts, which hit home. The man fell of and tumbled to the ground, dead.

"I got the bastard, now let's get out of here before more of them arrive and ruin our day any further." Now they were just racing to Keflavik, hoping that what the Americans had would do the trick.

Keflavik Air Base

1630 Hours

As always, life was boring while being stationed at Keflavik Air Base. Aside from going into town and getting drunk on the weekends, while doing useless tasks on the week days. So to help pass the time and alleviate boredom, pilots James "Vert" Wheeler and David "Hog" Miller were jogging along the length of the runway. David got his name for being the last US air force pilot to fly the A-10 Thunderbolt before the last units were scrapped or sold to private buyers. He was also the last to fire it's guns, which happened to be the burnt out husk of a Phauthi tank in the salt flats of Bolivia. He enjoyed it a bit to much, even to the point he forgot his mic was on and made the cannon sound with his mouth. Shortly afterwards the entire flight control room burst into laughter at his expense. He didn't care though, he loved the plane as a kid and he got the honor of flying one of them.

As for how James got his, well it's a joke at his last name, Wheeler. Since he shared the last name with a character from an old Hot Wheels cartoon made in the early 2000's, they stuck the name Vert on him. He didn't understand what the hell they were talking about until he found the show on YouTube. Now he loves to watch it. It didn't help that he had a short street racing career that nearly got him arrested.

"So how was your date with that flight controller?" Miller asked his flight partner, who gave him a dirty glare. He just smirked as he his friend let out a sigh.

"How the fuck did you hear about that? Who told you, because I'll kick their ass if they keep spreading bullshit rumors."

"I saw you and her enter that service closet James." Wheeler face grew red from embarrassment and as he kicked himself into higher gear and tried to put Miller behind him. "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me man, besides I'm the only one who saw you two. Lord knows the trouble you'd get into for adultery."

"Well I appreciate if you can keep quiet about it. What about you, do anything exciting lately."

"Aside from some great tail I got from a local beauty in town, not much worth of note. I hate being out here, we ain't got shit to do man. Why the fuck are we even running on the runway anyway, we have Xbox back in our rooms?!

"You know the stereotype how us airmen only sit on our ass playing video games, so let's not live up to it." He had a point. The old air force stereotype was that they only sat around playing video games and complained when the WiFi went out. It was best to keep in shape no matter what branch your in.

"Fair enough, but it gets repetitive running the same track over and over again."

"So does starting up an F-35, but we don't bitch about flying them do we?"

"True." They continued on until they had completely rounded the airstrip and stopped for a breather. However, they noticed something unusual when they glanced over at the hangars. They saw two F-35's being armed and prepped for takeoff.

"Yo, what the hell's this about?" Miller said as he pointed in the direction of the hangar. "Why the hell are they being armed for bear?" They both looked as the pilots were rushing into the cockpits and began to start up the engines.

"Fuck if I know, but it's best we go find out." They began to run towards the hangars and saw more pilots getting into their jets. "I've got a bad feeling about this, David. Looks like something pretty serious is going down." Before they could get any further, they were stopped by a Humvee stopping in front of them and a couple of MP's stepping out.

"Lieutenant David Miller, Lieutenant James Wheeler?" The man asked in a hurried tone. Wheeler stepped forward and addressed the MP.

"Yes, that's us, what the hell is going on?"

"We need you to get in, there's a situation developing." The MP wasn't bullshitting and was as serious as could be. The moment they hopped in the Humvee, they took off towards the hangar where their aircraft were kept. As they kept speeding along, two F-35's screamed off the runway armed with a full load of missiles.

"Are you going to tell us why the hell the base is mobilizing?" Miller asked as he grabbed the shoulder of the MP in the passenger seat.

"Iceland is under attack, command has ordered all pilots in the air and head to the airspace around Gardabaer and Hafnarfjodur immediately." Miller and Wheeler looked at each other with surprise and slight panic. Who could be attacking Iceland? Surely if it was another invasion, NORAD tracking radars would've picked something up long before anything got close.

"Do we know who the invader is?" Wheeler asked.

"That's unclear at this time. One of the bodyguards of the Icelandic president called saying they were being attacked and all the operators heard was something about Romans and dragons. This answer annoyed both of the pilots.

"Is this some kind of joke, dragons don't fucking exist, so why the hell are our fighters taking off with full weapon loads." Miller said with annoyance. He honestly didn't believe what he was hearing. The MP couldn't blame him, he wouldn't believe it either.

"Look radar arrays are picking up contacts appearing out the ass right in front of the presidential residence and there's the fact that local police keep calling in about being attacked by sword swinging Roman soldiers." The men couldn't believe what they were hearing. As the Humvee arrived at it's stop, the pilots ran out and switched into their flight gear while their jets were being fully fueled and prepped for take off. It didn't take them long to switch out, given that this was apparently a real combat situation.

"Well Miller, we might end up scoring a kill or two after all."

"Just get suited up, we gotta move."

The pilots rushed off out of their barracks and headed for the hangar in an MP Humvee. As they arrived at their respective F-35's, they took no time to climb into the cockpits and begin takeoff procedures.

"This is Lightning 2-5 to tower, requesting permission for takeoff." Miller strapped himself in as he got the final nod from a signaler to pull out of the hangar.

"This is Lightning 2-6 to tower, requesting clearance for takeoff." Wheeler could see that he and Miller were the only fighter pilots left on the runway, the rest had already gotten clearance and had taken off to counter this new enemy.

"Lightning 2-5, Lightning 2-6, you are clear for take off boys."

"Roger that tower, departing now." As they made their way down the runway and into the clear blue sky, Miller decided it was best to get in one last smart ass comment before they headed of into the unknown.

"So Wheeler, that was her right." He smirked inside his face mask as he looked off to his left side to see Wheeler flipping him off.

"Go fuck yourself and get on task." All Miller did was laugh in response. Thank fuck he switched to the comm channel only he and Wheeler had, else they'd both be in a world of trouble.

"Fine, fine, let's just get this done with." With that they made their way towards the city

Virginia Beach, The United States

Applebee's Grill and Bar

1230 Hours

It was a special occasion inside the local Applebee's for the attendees inside. Today was a birthday celebration for a fellow Navy SEAL. Alicia Diaz who happened to be the first female to join DEVGRU. And to make the celebration even greater, most of her individual team and her captain had planned it entirely by surprise. She had only graduated on week earlier and the team wanted to make it special. While Captain Jack Mitchell had her parents blindfold her for a surprise, he and the rest of the team did their best to make this one hell of a birthday for her. They had called ahead and got seating arrangements for themselves and her parents. They had already bought a rather huge cake and had ordered what she loved the most at Applebee's. It was her favorite restaurant after all. Many of the other patrons found it weird, but some whispers made it around they were all SEALS, so no one really minded that much. It was common knowledge that Dam Neck was the home for DEVGRU and SEALS often came into town for R&R.

"You'll think she'll like what we have for her." One of the SEALS by the name of Zachary Dunn. The man was bit quirky and nerd, but an overall nice guy. A kid from New York City who's story was that of most who joined the military. Serve their country and make their family proud. However, Dunn had been a bit of troublemaker in his teenage years and had a few run ins with the law for things he wasn't supposed to be doing. He has knack for using explosives and is the teams demolitions expert.

"No doubt about it, her parents told us everything she liked, on top of what she already told us." Replied Mitchell.

Aside from Dunn and Mitchell, there was Foley, Ramirez, Allen, and Irons all standing around the table waiting for Diaz to arrive.

For Jack Mitchell he and most of his friends joined the military after graduating high school. While his father urged him to join the Marine Corps,(his father was marine veteran during the war)he decided to go into the navy. Regardless of his decision, his father was still proud of him. His mother was hesitant at first, with the usual "I don't want my baby to go"he still joined after high school. Nevertheless, she was still proud of him. He still keeps in contact with most of his high school buddies, many of which he served with in various places around the world. Especially during training and relief aid missions in Latin America and Asia. While his mother doesn't know of him being a member of DEVGRU, his father could tell and confronted him privately about it. He said he couldn't be prouder of his son for joining America's best.

Keith Foley was a Lieutenant and second in command of the team. The man was strict, but fair when he leads the team in absence of Mitchell. The man was born in Norfolk, Virginia, into a navy family. That prompted him to join the service right after high school. He wanted to make his father, who was a veteran of the war, proud of him and follow his footsteps. He excelled in Officer school and graduated at the top of his class. He was introduced to Mitchell during a training exercise in Japan, in which they got well acquainted with Japanese SOG's, as well as Korean UDT's.

For Jonathan Irons, he wanted to help save lives and serve his country at the same time. He opted to be the team medic after he finally became a member of DEVGRU. He got his chance when he traveled to South America and the Philippines during relief aid missions. The man was very friendly with the children he cared for, who looked up to him. Rumor also has it that he joined the military to leave his family. Apparently his family didn't appreciate his marrying who he did, but that was a subject seldom brought up. He's a very compassionate person, who tries to find good in all people.

For Allen, he grew up playing football and had the body to prove it. He could pass for linebacker if they didn't know any better. However, growing up in a small town meant very little opportunity for those right out of high school. For a few months he worked as a farmhand to make some extra money to help his mother pay the bills, but they were still barely scrapping by. Rather than live poor in the town he grew up in, he joined the Navy, after being rejected by the air force for not having a high asvab score. After he graduated basic, he began sending his money to help her out, and eventually moved her into Norfolk. Long story short, when Mitchell learned of his plans to confront the man responsible for giving his mother a black eye, they found him beating on his mothers soon to be ex boyfriend. It took Mitchell, Foley, and Dunn to drag him off of the man.

Ramirez was just looking to prove himself. Being the kid who kept to himself in school, he was picked on by people. Bullies usually thought he was an easy target, up until he gave them a choice between a broken nose or a tooth loss. After more than a few suspensions and fights, he was left alone. While he kept to himself, he loved to hunt. He even entered multiple marksmanship competitions in his high school years and afterwards. Living in Los Angeles got boring for him so he joined the navy after spending his first year out of high school working at a Walmart. He was eyed for SEAL training due to his impressive marksmanship abilities and even broke the previous longest kill shot record with his Tac-338 by setting a new record of 2517 meters. After learning of his achievement, British SAS and Canadian JTF have tried to beat it since.

Now they just waited for Diaz to arrive and they could congratulate her not only for her achievement, but also because it's her birthday today.

"Ramirez, you get the cake she likes?" Foley turned and asked the Hispanic man, who was playing some game on his phone. He looked up and pointed at the bag sitting down on the table.

"Already got in boss, we should have everything by now." He replied, before going back to his game.

"Wish the rest of the team could've been here for this, but they had their own plans apparently." Irons said as he fiddled with the cake container trying to open it. "But I really hate trying to open these damn things." He got more and more frustrated until put a hand on his shoulder and took care of it.

"Don't worry, I'll get it." He said as carefully pried the top off, as to not make the cake fall out. Mitchell would have their ass in a sling if they did.

"Stow it you heathens." Mitchell said in a hurry. He pointed out to the parking lot and saw the car with Diaz and her parents pull up. They had her blindfolded as to not ruin the surprise. "Not a peep from any of you until the blindfold comes off, you here." They all nodded their heads as they all stood up and waited for them to enter the restaurant.

"Mom, Dad, where have you taken me, I smell good food!" Diaz didn't get an answer as she was ushered over to the table, where her brothers in arms awaited.

"Not yet dear, just wait another moment." He mother said. Dunn waved at her, but Ramirez promptly grabbed his hand and forced it down.

"I think she'll like the surprise." He father said, who had the look of a father who couldn't be more proud of his daughter.

"Ok, now it's time to remove the blindfold." Her mother then carefully removed the blindfold and Diaz was greeted with a sight she never thought she'd see.

"SURPRISE!" The screams of the SEALS shook the walls as they greeted their fellow team member.

Alicia couldn't believe what she was seeing. A cake with her name on it, specially decorated with little SEAL action figures and the DEVGRU symbol on it, accompanied by it saying Happy Birthday. She saw her favorite meal placed right on the table in front of her. To see her Commanding Officer and fellow SEALS do something like this was completely unexpected.

"Happy Birthday Diaz, and congratulations on becoming a member of my band of heathens." The team chuckled at this remark. Mitchell wasn't a saint, but neither were his men. They've all done some pretty stupid things, but their still professionals.

Diaz began to tear up at this. She ran up and hugged Mitchell, who returned the hug. "T-thank you sir." She was stifling back tears while trying to get her word through.

"Drop the sir crap, we're in a casual setting, call us by our names." He told her. They weren't deployed or on training, they could relax here. "sit down and enjoy, your parents told us everything you liked.

Other patrons began to clap at the display on front of them. Many of those were also military, mainly Marine or Navy personnel on leave. As the team sat down and began to enjoy their meals and began to get to know each other better.

"Mr and Mrs Diaz, you mind if we crack a few jokes." Dunn asked, which had the team glare at him. They all knew what type of jokes he had and usually civilans never understood them.

"I can assure you, we've heard them all before." Mr Diaz assured him. "Maybe you have a few I've never heard before.

"Ok, I'll start with mine then." Ramirez said as he straightened himself. Now the Pentagon decided they had to many generals and decided to get rid of some of them.

"About damn time." Foley said as he munched on an over sized burger that would surely give any regular man diabetes.

"Well somebody in with the Joint Chiefs came up with the idea of offering 10,000 dollars of severance pay for each inch of the general's body. The generals could be measured any way they chose." He paused to take a drink from his Mtn Dew. "An Air Force general goes first. He's a smart guy, so he says he wants to be measured from head to toe. They measure him and come up with seventy inches. So he accepts 700,000 dollars of severance pay."

"Wish I could get that much money." Allen remarked, while attempting to steal some fires from Mitchell's plate, only to get slapped away.

"Get your own, Allen." He said, before gesturing for Ramirez to continue with the joke.

"Next up was Army general. He wanted to measured from the tip of his right finger, to the tip of his left. It comes out to eighty inches and he accepts a severance of 800,000 dollars."

"Oh my." Diaz's mother said.

"Now the two generals are mighty damn pleased with themselves, but this Marine general was watching the whole thing. After a few minutes, he steps up and says, Your going to measure me from the tip of my dick, to the bottom of my balls."

This made Allen and Foley burst out laughing, while Diaz and Mitchell nearly choked while laughing.

"Man, Marine generals are kinky." Foley said as he continued laughing.

"Now the men doing the measuring are confused. Sir, do you understand how this work? Just do it maggot, he barked at them while dropping his trousers. The men get out the measuring tape, steel their courage, and get to work. So they start at the tip of his dick and work their way down, they noticed the general has no balls."

"Plot twist." Diaz says, promoting laughter from half the table. However just one table away, a few members of Force Recon were listening on the conversations and were laughing as well.

"So one of them men asks the general, "Sir where are your balls?" The general replied with, "I left them back in Vietnam."

That did it. The whole table erupted into laughter with the climax of the joke. This continued for about ten minutes until Mitchell got a phone call.

"Hold on guys, I need to take this, it's important." As he went outside to take the call, he could overhear Dunn bringing up another joke, but it was one he already heard before. He stepped out the door and put the phone to his ear to talk with his Commanding Officer.

"Commander Perryman, what do I owe the pleasure, sir?" Mitchell said in a tone of respect.

"All tier one teams are being called up, I need you and your men at Norfolk Air Station within the next hour."

"Sir, is something wrong?" As he asked this, one of the Recon Marines came out of the restaurant with an urgent look on his face as he answered his cell phone.

"Iceland is under attack and we need to prepare a counter attack immediately. You'll be linking up with tier one teams at Hereford. I understand your on leave celebrating the birthday and introduction of a new member, but we need all hands on deck."

The words hit Mitchell like an eighteen wheeler. Earth was under attack. He never thought he'd be alive to see Earth ever be invaded. Gears in his head began to turn as he thought how it could be possible. Surely NORAD would've picked up a fleet heading towards Earth. Maybe it was hit in a decaptiation strike? He didn't know, but what he did know is that he needed to gather his team immediately.

"Who's invading sir?"

"We don't know, we getting very little from Keflavik, but news reports keep saying dragons and monsters. the 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron is already engaged, but is running low on munitions." You have your orders, Perryman out." And with that, the call dropped. He turned to look at the Marine, to which both shared looks of shock on their face.

"Did you just hear about Iceland?" Mitchell asked the Marine.

"Yes sir, I'm going to grab my team now, shits hit the fan pretty bad over there from what intel we have." They both raced back inside to to both of their respective tables. Mitchell went over to one of the waiters and asked her to turn one of the TV's to the new channel. She was hesitant, but he said it was very important. He then rushed to the table, where Dunn was still telling a joke.

"The Delta guy doesn't say a word, he just shakes his head and keep stirring the coals of the fire with his dick." However their laughter was cut short as Dunn and Foley both noticed an absolutely pale and ghostly looking Mitchell approach the table.

"Sir, what's wrong?" Dunn asked concerned with his Captain's expression.

"Are you alright sir, you look like you've seen a ghost?" Foley asked.

The restaurant grew louder as many patrons had glanced over towards the TV that had the news on it. Soon all the television sets were tuned into new channels and the patrons were horrified at what they saw. Dragons flying in the sky, medieval cavalry mowing down civilians in the street, Roman Legionaries marching down the street of Iceland. The Marines who had been seated a table away had ran out of the restaurant as they news broadcast began to describe the slaughter taking place in Iceland.

"Iceland is under attack." He said in shocked tone. "Commander Perryman is mobilizing all available Tier One teams for immediate departure to Britain."

The team stood there shocked. They legitimately couldn't believe what they were hearing. Another invasion in the same month as Victory Day.

"Is it those purple skinned bastards again, Captain?" Irons asked Mitchell, while balling his fist to the point his knuckles turned white.

"No Irons, something different." He took one last glance to the TV before leaving money for the food on the table. "Can you take care of this please?" He asked Diaz's parents.

"Of course, you all go and keep us safe."

"Grab a togo box or some shit and let's move, we don't have much time."

With that Mitchell and his team ran out of the restaurant and made their way towards Norfolk Naval Station.
World Map Circa 2080
Chapter 3: Visions
JSOC Command Center

Undisclosed Location

1400 Hours

From New York, Paris, Moscow, Tehran, Beijing, and Tokyo, millions watched in fear at what was unfolding in Iceland. Now the militaries of the world were being mobilized in the wake of this new threat and world leaders were being rushed to bunkers in undisclosed locations around the world. Now in an unknown location, the Commander of Joint Special Operations Command for United Nations Special Forces was discussing the situation with world leaders via computer monitors across the room.

"Do we have any idea how this has happened?" Spoke the president of the United States. "NORAD picked up squat on their arrays and says there's no unusual activity in the solar system."

"We haven't found anything on our end either." Replied the Russian president. The leaders of Europe, China, India, and Japan all said the same thing, nothing was amiss in space. This left them even more baffled.

"Then who is responsible for such a barbaric attack"? The German prime minister spoke up.

"We've observed that whoever they are, they seem to be reminiscent of Roman era soldiers, with various creatures only found in fantasy novels and such." The U.S. president stated. The few world leaders who hadn't caught up on the news raised a curious eyebrow at this, but were quickly filled as they saw the live feed of a news helicopter that was observing the carnage, only for a dragon to ram into, thus losing the new feed.

"That still doesn't explain how a medieval society has somehow invaded Iceland and started butchering and enslaving innocents." Said the French president.

The Icelandic president took this as her chance to speak. "There was a large structure which suddenly appeared just south of my residence before this started." This drew the attention of everyone listening. "According to my bodyguards, it was there for about an hour before everything happened and I was forced to flee to Keflavik. Last thing I saw was a group of dragons flying out attacking people who gathered around wondering it was." She said somberly.

"That certainly leaves more questions than answers." The US president sighed while rubbing his temples. "You have my condolences Freyja, and rest assured we will beat this invader back." The president said proudly.

"There is no doubt in my mind that we will, but it will take time to move forces into position." The Chinese president spoke up. Many of the other leaders nodded their heads in agreement.

"Unfortunately, your right." The American president said rubbing his temples. "We have a fighter squadron deployed at Keflavik, but their running out of ammo and the enemy air assets were reported as following the fighters when they flew back to the base. The 6th Fleet is currently off the coast of Spain with the 26th Marine Expedition Unit, but will take roughly three to four days for them to arrive and commence combat operations."

"If you don't mind ladies and gentlemen, but I may be able to provide some assistance with this new problem."

The man who spoke was General Anthony Perryman, leader of JSOC of the UNDF. He earned the respect of his men by getting to know them, by visiting them on base, and even training with them at times. He may not have been as young and capable as them like he once was, but they still respected him for it. He'd never ask them to do something he wouldn't do. The men and women under his command would follow him into hell if he asked. Now he was here to help the leaders of the world in this new crisis.

"And how can you do that?" The German prime minister asked curiously to the man in uniform.

"Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Anthony Perryman, I'm the general of JSOC for the United Nations. I'm recalling teams from all around the world to Hereford, England for deployment preparations. With the equipment we have at our disposal, I can get boots on the ground undetected. From there they can perform recon on enemy numbers and positions, while also mapping areas where amphibious forces will meet the least resistance."

"And just how quickly can they arrive?" Freyja said as she practically jumped from he seat with anticipation and relief. She was still worried for her countrymen who were in harms way.

"While our Far Eastern and Australian units won't be on site for another eleven hours, our European, American, and Canadian operators will arrive in roughly four to five hours. Getting them briefed and equipped will take a bit longer. I'd say we could have all teams deployed within eighteen to twenty hours if we rush them."

"Please." The eyes of the Icelandic president were pleading with the general. She was desperate for someone to help her country, seeing as how her country had no military to speak of. And with only 900 sworn officers, they wouldn't be able to hold off an army for long, no matter how primitive they were in comparison. The general let out a sigh and brushed his hair back before he spoke.

"If I rush half of my teams out without waiting for the rest, it'll jeopardize my men." A sorrow look filled the Icelandic presidents face as she could only look down in her lap. "I'll need all of my teams properly equipped and briefed before I send them into the hot zone. I'm sorry ma'am." His face grew somber as he spoke. "I'll deploy as soon as every team is ready and on site.

"Please hurry."

"We'll work as quickly as possible ma'am."

"Exactly how many teams are you waiting for general?" The Israeli prime minster spoke with curiosity in his voice.

"Roughly two dozen teams from twenty different nations. Enough operators to perform recon on the enemy force, disrupt their logistics, and neutralize high value targets they come across. Although they'll still be heavily outnumbered and will have limited air support."

"Are you trying to ask us something general?" The Canadian prime minister gave the man a curious look after asking him.

"I'm hoping that there some bases nearby that can provide air support should my operators need it?"

The British prime minister straightened himself and spoke.

"We have an F-35 squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth with the QRA. I've ordered them to assist the 159th above Iceland. But they cannot engage targets on the ground due to the risk of civilian causalities."

"We have one of our last B-1 Lancers in Thule Air Base, but they cannot engage targets without a clear target for the bombing crews. And with that live news feed of Icelandic citizens being dragged from their homes and to the epicenter of all this, we can't effectively engage them."

"Which means that close air support is out of the question I suppose." Perryman expected this to be a problem. But as long as they can eliminate enemy air support, it wouldn't matter. Without air support, his men would have a much harder time doing their job. "Regardless, as long as enemy air assets can be neutralized, they should be fine."

"Is there anything else general?"

"Not at this time, I'll report back when my squads arrive and I can deploy them."

With that, world leaders were left to discuss appropriate actions to take to neutralize this threat. The screen then went blank and Perryman got to work with getting proper equipment ready and acquiring appropriate transportation for his men. There was some new classified equipment that was was still in the testing phase that hasn't yet seen combat. He thought that it would be a good time for his operators to get acquainted with these new weapons. It would also move his teams into position much quicker.

"I can order the Northern sea fleet and the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade to commence operations and get underway as soon as possible." The Russian president informed after gesturing to an unknown person off to her side.

The British prime minister, who was speaking to someone off screen, cleared his throat to signal he wanted to speak.

"Gentlemen, I've been notified that the HMS Prince of Wales and the Amphibious Task Group with 3 Commando is being prepped and will leave port later tonight."

More good news for everyone present, mainly Freyja. She felt powerless as her countrymen were left at the mercy of an alien threat that, as the last one that threatened Earth, sought to slaughter and conquer. This would be bad news for the invaders however. Even if it would take days for a proper military response to arrive, they would face the full brunt of a vengeful UN. One that, just as during The War, wasn't very nice towards prisoners. Assuming there'd be any left to be prisoners. But for now, preparation was to be had before the anything could be done.

Unmarked Military Aircraft

Over the Atlantic Ocean

1430 Hours

Aggravated. Pissed off. Disgusted. All these words fit the the emotions of Black Squadron. This meant a few things for Mitch and his team. First and foremost it meant that Earth was being invaded again. Not even a half century later humanity was staring down the brunt of another alien invasion. Although, this invasion didn't come from the stars like many had expected. But from a portal connecting our world to another. This terrified Earth and it's people. If someone could open a portal in Iceland, who's saying the next wouldn't be in another country? Over a billion people on Earth still remember the invasion. These people watched as cities burned, entire nations were depopulated, and resistance crumbled throughout half the world. These same people who turned on their televisions and saw the news of what was happening in Iceland, began to remember humanities darkest hour at the hands of the purple skinned bastards who wrought untold destruction on humanity in the past, began experiencing the same feelings they did during the war.

Cases of PTSD increased dramatically throughout the world after the war. Nearly half of the post war human population had some form of it. For the members of Black Squadron, nearly all of their parents had been diagnosed with it. Some even committed suicide because of it. Mitch lost track of how many times he and his mother were awoken by his father waking up screaming and crying from all he did and witnessed during the war. When his father's went through his home state of Florida after it was occupied, his home city was destroyed. Bodies littered the street, both human and Phauthi. The same house he spent most of his life growing up in was burnt down, with it's previous occupants dead inside. Even with his son and wife to comfort him, it was rough. Even now, Mitch was on the phone with his father letting him know he was safe and where he was going.

"What do you mean you won't be coming home? Did you get in trouble? Do you need bail money?"

"No dad, it's nothing like that. The Commander is recalling all teams for immediate deployment."

"What?" Mitch noted the surprise in his fathers voice. He guessed he hadn't seen the news recently. Not surprising, given that news networks were unreliable when he was younger. Especially the godawful CNN and Fox networks. "What's going on son?"

"I'm guessing you haven't seen the news yet, have you pops?"

"You know I only tune in for the weather report. What's happening son?"

Mitch let out a sigh before he could continue, knowing what he was about to say would upset his father.

"Iceland is under attack by an unknown alien threat. It's not the Phauthi and everyone's at a loss for how this happened. My team, along with many others are on our way to Britain right now."

"Oh my god." Mitch could hear the fear in his fathers voice. The fear of his son going off to fight a war. Fight another alien threat. Why couldn't humanity be left alone? "Son, can you promise me you'll come back home? And you still have a daughter to take care of!"

Mitch just sighed upon hearing this. He could hear his father's voice breaking as he spoke. Even he was having trouble trying not to cry in front of his men, most of which were talking to their families as well.

"Dad, you said it yourself, no promises in combat. But I don't plan on dying just yet. I just wanted to call and let you know, but I've got to go."

"Be safe son, I love you."

"I love you too dad, let my daughter know I love her and I won't be home so soon."

Mitch hung up the phone and just buried his face in his hands. He hadn't seen his family in a few months. Now he was going to have to wait even longer.

"Of all fucking times to be deployed, it had to be now."

He glanced over and saw Diaz sulking with her knees in her chest. She had a right to be pissed off about the recent turn of events. She had only been on the team one week and on top of it being her birthday, everyone wanted to celebrate it. Now instead of enjoying a party, they were going off to war.

"Yo, Captain!" Allen called over towards Mitch.

"What is it Allen?" He answered back.

"Exactly where are we going and how long until we get there." Mitch swore that Allen was deaf half the time, because he specifically told the squad where they were going.

"For the love of all that's holy, we're going to Hereford base in England. Home of the 22nd SAS and where we'll be linking up with other teams from around the world." Mitch got up to address his team, who were all expecting some answers. "Everyone listen up, we'll be linking up with other teams in Hereford to deal with this new situation. This flight will be another six or seven hours, so get some rest. Because the moment we land, there will be no rest. Teams from around the world will be arriving and we'll be working very close together. Hell, chances are we've met quite a few of them already. So be on your best behavior and be ready for a very long day when we land."

With that Mitch sat down in his seat and closed his eyes so he could get some shut eye, but was interrupted by someone tugging on his shirt. He turned over and saw Allen once again.

"For the love of Christ, Allen, what do you want?"

"Can I have your leftovers sir?" Allen stared at the container on his captains lap and looked up towards Mitch again.

"Ugh." Mitch groaned. "Allen, you already ate everything you ordered from Applebee's and you ordered twice as much as any of us alone! How the fuck are still hungry?

"I'm a big man sir, I need to eat."

"You eat a bit to much Allen." Dunn laughed as Allen store daggers at the man.

"Shut your skinny, half witted ass up Dunn." Allen shot back at the New Yorker.

"I heard your big everywhere, except where it counts."

The team let our a bunch of O'sss as Allen looked further behind Dunn to see who spoke.

"Ajani." Allen stood up with a shit eating grin on his face before he spoke once more. "I hear that you're the only black guy who doesn't live up to a certain stereotype, according to my sources."

The cabin of the C-17 lit up in laughter at the comeback from the hungry man. At that point Mitch was pissed because he wanted to be well rested before the long assignment.

"Allen, Dunn, Ajani, stow that shit and get some rest, we have a long flight ahead of us."

"Does that mean I can't have your fries captain?"

Mitch opened his container and dumped the fries on his lap before grabbing his burger and munched on it while he closed his eyes and ate.

"Now shut the fuck up and leave me alone."


1900 Hours

Imperial Leadership Campsite

Legate Tiberius couldn't believe how easy this conquest was. Barely any of these barbarians fought back. Only some mages with blue and yellow horseless carriages attempted to stop his legions advance throughout this small township. But they only claimed the lives of a few dozen legionaries before being overwhelmed by sheer numbers. During the Empires numerous conquests, even if the average soldier was outmatched by the enemy, they were drowned in sheer numbers. None of these weak people had a sword, but used magical staves and wands that spat metal at his men from distance. They had no concept of honor and bravery. This would be their greatest transgression against the Empire. For now, he would send back slaves through the Gate and pillage any valuables in this pitiful nation.

"This campaign is far easier than I could have ever imagined." Legate Tiberius gloated to the other men around him. Other legates and nobles occupied his tent and were discussing military matters for pushing further into the enemy's capital.

"The enemy capital is two and half leagues away Tiberius." Informed fellow legate Servius, who was in charge of the auxiliary recon forces meant to locate important locations to destroy. "With the second Gate being opened in the Blue Sea, we'll have galleys to reach the shores of that city within a few hours. It's why I've ordered 10,000 men to the north so they may begin the assault."

"Good." Tiberius replied, satisfied with how well the invasion was coming along. "What has the Wyvern Corps reported." He looked off to his left at fellow Legate Septimius, who was in charge of the Wyvern Corps.

"Well." Septimius looked unnerved as he began to answer his colleagues. "We have lost almost a third of our Wyverns from what our other Wyvern scouts reported as flying metal birds that shot flaming arrows at them from a very great distance."

"How it that possible? These people are just savages?" The man that interrupted them was Calasta, one of Zorzal's knights he sent to lead a contingent of his knights and pick slaves for Zorzal personally.

"Savages?" Count Formal exclaimed. "Have you not looked around? These people have horseless carriages made of metal, strange mages that use magic never before seen, and can light this whole city at night with strange orbs on top of large poles. And now these reports of metal birds, what more evidence do you require that they are more than mere cavemen?"

"Have you gone mad, Count?" Herm Maio retorted. "I know you've always been a more proressive thinker, but come to your senses for once. These people have no honor and ran like cowards in the face of our might." He proudly boasted. "Only a few even dared to fight back, but fell to our legions."

"They will fall and their magic will make our empire even greater. Tiberius proudly boasted to the Count. "I even plan to indulge myself on some of the local women before we send them back. It's only right that they bear children for the empire, like all women should."

Hearing this made Colt sick to his stomach. He never agreed with how a majority of men treated women in the empire or how demi humans were treated. He hoped one day that the empire would move on from such thinking.

"Still, this city is massive and will take some time to pacify completely." Colt said, hoping they'd at least understand their limited mobility.

"With the little resistance we've encountered, it won't take more than a week." Calasta laughed.

"And once we've conquered this weak country, we'll move on towards the nearby continent. Maybe those people will be more of a challenge than they are." Legate Tiberius put his hand on Formal's should to reassure him. "Worry not old friend, we'll overcome these difficulties just like we always have." He then gestured for legate Septimius to continue with what information he had. "Have you figured out where these birds came from?"

"Yes, our scouts reported what seems to be a base that's roughly eight leagues to the west from where we are."

That answer made the other legates and nobles in the room turn their heads in confusion.

"Clearly the scouts must be mistaken, it isn't possible to travel such a distance that quick unless on wyvern back!"

"It's not a preposterous as it sounds." Servius said in a tone that meant he knew something they didn't. "The Dark Elf scouts reported what seemed to be a large base roughly that far away. They reported seeing peasants go inside of giant metal birds that took off and incredible speeds. I thought it was simply the dumb darkies misinterpreting something simple, but it seems that's not the case. There seems to be another of these bases in the enemies capital, just across the bay. However my scouts confirmed that the metal birds there tried to escape, but were quickly taken out by our wyverns."

"While having this information would've been put to better use sooner, we'll take care of that problem. Order the Legio II Augusta, Legio IX Hispana, and Legio XXX Classica to march on that base and take their weapons for our own. While cowardly in nature, we could make use of these metal birds for our Wyvern Corps."

"There's more, Tiberius." Tiberius glanced over with a look of impatience. "Is there more I need to know, Servius?"

"The scouts reported a different flag in front of the base, not the same as we recovered off of the embarrassment of a palace belonging to this nations leader. There were also other small palaces throughout their capital. It seems we invaded a vassal of sorts, which would somewhat explain the situation. All of which had different flags on the top of them. One flag was described as having an all-white background with a red dot in the middle, while another had almost the same design as this one, only with a blue cross within a white one, surrounded by red. The last was described as having thirteen horizontal red and white stripes, with a blue rectangle that held many white stars."

"If we're dealing with a vassal, then where is their liege army?" Septimius asked impatiently.

"More than likely at that base our scouts found. My question is how they found out about our invasion so quickly."

"So what nation do they come from, this nation is a small island in the middle a large ocean!" The nearest landmass is covered in snow and ice, while the other is 245 Leagues away! There's no way they could've sent reinforcements that quickly."

"I may have some answers for all you're questions, my friends."

The man who spoke Grand Mage Godasen, the most powerful mage in the Saderan Empire. He was issued orders to probe the minds of any captured enemy soldiers, mages, or peasants, as a means to gather information. He had done this before when the Empire conquered the Warrior Bunnies and Elf tribes years ago. He took valuable information regarding major settlements from the minds of their prisoners and used it against them. Now he once again had more information the legates would find important.

"Grand Mage Godasen, how have you been my friend?" Tiberius greeted his long time friend with friendly pat on the back. "What do we owe the pleasure of the Empire's greatest Mage? I thought you were tasked with guarding the Emperor and the royal family on the other side of the Gate?

"The Emperor ordered me personally to probe the minds of any captured individuals, just as me and other mages have been tasked with in the past. I was informed you have captured an enemy mage and their strange stave?"

"Ah, yes, we captured him from his strange carriage earlier in the invasion."

"May I see him, the carriage, and the stave?"

"Of course Grand Mage." Tiberius turned to the Legionaries who were guarding the entrance and pointed to the one to his left. "Send word to bring the enemy mage to this tent."

"Yes sire." He bowed and left the tent.

He turned to the other and pointed at him. "Inform our best wyvern riders to ambush that base where those metal birds come from." The next words he spoke were cold. "Tell them to leave no survivors." The legionary bowed and left the tent.

But just as the legionary left, a Centurion


"What is it, Centurion? Make it quick, we are in the middle of important matters?"

"Our dragon riders have reported enemy galleys approaching from the north towards the Gate our galleys are currently crossing. We've already lost ten ships!"

He didn't expect to hear this surprising development. They should be to primitive to travel the seas. Now he had to focus on another unforeseen problem. He couldn't let the Gate fall into the hands of the enemy.

"Order all our available wyverns to assault the enemy galleys. We cannot let our enemy capture the Gate, for it would leave our Empire vulnerable to attack."

"Now while we wait for the prisoner to be brought to us." Tiberius brought Godasen over towards a seat around the table and offered him a goblet of wine. "A taste of the Empire right here in these barbarian lands."

"Why thank you, Tiberius. I must say, this world is very strange."

"How so, Grand Mage?" Formal asked curiously.

"I detect to use of magic anywhere here. Hell, I can't detect any in this world."

"Perhaps your old age is gaining on you, my friend." Tiberius laughed. This caused Godasen to look towards him with a smile.

"And you seem to be growing to old to keep up with you're men." Godasen said while patting his friend on his back. His previous comment causing the other legates to laugh at Tiberius's expense.

"Very funny."

"So Grand Mage, what do you think of these strange new lands?"

"They are awfully strange. I've yet to see any livestock, granary's, or farmland. Not one man has a sword or shield. I see no wells for the peasants to gather water. Where do they keep their food?"

"One of the elves entered a house that had some tall white box with a door. The inside was filled with cold air and held various food and drink. Even fresh milk, despite there being no cattle." Servius said, bring up a box filled with local foods. "I ordered them to bring me what they could." He passed around a clear bottle containing water. Servius twisted a cap and showed it around.

"Where do they get water this clean? There is not so much as a speck of dirt in this?"

"That isn't all." Servius pulled out a yellow container, which he showed was milk. "This contains fresh milk." He then pulled out a bag, which contained bread.

"Magnificent!" Formal exclaimed.

"What is this?" Herm asked as he picked up a package of frozen meat.

"There was a second door above the larger one which was as cold as ice."

"It's meant to preserve food and drink for later consumption." Godasen stated as he looked at the items closer. "I still don't detect any form of magic on these either. If the box these came from was magical, it'd would leave a trace on the food."

"Then how is this possible?" Calasta asked, after drinking the fresh milk from a cup.

"Perhaps we should probe the minds of all prisoners we take, not just enemy soldiers." Godasen picked up the bottle of water to examine it before passing it to Tiberius. "This world is indeed strange."

The tent flaps opened as two legionnaires brought in a man wearing a strange black clothing that had pouches all over it. There was strange lettering across his chest and a strange black box with a small cylinder poking from it. He had small sheath on his leg which held his magic stave. The legionary handed the stave over to Godasen so he could examine it.

"What a strange mechanism? I haven't even seen dwarves build such weapons. But I still detect no magical influence on this."

"Hvað í fjandanum er þetta?" The man spoke as he glanced over at the men staring at his firearm.

"Shut up barbarian." One of the legionaries shouted as he punched the man in black, who preceded to knee him in the groin, forcing him to the ground. But before the other legionary could strike the man, Godasen put his hand up.

"Enough!" He bellowed out. "I require information from that man, information I can't get if he's dead."

"NOW LEAVE US!" Tiberius ordered the men, who promptly left the tent.

"Now it's time to figure out what this man knows. I need quiet for this to work."

Godasen approached the man and placed his hands on both sides of his head. As Godasen closed his eyes for the ritual, a cloud began to form in front of the men gathered in the command tent. The first images were nothing worthy of note. Just the lives of this man in his past years. Soon an image appeared in which he was in a formation with at least a hundred men with the same uniforms as him. There were even some women were in the formation. This made Zorzal's knights laugh.

"You must be joking!" Herm laughed.

"Women are far to weak to be warriors. I guess that shows just how weak these people are."

As Godasen probed further into the mind of this man, the cloud projection soon changed. It showed them something they never thought they'd ever see.

Cities of immense height bustling with untold numbers of people. There were hundreds of different ones. All across this new world, there were millions of people who lived in these cities. Horseless carriages, giant flying birds carrying people over immense distances, means of communicating almost instantly with anyone in the world at any time.

"This must be magic." Servius muttered.

"I don't understand what I'm seeing." Tiberius said quietly

These people had even begun visiting the stars. They put a man on their very own moon. But in their efforts to find other civilizations, they met something unexpected. What they saw soon after is something that would scar them for the rest of their lives.

Once again the clouds flashed back to the images of these colossal cities. But just as it did, a bright flash overtook them. A large cloud that reached to the very heavens engulfed everything, leaving only fire and ruin. Millions of lives extinguished with a single fell swoop. They soon watched as hundreds of flying swords fought each other in the sky, sending flaming arrows chasing after each other. Iron elephants fighting each other from ranges he never could comprehend and spat terrible explosive magic on armies. Then he saw the into the heavens. And what they saw terrified them to their very core. Many hundreds of large, black objects approached this very world, unleashing destruction on a scale they had never before seen onto the world below. But these people struck back with equal fury. As he went deeper into the soldiers mind, he saw images of soldiers from many different nations fighting against this invader. A race of purple skinned humanoids with the same weapons this world fought with.

Large battles unfolded in front of their very eyes. Hundreds of thousands dead in single battles. Entire cities reduced to ash. Ships made of steel flying into the sky and reaching the very stars themselves to battle this enemy. But for all their power, these people beat them. While the nation of this man had no military to speak of, they had other nations to protect them. They had beaten back this enemy, but at a horrific cost. A war that lasted five years and claimed hundreds of millions of lives all across the world. Entire regions exterminated by an enemy that showed no mercy. They had won and had shown they wouldn't be conquered. Now their whole world was united against a common enemy. And now these people had a new enemy. These people were far beyond what they had expected when they passed through the Gate. Now they'd once again unite this world into another war.

"G-Godasen." Count Formal asked fearfully. "What did you just show us?"

"We have made a grave mistake." Godasen replied, with fear rising in his voice.

As Godasen looked around the tent, he could see the fear in everyone's face. A fear he had never seen before. Even the most battle hardened legates such as Tiberius, Septimius, and Servius could only watch with wide eyes at what was in front of them.

"Just who have we invaded?" he asked to no one in particular. All he did was watch the vision replay the memories of this war. Watching the unholy levels of destruction occur before his very eyes repeatedly.
Chapter 4: Demands

1930 Hours

Imperial Leadership Campsite

Imperial Command was in the midst of a great dilemma. After seeing the memories of the police officer they found, many were terrified of the response they'd receive from actual military forces. Many even thought that it was trick from the man and refused to believe it. But as they probed the minds of dozens of other prisoners, they soon found out it was no trick. They were arguing of how to deal with the new situation. Half of them wanted to continue the fight, while the others wanted to retreat beyond the Gate and close it as soon as possible. The ones who wished to keep fighting thought it would bring dishonor and shame on them and their family to retreat. Some believed that the Emperor would execute them and send even more men to conquer the country.

"Have you gone mad, Formal?" Calasta yelled at the Count. "We can't surrender to these cowardly savages? You saw those visions yourself, they have no honor. We must make them kneel to us."

"Do you have a brain Calasta?" Formal replied, trying to make Calasta see reason. "You must see reason, these people are a more advanced civilization, our only hope is to retreat with whatever we can grab and hope they won't breach the Gate."

"You must be joking?" Tiberius laughed. "We have far more men here than they do. Hell, they have no capability to stop us from occupying this nations capital and holding these people hostage."

"And with three whole legions on their way to that base, we can capture that base and it's soldiers. With them, we can torture the information we need from them. They'll teach us to use and make their weapons, thus giving us an advantage over them." Servius said while reviewing a map.

"It will take a whole day under quick march to reach them unfortunately." Septimius said sourly. "Our dragons will reach the base soon, but there's only fifty of them. We have the rest of the army marching towards their capital while the rest of our Wyvern Corps is focused on the enemy's navy off the coast. Time is of the essence is we are to bring glory for our Emperor. Our army will reach their capital within mere hours and we must capture everything we can to help us understand and beat these people."

"I may have a solution that could help us survive and win this fight." Godasen said as he finished interrogating another one captured police officer. "The governments of this world have no royalty, but are instead elected by the common rabble to lead their nations. This also mean that titles of nobility and royal blood don't mean anything to these people." Godasen could see the disdain in their eyes upon hearing that.

"Of course those savages don't know what's right for them." Herm said with disgust in his voice.

"How is that possible? How can they run a country without a king? How can peasants know what is right for them? Only an Emperor can correctly rule people!" Tiberius spat with disbelief.

"How does that help us survive their retaliation?" Formal asked curiously. "What does their form of government have to do with this?"

"If you'd listen, I could tell you." Godasen said annoyed at being interrupted. "In this world, all children, by law, must be educated in school until they graduate or leave at the age of sixteen. Nations on this world have what they call political parties. Think of the Hawk and Dove portions of the Senate. Citizens vote for the best candidate from their select party. Thus, power belongs to the people in this world." As Godasen looked around, he could see the disbelief in everyone's eyes. He could hardly believe it either, but it's what he read from the minds of these Icelanders.

"Which means that it is the policy of governments to protect peasants." As he paused, he could see that Tiberius got an idea from what he said. Before he continued, he could see the legates huddle together and start discussing a plan. "The military and government value the lives of everyone. In this world, everyone is seen as an equal, no matter what. Which means we can avoid bringing the full wrath of their military upon us. If we gather as many of these peasants alive and group them around our legions, they won't be able to use their heavy weapons against us."

"That's a genius idea Godasen!" Tiberius exclaimed. "They surely won't attack us knowing we have these people as our hostages. They'll be afraid to kill their own."

"And since this world has a devise that allows them to gain access to all the information in this world, so we make them show us."

"We may have some luck then." Septimius said as the tent flap opened and and two legionaries brought in a man who looked to be a teacher. "This man speaks our language and we can make him tell us this worlds secrets."

The man who was brought through the tent was Charles Lee. Lee was just visiting his family in Iceland when he heard air raid sirens went off and police were buzzing around his neighborhood. He had assumed it was a drill of some kind until gunshots rang out. Lee thought he'd be safe with his family in their house, until they came. A foreign army, for the first time since world war two, has invaded Iceland. And they were carrying sword and shield. He never thought his Latin would ever save him and his family's life. Now he was being marched towards a purple tent under escort from a dozen armed men. When he was shoved into the tent, everyone laid their eyes on him. Before he could ask a question, what appeared to be a Roman legate stepped forward.

"Ah, very good, then we can begin getting some answers." He looked at the man and noticed he had reading stones over his eyes. Odd, he thought to himself.

"From what Godasen has read from the minds of you people, you have the means of accessing every bit of information in the world. How about you share that information with us, so we may understand your cowardly, but powerful weapons, so we may spread the Emperors light among you and this world."

"Who are you people and why are you invading our world?" Lee asked in a confused tone.

"Forgive my friend's blunt attitude, but we're all a bit annoyed at recent developments. My name is Grand Mage Godasen." He motioned to his right towards the legate. "This is Legate Caelius Co Tiberius of the Imperial Army. We have been tasked by our glorious Emperor to bring order and civilization to this world. However, due to unexpected circumstances, we require information from you." Charles was confused by what he meant by this.

"I don't think any information will help you once the United Nations arrives in full force to stop you." As Charles said this, most of the men in the tent laughed, treating his words a just a joke.

"That's exactly the problem. I probed the minds of many of your countrymen. And we all saw the same thing. A massive war, using weapons that have more destructive power than we've ever witnessed. We need to know everything we can about these weapons. Because even after looking into their minds, none of us can understand how to use or make such weapons so we can hold onto this country."

"You people are cowardly and weak, who fight without honor and deny glory to warriors. We have no use for such weapons, except to keep your world from attacking us. However your architects could make the Empire proud by building those large glass towers and giving us horseless carriages to the Emperor and his family."

Charles was at a loss for what he was hearing. If they had witnessed what this Earth was capable of, why aren't they retreating? And why the fuck are they human?

"So you think I know how to make weapons?" Lee asked confused.

"Your world has the ability to communicate almost instantly and can access all information there is. Show us how to access this information and tell us how to understand it."

"Or else your family will die slowly and very painfully."

"What do you want to know of first?" Charles asked, knowing he had to answer or risk his family dying.

"We wish to know about the military strength of this world. What they use, how many men they have, what tactics they use, and to use their weapons. Something you call the internet has all the information we need. You will tell us everything this world knows and how to fight back against any nation that may try to help."

"And you will tell us why there are military forces in these lands when your country has no army? Are you nothing but a mere vassal?" Septimius interrupted, annoyed at how many wyverns he has lost this quickly in the campaign. "We've lost nearly a third of our Wyvern Corps and we will seek retribution and compensation for their loss from the nation responsible."

"This isn't my country and this nation isn't a vassal. Vassals haven't existed on Earth for a few centuries. Every nation, with or without an army, is at equal standing." Lee replied.

"Just goes to show how foolish these people are, no one is on equal standing with nobility, let alone our glorious Emperor." Calasta laughed.

"But that doesn't answer Septimius's question." Herm moved closer towards Lee until he was in his face. "Where are you from? Where are those flying metal swords from?"

"There is a military base used by the United Nations, that hosts those "flying swords" as you call them. We call them fighter jets. Only six are stationed there, with other bases in nearby nations that could reach this nation within hours. The entire world is watching your invasion and is already sending reinforcements. This isn't a fight you'll win, not when the United Nations Defense Force outnumbers your invasion force by a factor of 340 to one."

"The barbarian only speaks lies, it isn't possible to have such a large force." Servius said with anger.

"That would mean that these "United Nations" have over fifty million men in their military." Godasen said shocked. "And from what I've seen from those visions, I can't say I'm surprised.

"Women serve in our armed forces as well." Lee said with an annoyed look on his face. His sister was member of the Canadian Air Force and it seemed these people are just as backward as Romans were 2000 years ago. "All military members, male and female have to pass the exact same physical standards. If someone can meet those requirements, they can join. Regardless of gender."

All this did was make the men in the room laugh hysterically at him. All but Godasen and some old man sitting in the corner, who was getting annoyed at the constant interruption from the legates and nobles.

"Looks like any hopes of getting a real fight from another country won't happen, especially if they allow women to fight." Calasta snorted.

"This entire world is weak, no matter what powerful weapons they have." Chuckled Herm. "Why are we even asking this barbarian for information, the Empire will win as it always does, and we won't need these cowardly weapons to do it."

"Enough, both of you." Tiberius snapped. "We need all the information we can if the Empire is to come out victorious."

"Regardless of how many soldiers you have, we know your weaknesses." Godasen said with a smirk on his face.

"Weaknesses? What weaknesses do we have that you can exploit?"

"It should be obvious. Your leaders are weak willed and soft. They care for common rabble like you and the others we've taken prisoner. Our plan is simple. We take them and cluster them in chains around our legions as they continue to conquer this country. You can't use your powerful weapons as long as we have them as our hostages. Your leaders will have no choice but to recognize our control over this nation. We'll ransom off the survivors as we see fit for whatever we want."

"Our Empire still needs slave labor after all. I'm sure your world wouldn't mind a few tens of thousands missing, especially when from such an insignificant nation." Servius said while grinning sadistically.

"And your nations will surely hand over anything to us in exchange for their safe return. Even your weapons and building techniques. And if they don't, we'll simply build another Gate and invade another nation. Our elite soldiers have already proved immune to your thunder staves. Your world will not prevail, especially when it's facing a threat far greater than any it's ever faced before." Godasen knew that any nation that cares to much for it's civilians will inevitably fall.

"Now it's time you show us your worlds archive of information." Tiberius looked Charles dead in the eye with a death glare. "Your family's lives depend on how good you serve your new Empire. And I believe it's time your whole world get's to know who we are."

"What the fuck is that thing?"

"Matthews and Hall are down, we need heavier weapons."

"All teams, fucking scatter now! Do not get close to that bitch!"

"Captain, what the fuck are we gonna do here, she just keeps coming at us!"

"Takeo and Itami are down, over!"

"Fuck, Diaz is hit."

"Allen, Irons, save Diaz, Griggs, mark that bitch for the gunships to strike!"

"Astor is down, where the fuck is our air support?"

"All teams, focus fire on that halberd swinging bitch!"

"Gunships are here, everyone fucking scatter now!"

"I'd love to see that bitch take 30mm to the fucking face."

"She's down, repeat, that psycho bitch is down."

"She's still moving!"

"Concentrate fire on that abomination!"

Herefordshire Airport, England

2200 Hours

"Hey Captain, you awake, we've arrived Hereford." Mitch awoke to see Allen hovering above him with a concerned look on his face. Hell, his whole team was surrounding him. All of them looked worried.

"Guys, what the fuck are you looking at me for?" Mitch asked groggily.

"You weren't waking up." Diaz said, who was holding a bottle of water in her hand.

"You were about to douse me in water, were't you?"

"Yes sir."

"And you were tossing around something fierce sir. Looked like you were having one hell of a nightmare." Irons said with a worried tone as he put his pen light away.

"I'n not going to sugar coat shit, that was far worse than any nightmare I've ever had."

Mitch and his team grabbed their sea bags and made their way out the back of the back of the C-17 and were making their way through the airport and to the parking area, where a group of Humvees was waiting for them.

"So you going tell us what that dream was about, Captain?" Ramirez asked curiously.

"Some of you died." Mitch's answer was deadpanned and it caused the whole team to eye him with confusion.

"Uh, sir, what do you mean?" Irons asked in a concerned tone.

"Our team and a few others ran into some girl with a giant ax. When a JTF2 operator approached her, she sliced him in half. She then started running through the teams and we had to scatter. It wasn't until a group of gunships arrived and tore that bitch apart."

The team just looked at him in disbelief. An ax wielding girl being a threat to multiple special forces teams? Sounds like a bad horror movie?

"Sir, have you been watching horror movies lately." Dunn asked chuckling.

"I'm just saying, once we are boots on the ground in Iceland, watch your asses." Mitch stopped and looked directly at his team. "We're facing an enemy that bypassed every defense mechanism we have, including our fleet in orbit, countless ABM sites around the world, and NORAD space tracking. Someone has managed to open a literal fucking portal to our world and just started killing people."

"When you put it like that sir, some ax wielding little girl doesn't seem that far fetched." Foley replied.

"Speaking of defense, how long until a proper QRF arrives and get moving?" Diaz asked.

"Well." Mitch said while scratching his chin stubble. "QRF's should already be leaving for Keflavik as we speak, but the problem is equipment. Airborne units from the US, Britain, Russia, and Canada should either have arrived now, or very shortly. But they lack armour support and are restricted to defending Keflavik Air Base."

"At least until proper armoured units can be loaded into transport craft and sent there. Airborne units might have Humvees, Strykers, and BMP's, but it won't be enough to take back Reykjavik." Dunn informed.

"And word has it that most of the embassies, including the US embassy, have fallen to the enemy." Ramirez said solemnly.

"We'll make them pay for what they've done." Allen said in a angered tone.

"Apparently the enemy tried attacking the base by air, but the SAM grid fucked them up from miles away. Not a single one escaped the PATRIOT-2 and S-500 Batteries we had there. Not to mention British F-35's and Tempest fighters have swatted what remained of their winged assets out of the fucking sky." Foley continued. "Which seemed to be dragons. However, it seems that the enemy has begun to cluster civilians around their forces, meaning the Brits can't pound them into the dust by air. It also means our B-1 based in Thule Air Base can't do anything with civilians that close."

"How the fuck did they know we wouldn't target our own people?" A fellow seal named Vasquez asked, much of the squad mirroring his confused expression. "These are Romans according to the news reports and what intel the flyboys gave us. Romans only raped, murdered, and pillaged wherever they went. Something isn't right about this."

"Agreed, but hopefully we'll know more about this situation when we get to Hereford." Mitch replied before they all exited the airport and saw a group of gunned up Humvees waiting for them.

"The Commander loves to pull out all the stops." Dunn remarked.

"He sure does Dunn, he sure does."

Hereford Base

2300 Hours

As Mitch and his team finally arrived at the base, they saw that they were far from the only ones called up. Special Forces from around the world were at the base. On top of American and British operators present, there are units from Germany, France, Russia, Poland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Belarus, Turkey, Austria, Czechia, Israel, and Egypt. The best recon teams from their respective nations had answered the call and were ready to defend their home.

As he and his team got in formation at the entrance of the base, they noticed gaps around them. Some teams had still yet to arrived at base.


The teams snapped to attention at the voice of their Commander. General Anthony Perryman, in charge of UN special forces and JSOC. He commanded the respect of his men because he respected them.

"At ease men!" He ordered. "As you could guess, our Asian, Brazilian, and Australian units have yet to arrive. Due to the immense distance between Hereford and them, I got ahold of supersonic transport craft to get them here in a hurry. If they were to have used regular transport like the rest of you, they'd take far to long to arrive here."

One of the SAS operatives raised his hand, which Perryman obliged.

"Oi, sir, does that mean we aren't your favorites? Why can't we get the fancy planes and first class flights?" Laughter once again ripped through the formation and made Perryman chuckle at the question.

"Well time is of the essence in this operation, if you were halfway around the world, I'd pull out all the stops to get where you need to be." He glanced and saw another raised hand, which he acknowledged.

"When are the others supposed to arrive sir?"

"They should be arriving fairly soon, they're on the way as we speak. But right now, time is of the essence. Once the remaining teams arrive, we'll begin the briefing and get you geared up for deployment." Perryman looked off to the right to see a convoy of vehicles pulled up and the rest of the units had finally arrived. Brazilian, Australian, Iranian, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani, and Indian operatives began filling in their respective positions among the already large formation of operators.

"Alright, briefing is in one hour men. Get yourselves situated and report to the briefing room at 2400 hours. Move out." As he bellowed out his orders, the multinational units began to move towards their barracks for the duration if the stay.

"Alright everyone, hit the mess, because your going to need all the energy you can get for the upcoming operation." Mitch ordered. "And that wasn't a request, we all need to be at our best for this."

"The commander sure wasn't kidding when he recalled all the teams." Dunn remarked. "I'm seeing everybody here."

"Well given the current situation, he needs reconnaissance teams on the ground before offensive forces can arrive and truly take the fight to them."

"And it'll be easier to cover more ground with this many squads." Foley added.

"It also means we'll be able to kick more ass with this much firepower." Allen laughed as he cracked his knuckles. "Wait until Diaz see's the new toys we'll be playing with. Fresh out of the testing phase."

"What new toys?" She asked curiously.

The team just smirked before continuing on into the base. Of course Diaz wouldn't let up and kept bugging them to know.

"Come on Allen, just tell me." She practically begged him, but he made the motion with his finger to zip his mouth.

"I ain't spoiling the surprise, let's just say you'll love it when you see it."

"Hey Captain, look who's here." Foley said while pointing off to his left.

"Well I'll be damned, it's that screwball Itami and his Sergeant." As the whole squad turned, one of Itami's men caught sight of the SEAL's and decided to call out to them.

"IT"S THE NAVY SEALS." A voice shrieked. As they all got a closer look, it was none other that Sergeant First Class Shino Kuribayashi, the hotheaded SFG member who made it her mission to always bug Mitchell and his team when they trained with them on exercises. She had an unhealthy obsession with any special forces individuals and always tried to fight them. Although that was mainly in part of her wanting a boyfriend, one who she said can "Kick her ass" easily.

"Damnit Kuribayashi, why do you always have to do that whenever we train with other special forces?" The scolding voice belonged to Yōji Itami, self proclaimed otaku who only served to support his career.

"Itami?" Mitch said, causing him and his team to look over at the SEAL's. "I didn't think I'd see you here." Mitch walked over and held out his hand, which Itami shook."

"I really wasn't expecting to be here either, but duty calls. I was at the winter doujinshi festival when I got the call from commander Perryman. You have any idea why he's called us up instead of the cavalry just fucking shit up?"

"It looks like your weird hobbies might actually come in handy Itami." Mitch said while patting Itami on the back. "I take it you haven't been brought up to speed on why we're here?

"Nope, why does he need us here?"

"Itami, your SFG, you should know damn well you don't launch a military operation without performing recon over the area first. That's why we're here."

"As I said when we last met, I only work to support my career, not for some rah rah patriot bullshit."

"Jesus fucking Christ, Itami." Mitch muttered while rubbing his eyes.

"What's your problem, Mitch? You never seemed to like me when we first met and you it seems you haven't changed."

"Itami, your mentality fucking annoys the shit out of me. First off, serving your country isn't a bunch of "Rah Rah bullshit". Not when our species faced extinction at the hands of a genocidal race of aliens who devastated half the planet and killed countless millions. Second, the JSDF has a proud history of helping out in humanitarian crisis across the world. Your nation helped rebuild Asia alongside America, China, and Korea. Third, the military can provide great career paths for those who choose it." Mitch pressed his fingers into Itami's chest and stared daggers into his very soul. "Signing up for the military isn't just for patriotism, it's for the defense of our fucking planet and our species. You and that sergeant Takeo are a disgrace to that uniform." With that Mitchell walked off into the building, not paying attention to sergeant Tomita trying to flag him down.

"Damn Lieutenant, who pissed him off?" Tomita asked, as he watched the SEAL's take off after their captain.

"Long story Tomita. Long story short, he hates me and Takeo."

"Gee, I wonder why someone like him would hate you?" Itami looked over and saw that the sarcastic question came from none other than sergeant Kuribayashi, who sported a smirk as she approached her squad leader.


"Shut up sergeant." Itami said annoyed at his sergeants constant snide and sarcasm.

Confusion filled the room as squad after squad piled into the briefing room and saw that the demeanor of their commander had changed dramatically. He went from having a good mood(about as good as one could have given current circumstances) to looking pale and angered more than before. As everyone settled into their seats, they noticed that there was a news broadcast playing. There was something off about it though. The reporter looked absolutely terrified and it was obvious something was going on in the background, even if the projector was muted.

"Alright, everyone settle down and listen up. At 8:00 AM GMT, an unknown force invaded Iceland. The enemy force is estimated to be between 100-150 thousand in number. This force has a similar makeup to what you'd expect from the Roman Empire 2000 years ago, except there are quite a few differences."

Perryman clicked his remote and the broadcast switched to multiple photos taken by reconnaissance aircraft and news reporters. Dragons, orcs, goblins, elves, and what even appeared to be mages flooded the screen. A clip then played that showed a group of silver armored knights shrugging off gunfire and cutting down a roadblock of police officers.

"They seem to be backed up by what can only be described as fantasy creatures. These creatures are highly aggressive and resilient to damage. So far, most of their winged assets have been taken down by either American or British fighters. Those that haven't been killed have taken refuge on the ground below. A group of fifty of them tried assaulting Keflavik from the air, but were neutralized by local air defense batteries. As we know, Keflavik is home to an ABM launch site and a radar array that helps monitor space. However, it is not your mission to defend the base. Quick Reaction Forces have arrived at Keflavik to reinforce the base against any attack.

Another slide showed what appeared to be a Roman styled gateway.

"This is ground zero for everything that's recently happened. It seems to be some type of portal between our world and wherever they came from. The portal is estimated to be 150-200 meters across. There also seems to be another of similar size just off the coast of Alftanes, which the Icelandic coast guard discovered after a fleet of galleys began disembarking troops in Reykjavik. We've received confirmation that the enemy has rounded up the civilians population and sent them through the land based portal, which has been called Point 1." He looked down before continuing with the briefing. "The civilians were seen being chained, beaten, and raped before being sent through." The words exited his mouth with a mix of anger and sadness. As he looked around the room, he could see the anger filling up in every man and women in the room. They would soon take their vengeance against this alien menace. The looks they gave showed they intended to show no mercy.

"Your job is to perform forward reconnaissance of areas under occupation by this enemy. You'll need to designate targets for air strikes and scout out safe landing zones for marine units. You are also tasked with disrupting enemy logistics and movement throughout the city. In addition, you are to identify and eliminate any HVT's you come across. You'll have free reign to interrogate any prisoners you take by any means necessary. Although recent events have made any future operations we take difficult."

He clicked his remote once more and it showed them something rather disturbing. Large groups of civilians being crowded around formations of soldiers. It didn't take them long to realize they were being used as shields.

"We don't know why, but their using the civilian population as living shields. The most likely explanation is that their using them to surpass local police and those who've attempted to attack them. This may become a problem when you land in Iceland and will certainly be a problem for marine units. Which is why you need to mark areas where there are significant concentrations of civilians present." As he switched the projector back to the live news feed, something happened that none of them expected. The terrified newscaster attempted to run and retreat from her seat, only to be cut down in a bloody mess.

"Uh, is this live sir?" One of the SAS members asked in a confused voice. All Perryman could do was nod his head as he, along with everyone in the room stared in confusion and shock. A man dressed in a suit was pointed towards the seat that the former newscaster had been sitting in. Accompanying him was a legate, the Roman equivalent of a general. The man stared in confusion at the camera before talking to the man in the suit. Off to his right was man in strange blue robes holding a stave. They spoke in their language before talking to the suited individual, who spoke back to them in what was assumed to be Latin. He nodded a few times before the being gestured by the legate towards the camera. The legate spoke and, as if on cue, the man repeated what he said.

"To all barbarians watching and listening, my name is Legate Caelius Co Tiberius of the Imperial Army."

"You've got to fucking kidding me!" Allen said loudly.

"You can't be serious, how the fuck does a spear chucking, toga wearing Roman know how to use a fucking camera?" One of the Russians shouted over the noise chatter that broke out at the sight before them.

"We are here because our glorious Emperor, Molt Sol Augustus, has declared dominion over this barbaric world. Any attempt to resist your new Empire will be met with overwhelming force. To the people of this nation, give up hope that your weak government will save you. You will submit to the Saderan Empire without further resistance. To the soldiers of other nations residing in this country, you will surrender your weapons to us immediately. During our short time on your world, we have learned many things. You people are weak and cowardly. You fight from afar without honor, with weapons that deny men glory in battle. You are nothing more than cowards without manhood. Your leaders allow common rabble to speak ill of them. You care for people who can't even move themselves. You sit in front of glass trinkets all day and play so called games. You act as if your world is safe from harm. We have already proven that wrong. We have taken the capital of this country and we will not stop until we have conquered every last inch of these lands. Even your small groups of police and militia are no match for our might."

"To the other nations in this world, it would be unwise for you to try and stop us. Thanks to Grand Mage Godasen to my right, we probed the minds of these pathetic Icelanders to see what they knew. We've seen your cities of glass that reach the skies, how you use lightning in your day to day lives, and how you travel immense distances with giant metal birds. But we've also seen the way you fight. We saw how cowardly your armies are when they can't even face their enemy face to face. We've seen these city destroyers. Metal birds that drop giant eggs and iron elephants that spew explosive magic. It just shows us how weak of a people you are. Since your governments value the lives of peasants, we have decided to use them as shields against any retaliation. Even if you use your godlike weapons on us, you'll kill them in the process. If your nations wish for peace and the safe passage of this nations peasants, you'll accept the terms we have drafted."

"Our first demand is that all of your soldiers in these lands will surrender to us. We will take possession of your weapons and will use them to stop any further attempts from your world to attack us. We also require instructions of all your weaponry, including iron elephants, thunder staves, and metal birds.

Second: Your leaders will accept our claim over this island and whatever land we wish to claim for our Empire. This will also include slaves to be sold in our capital. 10,000 slaves from each nation will suffice for now.

Third: Your world will disarm itself of all its city destroyers and hand them over to us. Your world will swear vassalage to the Saderan Empire and reduce their militaries to no more than 50,000 men per nation. Women shall be forbidden to serve in any military capacity.

Fourth: We will establish palaces in each capital of every nation of your world. Each of your leaders will travel through the Gate and swear allegiance to our glorious Emperor in person. Each leader is to bring a gift for each member of our royal family. Your nations will also pay reparations for any dead nobles or Legates of the Empire, as well as for all the wyverns that you have killed. Any of your citizens caught slandering our Emperor or his family will be executed without trial.

Our fifth and final term is the complete surrender of the nations that have fought against us on behalf of this nation. They will become a part of our Empire, your leaders will be executed, and each of your capitals shall be burned for these transgressions against us. Our terms are non-negotiable. If the leaders of this world are watching now, it's best you make preparations for our demands, unless you want your countries to be next. Your world faces the most powerful army to ever march across these lands. Despite what threats you may have faced in the past, we are the greatest threat you will ever know."

The camera feed suddenly cut off and the room was left in a daze about what they just saw. As Perryman looked out among his men, he only saw anger and confusion in their eyes.

"Well I think we know why their using civilians shields now." One of the Chinese operatives said.

"Hey, Itami." Mitch called out. "Since you and your sergeant know about this crap, isn't a mage someone who uses magic?"

Itami glared at Mitch with annoyed look and simply nodded his head in response.

"That's just fantastic." Foley said rubbing his temples.

"So much for quick and easy then. I guess we'll just teach these wankers the hard way than." One of the SAS operatives chuckled.

"Damn right."

"Я засунул свою задницу в задницу." One of the Russians laughed.

"Alright, we're moving up the timetable. I'd imagine this unexpected turn of events has done more than just pissed us off. Considering this was broadcast live, I'm pretty sure everyone is confused as all hell. Before you go, I have something to say." He paused and looked around the room. "When I was a kid growing up, this kind of cooperation would be unthinkable. Half the nations in this room were always at odds with the other half. To think our world would ever be as united as it is now would have been impossible before the war. Once it ended, I saw how close our nations had become. Together, our nations helped each other rebuild after the devastation brought upon us. Now we stand once more united in the face of an enemy who thinks themselves superior to us. Once more we face an enemy who thinks we're weak, that we can't fight for ourselves. And are we going to let them take innocent lives without consequences? Are we going to let them walk over us?"

"HELL NO!" The entire room shouted at once.

"I'm damn proud to lead you all." As he said this, one of the SAS members stood up and spoke.

"We'd follow you to the depths of hell if you asked us to sir."

"We won't let you down commander." Mitch added.

"Then report to the armories, you are dismissed. You'll be leaving within the hour, so get acquainted with the new gear I requisitioned for you."
As the teams got up and left for the armory, Mitch swore he could've saw a tear forming within the commander's eye.
Chapter 5: Into the Unknown
Hereford Base Armory

2330 Hours

The situation in Iceland had only intensified when a television broadcast was hijacked by the same force that occupied Reykjavik. When it became clear that this new enemy had no intention of leaving peacefully and was even willing to use civilians as shields against retaliation, the need for UN forces grew exponentially. However, it also became easier for the nation's of the world, as they now knew the extent of the reach of this new enemy, which was called the Saderan Empire. Now dozens of elite teams were to be the spearhead of Operation Odin's Spear, the liberation of Iceland.

As marine and airborne units closed in on Iceland, elite reconnaissance teams at assembled at Hereford were being outfitted with the latest in cutting edge weapons technology that spent decades being developed. With this new technology, the chances of a successful mission rose dramatically. It would also let the developers know if there were any major problems with the gear and how well it performed.

Exo-Skeletal suits: that would improve the wearers strength, speed, and agility. It was originally designed by American, Japanese, and South Korean tech teams for disaster relief operations across the world, but the military found other applications for it. The design is similar to ones used by Phauthi special forces.

Pulse Scanners: Another piece of technology developed post war, it was developed jointly by the United States and Great Britain and was intended to be used by police, military, and relief forces the world over. Within a range of sixty meters, anyone could be detected and marked through any material. The purpose behind it would be to expose enemies and assist in recovery of trapped persons in collapsed buildings.

Optical Camouflage: Strictly developed for military applications, it was designed for covert operations that required stealth. While active, it matches the background of the wearer as to allow them freedom of movement in what would be an otherwise impossible task for covert ops teams. Due to it's power consumption, it's advised not to be active for extended periods.

EMP Grenades: Designed to disable all electronics with a short range.

"Yo, I'm fucking loving the new toys." Exclaimed Dunn. "But how the fuck do I get this damn thing on?"

"Just align your body with the straps and locks. Once that's done, it'll adjust to your body to be more comfortable." Mitch said while fiddling with the magazines on his belt.

"I'm surprised it can fit on Allen's fat ass." Ajani chuckled.

"Captain, permission to throw Ajani out of the helicopter when we leave." Allen asked while flipping the bird at Ajani.

"Let me think about it." he replied while suppressing a smirk.

"Now I see what you why you were keeping this a secret from me, this gear is badass." Diaz excitedly said.

"Calm down spaz, we still have a very long mission ahead of us. We've only got fifteen minutes before we get on the transports and get underway."

"This operation still seems rushed as all hell sir." Dunn said worried. "We'll be outnumbered by a factor of 400 to one. I'm worried this might become Operation Eagle Claw all over again."

"Well we aren't necessarily going on a hostage rescue mission, we're doing recon for the retaliation force. I also doubt our aircraft will crash due to a sandstorm. While the variant of V-22 we're using is fairly new, the aircraft itself isn't." Mitch replied.

"But what if we come into contact with civilians who need help? We can't just leave them to their fate at the hands of those alien assholes." Foley interrupted.

"These guys are human, that doesn't make them alien." Irons said whilst putting his med gel in his medical bag.

"First off, they aren't from here, so that makes them alien to us. Second, I don't plan on leaving any civilians to the mercy of these bastards. We'll save those we come across and we get them away from the fray. Even if that just means piling them into some cars and telling them to fucking floor it away."

"Can't beat that I guess. But still, there's alot of fucking ground to cover here."

"No shit, but these guys don't have night vision or radar, they won't see us coming and won't know where to look. Not to mention there's no threat from anti air."

"I doubt a ballista will do more than scratch the paint off our birds." Vasquez chuckled.

"Anyway, I heard the B-1 based in Thule is en route now, apparently command thinks bombing the forces marching on Keflavik will scare the fuck out of them. And not have to worry about them getting to close to the base." Ramirez informed.

"I'm worried about the repercussions that'll cause though." Mitch looked over and saw none other than Adam Gideon, leader of the SAS detachment accompanying them on this mission. "Once we strike, they'll take it out on the civilians population. And until organized forces can arrive, no one can stop them."

Mitch sighed as he took in what the man was saying. "We're aware of that, but we have to act now or else they'll just drag off more civilians through that damn portal and we won't be able to save them. It's a shitty situation all around and we have to deal with the card we've been dealt."

"And seeing how they appear to be a Roman era society, men will go into slavery in the mines and the women..." It didn't take a genius to figure out what Irons meant by that. A few of the female operators in the room who heard him cringed at the statement.

"Aye, which is why I can't wait to get my hands on one of those bastards, so I can make them pay proper for what they've done."

"I'll tell you this much." Allen stopped and pulled out a knife from his sheath and stabbed directly on the bench next to him. "If I catch any of that happening, someone will lose their crown jewels."

"Ouch, I don't want to think about a knife anywhere near there."

"You aren't going to try and stop him if he tries that?" One of the Danish operators asked.

"Nothing says I'll be around to see it happen. And I can always close my eyes and walk away." Mitch replied as he chuckled.

"I'll be honest, I don't care if any of my men take prisoners or not, because I sure as fuck won't."

"Damn straight."

"Da, the only treatment they'll get is a bullet to the head."

"Or a knife to the gut and left to bleed in their own shit."

The subsequent responses from the various operators confirmed that virtually everyone shared the same sentiment about prisoners. They'd capture, interrogate, and dispose of quietly. There would be no point in wasting resources on them when they didn't deserve it. They were invaders and would be treated like such. The Geneva Conventions died during the war and that was made clear with any Phauthi that were captured by international forces. The Saderans would be no different. In fact, it be much easier.

"Still, capturing a few of their leaders won't be a bad idea, it'll let the various alphabet agencies extract any useful intel out of their sorry asses."

"Can't argue there mate, but in that case, they better hope the Danes or Finns get ahold of them first."

"Oh I'll take prisoners, but they'll be roughed up a bit before hand." One of the German operatives yelled from across the room towards Mitch and Gideon. They both laughed as they went back to chatting.

"So have you seen those new AST suits Gideon? Heard the US Marines bought a few hundred of them."

"Yea, DARPA did damn good work designing those things. Made to look scary and sound intimidating. You hear the voice modulator, scared the piss out of some kids at Marine Week."

"Not surprising. Hope we get to see some of those Hoverbikes that just entered service."

"They fast?"

"Oh yeah, top speed of 220 miles an hour, along with a .50 cal machine gun and boron armor plates."

"Gotta get me one of those then."

"Here's hoping commander Perryman can get some for us at a later point."

They both looked around the room and saw that most of the squads were beginning to funnel out, heading towards the hangars. They both glanced at each other, shook hands, and went on their way.

"Looks like it's showtime, best we get going. Good luck Gideon."

"Same to you Mitchell, see you on the field."

As Mitch looked around at all the teams present, he could tell they were as diverse as it got. Not only in nationality, but in regards to what weapons they used as well. Most of his team used the SIG MCX as their standard battle rifle. Only himself, Ramirez, and Allen had different weapons. Mitch used an MP7A2, Ramirez utilized a Tac-338 as he was team marksmen. Although on this mission, he was bringing his MK 14 Mod 2. Allen had an M250 LMG, an upgraded and more modern version of the old M249.

"Alright, load up in the VTOL, we don't have much time." Mitch shouted to his team. The air was filled with sound as aircraft began taking off and flying north towards Iceland.

"Strap in, the flights gonna be a bit bumpy. We'll be in Reykjavik within two hours." The pilot informed them.

"I still can't believe this has happened." Diaz said softly.

"After we poured countless trillions into rebuilding our world and rebuilding our military, someone slips past everything we built to stop something like this from ever happening." Ramirez sighed as he adjusted the straps in the seat. "We have sensors all around in orbit, a fleet patrolling not only around orbit, but around the rest of the solar system, and an combined total of over fifty million personal in our combined militaries. What the fuck else can we do to keep Earth safe?"

"You know, since that news broadcast went out, you think they picked it up?" Vasquez asked worried. Everyone knew what he meant by "them".

"The Phauthi lost over twenty five million in their war against us, including most of their military vessels. They wouldn't be stupid enough to try again, especially in the northern hemisphere. If they couldn't do that forty years ago, they sure as fuck can't now." Allen said confidently.

"And we lost over one billion people worldwide to them." Mitch snapped. "While I also doubt they'd be willing to waste the remainder of their forces to take that portal, we still can't deny they still pose a danger to Earth's safety. And make no mistake, there's no way they didn't phone home about them getting their ass kicked. We were the first species to actually throw them back, something they despised." He store at his team with an icy look that sent chills up their spine. "Make no mistake, once we rebuild our strength, we will find their world, and we will make them pay for what they did to us. And we'll find every world they conquered and liberate them. We conquered our world via cooperation, we'll do the same to the stars."

"Damn right sir, just sucks we won't be alive to witness it."

"Give it a century or two first, Allen. It'll help our nations completely put aside their differences and unite against the bigger threats out there. But for now, we have a brand new enemy to worry about."

"So what's stopping enemy air from munching on our warbirds the moment we enter Icelandic airspace?" Diaz asked. A few others shared her concern as they

The pilots chuckled as they heard that. "Well ma'am, our birds are going in cloaked, so they won't know where we are. On top of the fact that a force of F-35 and Tempest fighters en route from RAF Lossiemouth, we have nothing to worry about. They don't have a chance in hell at taking us down."

"Too bad the Obama is in Brazil right now, a flying aircraft carrier would be very useful for this situation right about now." Dunn said with some disappointment in his voice.

"The aircraft would be about the only useful thing though, carrier strike groups don't have marine detachments anymore. That stopped in the 90's last I checked." Foley replied.

"Yes and no." Mitch corrected him. "The Obama is the only carrier of it's class and was designed to be used as a rapid deployment vessel, which carries roughly 500 marines for both combat and relief missions. However nice it would be to have, it wouldn't have enough marines for us to take back Iceland with. We'll just have to wait until 6th Fleet can arrive and embark the 26th MEU."

"But that'll take at least two more days, a lot more people will die without a proper force on the ground." Irons added to the conversation.

"There are already QRF's at Keflavik, but they are tasked with defending the base until they have enough supplies and personal to launch an offensive." Ramirez interrupted, before going back to adjusting his seat strap.

"So for now us and the other recon teams are all that can deploy right this moment. Now recheck your gear and sit tight. Won't be long until we arrive." He ordered. As Mitch went to stare out at the dark sky outside the window, he could see the slight glimmer from the rest of the VTOL's in flight. When they arrived, they didn't plan on showing any mercy to these new invaders. Only thing on their mind was vengeance for all those slaughtered helplessly by them.

Reykjavik, Iceland

United States Embassy

2400 Hours

Yao Ha Dushi looked around the wrecked interior of the palace they were in. As a lead scout of the Imperial Army, she and her fellow dark elves were assigned to locate regions of the surrounding lands that would provide the best loot and any resistance. She had reported this palace as one of priority for the army to attack. The flag that this palace had was not of this nation, as the flag had thirteen horizontal red and white stripes, with a blue rectangle that held many white stars. There was a group of five men wearing strange green and brown clothing that guarded the palace. As the Imperial Army approached closer to it, men began to fall with strange holes in their bodies. It soon became clear that peasantry had begun to flood into this specific palace over all others seen. These warriors fought fiercely despite being gravely outnumbered.

Even as the doors were broken down and those seeking refuge and safety were cut down, they didn't stop. Even to go as far as to throw metal balls which killed many and caused grievous injuries to those who survived. Now she and her fellow scouts looked over the dead bodied of these soldiers as they were tossed into a pile by a group of legionaries. She store at the strange weapons they wielded. They were all black and part of it looked similar to a crossbow. But she couldn't figure out how it worked. But she had orders to gather these weapons and deliver to the the mage assigned to the legion she was in.

"Scouts have reported that all other palaces throughout the city have been conquered. Little to no resistance was given by those who resided inside of it." Yao looked over and saw Met, one of her clan members.

"It's good to see you again." She said happily as she hugged him. "I assume all the other scouting parties will be returning soon?" She inquired.

"No, there had been continued resistance from local militia in magical yellow and white carriages that shine right blue lights. They keep launching hit and run attacks against the legions moving further into the city and the legates want them dealt with."

"They don't expect us to face them head on do they? Do you see that?" She pointed to the dead bodies of what Met assumed were the defenders. "They slaughtered hundreds of legionaries before being overrun. If these militia have the same weapons that they did, how can they expect us to fight them?"

"We've been ordered to report on their positions and harass them from the rooftops. The legates want to close in on them from all sides and bury them in sheer numbers."

"With the range these warriors had when they cut through those Imperial soldiers, being on a rooftop doesn't make me anymore comfortable." She paused and looked around at the survivors that had been rounded up. She thought they might be the nobility of another empire, one that perhaps ruled this small nation. "Usually they don't take prisoners, especially not after how many of their own they lost. Emroy knows they didn't show that treatment to us or the Warrior Bunnies." She said with a hint of scorn in her voice.

"Word came from legate Tiberius that the army is to round up as many prisoners as possible and that includes high ranking leaders and nobility. Apparently it has something to do with dealing with this worlds other nations."

"That seems strange. How would the rest of this world know about our attack? She asked puzzled.

"Because other nations are responsible for completely destroying the wyverns we brought with us." Yao and Met glanced over and saw Crow, the eldest and most experienced member of their scouting party.

"What do you mean? How is that possible?"

"Those flaming arrows that were chasing after the wyverns, you have seen them right?" They both pondered on the question before answering.

"I did see a few dragons explode suddenly in the sky, but I assumed that whatever killed them was taken care of." Yao replied.

"It couldn't be farther from the truth. All 150 wyvern scouts have been killed. Including all the elites that were brought, which were sent to attack some outpost belonging to another nation. Three legions were sent to march on that outpost and should arrive within midday tomorrow."

"But how do we know they come from other nations? Surely they must belong to the people who inhabit these lands?" Met reasoned, but Crow only shook his head.

"Because Grand Mage Godasen went into the minds of a few captured militia and found much interesting information, which also included the origin of those flying metal birds that wiped out the wyvern riders. They also learned that by using the local populations as shields, they won't attack the legions. Needless to say what they saw has made frightened them greatly. For something to frighten Imperial leadership to such an extent as to use such a tactic is unnerving to say the least."

"After what they've done to us, let them choke on it." The whole group looked behind them only to see the youngest member of their clan, Komu approaching them. The fire in Komu's voice surprised the whole group. "Maybe they'll learn what it's like to be slaughtered and enslaved by someone stronger.

"Easy young one, you forget that we are taking part in this attack as well, meaning the otherworlders see us as the enemy as well." Crow's words spoke with much experience and age in these matters. "Still, I would enjoy seeing the Empire get a taste of its own medicine for once. Only time will tell if we will see them as friend or foe."

"Perhaps you're right Crow, but it's about time we search for this militia, legate Servius wants us to locate them immediately." With that they went ahead of their legion and began scouting out the nearby streets from the rooftops.

Icelandic National Broadcast Building

0100 Hours

"Do you honestly believe that will work? That standing in front of that contraption and giving a speech will make their world surrender? How do you even think they heard you?" Count Formal asked Tiberius as he stood proudly in front of the camera in front of him.

"Almost certainly, that savage told us what would get our demands out to the rest of this world." Tiberius pointed towards Lee, who was being was being escorted out with the few surviving newscasters that weren't killed. "Thanks to Godasen's guidance in these trying times, we'll once again prove triumph against these nations, just as we have to all other who stood against us. All those who stand in our way will crumble. What progress have our forces made against local militia?" He turned to Servius, who was ready to report on the information provided by his scouts.

"We're still encountering resistance from militia across the city, but we've steadily pushed them back, allowing ourselves to capture even more of the city. It will be completely under our control within the next day. So far we've captured multiple palaces that belong to nations beyond these lands." One of such palaces offered incredible resistance to our forces, resulting in hundreds of dead legionnaires, despite there being only five defenders." Servius's report filled Tiberius with disgust. For hundreds of men to be slain by only a handful would been an impossible feat, even for Warrior Rabbits. But here? They fought their enemies from afar, deny their enemy an honorable death.

"Is this all that awaits us in this new world? An entire world of people who fight without honor? Denying men of glory in battle? First we lose a third of our entire wyvern corps to these people, now I learn that only five men can kill hundreds of our own? We need to get our hands on their weapons if we are to beat them! Is there anything else to report?"

"Yes, our scouts brought back the flag that was atop the palace." Servius handed Tiberius a half burnt flag. One of red, white, and blue, with thirteen horizontal stripes and a large number of stars in the corner. "From what we were informed by the prisoners we took, it belongs to a country called the United States. They appear to be a strongly united federation, which also possess a military that only two other nations on this planet can rival, called China and Russia. Their history is littered with conflict and they've been at war most of their history. They were once a mere colony until they rebelled against their king. They fought that same empire once more, which resulted in their capital being burned to the ground."

The last sentence made Tiberius laugh hysterically. How could any nation deal with the shame of having their own capital burnt to ashes by another nation? Clearly one that needed to learn of the one true empire, he thought to himself.

"But despite it all." Servius continued. "They ended the war in a stalemate with said empire. As time moved on, America repeatedly beat empires in most of it's major war. For well over a century, they stood as the worlds most powerful country, in both military and economy. Even after their "Great War" they stood by the surviving nations and helped others rebuild what was lost."

"Such a weak nation. That much power, and yet they waste it away on what? To rebuild weaker nations that they could've conquered? Resources they could take? These people are weak and we will conquer them. Once we capture this pitiful island, we'll move onto their nation next."

"You must learn patience, Tiberius." Were the worlds spoken by Godasen, who entered the room with legate Septimius. "There are much more urgent matters we must deal with. The first of which that I must return across the Gate and alert the Emperor of what we have found here. I must also bring back all the weapons we have gathered from the slaughtered militia, so mages in Sadera and Rondel can study them. I will also bring a few examples to the dwarves, who are known for making complex machines and weapons."

"But we need you here! Your the best mage the Empire has, what will we do without your guidance?" Tiberius asked his old friend. "We would need your support should other nations not heed our warnings and attempt to fight us." He reasoned.

"I want to stay here as well, but it is my duty to inform the Emperor of all the latest proceedings that have occurred. Of what awaits us in this world, the marvels it holds, and the great deal of damage done to us. Those were my orders from the Emperor himself. I will inform him of all I know and convince him that it isn't safe for him to cross the Gate yet. But in the meantime until I return, my brightest pupils will assist you in dealing with any trouble that may come your way." Behind Godasen were about a dozen figures in dark cloaks. Some human, some obviously not. It didn't matter, because in the end, they served Sadera.

"What ever do you mean by, "Great damage"? We've yet to lose more than a thousand men to these savages. Yes, the loss of a third of our wyverns is a great loss for us, Sadera has a thousand more beyond the Gate. We can just double the breeding pairs we have." Tiberius didn't want the royal family to believe that their army was struggling against such pitiful resistance. He did his best to try and assure Godasen that the situation was under control.

"We have barely any wyverns left, Tiberius." The words hit Tiberius an ogres mallet hitting a wooden wall. He darted his head towards Septimius with a look of disbelief on his face.

"WHAT?" He shouted. "How could this have happened? Who could muster enough might to nearly decimate 100 wyverns at once? Why was I not informed of this earlier?"

"It seems that barely any of our riders made it back from attacking those naval vessels of the coast. Those that did were gravely injured and their dragons incapable of further flight. Many had holes in their wings and could barely move. Over the past few hours, our men have heard strange roaring sounds from the sky, as if a massive storm was approaching. What few survivors we do have reported seeing bright lights chasing after them, and when the lights reached them, they exploded in a mess of gore. When they tried to move out of their path, they simply followed them. And that's just half of the bad news I've come to deliver."

"Then spit it out, Septimius, I don't have all day." Tiberius ordered him with anger in his voice.

"All of the elite dragon riders we sent to that military outpost were killed. We also confirmed the loss of all three legions that were sent to march on it." As Septimius looked around at the men present, he could see the fear and anger they held. The loss of 15,000 men in such a short time was unheard of since the Arctic War. And even then, that was over the course of many months, unlike here, where they had barely been out of the Gate for a day. But for that many men to be defeated without ever facing their enemy, that was what unnerved Tiberius to no end. How could such a mighty force be decimated like that? Just what weapons did these other nations possess?

"Only handful of survivors made it away from the destruction and their reports are disturbing. A large, grey bird, escorted by a dozens of smaller ones unleashed terrible fire magic unto their formations. The survivors described them as dropping eggs onto their ranks, which exploded into flames, consuming all those caught in them. The smaller ones tore through the elite dragon riders as if they were nothing. Loud roaring could be heard before their bodies slumped to the ground full of bloody holes. They were far faster than anything they had ever seen and higher than what should be possible. When it was all over, thousands of bodies littered the road and not a single dragon was left in the sky. They were incapable of even taking down a single enemy, despite them being the best riders we brought to this world."

There was nothing but silence as the men in the room were processing what they hear. Legates and nobility alike were quiet as they wondered what force could do such a thing to three whole legions. Even the likes of Calasta and Herm kept quiet. But ones like Count Formal understood this perfectly. he always thought that one day the Empire would bite off more than it could chew. But he never imagined he'd see it in his own lifetime. He began to contemplate what this would mean for Italica and it's people. How the demihumans in his estate would be treated in the event of it being occupied by a retaliatory force from this world. And above all else, his daughter Myui. He feared what would happen to her if she was left alone in this world. Without her father to protect her and in the face of a now woken giant, one that would stop at nothing for vengeance against the Empire. He didn't want to imagine her being sold into slavery should that happen. If it meant he'd work against the Empire to keep his daughter, and Italica safe, he'd do it.

"Now you see why I must return immediately. I will bring what weapons we have taken from them and I shall expect any more examples to be sent through the gate. I shall warn them of what we have encountered and ask if the rest of the Immortals can be tasked with guarding our side of the Gate. We'll need the best we have if we are to secure a victory against our new enemy. In the meantime, make good on your warnings you made to this world. Execute these barbarians as a consequence of these attacks against us." This suggestion brought sadistic grins to Tiberius and the other legates in the room. This was their chance to exact revenge and let the rest of this world know the price of a victory. As the legates put their heinous plans into action, they were painfully unaware that their plans blow up in their face and only cement the destruction of their empire.

Meanwhile in orbit above one of the solar systems gas giants, another force looked on curiously at what was developing on Earth and how they could possibly exploit this new development.
Chapter 6: Retaliation Part 1
2500 Feet AGL

Airspace Above Reykjanesfólkvangur Natural Reserve.

10 Minutes out from Reykjavik.

0200 Hours

The inside of the VTOL was quiet. Aside from occasional chatter on the comms from fighters clearing the skies, no one said anything. The same could be said for all the others. There was nothing to talk about. They had a mission and they would accomplish that mission. The only noise that could be heard was from Mitchell's team doing one last check on their gear before they arrived in the AO.

"Heads up, you've got ten minutes until you reach the drop point!" The pilot yelled back to them. Mitch straightened himself out and checked over his gear one last time. Everything was accounted for as went to staring out at the ground below

"Anyone think this feels odd?" Allen asked to no one in particular.

"What do you mean?" Ramirez replied with a confused look. "The fact that we're about to fight an enemy that struck right under our noses? Or is it that the enemy that did so is a carbon copy of the Roman Empire with some added bullshit?"

"No it's not that." Allen said shaking his head. "Think about it. We just launched another ship into orbit last month, we've expanded our mining operations in the asteroid belt, military recruitment numbers are at an all time high since the war, and we're approaching the 43rd anniversary of Victory Day. Seems all to convenient that all this attack occurs just after all of this." Allen reasoned. Half the team nodded their heads in agreement and began to murmur to themselves.

"I'm not buying it either." Dunn chimed in. "Seems like our old friends are getting froggy and want to finish the job." He paused and cracked his knuckles before grinning. "I'd say it's about time we finish the job."

"If they were responsible, they'd pick a more strategic target than fucking Iceland."Foley reasoned as he exchanged glances with Dunn and Allen. "If it was them, Geneva or New York would be burning right now and the situation would be a lot worse." Foley turned to Mitch who was staring into his lap as he set up his fly drone. "What do you think, Captain?"

"You already covered half of my opinion, Lieutenant. If they could open portals anywhere on Earth, they'd hit our factories and military bases. No one would drag ass in Iceland of all places. And Dunn?"

Dunn looked up and at his captain, who had an annoyed look on his face.

"Yes, Captain?" Dunn replied nervously.

"There isn't a doubt in my mind that one day we'll get revenge for what they did to us. But to think that we can do that right now, is downright retarded. Our fleet of ships is small and is meant to maintain a defensive position around Earth and defend our mining operations. We have absolutely no logistical capacity to launch an attack on the other side of the solar system. It'd be a complete waste of manpower and resources to even try. Our navies had run a crash course just to get up to snuff with what they have now. We have absolutely no experience in launching interplanetary operations on that scale. Landing a few squads of marines of the Moon and Mars is certainly a great feat, but nothing that'll threaten what's left of the Phauthi in the solar system."

"Didn't we capture one or two of their transports near the end of the war? Why can't we just use those?" Diaz blurted out, causing the squad to look at her. She shrunk down in the seat as all eyes went on her.

"That's not the point, Diaz." Mitch said as he pinched his nose in annoyance. "Militaries need time to adapt to doctrinal changes. We can't just charge at them, no matter what we have. It'll take us time to completely adapt and understand these new tactics."

"So that's it?" Dunn exclaimed as he threw his hands in the air. "We wait another century for their reinforcements to arrive and finish the job? We all know they called for help and we know we're the first to actually beat them? You don't think they'll come back with double or triple the forces they had before?"

"What choice do we have Dunn? We have no other choice but to learn and build up our forces for when they inevitably come back." Vasquez reasoned as he let out a puff of smoke from his cigar.

"I thought you don't smoke till the fat lady sings?"

"Have you seen who we're going up against?" Vasquez laughed as he let out another puff of smoke. "We won before we got here, they just don't know it yet. "Damn straight, their about to get a foot up their ass." Griggs chuckled as cracked his knuckles. "And that's not counting what's coming in a few days either. They'll regret the day they were born."

"Ok, enough. We need to focus on the topic at hand and not what the future holds for us." Mitch snapped at his team. "Now look here." He stood up and tapped the computer screen in front of them, revealing a holographic projection of Reykjavik. He zoomed in on a specific area within the city, which was a broadcast station.

"Our drop zone will be the Icelandic National Broadcast Station, the same one that was hijacked by these "Saderans" to send that message. Our mission is to secure the building and eliminate all hostiles still occupying it. If any high value targets are still present, they are to terminated with extreme prejudice. " He tapped the screen again which showed the burnt remnants of the U.S. embassy. "Once the building is secure, we move onto the remains of our embassy. The local marine detachment was overrun and the staff sent out one last message before they were captured."

Once again he tapped the screen and it showed dead US marines being dragged into the street, followed by embassy staff being led out by a group of legionaries, only to be forced to their knees as more enemy combatants stripped the marines of their gear.

"For some unknown reason, all CCTV went off within the city just after this was captured. Coupled with power outages throughout the city, it looks like our enemy is digging in for a fight. But are they mistaken if they think we can't fight in the dark or in the snow." Mitch grinned as he finished his sentence.

"Sir, how the hell do they know all this? First they cut the cameras throughout the city, then they knock out the power. What else do they know?" Diaz interrupted with a concerned look.

"No damn idea Diaz, that's making heads spin around the world. Best we can do know is get our job done and hope they don't have anymore tricks up their sleeves." He responded before going back to the hologram.

"We will follow Route 49 on a northwestern path to the embassy. Other teams will be carrying out surgical strikes to enemy leadership and logistics across the city. We'll secure any civilians or friendly personnel along the way. We've got a long night ahead of us, so bring your A game to this fight." As he deactivated the computer and pressed to open the doors on the side of the aircraft, the cockpit sounded off with radio chatter.

"This is Lightning 2-5, I'm picking up strange electromagnetic interference around the vicinity of Reykjavik, it's fucking with my electric systems, anyone else getting this?"

"This is Lightning 2-3, affirmative 2-5, it seems to be coming from multiple points around the city."

This caught the attention of the squad because they all peaked towards the cockpit to hear the conversation.

"What the hell could be giving the fly boys trouble? I thought all enemy air has been neutralized?" Mitch directed his question to the pilot, who looked back and shrugged his shoulders.

"Beats me, but it shouldn't be a problem. These Warbirds are state of the art. Optical camouflage and advanced EMP protection. If whatever the enemy has is incapable of taking down an F-35, they don't have a chance of taking this down. That's assuming they even see us, they don't have radar after all." The pilot remarked before turning his head and muttering something to the co-pilot.

"That's all well and good, but-". Mitch was cutoff as something caught his eye. Streaks of blue light rising from the ground and reaching the clouds above.

"Captain?" Dunn's voice crackled as the team stood up and looked at what lay ahead of them.

"What the hell is going on?"

Before anyone could react, streaks of lightning rained down from the sky all around the aircraft.

"CLOSE THE DAMN DOOR!" Foley screamed at the top of his lungs as a bolt hit one of the nearby Warbirds, disabling it's camouflage. Mitch slammed the switch and the door slammed closed as the pilots took evasive action to avoid being hit by the lightning. In the cockpit, the comms panel lit up as confused pilots tried to avoid being struck by lightning.

"This is Warbird 1-8, my optical defense system is down."

"Pilot, get us on the ground now!" Mitch ordered. As he did, the Warbird took a sharp dive down as it increased in speed towards their objective. If one looked outside, they'd see that every Warbird was running evasive maneuvers to avoid being hit. Mitch could only stare as more streaks reached the sky and came thundering back down across the city. "This is, lock and load men. We're going in." He informed his men. As he grabbed his weapon, he could hear the pilot key in his mic and asked for any friendlies in the airspace to take care of the newly arisen problem.

"This is Warbird 1-5, we have encountered enemy anti air, any friendly units in this airspace, please respond, over."

"This is Lightning 2-1, we read you loud and clear and have eyes on the situation. Recommend you pull back until we take care of it."

"Negative, we have to get in the city now! Can you clear out enemy AA?"

"That's a big negative, sorry. We located their positions, but they've surrounded themselves with civilian shields, we can't strike them without killing hundreds of hostages."

"This storm is making our guidance systems go haywire, we have to pull out. Sorry boys, but you're on your own for now."

"Well transfer the coordinates of their positions to you, but we can't do anymore, I'm sorry."

"FUCK" The pilot screamed as he tore of his mic and threw it at his console. His anger was mirrored by much of the team present. Mitch put his hand on the pilots shoulder and gave him a reassuring look.

"Just set us down on a rooftop near the station and take off from there. Can't risk losing anyone or any aircraft."

"We can set you down a block from the station, but you'll have to dismount quickly."

"Understood, we'll make due." Mitch tapped the door controls and as he did, cold winter air filled the cabin, sending a slight shiver up his spine. "Couldn't have attacked in summer, could they?" He thought to himself. He watched as the Warbird hovered above a roof and the green light was given for his team to jump. "Alright team, let's get moving." One after the other, each member of his team jumped into the cold winter night and landed on the rooftop. Reflexes kicked in as they scanned the surrounding area for hostiles.

"All clear, Captain. No sign of hostile activity." Foley reported in. But where did we land?"

Landspítali Fossvogi Hospital

0300 Hours

Mitch tapped his wrist and up came a small projection of the building they landed on. His eyes widened at the realization of where they were.

"Sir, is something wrong?"

"We landed on top of the local hospital." He said as he looked up at his team. "Which means this building has likely been occupied and is being used by the enemy. Lord knows what's happened to the patients that were inside before this happened."

"So where does this leave us now? If there are survivors inside, we can't just leave them? We've already seen what these barbaric bastards can do. We have to help them, captain." Irons said practically pleading with Mitch. Mitch just sighed. For how big and tough Irons acted outside of missions, he was a humanitarian and a bit of a softy. Couldn't stand to see suffering anywhere he went. Especially when it came to those who couldn't defend themselves, like the patients in this hospital.

"I agree with Irons, sir. We can't just leave wounded civvies and newborns to these bastards. They'll kill them just to make room for their own injured." Allen reasoned as he interrupted the conversation.

"What's the plan captain? We just gonna leave them to their fate?" Vasquez questioned as he stepped forward. His eyes to had the same look as Irons and Allen. "Let us help them."

He glanced over the side of the roof and saw as more and more people were being shuttled in and out of the hospital by paramedics, under guard of hostile forces. Realizing he was out of time to think, he came up with a plan. "Vasquez, can you download the schematics of this building?"

Vasquez grinned as he brought out his tablet and began tapping the screen rapidly. "Got it." He practically screamed in excitement. He tapped a few buttons on his wrist and the blueprints enlarged themselves for the the whole team to view. "This is the building layout. We're on top of the main building, here. The building we're on is fifteen stories, the others below are seven stories high. The ICU is in the western section of the building, while the NICU is in the northern section. Luckily they haven't knocked out power to the hospital, so the patients should still be alive. This means that we can't just take out the power, not without indirectly killing all the civvies. Our best option is to rappel down and go in through the windows. From there we utilize our optical camo and silently take out the hostiles in the building. If they become alarmed at our presents, we'll be putting any hostages at risk. What do you think, captain?" As Mitch looked up at Vasquez, the team was studying the internal layout of the building and marking sections of the buildings as most important to least.

"Seems alright to me, Vasquez." Mitch said with a smile as he patted him on the back. "But we still have to deal with the assholes in the parking lot. Everyone activate your tactical feed, I'm sending out a pulse scan."

"Won't that mark everyone, sir? Ajani inquired as he steadied his rifle at the parking lot.

"Not once he marks anyone wielding a weapon as hostile. Then they'll have a red tint on our HUD. Unarmed individuals register green. All he has to do is specify the weapon types and we won't have to worry about killing the wrong people."

"Exactly." Mitch said while completely focused on marking those below. A faint beep could be heard from his wrist as he stood up and flashed the ok signal. "Griggs, take Parker, Cruz to secure the building perimeter and do it quietly. Once that's done, secure the waiting room of the hospital and sweep the lower floors. Kill any hostiles you encounter, even if they are being treated by the doctors." As he gave the order, Griggs led the two SEALs to the edge of the building and rappelled down to the lower section of the building and disappeared into the snowy night as they jumped and landed along the side of the building.

"Vaquez, Ajani, Salvator, Torres, Once you've finished the sweep from the top floor here, you'll go through and secure the southeast section of the building. Foley, take Ramirez, Allen, and Dunn to secure the ICU building. Irons, Diaz, your with me on taking the NICU. You've all got your orders, now let's move." Without a moments hesitation, the team split up and began going for their objective. With rappel lines hooked, they made their way down the different sections of the hospital.

As Mitch, Irons, and Diaz approached the closest window on the northern section, they could hear muffled voices from the room they were approaching.

"Sending in the fly drone." Mitch said quietly. He maneuvered the drone in closer and got eyes in the room. Four legionaries surrounded a group of doctors performing surgery on a another legionary. Mitch assumed he was a high ranking individual due to his exotic colored armor and clothing he was wearing. "Four armed hostiles, with another being treated by the doctors. I've got the two guarding the door, with another two guarding the doctors by the doctors." He brought the drone back to him and shut it down before putting it back in it's container.

I've got the ones by the door, Irons, Diaz, it's up to you who you take.

"I'll take the one closest to the window, Irons."

"Alright, I got the one next to the sink."

The groups readied their lines as they prepared to make first contact with this enemy force. "Three, two, NOW." As he gave the order, they rappelled down in front of the window and aimed.

As they moved into position at the window, the legionaries in the room went wide eyed as they saw three dark figures seemingly fall towards the window hover in place right in front of them. They tried to rush towards the window, but it was to no avail as they were gunned down swiftly. With the threat neutralized, they motioned for the doctors, who were hiding against the wall terrified, to open the window and let them in. As they climbed in, they took notice of the man laying on a gurney covered in blood.

"Who are you?" One of them asked, relived that they were just saved by these unknown soldiers.

"American special forces." Mitch replied as he glanced over at the man on the gurney, who had a look of pure terror in his eyes as he was approached by the SEALs. "Who's this guy?" He motioned over towards the blonde man with an apparent bullet hole in his midsection.

"We don't know. All that we know is that he was shot by an officer and we were forced to extract the bullet. We were close to doing so before you saved us." The female doctor replied nervously.

"Well I have an idea for figuring that out. Luckily Vasquez downloaded Latin into our translators. Diaz, Allen, watch the door and make sure no more uninvited guests show up. And drag those bodies into the corner, can't leave them blocking the doorway. I'm going to get some information out of our guest."

"What about us? They'll come back to see if we've saved him or not? They've forced us to work on their wounded or else the patients we have here will be executed!"

"Best you can do is hide in an unoccupied room until my team secures the hospital. If possible, grab whatever you can and treat the patients you had until these assholes arrived. Besides, you won't want to see what I'm about to do to him." Mitch cracked is knuckles as he approached the man on the gurney. Seeing what was about to happen, the doctors quickly left the room, leaving Mitch and the man alone.

"You won't get anything from me you faceless demon." He spat as Mitch got closer until he was right next to him. "No matter what trickery you have, it will be for naught against the might of our great empire!"

"Not the first time our world has beaten an invader back. This'll just be the second time. Now tell me, why are you people here?"

"To spread the glory of the great Saderan Empire and our Emperor Molt Sol Augustus. He has declared dominion over these lands and we will not fail him. These barbarians need to taught civilization and we'll bring it to them."

"I don't really care what you might think, but you don't have a chance in hell in conquering our world. We've fought much tougher enemies than you and we will not falter now. But now it's time to move onto more pressing matters." Mitch balled his fist and dug his thumb directly into the mans bullet wound, twisting and turning, causing excruciating pain and blood lose. The man tried to scream, but he held his hand over his mouth so he couldn't make a sound. "If you want to play hardball motherfucker, then I'll play it. I'll ask you very simple questions and you'll answer them in a way I deem satisfactory. Do you understand me?"

Even as the man squirmed and how many tears rolled down his eyes, he just glared at Mitch, which pissed him off further. As he uncovered his mouth, he let out a wince of pain as Mitch removed his now blood covered thumb. "Do you demons act and fight the same as these barbarians do? Without honor and denying men glory? Those men never got to fight you face to face like it should be done. This whole world is despicable." Anger seethed from every word that left the mans mouth. "I am nobility of the Empire. My name is Herm Fa-." Getting annoyed with the mans ego, Mitch once again put his hand over his mouth, took out his combat knife and twisted it deep into the bullet wound. He tried to fight his grip and remove his hand to scream, but he didn't have a chance in hell.

"I don't give a shit what your name is. How long you got left to live and how painful it will be is up to you. Now, I'll ask you once. How many of you are there and how did you get here?"

As he uncovered his mouth, Herm simply laughed at the question before him. "Why do need to that? Are even you demons terrified of the numbers we can bring to field? We've brought 100,000 legionaries, alongside 50,000 beastmen for auxiliary, and half our navy. Your world is no match for our numbers, despite what lies you people put into our mages heads. They spoke of flying chariots and iron elephants, and we've yet to see any of it. I see through your trickery. Soon we'll conquer this cold wasteland and move onto the rest of this pathetic world. You people especially. It's a very serious crime to harm nobility, so expect a slow and painful death for your transgressions. You'll rue the day you ever took up arms against us and will-." Having heard enough out of his mouth, he grabbed the man and held him up by his throat and lowered his visor.

"I'm not done yet asshole. I still need to know where your leader are. Where are the rest of you? Your generals? Tell me where to find them" He said angrily as he twisted the knife even further into his body, causing him to scream in pain. "WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY?" He screamed. Even as Herm coughed up blood, he still refused to answer the question

"You'll never make me talk you coward." Mitch then slammed Herm into the wall and pulled his side arm, shooting him once in both knee caps. Herm's screaming had alerted some of the other legionaries on the floor, but the moment they tried to find out what was wrong, they had their throats slit by invisible figures. Even though his screams intensified, no one was going to save him from his fate.

"I've got all night motherfucker, and unless you want me to start cutting off fingers, you'll fucking tell me!"

At this point Herm had been broken. He started to sob and plead, but to no avail. Now Mitch could make him do whatever he wanted. "Th-there was a pal-palace deeper in the city. When our men sieged it, hundreds were killed by only five men." He glanced to his Mitch's shoulder and realized it was the same flag as was on the embassy. "The palace belonged to your nation. My superiors are there interrogating the survivors for what knowledge they have on this world and it's strength."

"Just like out intel said they were. One last question, where the fuck did you people come from?"

"Th-the Gate. Our mages opened the Gate by order of our Emperor. It was time to add more territory to the Empire and to civilize you barbarian cowards."

"So that's it? You come to our world screaming to the fucking sky that you own it and expect us to bow to your every whim? "You people made a big fucking mistake coming here. After decades of peace, you people come here and fuck everything up. You have an army of 100,000, we have a hundred million. We've fought wars that have seen hundreds of millions dead. We could sweep across you entire fucking world without breaking a sweat and still want more. To bad you won't be around to see it." Before Mitch could get the chance to finish him off, his earpiece went off.

"Captain, this is petty officer Griggs, we've secured the perimeter. They didn't offer much resistance, we're moving in to secure the lower floors."

"Roger that, be sure to look up in front of the main entrance in a minute." He then walked towards the window with Herm in tow, who tried fighting his iron grip on his neck. "Don't worry, you'll see the rest of your friends very soon in hell." Mitch ripped his combat knife out of his midsection and placed it back into it's sheath. Seeing as how he wasted enough time using enhanced interrogation techniques, and throw Herm through the glass window. He desperately screamed as he was thrown from seven stories onto the pavement below. In one sickening thud, he glanced down to see the mess his body had made hitting the dirt. Griggs, Parker, and Cruz stood dumbfounded at what just happened, same as Diaz and Irons who had entered the room right as he was thrown out the window.

"Floor is clear sir, looks like you attracted all the legionaries on this floor with his screaming. Nothing left to do but move down." Irons informed his superior.

"Good, now let's make sure these sick fucks haven't harmed any of the newborns. Split up and take different stairwells and elevators. We hit them from all sides and disorient them."

As Mitch made his way down on of the stairwell, he heard a thump from the floor below. Sensing trouble, he double timed it down the staircase and through the door. He scanned the area and heard more thumping and glass being shattered. As he made his way down the dark hallway, he could see bodies belonging to the enemy scattered around. Some with knife wounds to the throat, some had been thrown against the wall and had their spines broke, some with single gunshot wounds to the head. As he got closer to the room the noise was coming from, the door suddenly swung open and a legionary was thrown against the wall opposite. Another tried running from the room, only to freeze at the site of Mitch standing in front of him.

As Mitch looked behind, he caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure going in for the kill. The other operator grabbed the man, slammed him against the wall, pulled his sidearm, shoved it in his mouth, and fired. The legionary's lifeless body slumped to the ground as the other operator uncloaked himself, revealing an Iranian flag on his shoulder.

"How did you get in here? We had the roof covered when we got here, so how'd you sneak past us?" Mitch asked as he admired the work around him.

"Our transport was hit by that lightning and our pilots had to put us down close to the broadcast station. I sent most of my team there, it's just me and two others here." He put down his visor and put out his hand. "I'm 1st Lieutenant Farhad Dabiri."

Mitch took his hand and shook it. "Captain Jack Mitchell. Gotta say you did a good job handling them. You already clear the rest of the floor?"

"Yes, the floor below should be getting cleared right now by my men."

"Then let's join them in securing the rest of the hospital."

As they wandered from hall to hall, they encountered less and less enemy combatants. Some floors only had handful of legionaries on each, which made it hilariously easy for for the SEALs and NOHED operators. Even with the size of the hospital, it didn't take long until most of the building was secured. Now Mitch and Dabiri were fast approaching the NICU, hoping they weren't to late.

"Fireteams report in."

"The lobby is clear and we're back on the perimeter taking care of any unwanted visitors. Apparently they think it's still safe to bring their wounded here." Griggs reported.

"Vasquez reporting in, all enemy combatants neutralized and all doctors and patients are safe. My team is with Foley's in the ICU. I've sent Ajani and Torres to help Griggs on perimeter watch.

"Foley here, ICU is secured and all combatants are neutralized. We came across a group of legionaries and their superior doing very unsettling things to some of the female nurses. Needless to say we didn't hold Allen back when he beat the shit out of them. One of them called himself Calasta and said he was a high ranking noble or some shit. We got some very good information out of him before he bled out all over the place. Everything clear on your end?"

"Almost done here, all that's left is the NICU. When it's secure, we'll link up outside and get to the embassy."

As Mitch and the others got closer, they could hear the sound of crying babies and panicked screaming coming from the rooms. Realizing they might be too late, they sprung into action and came face to face with a sick and depraved enemy. In front of them was a large group of panic stricken legionaries, accompanied by a strange figure in a dark cloak, holding a large staff with a blue stone on the top. They surrounded the newborns, who they placed on the ground and covered in blood. It seemed as if they were attempting to sacrifice them, but were interrupted by the men who had surrounded them. The man in the cloak quickly turned around and pointed the staff at them, which shot blue energy at them

"TAKE COVER NOW!" Mitch screamed as the blue bolt barely missed him. Enraged, he opened fire on the figure, who put up his hand in a blocking motion, causing the bullets to fall to the ground. "DIAZ, IRONS, SAVE THE CHILDREN!" Mitch ordered as he opened fire once more, but to no effect against the figure. The legionaries attempted to stab the children with spears, but were quickly gunned down by Dabiri's squad, while Irons and Diaz went around and started carrying them to safety. The few who tried to charge at them while holding the children were gunned down just as quick. Once the main threat to the children was neutralized, Farhad and his men joined in on the rescue. Nearby nurses who were previously hiding, had come out to take the newborns from the operators, so they could focus on the main threat.

"How the hell is this asshole not dead yet?" Diaz asked in confusion as she reloaded her MCX.

"He has some sort of barrier around him." One of the Iranian operators replied as he quickly dashed from one incubator to another. "We might be able to take him down if we can flank around him."

Realizing that they were running out of cover and bullets weren't fazing the figure one bit, they needed to come up with a plan to neutralize him. Mitch glanced over at Farhad and gestured with some hand signals. They both knew what it meant. They both took out smoke grenades and threw them just short of the figure.

"Cover us, we're going around." Mitch shouted towards his men, with Farhad doing the same. They activated their optical camouflage and went in both directions to sneak around the figure. Even as the mysterious figure motioned his hand and the smoke dissipated, he noticed two of the men he was fighting had disappeared. By the time he heard the footsteps behind him, it was too late. As he turned around, he was met with a blow to the face which forced him to drop his staff. His cloak also fell, revealing the face of a man in his mid twenties. He tried to grab for his staff, but was met by Farhad stomping on his hand, crushing it in the progress. Even as he tried to kick, Farhad simply grabbed and bent his leg, which gave off a sickening crunching sound.

The man squirmed as he tried desperately to fight a losing battle. Even after getting both of his legs broken, he even pulled a dagger and threw at one of the NOHED operatives, who dodged it pretty easily. Content with having already beat the living hell out of the man, Mitch pulled his sidearm and fired one bullet into his head, killing him. Mitch picked up the staff the man had and studied it.

"What the hell do you think this thing is?" He asked to no one in particular.

"Hell if I know, Captain. I'm just wondering how the hell that guy stopped our bullets cold." Irons said as he approached the mans corpse. "Maybe we'll find out more when this is all over."

Mitch passed the staff over to Farhad, who was just as curious about it. "We're all in for one long ass night if there's more of these guys running around the city." He deadpanned as he looked the staff over. "I thought magic wasn't real, so how the fuck is this possible?"

"Aliens didn't exist until 43 years ago, so there's that." Diaz muttered as she looked around the room.

"The doctors are rushing the children back into the incubators, our work here is done." Irons reported in.

"Then let's rendezvous downstairs and get to the embassy, we-" Before Mitch could complete his sentence, an explosion was heard on the levels below them.

"That came from the main entrance!"

"Captain, we've taken fire from multiple contacts outside in the parking lot, requesting assistance immediately!"

"We're on the way Lieutenant, just hold tight." Mitch responded as he reloaded his MP7. "Farhad, what's the status on your team?"

"Their positioned outside the broadcast station, waiting for my signal."

"Go ahead and link back up with them, once my teams finished here, we're hauling ass to the US embassy."

"Very well, good luck to you."

"Good luck to you as well."

As the Iranian operators disappeared into the night, Mitch, Irons, and Diaz raced towards the sound of gunfire below.
Chapter 7: Retaliation Part 2
Landspítali Fossvogi Hospital

0330 Hours

As Mitch and his fireteam ran down he halls and closer to the main entrance of the hospital, the sound of gunfire and explosives only intensified. As they reached the entrance, they could barely make out dark figures illuminated in the streetlight outside. He took a smoke grenade out of his pouch and threw it in the doorway, enveloping the entrance is thick smoke.

"Lieutenant, what the hell is going on?" Mitch asked as he took cover behind the reception desk. "Who the hell is shooting at us?"

"No idea sir, we just started taking fire from contacts from the parking lot. A pulse scan identified twelve contacts, but we've neutralized half of them. The rest have some sort protective barrier around them and we can't break it." Foley replied as he aimed through the smoke and fired on one of the contacts outside, which had no effect once again. He ducked as more energy blasts came there way.

"Dammit!" Allen exclaimed as he emptied the remainder of his magazine at the hostiles outside. "We need a new plan, because bullets aren't gonna cut it here. Any ideas?"

Foley looked around and eyed one of the EMP grenades in Allen's pouch. It was a long shot, but maybe it would be their answer to this new problem.

"Ramirez, throw an EMP grenade outside, Allen, I want you to lay down cover fire!" As Foley barked the order, Ramirez leapt up from cover and took one of the grenades from his chest pouch. Allen had once against exposed himself and began putting more rounds downrange towards the targets. Ramirez then primed the grenade and threw it out the main entrance and threw himself back behind cover before the grenade could detonate. The cloaked figures outside were intrigued by the rolling blue ball that was approaching them, but had they known what it was, they would have run from it. In an instant, a bright white flash overcame everything and SEAL's averted their eyes and hoped they were just out of the effective range of the blast. Luckily they were, but the figures outside were far from lucky.

As the SEAL's exited cover and approached the parking lot, they could see the figures screaming and twitching on the ground. The plan had worked, the EMP grenades disabled their barrier. What they didn't expect was for the blast to cripple the same men who had kept them pinned down just moments ago. One of them tried to get up and draw a dagger from their cloak, only to get shot once in the head by Foley. Another had barely managed to stand up and began to curse Mitchell and his team.

"You demons think you'll win?" The man spat with contempt in his voice. "We've faced far greater threats from foes braver than you. You can't even stand and fight face to fa-" He was cut off as Mitchell drew his knife and shoved it in his throat, killing the man.

"They aren't worth a bullet, liquidate them as you feel necessary." Mitchell said coldly as he loosened his grip and watched the man's lifeless body hit the snow below him. He looked around as his team got to work handling the survivors. The man Allen approached couldn't force himself up and tried kicking him in the groin. Allen responded by grabbing both of his legs and bending them backwards at the knees, which gave off a sickening crunch as bones and muscle were torn. He then raised his own foot over the man's throat and stomped it. Diaz, Ajani, Parker, and Griggs just took the simple way and slit the survivors throats. Not to say they didn't want to do worse to them, given what they already saw so far, but they didn't want to waste time. Allen just kicked his foot against the ground a few times to get the blood off and picked his M250 back up, chuckling all the while.

"Can't tell you how good that felt. To make them just as helpless as the citizens of Iceland were when they arrived. What's next Captain?" Allen asked shouldering his machine gun.

Mitchell looked out towards the direction of the broadcast station and turned back towards his men. "I'd say our Iranian friends have to broadcast station under control, so I'd say we better get moving towards our embassy. We still have staff being held hostage and it's our job to rescue them."

"Are we going to foot it there? That'll take far too long and they may be dead by then." Foley asked concerned.

"Dunn, you know how to hot wire a car, right?

All the SEAL's present stared at Dunn, who shot Mitchell a curious glance.

"Uhh sir?" He replied. "Why do you think I can hot wire a car?" As he said this, Allen tried to suppress a snicker, which Dunn shot him a dirty look for doing.

"Two reason. First being your from New York City. The second being I looked at your old criminal record." He paused as he noticed a small bag had fallen on the ground, which belonged to one of the men killed earlier. Inside were golden coins, that looked exactly like ancient Roman currency. It also included local currency, no doubt that it was stolen from earlier victims. He shook his head and tossed the bag back down on the ground. "You had a habit of stealing cars and getting into street races. We have plenty of cars around us, but we need you to get them working. Can you do that?"

Dunn rubbed his helmet before responding to his superior's very odd request. "Yes sir, just give me two minutes and I'll get enough cars warmed up." He then walked over the the parked cars and broke the window of the nearest one, sounding off an alarm in the process.

"Sorry, all these new cars have security systems nowadays."

Mitchell just shook his head as he put up a holographic projection of the U.S. embassy. "Alright listen up, this is the plan."

Icelandic National Broadcast Station

0340 Hours

1st Lieutenant Dabiri was overlooking the perimeter of the building, reviewing the blueprints of the building and planning his move. Pulse scanning of the building revealed at least a hundred men inside, with double that amount guarding the perimeter. Inside were a handful of hostages who, from reports given by his men inside, were in charge of operating the broadcasting equipment. His men inside already took care of a few legionaries that thought it was alright to rape the female newscasters. The bodies were then hid away to avoid raising any alarms before the rest of the team was in position. The plan was simple and had a low chance of going south.

First phase of the operation would involve planting explosives around the supply tents, as to deny them food, weapons, and other logistical assets. It would serve as not only a distraction to help attract their forces into a killzone, it's also part of their mission objective to disrupt enemy logistics to prevent them from carrying out further operations.

Second phase begins with the other half of his team eliminating the soldiers holding the civilians hostage and moving them into a secure location within the building and out of the way of the main entrance.

The third and final phase would involve forcing the remaining hostile forces into a choke point and into interlocking fields of fire. When the legionaries inside come to investigate the explosion outside, he and his men outside will open fire as they attempt to funnel through the main building entrance. Using the trees in the outside parking lot as concealment, on top of the optical camouflage, they'll exploit the tactical disadvantage of the enemy. The other half of his team will take up positions on the upper floors and engage enemy forces already outside.

"Khadem, Gilani, lead your fireteams in, the mission is a go." He whispered into his comm piece as he exited the bush he was hiding in and made his way into the Imperial encampment. Despite it being the early morning hours, the camp couldn't have been more alive. Sentries posted at every corner and groups of legionaries patrolling all around the building. The enemy had made the mistake of making this camp a major logistical point for their units that keep pouring into Reykjavik. His men would plant C-4 in key points across the camp and detonate once they exited safely. If possible, they'd secure any intel they could and neutralize any high value targets.

They had to be light on their feet as to not make noise and alert the guards. As Dabiri made his way through the camp, he took notice of a large purple tent around the center. "I have eyes on possible HVT's, moving to investigate." As he relayed the information to his squad, his HUD illuminated multiple individuals gathered around a table inside. He activated his translator and moved in for a closer look, but before he could, he heard footsteps directly behind him. He realized he was being followed and turned around to see two legionaries staring in his direction. Before they could alert nearby patrols, Dabiri threw himself into both of them, the snow muffling most of the impact. He unsheathed his knife and plunged it into the man's throat. Before the other man could yell out for help, he covered his mouth and snapped his neck.

"Lieutenant, are you alright? We have eyes on a larger patrol heading your way." He glanced over to his right and could see a much larger group of individuals. But before they could reach him, he could make out the faint outline of multiple cloaked figures approach from behind and drag them into the darkness. Seeing this as his best opportunity, he dragged both the bodies underneath a nearby car and got back on his feet and towards the tent.

"Thanks for the assist."

"That wasn't us sir?" Dabiri looked around at where his team was placed. Gilani's team was the closest, at 150 meters away. He looked back over into the darkness and saw nothing. "And here I thought the Americans loved going in guns blazing." He thought to himself as he refocused himself at the task at hand. He approached the tent and listened closely on the conversation inside.

"What is the purpose of guarding this ugly building? We've slaughtered all those inside and left only a few survivors as not only a warning, but to make sure the rest of this barbaric world knows of our power."

"How are we even sure that their whole world knows of us? It could be nothing but trickery to make us waste men and beast when we could be taking more plunder across this city."

"You do forget that it was Godasen and his Imperial mages, along with the Legates that deemed this site worthy of guarding. While it is still unclear as to how it works, they are confident that the other kingdoms of the world saw the message and will bow to our glorious might soon after. All we have to do is wait for our Emperor to cross the GATE and have representatives from this world will grovel at his feet and beg to become vassals."

Dabiri couldn't help but smirk at that comment. Even when much of Earth, including his own nation was under alien occupation, not once did they think about surrendering. Not Iran, not Russia, nor America, nor China, or Europe had ever considered surrender in the face of a far superior enemy who sought to destroy everything they had built. Now they stood against a more primitive, but just as mysterious enemy. This new enemy would test the resolve of the United Nations and how well they'd brave this new crisis.

"I heard we lost three entire legions, including most of our elite dragon riders, in an attempt to capture an outpost just outside the city. One of the few survivors reported a giant grey metal bird with a long body and two long wings dropped giant eggs that exploded with terrible fire magic."

"Surely our wyverns would've taken it down? How could anyone kill 50 elite riders?"

"Survivors said that a group of smaller birds were escorting the larger one. They saw them shoot flaming arrows that followed our wyverns when they tried to escape from them."

"We command much larger and powerful dragons on Alnus Hill. We tamed the mighty flame dragon and it's offspring thanks to Godasen. The Immortals, the finest soldiers our great Empire has, await just on the other side of the GATE. On the order from the Emperor, they will march through and lay waste to this cold and ugly world. They will trample any who dare stand in our way. Never before has a single Immortal died in combat and they won't now! There are 10,000 of them, all fearless and willing to die for Sadera. I refuse to listen to anymore of this cowardly talk. We will win just as we always have, and we will burn this pathetic world to the ground, starting with this city!"

Dabiri couldn't believe what he was hearing. If this wasn't such an important mission, he would've laughed loud enough to alert the entire camp. Now he listened in as the tent erupted in cheers from the speech given by their superior. Having heard enough from the men in the room, he screwed his silencer onto his pistol and approached the tent flap. As he entered, he swiveled his aim to the right, putting one round into the head of one of the guards. The other legionary to his right attempted to strike him with a gladius, only for Dabiri to side step the swing and unload two rounds into the man's chest, dropping him.

"How did he get in here?" One of them shouted as he reached for his sword on the table. Realizing his sidearm wouldn't have killed them all quickly enough, Dabiri unlsung his FAJR 226 and opened fire. Even as their fellow Centurions and Tribunes were cut down in front of them, they did not cease their charge into the wall of high speed metal that ripped through their armor like it was nothing. Even as the last one alive tried desperately crawling towards a gladius, Dabiri couldn't help but shake his head at the pathetic sight before him. But before he was able to finish the man off, the entire camp was alerted to the gunfire from the tent.

He activated another pulse scan and his HUD was filled with hostiles running his way. It was time to leave. Seeing as how it would be redundant to activate his camouflage, knowing full well he'll still leave a trail behind him, he dashes through the tent flap and begins running towards his original position.

"Are the explosives in place yet?" He practically shouted as he sprinted away from the now awake and pissed off camp. Seeing that he needed to buy time, he grabbed a grenade out of one of his pouches, and threw it behind him. The legionaries ignored it, thinking it was simply a rock. Until it went off, causing the soldiers within the shrapnel radius to fall over and trip those behind them. This gave his marksmen and machine gunner ample time to pick targets and open fire. "We've got incoming Armin, you better have that MGA4 set up, otherwise we'll get overrun."

"Ready sir, just waiting until you get clear of the firing path."

Suddenly, a large explosion ripped through the camp, which sent the camp up in flames as he could see men desperately scrambling around in the dark, unaware of who just attacked them. Now every enemy within the area knew they were here, so he knew he had to finish this properly.

"Ashti, are the hostages secure?

"Affirmative Lieutenant, all hostiles in the room are clear and the rest of the team in on position in the upper floors." As he was running back towards the treeline, he could see his men set up and ready to fire. He reached his position in the trees and turned around facing the building. Now he had the enemy right where he wanted them. They funneled out of the broadcast station and into the now burning camp, rapidly approaching them. He gave the signal and his team opened fire.

"FIRE!" He gave the order and a cacophony of gunfire filled the already chaotic air. For the Iranians, this was far easier than anything they thought they'd ever do. The enemy just threw themselves into rifle and machine gun fire, dying in droves just as the Europeans did during the first world war. Even as bullets tore through their shields and armor, they kept charging. Even when the rounds over penetrated and cut through multiple targets.

For Albus El Acilius and his men, this was a nightmare. They were fighting an enemy that they couldn't see or face. Streaks of light tore their ranks apart and nothing they had could protect them. Their only mage had his head blown apart by the enemy's magic. Their shields could be made of wood for the good they did against the enemy. They had already encountered some blue clothed militia members with weapons similar to those they were being slaughtered by now. The militia they encountered earlier fell quickly to the sword and had their weapons stripped by Godasen and his mages.

"Damn cowards, do they have no honor?" Albus spoke with venom in his voice as he watched in horror as his men were cut down by unlike any the Empire had ever seen before. Even the beastmen auxiliary stood no chance against the enemy's terrible magic. He looked over the bodies of an orc and saw gaping holes in it's torso and head. Even it's heavy iron shield was no match for the otherworlder weapons. He had not seen a single man from this world face him or his legionaries in close combat once. None of the enemy had ever faced his men face to face and clashed steel. "We can't get close enough to strike them with our cold steel! We must push forward with our numbers men, only then will we achieve victory against these barbarians!" Albus rallied what was left of his men and attempted one last charge against the enemy. But this was useless as his men and beast were cut down all around him. Seeing this made him completely lose his nerve and drop to his knees in a mixture of anger and terror.

"W-why have you forsaken us, Emroy? We have done as you would want. Why send us against such foes?" He looked around him and saw the burning ruins of the campsite. The tents and wagons carrying their supplies were destroyed, and his men slaughtered like animals. Many with their eyes open and mouths agape. Some of his men were still alive, bleeding profusely while trying to crawl away from whatever had done this to them. Albus turned behind his and saw multiple dark figures throw down a piece of rope and use it to slide down the building with ease. He soon heard the crunching of footsteps in front of him and turned to see a figure in all black armor staring down at him. "What are you waiting for you damn demon, JUST KILL ME ALREADY?" Even as he shouted at the man, he stood unfazed as more men surrounded him. He tried to get back up and pull his dagger, but was met with a kick straight to the head, forcing him back to the ground. The an standing in front of him simply picked up the dagger and threw it behind him.

"He isn't worth the bullet. Khadem, finish him how you see fit, the rest of you, on me." Even as his vision blurred, he could see what looked to be the leader walk away from him with the rest of his men in tow. But he again heard footsteps and was flipped on his back by another of the figures. The man balled his fist and delivered blow after blow straight into his face. His vision blurred even more after every strike. Soon he could see out of neither of his eyes as he drifted away in the cold winter night.

34 laufásvegur Street , Reykjavik Iceland

0400 Hours

As Mitchell and his team got closer to the embassy, they noticed a massive increase in troops around the area. They had to go on foot for the last 5 blocks due to it being impossible to drive through without alerting the enemy or crashing into the cars abandoned along the road. As they moved in closer to the embassy, they were met with more horrific sights. Civilians hung from light poles and bodies lined up against walls with either arrows in them or their heads missing. The occasional police car with bright blue lights flashing, illuminating the carnage around them. Police officers and Viking squad members dead along the roads in what were failed attempts at roadblocks to contain the attackers who invaded their country. Despite the Icelandic police being horribly outnumbered and many officers not having immediate access to firearms, dozens of legionary bodies were scattered across the streets, evidence of their heroic sacrifice against impossible odds.

"Hey, Captain, look over here." Dunn whispered as he bent down towards the body of a butchered police officer who lay dead next to his car, his eyes wide open. Iron's walked over, made a cross with his hands, and closed the officers eyes, allowing him to rest. "His gun is missing. Hell, every cop I've noticed was missing their weapon. You don't think these assholes made off with them, do you?"

Mitchell rubbed the top of his helmet as he pondered the question for a few seconds. "I wouldn't put it past them. Even if they have no idea how the fuck a firearm works, they were likely ordered to pick them up so they could try and use them. Although no matter how many of them they find off the bodies of dead cops, doesn't mean that'll they can use them." He knelt down towards the body of a nearby Viking squad member, Icelandic Swat for those unfamiliar with them. He looked closer to the body and noticed something odd. The officer was also missing his sidearm, spare magazines, radio's, anything that would be remotely useful. "But I think that these assholes know more than they should."

"Even the magazines are stripped, same with non lethal weapons and helmets from the Swat team. How the hell do they know this?" Ramirez inquired as he stared at the bodies all around them.

"Given how these assholes knocked out power throughout most of the city, who knows what else these assholes have up their sleeve." Dunn remarked.

"Oh dear lord!" Diaz gasped as she approached the body of a female officer, who's back was back way against the hood of a nearby police car. Her shirt was ripped off, revealing her naked chest. The rest of the team had noticed and shook their heads in disgust at the desecration brought against the officer. Diaz buttoned up and covered the fallen officer to the best of her ability. Irons approached with a small UV light and scanned it over the officers body. Irons just shook his as he turned off the light and walked away from the body.

"Mother fucking barbarians." He muttered in a pissed off tone as he just shook his head.

"Is that what I think it is, Irons?" Diaz questioned as she walked away from the body.

"Was she alive during any of it, Irons?" Allen asked as he turned towards the teams medic. At that point, it became very clear about what Irons found on her body.

"I honestly don't know, Allen. If I had to guess, all the officers died the same way. Given the dozens of slain spearman lines all around the cars, she died from that spear wound in her abdomen. What they did to her...". He paused as he let out a heavy sigh. "Happened after she was killed. Not that it makes it any less fucked up."

"I'm not trying to sound cold or heartless, but we really need to haul ass to the embassy. We'll make these bastards pay for everything they've done. But we need to secure the embassy."

Realizing that their Captain was correct, they began running along the road leading to the embassy, witnessing even more carnage as they went on. If there was one thing they had going for them, it was the fact that they weren't alone within the AO. Multiple embassies were within the Miðborg district, with five more embassies in neighboring districts. The Norwegian, German, and British embassies were on the same road as the American embassy, meant they'd meet with various teams throughout the city. Despite their best efforts, embassy after embassy was found to have been ransacked, looted, and burned to the ground. The security details were killed and the staff taken prisoner by the invaders. Unfortunately the British and American embassies were inaccessible due to high concentrations of hostile forces, so much of their status is unknown. They soon met up with Norwegian, German, and British special to launch an attack on the forces guarding the American embassy. Seeing as how they erected a large campsite around it, and having hundreds of legionaries around it, there must have been someone or something of significant importance there. Now it was time to find out why.

As the teams rested and stood further from the embassy, the respective leaders of each team were now discussing how to handle the situation at hand. It was now clear that the US embassy was being used as a stronghold and logistical hub for their forces. It gave them a clear path to the nearby port, along with the ships that were docked there. Captain's Jack Mitchell and John Price of the SAS, along with First Lieutenant's Gerhard Weber of the German KSK, and lieutenant Asbjørn Nilsen of the Norweigen FSK, were observing the situation around the embassies from one of the buildings in the neighborhood.

"Well I guess you Yanks loving being the center of attention, because they really love your embassy." Price remarked, which gained a chuckle from Nilsen and Weber. He turned serious as he looked back towards the streets below. "Still, we're heavily outnumbered and despite our obvious tech advantage, we haven't even scouted the area out yet."

"We can send in our drones." Mitchell replied. "Our airborne drones are quiet and they won't be able to tell we're watching. We could find where they're keeping any hostages and ID any high value targets and supplies.

"Well that still leaves us badly outnumbered, even if we do know where to hit." Weber interrupted. "If they have hostages, they'll no doubt execute them should we attack. And if we're compromised, while also being that deep in their lines, we risk our men being overrun. That's why we don't attack on the street, but we space ourselves around the area. On various rooftops and attack when we have a better plan."

"That's alot of ground for us to cover, I don't think we can do it." Mitchell replied as he used his drone to get a better look at the surrounding area. "It was difficult enough to get to this rooftop without alerting the patrols below. This area represents the highest single concentrations of hostile forces in the city. This isn't only a logistical hub for them, most of their leadership is gathered around the area as well."

"Most likely in front of your embassy, which would explain the purple decorated tents out front."

"Yes, and I've also captured what appear to be individuals wearing much different clothing than what the soldiers and officers are wearing. It seems they've put most of their important generals in one place."

"Which means if we can eliminate them, the whole invasion force will collapse into chaos without real leadership." Nilsen reasoned. But we can't do it with just our teams."

"What are you suggesting?" Price asked as he eyed the man.

"There are other embassies within this same district. That also means other teams are active nearby. If we can confirm what we've found here, we stand a better chance at not only rescuing anyone their holding captive within the camp, it gives us the opportunity to hit them from all sides without straining our squads past the breaking point."

"Which means we better send our drones in first, so we can confirm what you saw, Mitchell."

Mitchell recalled his drone, folded the wings back up, and sat it down next to him. He then dug around in one of his pouches and pulled out what appeared to be a mini drone, fly drone specifically.

"This should work nicely. Virtually undetectable, makes practically no noise, and I can link the audio to your HUD's, as well as send footage back to command. Assuming you've got the translator programs installed on your end, I can send this in and get a better look at this place.

"Very well, boot it up and send it in, let's see how bad the situation down there."

Mitchell began to adjust the fly drone in his hand and adjusts the camera to look at him. He then fly's it around to make sure ti was working properly. Once that was done, he began flying it towards the US embassy. As the drone got closer to the embassy, they could see the extent of the damage and brutality done by the invaders. More police officers and civilians lay dead across the street. The police in particular were hanging from nooses on light poles. Hundreds of bodies put in piles with the flag of the invading force flying over them. The survivors were arguably in a worse position. Surviving men were in shackles in large groups, most likely as a way to nullify American and British bomber aircraft from striking their position. They'd almost certainly be marched back through that "GATE" that was described to him earlier to be sold as slaves.

The women on the other hand were in far worse positions. The sight of women being defiled in the streets was enough to make them operators sick to their stomachs. The sounds of screaming from the buildings on the street only made it worse. The fact that an entire city was being subjugated to such barbaric acts was despicable. Even though they were but a stones throw away, they were unable to do more until backup could arrive from other nearby teams. But they had to send the drone deeper.

"This is some sick scheisse, where the hell is our backup?" Weber muttered in disgust as he grabbed the cross hanging from his neck and whispered a silent prayer.

"I don't think that'll do anything bud. It didn't work 43 years ago, it sure as fuck won't work now." Mitchell's remarks made Price and Nilsen shoot a look over at the SEAL. Weber just shot him a glare and was going to say something, but Weber put a hand on his shoulder and stopped him. Nilsen just shook his head at the German. Despite him wanting to say something back, he sat back down.

"What's the status on other nearby units?"

"Most other teams that went to their respective embassies have reported the same things. Security details dead, buildings ransacked, and the staff captured. All the teams are tracking the staff to this area." Price answered as opened up a holographic map from his wrist console. The location of each foreign embassy was highlighted on it. "French, Canadian, Russian, Finnish, and Danish special forces are approaching from the north and will arrive shortly. Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Polish teams will arrive from the east."

Mitchell looked up from his drone camera and stood up. "The Iranians shouldn't be that far from us, they were with us where we landed after all. Though they may have picked a different target than what we have here. But you may want to see what I've just found." Mitchell sent his drone feed to the built in HUD of the other operators present, and synced the audio. What they soon saw had confirmed their suspicions. The staff from all the embassies were all bound and on their knees, surrounded by what they could only assume were high ranking officers of the invasion force, along with hundreds of soldiers and other creatures one would only expect from fantasy novels. Many were bruised and beaten by their captors. The drone camera focused on the man at the front of it all, who seemed to be speaking to the various embassy staff. The drone moved in closer for audio and the group listened. It was at this point Mitch had sent this to every teams HUD, so they could all watch at what was unfolding before them.

"We came here to bring civilization to a barbaric people. We hoped to bring you people into the arms of our great Empire peacefully and without much bloodshed. Yet from the moment we arrive, we've been met with continuous resistance. Even as the gutless whore leader of this nation fled before us, your cowardly militia and mages continued to fight on. They were nothing to us as we swept them aside under the full might of our legions. We would've had control over the entirety of these lands if you would've just surrendered." The focus was on a blonde haired man, who looked to be about 45 years old. The armor he wore was similar to that of what a Roman Legatus would wear, only being purple and more winter oriented. The man held a look of anger and disgust as he looked over the men and women before him. The man paused for a moment before glaring at the US embassy staffer, who glared back at him.

"Your nation attacked us without provocation. We had claimed dominion over these lands, and thanks to you, we lost three legions of brave men to you cowards. Are you people so cowardly that you only send metal dragons to drop giant eggs from above? To deny your enemy a glorious and honorable death? No. You backward hicks have no honor. You boast of having million man armies and yet there is not a single real soldier here to combat us. You claim to have weapons to destroy entire cities, and yet our legions stand here unchallenged. You claim to have known the ravages of war and yet you fled from our sword." The man drew his sword and pointed it at the staffer. "Your entire world is soft and we're here to fix that. We'll reshape this world in our own image and you'll thank us for it."

Mitchell tapped his earpiece and ordered his team to move in, prompting the others to do the same.

"Team, move into the positions marked earlier, we're ending this before it gets worse."

"Copy that, Captain, I'm spreading the team out now." Foley replied as Mitch got up and set the drone to idle mode.

"Is this being relayed to command?" Price inquired as he stood up and signaled for his team to move up.

"Don't worry, that's the first thing I did when I got the drone close enough to listen to the audio. Command is seeing every bit."

"I don't know whether command would be more pissed at the remarks this asshole made, or if they pissed themselves laughing."

"Joking aside, Weber, I'd imagine everyone is fucking pissed about this. While this might sound a bit selfish, I was supposed to be on my honeymoon today. How do you think my wife feels knowing that I'm going to war?"

"While I understand the sentiment Nilsen, jokes can help during shitty times such as this. Besides, take it from an old man like myself, you better enjoy any alone time you get from your wife. Because from now on, she'll always be on your ass."

They all laughed for a few seconds before focusing back on the task at hand.

The objective was right in front of them. Now it was up to them to utilize their superior weapons and tactics to overcome this numerically superior enemy. communication to use. He could see the European teams moving in tandem with his squad as he got up and sprinted across road and and climbed onto the roof of a nearby building. He focused back in on the drone one last time.

The American staffer coughed and wheezed as he got off his back after being punched down. He laughed before he started to speak. "You know nothing of what we've went through. We've seen wars and atrocities that would make you flee in terror. We have no need to use our most powerful weapons against you. you simply aren't worth it. We have and still do face far greater threats than you. You think that just because you invade the only nation on this planet that has no military, that the rest of the world will give in to your demands. The whole world did indeed see it, but it was laughed at. And now, you, a single primitive nation, stands against an entire united planet. You've already lost, you just don't now it yet."

The men surrounding him laughed hard at what they heard. Their sheer arrogance blinded them from what they had done the moment they had crossed into this world. They were completely oblivious to the events unfolding around Earth. Every nation mobilized it's military might to combat this new enemy. They were also unaware of just who was watching them as the Legate prepared to strike the man down with his gladius.

"Clearly you damn barbarians have no idea who your talking to. Once Grand Mage Godasen reports back to our glorious Emperor, the Immortals will march from one end of this pathetic world to the last. You may have killed the wyverns we brought with us in the beginning, but we've got far more of them and far larger that will accompany Godasen when he returns to help subjugate you people. I don't know why I ordered you to be taken prisoner, you clearly are too stupid to realize that resistance is futile. Maybe when your capitals burn to the ground and your armies are devastated, you'll learn to kneel before the Saderan Empire."

"Heads up, we've got contact coming in from the North." One of the SAS said over the radio.

"I've got movement just a block south of us."

We've got incoming from the east, are they friendly?"

"Affirmative, do not engage."

"It's about time they got here, we'll need help at this rodeo." Allen remarked over the radio.

Mitchell could see multiple operators positioning themselves on top of surrounding rooftops with a clear sight line on the enemy forces. Now they had the numbers they needed so they could effectively save the hostages and completely annihilate the enemy. "I really should've brought my MDR or a SCAR instead of this MP7." A tap on his shoulder forced him to turn around and he saw Ramirez standing over him holding out an MCX. Specifically the spare he grabbed right before he left the Warbird earlier. "I appreciate it Ramirez."

"No problem sir." Ramirez entered the prone position and began dialing in his sniper scope to an appropriate target. "I'm dialed on on the blonde guy about to execute one of our won, what's the play boss?"

Mitchell took one last look around his surroundings. It looked as if everyone was ready, they were just waiting for the signal to engage. Seeing as it was now or never, he made his decision. As the man began to raise his sword, he yelled his command to his team. "OPEN FIRE!"

Imperial Calendar, 687

Alnus Hill, Falmart

0500 GMT

As Grand Mage Godasen made his way back into the Imperial encampment with the slave and treasure caravan, he was met with loud applause from the surrounding legionaries who were marching through as the second wave of forces to subjugate the new world. Although some look stunned to see his back so soon given the distance involved. In fact, if it wasn't for him using his magic on his and Tiberius's steeds, they'd still be on the other side of the GATE. Now it was up to them to inform them of the situation beyond the GATE and send the weapons they captured for study, so they may prevail against this new world.

"These new developments are most disturbing Tiberius, you can't deny this will be the toughest conflict we have yet to fight." Godasen said as he shifted his vision to his assistants who were carrying the weapons taken from the warriors in the other world. "If we are to succeed in civilizing the new world, we must unlock the secrets of their powerful, but cowardly weapons. That's why I gave my mages a strict order to collect everything they could from those palace guards and of the cohortes we slaughtered. Clothing, armor, weapons, everything they were carrying when we killed them. Now let's hope we can unlock their secrets before we take more devastating losses."

"I understand your concern, but you have stressed yourself too much over this, my friend." Tiberius replied as he patted his old friend on the shoulder.

The sight of him and Tiberius being back so soon had confused the Emperor and the rest of the royal family when made their way past the tent flaps and came inside. They both knelt before the sight of the Emperor and his family, as a means of showing loyalty and respect.

"You may rise, men." Molt's voice boomed in the tent. "It's quite a surprise to see you back here so quickly. What is so urgent that you come back merely a day after you crossed through the GATE?"

Before either of them could respond, Zorzal interrupted them with an obnoxious laugh. "Clearly such overwhelming force was far too much for those barbarians on the other side of the GATE to handle. Please tell us, how quickly did you capture their capital? How many more slaves have you captured?"

Godasen stepped forwards and cleared his throat. "Your Majesty, while we do come back to report our progress, not all of what we have is good news." The expressions on the their faces changed dramatically when Godasen said that.

"Whatever do you mean?" Zorzal laughed. How can there be any bad news when invading a small island nation with no army to defend itself?"

"I concur with my son, what problems have you run into? Have the dragons run out of fodder? We can just send more though within the hour."

"Your Majesty." Tiberius stepped up and spoke. "We've encountered far more resistance than we've thought possible."

"From who?" Pina scoffed. "Our scouts only reported but a small force of mages on the other side of the GATE and surely they would have fallen to our legions in battle?"

"It's much more complicated than that. We've lost three entire legions, nearly all of our wyverns, and half of our naval forces." As Tiberius finished speaking, the color on the royal family's faces turned to a pale white.

"H-how is such a thing possible?" A Rose Knight by the name of Norma Co Igloo sputtered out. Even the veteran knight, Grey Co Aldo, went wide eyed at hearing those words.

"This will take time to explain, I suggest you get comfortable, because there is more to this new world than anything we could have ever imagined."

Now the Emperor and the royal family would now learn of the horrors they encountered in this new world, the new wonders they learned of, the weapons they've acquired, and of a new possible threat, one that tried to conquer this new world before, and failed.
Wait, you wrote this story? Okay, I think I might need to see somebody about my memory...

I am glad to see you're reposting it here, though.
Wait, you wrote this story? Okay, I think I might need to see somebody about my memory...

I am glad to see you're reposting it here, though.
Yeah I wrote it. It's not all here yet, I'm still copying some of it down and making corrections in grammar where I see it.
Chapter 8: Strike Back Part 1
Imperial Calender, 687

Alnus Hill, Falmart

0500 GMT

Inside the tent were many important members of Saderan leadership. First and foremost was Emperor Molt Sol Augustus. The supreme ruler over all of Falmart and it's inhabitants. With him were members of the royal family. The first of which was Zorzal El Caesar. A tall, imposing man who was pampered and spoiled as he grew up. This upbringing had turned him into a massively narcissistic individual, who expects everything handed to him, as well as being worshiped simply because he is of royal blood. He's also shown himself repeatedly to be extremely sadistic, as was shown during his campaigns and genocides against the Warrior Rabbits and Dark Elves of the Schwarzt Forest. It was common knowledge that he keeps the former queen of the Warrior Bunnies as his own personal sex slave. A fact which disgusted his half sister, Pina Co Lada. She stood alongside one of her best friends and personal instructor, Grey Co Aldo. When she and other daughters of the senate and nobility formed their own order of knights, Grey was the man who instructed them. Pina was always optimistic and kind hearted, a virtue which her brother hated her for. The others in the room were other members of Imperial nobility such as Marquis Casel, Palesti, Dussie, and Moltose. They were here expecting to hear the latest news of their conquest in the new world. Instead, they were being rushed into a meeting where they would hear a very different report than what they had been expecting.

"How could such a thing happen?" Pina shrieked as the thought of three whole legions being obliterated still ran through her head. "We were told that we'd face little resistance, not an entire army facing us?"

"I knew those damn elves can't be relied on." Zorzal fumed. "That's why we should have used our own men, they wouldn't have gotten anything wrong. But Servius put far too much faith in those damn darkies to do anything."

Godasen let out a heavy sigh as he stepped forward. "There were a great many things that could not have been foreseen I'm afraid. To start, the flying metal birds came from a base eight and a half leagues away, which was farther than any of our scouts could have seen." Godasen informed them. "The base itself belongs to another nation on a nearby continent. However they are reluctant to attack us when we have natives near us. Most of our wyvern riders were also killed by these birds. However the small palace that nation owned within the city was captured by our forces, but at a cost of hundreds of men at the hands of only five men." Such words both terrified and disgusted those present in the room. To think of such small group of men could kill so many was unheard of, short of an apostle. Was this the power this new world possessed? Upon hearing this, the senators in the room went into an uproar.

"How can five men cause so much damage? Please tell us you have gathered their weapons?"

"How could an enemy launch an attack against us so quickly?"

"I thought you said this nation has no army."

"How could you have let such a disaster happen?"

"SILENCE!" Molt's voice boomed as he stood up. The room quickly quieted down as he Molt motioned for Godasen to continue with his report. "Please Godasen, continue with what you know."

"Thank you, your majesty. As was already reported previously reported by the dark elves, the nation we invaded has no army, only a small militia force to uphold law and order, alongside a very small navy to defend it's shores from pirates. I can assure that in every engagement, we've destroyed them. As with their small navy, what remains of them are scattered and in a retreat throughout the city. However the flying metal birds that attacked our legions came from another nation. Albeit small, we achieved retribution for this transgression by raiding and taking the palace that nation had within the city we have captured. While it cost us nearly 300 legionaries to capture it, we gained valuable nation from many of the prisoners we've taken. In this world, no magic exists. Instead the people of this strange new world use complex mechanical devices to do what they require. This also translates into weapons. They find it entirely pointless and primitive to fight an enemy with sword and shield."

Once again hearing such words aggravated the senators in the room, who were insulted by being labeled as primitives by these otherworlders. Once again the Emperor rose to quiet them down.

"They attack from range, only engaging in close combat when absolutely necessary. Which brings me to my next point." He paused and motioned for one of his assistants, a young blue haired mage. She handed him an object wrapped in cloth. He proceeded to unwrap it and pull out a short black staff. He raised it in the as a way to show those present. "This is but one of the dozens of examples of their weapons that we've captured from their militia. Even though I've probed the minds of many of those strange people, what I know about their weapons is limited until I can study them more. These are the simplest of their weapons, and thus I only know the most basic of what this does. Like a bow and arrow, it launches a piece of metal at high speed towards it target. It is capable of penetrating even the most heavy armor, with the exception of what the Immortals wear. In their first engagement, the 50 Immortals we brought through cut through a large group of militia that had been causing problems for one of our legions."

One senator raised his hand, which Godasen gave a nod to so he could ask his question. "You said that was the most simple of their weapons, what else do these barbarians possess? What was capable of reducing three whole legions to a dozen babbling survivors?"

Godasen knew this question would be asked. He dreaded having to think about what he saw in that mans head. The images of fire and untold destruction. But if he was to convince the senate and royal family of the dangers they faced, they would have to see what he saw. "To help you understand the situation that now lie before us, we need to understand what our enemy is. Our enemy isn't just a single nation, but a total of 85 countries that reside on the other side of the GATE." Godasen projected a cloud before those assembled and it showed a large variety of flags. But at the center was blue flag with what appeared to be many continents in the center, with two fig leafs on both sides. "There used to be far more nations in this world, but a great war soon changed all that. When I probed the minds of the important prisoners, I got to see what the otherworlders used to fight their wars. And their most recent conflict and their sworn enemy." Godasen muttered a spell that allowed him to cast his memories of what he saw earlier into the cloud for all to see.

It started out with an image of a globe. A globe which those who viewed it soon realized that this was the world on the other side of the GATE. Seven entire continents, all of which were glowing from above. Next it switched to tall, gleaming towers made of glass and steel. Within each city, were millions of people and horseless carriages, the sight of which had awed those present.

"Such beautiful cities. We must not lose this war, such artisans could make our capital even greater." Pina gasped.

"They'll make a most useful vassal once we conquer them." Zorzal boasted.

Their attitudes soon changed as a bright flash overtook everything they saw. The once tall and great cities were nothing more than burning husks,while a large cloud reaching into the sky itself. Everyone in the room who hadn't seen it before were utterly shocked and terrified. The view shifted up towards the very heavens. There they could witness hundreds of large black objects rain down on this world. With it, came destruction they could never had imagined. And with all that destruction, millions of corpses. Enough dead bodies to make even Emroy and Hardy shudder in horror. Purple skinned humanoid figures invaded this world. Millions of them. They deemed this world a threat to them and sought to subjugate them for the greater good, just as they had done before. They slaughtered entire nations and all seemed to go well for them in the beginning. Once again the clouds shifted to a clear blue sky. Soon however, hundreds of flying arrowheads were soaring through the sky, shooting flaming arrows at each other that followed any who attempted to get away. Even as red, orange, and green lights flew from the sides of them, they still fell to the explosive arrows.

Next they witnessed giant iron elephants, fighting each other at ranges none of them could comprehend. Their snouts spat fire that destroyed anything it touched. These elephants were supported by hundreds of thousands of soldiers. However they weren't all under one flag. As the vision continued, they could see dozens of flags from many nations. Entire armadas of steel naval vessels, some of which opened up and let out smaller boats full of soldiers. These people had even built ships that reached the heavens, just like their enemy had. With them, they launched one final and desperate attack with everything they had. For five years these people fought the invaders. A war that cost them half of their planet, before they finally beat them back. Countless dead and half of their military might gone, it had changed these people. Despite the enemy being far more advanced than they were, they had the numbers advantage and traitors from the invading force. "The remains of their battered world united in the face of a common enemy. There is no doubt that forces from all those nations are currently on their way to the city we've occupied. We stare down not at a single nation with no army, but at dozens of them, all willing to lend a helping hand towards a nation so far from their own.

The cloud faded and the audience was left at a loss for words at what they had witnessed. While they didn't understand much, Godasen would do his best to explain the situation to them.

"To help you understand, they fight wars far differently than what we're accustomed to. But fear not, there is hope. We have taken the capital of nation we invaded, with it's over 150,000 population. The only reason they haven't completely wiped us out yet is simple. They care for the lives of common rabble. They take necessary precaution to avoid killing them, even by accident." As Godasen had finished speaking, many of those in the room burst into laughter.

"Hahaha, are you joking? For such a "fearsome" fighting force, they care for the lives of simple peasants?" Zorzal laughed.

"If that's the case, then we'll certainly win, no matter what weapons they have."

"It seems they lack the stomach for long wars now, as well as their manhood." Cicero snorted. "What is it that you suggest we do then?"

"It's simple. As long as we hold their people captive near our encampments and supply lines, they won't dare strike. What I propose is simple. We demand they give us examples of their most lethal weapons, in exchange for a small number of captives, specifically the nobles we captured from the palaces around the city. So even if they decide to invade later on, we'll have made copies of their weapons, thus allowing us to take our conquests further. What many of you may not have realized is that when these otherworlders fought their last enemy, they greatly outnumbered them. We will do the same if they choose to invade us. We'll use our superior numbers to grind them down and force them to surrender. No matter how many of you may see it, we have the upper hand at the moment, I suggest we make great use of it."

"Bullshit, these are nothing but lies. Clearly they are masters at trickery. No one but the Gods themselves could command firepower at the likes that you showed us." Zorzal shouted in disgust. To hear them debating tactics that were anything other than facing these barbarians in the open field infuriated him.

After taking a few moments to absorb what he had heard, the Emperor stood up, which commanded silence from the tent. He looked around at the faces of those in the room, some of which were worried at the prospect of a war with this new world. "I think it is safe to say that this will be our hardest challenge yet. Our great Empire has suffered great disasters before and always came out stronger. Just like the Arctic War, where we lost 60,000 men in a single battle. This is no different. Our Empire will adapt and emerge victorious just like we always have. That is why I'm ordering the Immortals and the Flame Dragon be brought here to Alnus Hill to bolster the defenses and prepare to send them through the GATE. Make no mistake, no matter what this new enemy may possess, we will beat them!" The room ignited into cheering for their Emperor. Now with improved morale, they would attack once more and send even more men through the GATE in an attempt to conquer new lands.

"If I may offer a new suggestion, father?" Zorzal approached his father with sly grin on his face. Molt simply nodded and let his son have the floor. "If this United Nations of Earth are as powerful as Godasen showed us, then I move that not only do send our legion of Immortals and the Flame Dragon, but we send our best spies, infiltrators, and assassins through the GATE, and task them with gathering any information and weapons they can acquire, as well as killing any of the otherworld leaders. And if possible, open up another front in their world by contacting their enemy."

The senators and royal family alike started agreeing with each other about the plan. Forcing their enemy to fight on two fronts while they learned the secrets of their technology would give them an advantage in this conflict. "I concur with Zorzal, we must send our spies far and wide throughout their world as to learn all we possibly can and sabotage any efforts to invade the Empire. We must strike now!" Godasen agreed. "That is why I ask you your majesty, please allow me and my pupils to once again cross the GATE and continue the fight with the legions."

The Emperor sat back down and closed his eyes. He had to weigh his options, as time was of the upmost importance. Should he send his greatest minds back through the GATE with more of the Empire's military might, and hope they crushed all further resistance, or should he keep them here to study the weapons the captured? What if these nations were as powerful as Godasen had showed them? What if the otherworld nations mobilized and wiped them out? Who would be left to unlock the secrets of their weaponry? He knew what he had to do.

"Godasen." Molt stood back up and ran his eyes over the other mages in the room who had accompanied him on the other side of the GATE. "As much as I would like to allow you to assist our legions in glorious combat, the risk is to great. I need you here to study the weapons we captured from our enemy, and to contiue to probe the minds of all the slaves brought back. If any of them know anything about their worlds strange methods, weapons, and tactics, then I give you the authority to take them and get what you need from them. I ask you not just as myself, but for the whole of Sadera. I ask that you stay and study, for our Empire will need this knowledge to prosper and expand our borders."

"Very well your majesty, myself and my remaining mages here will work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of what we've gathered. I shall also recall those still in the country on the other side of the GATE, with orders to bring more captured weaponry." He bowed down as did his fellow mages, and they proceeded to leave the tent. Now it was up to Tiberius and the other legates to formulate a plan to take advantage of the situation and how to use the Immortals in this new war. Now it was time for an update on the naval campaign.

"Tiberius, how far has Admiral Regillus gotten in his conquests of the local ports? Has the enemy's navy been obliterated yet?"

"Your majesty, we've captured the port next to their capital, which also gave us control over the supplies that were very recently delivered. Unfortunately, while half of the ships we deployed have been destroyed, we managed to swarm one of their ships after what was left of our wyverns attacked it and killed those who were manning the weapons. Despite their ships having the same weapons as those iron elephants used by the otherworlder armies, they seemed to have ran out of explosive magic. That gave Regillus enough time to get his ships close enough and board the vessel. Despite losing a hundred men while boarding, they took control over one of the ships. However the rest fled the area and our galleys were unable to keep up with the enemy. However as I speak to you now, we have complete control over the coastal regions."

"Good, when we're done here, I want you to tell them to send the ship back through the Blue Sea. If they truly have ships made entirely of steel, we can learn much and apply it to our own navy, this giving us an advantage over the otherworlders."

"There is just one problem your majesty, they have been unable to move it. Their ships do not use oars to travel, but a mechanism entirely unknown to us. Our men already tried tying ropes around it, but the ropes broke before they even moved it an inch. I'm afraid we can't move it on our own. We'll need to have some of the barbarians bring it here themselves, under our sword of course."

The Emperor's facial expression changed upon hearing this. Tiberius could tell he was angered at how bad they were behind on the enemy's weapons. "Do what you need to but get that vessel here immediately. Now, go and relay those orders, I'll order the commander of the Immortals to ready half his men and he'll be taking orders from you. I expect that you'll have new battle plans drawn up to account for our new enemy and their cowardly tactics. You are dismissed."

As Tiberius marched out with the rest of the legates present, he sat back down in his chair and closed his eyes. He had a feeling he'd soon regret his decision, but he had no other options. Now he had to wait and see how it played out.

Embassy of the United States

December 4th, 2080

0600 Hours

As the morning sun rose over the horizon, the fighting was finally over. After over an hour of continuous of fighting, special forces of the United Nations had achieved there first major ground battle against the Saderan Empire. Hundreds of special force operatives, back with limited air power from US and British aircraft, they had near completely annihilated a force of over 1,000 men. The special forces teams from around the city got their hands on whatever they could and raced towards the district of Miðborg to assist the still outnumbered teams present. Even some remaining aircraft were able to fly sorties on nearby troop positions, that after much arguing with the pilots about the possibility of civilian casualties, finally gave the exhausted teams a reprieve. Even as the number of enemy combatants continued to rise in number, the men and women of Earth's special forces stood their ground against overwhelming numbers. Now it was daybreak and the only thing left in the streets were the countless shell cases expelled from hundreds of rifles, machine guns, snipers, and sidearms, countless hundreds of bodies, and pieces of rubble from nearby buildings. And of all the bodies present, not a single one belonged to any of the special forces teams.

In a modern context, a lopsided casualty ratio like that is virtually unheard of in ground combat. But then again, they were fighting an enemy that couldn't shoot back at them. Hell, even the team of Gurkha's had led a bayonet charge against a line of legionaries who spotted them. The Gurkha's slaughtered them in close quarters. Aside from a few of them receiving minor slashes here and there, they were fine. Although they had nearly exhausted their ammunition, the enemy retreated from the area and refused to come anywhere near them. They had, at least for now, a chance to eat, rest, and wait for more supplies to be delivered so they may continue their mission. For now, they had to deal with the hundreds of civilians and embassy staff that took shelter in the nearby buildings during the fight. They also had custody of a few dozen surviving enemy combatants that were smart enough to not be slaughtered.

As Mitchell sat on the hood of wrecked car, eating an energy bar he packed with him, he could hear the constant crying of the hostages as they were being treated by their exhausted and badly over-extended medics. Each team only had one, which meant, at best, there were 30 medics for hundreds of people needing medical attention. Luckily commander Perryman had authorized teams of medical personnel to help them, along with Icelandic emergency services, but they wouldn't arrive for another two hours. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a few familiar faces approaching him from the group of children and women who had been isolated, as they were dealt some of the worse injuries. Captain Price, Lieutenant Weber, and Petty Officer First Class Irons where fast approaching, and they looked pissed off. He also could see another medic accompanying them, an Iranian from the looks of it. Mitchell took the energy bar and slipped it back into his pocket and stood up.

"I have a pretty good idea of why you all looked pissed off, so let me guess, all the women and young girls have been sexually assaulted, haven't they? They all looked at one another before Irons spoke up.

"It's not just that sir. Some of those girls are as young as 10 and they were still brutalized by these sick fucks. Many of them have been penetrated with foreign objects and we're doing our best to help them, but we're being run ragged dealing with all the wounded. I dread to think they've not only had their innocence stolen from them by these fucking barbarians, but of lord knows what they've contracted." Irons informed him.

"It also opens up the possibility of them transmitting something entirely new that we can't treat or cure. That includes regular disease as well." The Iranian said with a concerned look on her face. "I hate to think what else these sick fucks brought with them."

"It also seems that some of the prisoners we took are bragging about who they raped, including giving graphic details regarding what they did and for how long. Needless to say, I don't think I can go back over there and not kill them." Weber said with disgust in his voice.

"Some of the girls the medics are treating had said we captured a few of the men who hurt them." Captain Price said as he pulled out his knife. "How about we do a line up and take care the problem and cut off the dead weight?" No one there could deny that they wanted to make these sick bastards pay for all they did, but they weren't going to let those girls relive everything they went through.

"Well I'm not about to bring any of them up and have them walk up to those fucking savages." Mitchell replied while looking back at the young girls who were being treated by the medics, who, despite all that has happened, tried to cheer them up. He looked up at the Iranian medic that stood before him and got an idea. "What's your name?" He asked.

"Corporal Adeleh Ashti, 65th Airborne, sir!" The Iranian medic replied almost immediately.

"Look" He stopped and glanced over at the children once again. The pain of their encounter visible with the expressions they wore on their faces. They didn't deserve any of this. "Those girls are heavily traumatized and I feel we shouldn't be asking many questions we ask them, but can you and Irons here go ask them if any of the men who hurt them are ones we captured. Tell them we'll make the monsters go away." Without hesitation, they both walked over to the group of children and began speaking softly. Mitchell looked back over to Weber and Price to see what they had to say regarding the matter.

"What do you think we should do with them, because I don't feel like lugging these worthless animals around with us, so what's your opinions?"

Weber was the first to reply, who despite being the levelheaded man out of every squad leader, was filled with anger and disgust. "Usually I'd say we throw their asses on a Warbird and have HQ "interrogate" them for anything useful, but not I just want to see them suffer."

"What about you, Price?"

"I say just shoot them and get it over with. You don't reason with a rabid animal, you put it down. And that's exactly what these sick fuck are, deranged rabid animals. I'd also say it'll help, even if it's only a small amount, those kids by knowing that these bastards will never harm them again."

"I don't necessarily disagree, but we need to figure out what they know. After all, these bastards knocked out the power throughout the city, started ripping the gear off of dead cops and embassy guards, and how the fuck they knew half of what they did when they made that broadcast."

"I think your also forgetting the most important question at hand, how the fuck did they even get here in the first place."

"The GATE." They both looked at Mitchell in confusion at what he said.

"The gate?" Weber asked confused? "What's that?"

"It's what they call that large ass portal that opened up over in Álftanes. Apparently their mages, who were those assholes wearing those blue robes, opened it at the behest of their Emperor to add more territory to their empire. And in the words of the man I interrogated, "to civilize us barbarians". They guy was up his own ass, so I threw him out the window of the hospital when I finished with him. But if they can open up one here in Reykjavik, who's to say they won't do it a larger city? That's why we need to cross this thing as soon as possible. "

Before they could continue the conversation any further, Irons and Ashti came back over while glancing over at the prisoners who were being held at gunpoint on the street. Irons pointed directly towards a blonde haired man, who wore golden armor and had a helmet with a plume of red hair. He had a smug look on his face as he watched the various operators march around corral any surviving imperials into the group. "That son a of a bitch is the one who raped three of those girls. A few others in the group were pointed out as well. What do you want us to do?"

The three team leaders took a moment to process what they just heard. A man who had cowered from them only ten minutes ago, feels powerful taking control over a young girl. A man who cowered in the face of what would've been certain death, who needs to rape a young girl to feel powerful. They'd make sure he'd pay for what he did. They'll make him feel powerless and make him feel the pain he caused those innocent girls.

"How many of those sick fucks were pointed out?" Mitchell asked with rising anger in his voice.

"Aside from the blonde guy, three other legionaries." Ashti answered.

"When we get over there, drag their sorry asses next to their commander."

"Well then." Price said as he cracked his knuckles. "Let's get this party started."

"Irons, they don't need to see what's about to happen, get those children inside and for the love of god, do something that can drown out loud screaming."

As the group started to walk towards the prisoners sitting in front of the embassy, the blonde man looked up and simply smiled. A few of the other operatives, including Dabiri and Nilsen, who were quick to approach the group as well. The man stood up and laughed as they all approached him. Some of those who were guarding him raised their weapons at him, but were given the signal to lower them.

"Well it seems you barbarians have finally come to your senses, I suspect that you'll be releasing me and my men, and will surrender yourselves for execution? You have killed a thousand of my men after all, it's only right you make this less painful for you people. You may have won this battle, but we've never lost a war. It'll be ill advised to imprison high ranking Imperial Legates and nobility. You may be good warriors, but that doesn't change the fate of your world. Now what is your answer?"

Mitchell took the lead on this and approached the man and put on a fake smile. "I'm not here to discuss surrender terms, but I am here to discuss those girls." The man's eyebrow rose slightly and a huge grin overtook his face as he undoubtedly thought about what he had done earlier. Once again he laughed before speaking.

"Ah yes, I enjoyed their company. I must say, for how primitive and cowardly you people are, your women are truly marvelous."

"So you don't deny what you did to them?" Price asked while barely containing his rage.

"Why would I? Such tiny and squeaky little things. They try to resist, but once you force them down and-". Enough was enough. Price grabbed the man by his throat, cutting off his ability to continue speaking. He then drew his combat knife and stabbed the man right in his groin. He then forced the knife down, right down his testicles, which severed them from each other. Even as his throat was being steadily squeezed by a very pissed off SAS member, he still tried to desperately scream. He only made it worse as he tried to break free from Price's iron grip. Price leaned in closer and whispered into his ear before dropping him on the ground.

"Now you know what it feels to have your manhood taken, just like you took the innocence of those young girls, you damn coward." Price wiped his knife off on the mans clothing and stepped back as the other three who were brought up and forced to their knees. The man screamed desperately as he cried and tried to crawl away from the man who just neutered him. Price then planted his boot on his back, forcing him in place. "Anyone else got any ideas? I want to keep this interesting."

Dabiri walked up and gave a suggestion of his own. "Do any of you know what happened to the Belgian Peacekeepers in Rwanda in the 1990's?" Most of them understood what he was referencing to. An old pre war atrocity that killed anywhere from 500,000 to one million people. The Belgian operator who stood within earshot looked up at Dabiri with a look of shock on his face. He just shrugged at the man as he waited for a response from the others around him.

"Isn't that where the peacekeepers got their achilles tendons cut, and then choked to death on their own genitals?" Nilsen asked, well aware of where this was about to go.

"Exactly. I'd say it's a fitting punishment for men who need to feel powerful by raping young girls." The three legionaries looked up at the operatives in horror. The translators did their job in making sure they understood what they were saying. "Not out here in the open, some place the civilians won't be able to see what we'll do to them."

"Y-you barbarians will pay for this! You'll all be slaughtered before the Immortals and your struggle will be for naught." The man cried out as he tried to get up, only to get a kick to the jaw, forcing him back down.

"Shut the fuck up pussy, you'll get yours soon enough."

"There is that little fenced in area right over there by the parking sign. You could do it there and nobody will notice once you close the gate." Mitchell suggested. Just try and keep them from screaming too much, I need to go and talk to those girls. It might not do much, but I'll tell them the monsters are gone." As Mitchell began to walk away, the three men were hoisted to their feet and pushed to the area he had recommended. All the while they had a look of pure terror in their eyes.

He then walked into the building just across the road from the embassy. The building looked old, but still new. He made his way to the front doosr and entered the house. He made his way up the stairs where he could hear what sounded like a television playing. As he entered the room he could see Irons, Ashti, Allen, and a few other operatives playing cartoons on their tablets for the children to watch. They had managed to calm the kids to a considerable degree, which was a good thing in itself. They were still shaken, but they weren't as bad as when they first found them.

It wasn't just the children, it was the adult victims that were set up in the building as well. Mitchell put on a smile and loudly cleared his throat in order to get everyone's attention. As he looked at those in the room, he couldn't help but think of his own daughter. These were someone's kids and they had been violated in a way no one should. He couldn't stomach the thought of this happening to his daughter. Lord knows that if something like that ever did happen, he would move heaven and hell to kill who did it. He put in a mental note to visit his daughter once this mission was over.

"We told them that you and the others would you'd make the monsters go away." Ashti said as she got up from playing with one of the girls. Now it was all eyes on him as they were awaiting an answer.

"I know it may not mean much, but I can personally guarantee all of you, they will never hurt you again. Medical support will be arriving within the next hour or so, and I'll make sure you and families are airlifted out to safety." As he finished speaking, he looked around at those present in the room. It made his sick to his stomach that this could happen. "I swear to you, nothing like this will ever happen to you ever again. Not as long as soldiers like us are here. And we're not leaving any time soon."

"So what happened to them?"

"Needless to say, there's a good reason I told you to drown out the noise. Speaking of that, hold on." Mitchell approached the nearby window and looked out of it. He Price and the others prepare to execute the three legionaries and their general. Mitchell opened the window and shouted down at them. "Hey, wait a minute or two before you get started, I need to talk to them."

"No problem, we've got plenty of time." Weber shouted in reply.

He turned back around and noticed the children were still staring at him. He looked down and frowned before continuing. "Well I don't mean to bother you anymore than I already have. As I said before, it's best to be able to drown out any outside sound. Just keep them occupied, they don't need to hear anything outside right now." Mitchell went back to the window and gave a thumbs up to Price, who then nodded. Mitchell closed the window and proceeded to make his way down the stairs and back out of the house. As he left, he opened the doors to the embassy and walked in, where he was met by the what remained of the staff.

They were still shaken up, but were far more relaxed now. Mitchell had questions and he thought they may have some answers. After all, they specifically brought all the embassy staff from around the city and didn't kill them like the guards. Perhaps they knew why. One of the men in charge of guarding the staff members was a Russian by the name of Andrei Harkov. He had met him once before during an operation in southern Australia to dig out what remained of Phauthi forces who were hiding in underground facilities they constructed during the war. Harkov took notice of him the moment he entered the door. He slung his weapon around his shoulder and held out his hand as he approached Mitchell.

"It's good to see you again Mitchell. I wish it was on more pleasant circumstances, but none of us couldn't expected this would happen. I was relaxing with my family in Moscow when I got the call. I didn't know whether I was more scared to hear that Iceland was invaded or pissed at the fact I had to leave my family."

"Tell me about it, I was celebrating the birthday of my newest squad member when the commander called me up. Hell I knew something was up when I saw other off duty personnel start to run out the restaurant we were in."

"And here we are in Iceland fighting assistant some toga wearing, spear chucking Roman wannabes."

"Not to mention having to freeze our asses off here. But your from Russia, so your used to this cold ass weather, aren't you?"

Harkov let out a heart laugh in response to Mitchell's question. "I think you know the answer to that question."

"I won't lie, this was far easier than any other mission we've been on before."

"You've got that right, only met some light resistance from some people in blue robes. Aside from that, this was, how you Americans put it, a walk in the park?"

"Yeah, more or less." Mitchell put on a more serious expression as he realized he came here to ask some questions. "Are all the embassy staff accounted for? From all the other embassies and consulates?"

"Yes, we already counted them over twice, as well as asked them if everyone was present. Aside from being beaten to different degrees, only the guards were killed."

"It's a shame we couldn't have gotten here quicker."

"I agree. Those embassy guards were holding out in the hope we'd arrive and help them."

"And we're real fucking late. It's a damn shame there wasn't a QRF in Keflavik, this situation could've been dealt with quicker."

"yes, but there's no time to grief right now. Once we kick these bastards out, we'll have time to honor our fallen countrymen."

"Fair enough. You mind if I ask some of them a few questions? There are some things I need straightened out."

"Not a problem, any nation in particular or just any of them?"

"Any will do, it won't be long."

"Alright, but one more question."

"What is it?"

"How do you think Price is holding up? He's one of the few here who fought in the war?"

"Given everything he saw back then, coupled with what he's seeing now, I hope it doesn't break him. He's an inspiration to all of us when it comes to true commitment to the military."

"Yeah, I hope this doesn't put him past the breaking point. Anyway, good luck with asking them anything."

As he made his way further into the building, he could see that what few medics weren't treating the rape or severe trauma victims, we inside trying to help any injured embassy staff. He looked around for a minute trying to find some of the embassy chiefs. Luckily it didn't take him long as a JSDF medic pointed him in the right direction. They took notice of him walking up to them and quit talking. They had been told evacuation transports were on the way and thought it was time to leave.

"Are the transports here yet?" The Danish chief asked. Mitchell just shook his head in response.

"No, not yet, but I was hoping I could ask a few questions."

The looked at each other for a moment before the French DHM gave an answer. "Sure, what do you want to know?"

"Well the first and most obvious one is why they didn't kill you all and went out of their way to capture you. Would happen to know why that would be?"

The expression on all of them soon went to one of embarrassment. Mitchell, as well as a few of the other operatives in the room noticed this traded glances before the American DCM broke the silence. "They wanted information about us. Some men in blue robes probed our thoughts. They went through our minds and looked through everything we knew. But they didn't expect to see our history. They were terrified of what they saw. Enough so that they were given orders to capture us and use the civilian population as shields against a counter attack. Not just us, but many Icelanders as well. That's how they knew to knock out the power and why they stripped the embassy guards and police of their weapons. They plan on holding the entire city hostage to get what they want. They said they'll let them go if we give them slaves or weapons to fight us with. Because they know they won't win as they stand now."

"But we saw their history as well. They conquer and enslave as they go. All the non humans here were conquered and enslaved by them. Genocide was common place against them. Those kids you took prisoner out front, they were forced to be here. The same goes for that old man you captured. His city was conquered just like the others that stood before them." The Russian interrupted. "They are no different than the Phauthi, just more primitive in their ways. They made it clear they'll start slaughtering the city if they don't get what they want. they've already taken hundreds, if not thousands back with them to their world. Until more forces can arrive to cut them off, more civilians will be taken."

Hearing this made Mitchell's blood boil. But not just him, but many of the other squad leaders stepped in listened to the conversation. They honestly couldn't believe what they were hearing. They faced a force that had genocided and conquered their way through their world and had come to this one. Now an entire city was being held hostage and those who held it were threatening to hold the world to ransom. They had already seen what had happened to a group of children they had rescued from these savages. They certainly knew what else was happening in the portions of the city they weren't in. It became clear that if Iceland was to be saved, they need reinforcements and they needed them quickly. They wouldn't let what happened to so many cities in the past, happen to Reykjavik. Never again would that be allowed to happen.

"This is fucking bullshit." Mitchell looked behind him to see the teams marksman, Ramirez behind him.

"You can say that again." Harkov remarked as he entered the room. "The fucking nerve they've got to think we'll just bow to their demands."

"I can guarantee you that this is the last mistake their empire will ever make. They'll regret the moment they came here."

"Speaking of them, Ramirez, what's the status on our friends we drove off earlier?"

"Their scared shitless sir. They won't come anywhere near the area. Anytime we start going from rooftop to rooftop and they saw us, they'd run like hell. Only those ogres can close and they got their heads blown off in short order. Speaking of that sir, you all might want to come outside and see this."

Ramirez stepped out of the room and the operatives followed suit. As they began to walk out, they could feel a slight rumble in the ground that got stronger with every second. They could also hear what sounded like giant jet engines in the distance getting louder. Mitchell and Price exchanged glances as they stepped outside with the rest of the squad leaders. But before any of them could speak, fighters roared overheard, followed by a flight of transport helicopters. Then a large shadow crept over the street, blocking out the light above them. When they looked up, they were greeted with a magnificent sight.

The USS Barrack Obama, the first of America's new class of aircraft carrier, meant rapid global response and air mobile air base, was now above Reykjavik. Aircraft continuously flew off of it's decks and hangars, headed to different parts of the city to beat back this invasion. Small pods began to detach and hurtle down towards the streets below. On board railguns fired off at targets on the ground and at sea, obliterating the invading forces. What few dragons that had remained launched a desperate attack towards it, but were easily torn to shreds by the CIWS turrets the moment they rose into the air. VTOL attack craft strafing targets on the ground, who were unable to fight back. Even as blue streaks of light shot up at them, they were met with railgun fire in retaliation.

"If they didn't regret coming here before, they do now." Nilsen said confidently as he watched the spectacular sight before him.

"If there's on thing I know for sure, is that when we find their capital, we'll burn it to the fucking ground." Price said in a cold voice

"You've got that right, John. We'll make these bastards pay for every live they've taken and every family destroyed." Mitchell said in a fiery tone as he watched as Marine Corps units began deploying across the city, supported by fighters and railgun fire from the carrier. Now they had what was needed to drive them out of Reykjavik. Now the battle could truly begin.
Chapter 9: Strike Back Part 2
US Embassy

0645 Hours

December 4th, 2080

The tide of the battle had now changed greatly. Now with the arrival of Barrack Obama over the skies of Reykjavik, UN forces could now begin their counter offensive. However the bulk of their reinforcements were still at least another day away, so they had to make due with the forces they had available and assault fortified positions throughout the city and pave the way for additional Marine units on their way. Having received fresh ammunition and supplies, the special forces teams on the ground can continue the fight against the invading force. However, on top of the Marine units that have already arrived, Commander Perryman arranged for more teams to be sent in support of those already on the ground, including medical teams for the wounded all over the city. Among the reinforcements, was a Delta Force team that had a long history with many of those already present.

"Alright, Captain, we're topped of on ammo, we're ready to rock and roll whenever you are." Dunn keyed in over the comms over to Mitchell as transports began lifting the teams to various points throughout the city.

"Good, you get the team together, I'll be there in five minutes." He replied before focusing back to the conversation he was holding with the other team leaders. "Anyway, this should be easier for us now. With proper air cover and marines in the city, we won't be spread as thin as before. So John, Dabiri, did you handle those assholes from earlier? Because it sounded awfully quiet for what had happened."

Both laughed for a few seconds before Dabiri turned to reply. "We kept them quiet while we did our work, we didn't want to risk putting those kids through more trauma than before."

"But without having to worry about nearby children now, we don't need to keep quiet." Price continued as he looked back over at the dead bodied piled in a gated off area next to the embassy.

"I admire what you did. Just a shame I couldn't get here in time to help out with the fun." The men turned around and were greeted by a the leader of the Delta Team that had arrived shortly after the Obama did. They knew the man well. Master Sergeant Ray Davids. Roughly as old as Price and seen just as much as he did. He, like the few old enough within their ranks to have seen combat during the war, were well respected by everyone. It's amazing that even after everything they saw and had to do, they still chose to stay and serve, as to educate and train the next generation. "Anyway, what's with the two kids over there? You can't seriously tell me these assholes used children to invade Earth?"

They looked over and saw two elven children within the group of prisoners that were being corralled by newly arrived US Marines. They were both crying as they attempted to stay away from all the other prisoners, except for one. There was an old man who stuck close to them, surrounded by a few other prisoners wearing yellow striped armor. He offered virtually no resistance when they first attacked them. In fact, most of those who were taken prisoner, were all wearing the exact same armor as the ones surrounding the man. It had seemed he held his men up in a nearby building and told them to lay down their weapons. They seemed all to eager to surrender without a fight.

The rest of the prisoners weren't human however. Some were female humanoids with giant bunny ears. Others were blonde haired and blue eyed, but with pointed ears. There even appeared to be a different sub species of them, which likely explained the dark skinned child still crying with the blonde elf. Another one seemed to be a literal medusa. She had red snakes for hair that moved up and down. They even seemed to have changed with her mood. When she cried, they seemed to as well. The rest were anthropomorphic tigers or cat women, who like the rest, laid down their weapons after seeing what had happened to the legionaries.

"It seems they possess strange abilities that the Saderans like to take advantage of." Mitchell replied. "It seems that magic exists in their world and is common place in certain species. From what we gathered, those kids and others like them are responsible for that lightning storm that fucked with our aircraft when we arrived."

"And it seemed their people were brutally conquered by this empire. Especially in the case of those bunny chicks." Harkov said while pointing at the rabbit women, who's ears automatically perked up and caused them to stare at the operators. They store back at them for a few seconds with curiosity. Their bodies were well toned and athletic. And it also became clear to them that they had better hearing than any of them, given how they picked up on the conversation. "My nations embassy chief told me about how they had a campaign of genocide launched against them, simply because they were sought after to become sex slaves. The prince of their empire took their queen as his own personal fuck toy." Another feeling of disgust ran over them as they heard that. But honestly, they weren't surprised. Not after what they had already found throughout the city. For the women however, seeing such a reaction from soldiers was unheard of. They expected to end up just like many of their sisters before them.

"The same went for the elves, both species of them. Both were peaceful tribes-people that lived in the forests of their world, but that changed when the Saderans came after them as well. They however, hearing of what had happened to the bunny women, they hadn't offered much resistance. But they still used an, as of now, unknown force to burn much of their homes down. Now their used as scouts and auxiliary forces. They can't be blamed for this shit, despite what we all might be feeling right now." Nilsen went on, explaining the hopeless situation they were in.

"So all the non human entities are basically people who were conquered and forced to fight?" Davids asked, already knowing what answer he'd get. "But that still doesn't explain the old man and all his soldiers that just laid their weapons down without a fight. What do you know on them?"

"Roughly the same story as most the others, only him and his men are human. he comes from a trading city that's instrumental to the capital of the Saderan Empire and it's supply lines." Harkov responded. His parents had been killed by the empire when he was young and took control over his parents throne. He spent a large amount of his wealth to give homes to the other races that were being conquered and cast out by the empire. He gave his men specific orders not to partake in any of the killing and pillaging here, just to stay behind and garrison the rear. He didn't agree with what was going on here and he knew from the moment the planes from Keflavik got in the air, that they were screwed."

"Long story short, he looks like an asshole, but he's got a heart of gold. He didn't wish to cause any harm, but he, like many others, were forced to join the invasion force." Mitchell added.

"Still doesn't change the fact that their here now, and a great many people won't care about their backstory, most of the world sees them as another invader that needs to be wiped out. No one wants to take any chances with this. Maybe this will get sorted out at a later point, but for now, they're still the enemy and will be treated as such." Davids explained. "That's why not only commander Perryman wants them back alive, but the UN security council as well. The various alphabet soup agencies want to extract any useful information out of them."

"How the fuck did you all figure this out so quickly?"

"The embassy staff told us what we needed to know." Weber informed him. "But I think it's time we all get moving, we've done all we can here."

"Agreed we'll let the Marines handle the prisoners. We've got more important work to do."

Soon all the teams were shuffling off to various transport as the prisoners were lifted onto their feet, and loaded in VTOL aircraft for transport to Keflavik, where they'd be taken to black sites for interrogation. But before Mitchell could get to his team, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around and was met by a familiar face. It was Dabiri.

"Thanks for getting those legionaries off my ass back at the broadcast station. It's a shame you didn't stick around to enjoy in the slaughter." Dabiri said, in which Mitchell shot him a confused look.

"What are you talking about? Since you already had your team in position, my team went straight for the embassies."

"Really? because back at the station, I saw some cloaked figures ambush a patrol that was almost on top of me. I thought you stopped by before heading to the embassy." Mitchell scratched his head, not knowing what to think of it.

"Same to you, friend." With that they both met back up with their individual squads and loaded up into their respective Warbirds and took off for different areas of the city. As they took to the sky to redeploy elsewhere in the city, the scope of the battle had become apparent. Fires were raging across the city and it only became worse as the bulk of the invading force began a general retreat from areas they had previously occupied. The Marines had just arrived and had already began to drive them back. The situation only intensified as American and British Assault Airships deployed thousands of Marines throughout the city, cutting off retreating legions, trapping them in a bottleneck, and mowing them down.

Naval F/A-32's launched from the Obama clashed with new dragons that had come from direction of the GATE. They were but a mere nuisance to the pilots. They made sure the Drop Pods got to ground safely and embarked their Marines. Tanks had started rolling through the streets obliterating anything that stood in their wake. Among them was the new T-600 Titan. While heavily regarded as a maintenance nightmare for engineers and mechanics, it was made to traverse terrain normal tanks weren't able to. That's also why that less than 20 were ever built. It's treads doubled as legs in order to navigate obstacles most tanks couldn't. Armed with a smoothbore 240mm gun, coupled with two .50 caliber machine guns and rocket pods, it was an absolute monster. It laughed off the ballista bolts the invaders desperately tried to take it down with.

Even blue robed figures tried launching blue bolts of energy at them, which only scratched the paint. Upon realizing that they had no effect, the hundreds of men who were behind them dropped their weapon and fled. However the machine guns made quick work of the densely packed infantry units before them. Even as the men in robes tried erecting a shield to protect them, the main cannon turned them into pink mist with a single shot. The highway and airport had tuned into a turkey shoot as the retreating forces were slaughtered by a pissed off military who was enjoying peacetime. Thousands upon thousands of men killed by a force merely a fraction of their size. The empty tarmacs of the airport became a horror show for the Saderans as thermobaric bombs that were initially going to be used for training in South America, were being dropped on them. Their armor was fused to their skin from the sheer heat. Napalm burnt the very skin off their bones. Those who were alive were badly burned. They desperately tried to crawl or walk, but their flesh fell straight off their bones and forced them to collapse. However death didn't come to them quickly. They were forced to suffer their last moments in unthinkable agony as Marine attack helicopters mopped up whatever the navy pilots missed.

Marine Corps AH-5 Striker attack helicopters emptied their rocket pods onto the formations of men still running across the airstrips and galleys that tried to get closer to the shore and evacuate their soldiers. The pilots had managed to minimize civilian casualties by using their chain guns against the soldiers guarding them close by, allowing them to flee the the battlefield, giving the choppers the room they needed to slaughter all who oppose them. Once Marines began arriving at the airport and eliminating what was left of hostile forces, they turned their attention to the highway. Within the span of twenty seconds, hundreds of rockets collided with thousands of men who were desperate to retreat from what they thought was the wrath of the gods. Even the few remaining mages made no difference as the barriers they put up were taken down just as quickly.

"Looks like the Marines are doing what they've always done. Beating the shit out of our enemies. There won't be much of them left by the time their done." Diaz remarked as she watched the destruction down below. Allen simply laughed as he took a few pot shots at the enemy below with his LMG.

"And with army airborne units coming in from Keflavik due West, these fuckers are going to be caught in one hell of a pincer movement. If we're lucky, we'll block of their entry point and tear through what's left of their sorry asses."

"It's gonna be one big spit roast if the army get's it's ass moving quick enough." Dunn laughed.

"That's probably the most fitting description of the situation honestly. The only clearer I could describe it would be a skinny girl caught between a bunch of ripped-"

"Enough, you damn heathens. Now's not the time to get that specific." Mitchell ordered as he shook his head, hoping to hid his smirk. However he quickly straighten his expression and tapped his console and brought up a hologram of the greater Reykjavik area. "Now pay attention. A combined QRF force of American, British, Russian, and other European airborne units have arrived in Hafnarfjörður at roughly the same time the marines arrived. Their fighting their way closer and closer to the epicenter of all this bullshit, but there are still thousands of civilians being used as shields by the Saderans. Coupled with how urbanized the area is, it's going to take them time to clear a path to link up with the marines. Our mission is still the same as before. Our job is to launch attacks behind their main lines in order to disorient them. We've got them on the run, now it's time finish them off."

As they flew over the city, they could hear the transmissions of panicked voices over the net as was clogged with the chatter of teams coming across the savagery left in the wake of this barbaric attack.

"This is ODA 595, all civilians at the smáratívolí amusement park are dead, repeat, we've got hundreds of massacred civilians. Requesting immediate medivac for survivors!"

"Affirmative, medivac is en route, ETA five mikes."

Mitchell could only shake his head as he heard the transmission. He knew what that place was. He knew it was likely most the dead were children.

"I only pray that all the children were evacuated before it was attacked." Diaz muttered as she held a cross in her hands.

"Given how far it was from ground zero, it's more than likely that the children were the first to be evacuated to the countryside." Irons replied with some uncertainty in his voice. "But even still, that was one of the shelters people flooded to when all this shit happened. I'd hate to see how many bodies are going to be recovered when we finally kick these bastards our of Reykjavik."

"You know, why couldn't these assholes invade the fucking Outback or Amazon? At least then we wouldn't have all these civilians in danger and it'd be easier to contain." Parker remarked, which attracted glances from throughout those in the aircraft.

"The last thing either of those nations need is another alien army invading when their still on shaky ground, Parker. C'mon man, use your damn head." Salvatore replied angrily.

"On top of the fact that it would take far longer for reinforcements to arrive given the distance. Or how many isolated or sparsely populated towns would be destroyed before a proper response could be mustered. Brazil lost half their population in the war and was practically rebuilt from the ground up after the war. And Australia? They had nearly 30 million people before the war. They were left with just over 5 million by the time the war ended. Their population has just reached ten million again. Neither nation can afford a conflict that close to home right now." Mitchell rubbed his eyes as he thought about what he said. He made it sound like Iceland could afford it. "I'm not trying to say that Iceland could afford an attack like this or that it was better off here, but we need realize that if this occurred anywhere else, it'd be a hell of alot more difficult to contain. Let's just focus on the mission, we're coming up on our drop off point."

Parker just dropped his head in embarrassment as everyone else focused on what was ahead of them.

"This the Raptor 1-1, we've got eyes on a massive water displacement off to our northwest, can we get confirmation, over?"

Everyone looked off to their right towards the bay where the displacement was reported. While they saw nothing at first, they soon saw a massive shape forming underneath the bay, coming from the direction of the enemy's naval staging point.

"What the fuck is that sir?" Allen asked as he looked over at Ramirez, who was looking through the scope of his rifle. "Hey Ramirez, you see what the fuck that thing is?" Ramirez lowered the scope and had a look of shock and surprise on his face as he kept tracking the object.

"Something big and pissed off. And it came directly from that second portal. Looks like fucking Godzilla" He replied as he couldn't believe what he was seeing. "Is the carrier tracking th-." But before he could finish, the creature emerged from the water, revealing it's true size and strength. It slashed it's tail on the nearby Icelandic Coast Guard patrol vessel, splitting it in half. It's roar loud as thunder as it took off into the air and began harassing nearby helicopters and fighter craft. The dragon let out a large blast of fire from it's mouth, completely engulfing a nearby marine helicopter as it desperately tried to divert it's course from the gigantic beast before it. The chopper burst into flames and exploded as it disintegrated along the tarmac at Reykjavik airport. Another helicopter was caught with a glancing blow and was sent spinning out of control into the bay below.

Raptor 1-4 is down, repeat, 1-4 is in the water, over!"

"Copy that, sending search and rescue!"

"Belay that order, get all aircraft clear of that damn thing!"

"Holy shit, Captain. What the hell is that thing?" Diaz asked as her eyes were fixed on the unholy creature as it attacked marine forces at the airport and sent them scrambling to get off of the exposed runways.

"Whatever it is, I hope our flyboys can neuter that fucking thing before it overruns those marines." Foley remarked as he watched a flight of F/A-32's streak past them, releasing their AIM-120's into the beast below them. While the missiles had harmed it, it was more pissed than anything else. It shot up into the sky and followed it's attackers, who had already streaked past it. but despite how fast it was, the fighters were far faster. Tank fire from below had proved to be for naught as the dragon simply moved to fast for the Titans to lock onto. The dragon was soon out of the range of their guns as it followed the navy fighters off towards the ocean.

0700 Hours


Ásar Kintergarten

Everyone's focus on the battle was soon interrupted at the pilot shouted back to them, alerting that them that they had arrived. "Alright Captain, have fun down there!" The team took one look down and jumped down to the ground one at a time. Once they had dismounted, the Warbird took off back to the Obama. Now Mitchell and his team were making their to the nearby elementary school, hoping they weren't to late for all those inside. As they closed in and surrounded the building, they were met with a gruesome sight before them. A dead girl lay before them. Irons, hoping the girl was still alive, ran up and pulled out his medkit. Diaz and Allen ran up to offer assistance, but Irons just raised his hands to stop them. He closed the child's eyes and got up, clenching his fist all the while.

"She's no more than seven or eight years old." He said in a cold tone. As they looked closer to the body, there was blood running down her legs and had her throat slit. Diaz threw up and Mitchell just slammed his fist into a nearby car, damn near breaking the door off completely. "Let's just kill these bastards already."

A scream ripped through the air as the remaining legionaries began to shuffle all of the civilians out from the school into the parking lot. Mostly women and children, all the men they could see were piled up on top of each other with a flag sticking out of the mountain of corpses. The police officers who were once present were now stuck on pikes that stuck up from their cars. Even worse is that they weren't dead. Even from a distance, they could tell that their chests were still rising, if barely. They're arms and legs were impaled, leaving them stuck and defenseless. In the middle of the standard legionaries was a centurion wearing a red galea. He smirked as he made his way around the women before him, enjoying what he saw. Mitchell and his team knew what was about to happen and they had no intention of letting it go any further.

They slowly moved closer until they were 100 meters from them. Mitchell gave the signal and his team split up and covered all sides. "Equip suppressors and wait for my signal. We're going to slaughter these bastards. Every last one of them." Hearing this put a smile on his teams face as they made their way to their designated positions, just waiting for the order to end them once and for all.

"Ramirez, when we kick this off, make sure none of these motherfuckers can escape. The rest of you, leave the one in the middle to me." He acitvated his optical camo and sent out a scan pulse, lighting up civilians in green and hostiles in red. "Watch your targets and fuck em up SEAL's." With that he leapt from cover and sprinted towards the mass of men before him. Shot after shot rang out into the night as legionary after legionary collapsed onto the ground from the hail of gunfire from the SEAL's. Even as many tried to escape the slaughter that was slated for them, Ramirez didn't miss as he knocked down each one. Even a few goblins ran out from the inside of the building, but were mowed down in quick succession by Allen and his M250.

For the centurion out front, it was a nightmare for him. His men were being slaughtered from all sides and couldn't get close enough to clash steel with this new enemy. One by one, his cohort of men cut down by strange magic he had never seen before. What was even worse is that he was being taunted. A man wearing strange armor appeared in front of him with a wicked smile, only to disappear from his vision. He could see footsteps being made in the snow, but no man there. Soon, he looked around and all of his men were dead. All of them dead, bleeding through multiple holes in their bodies. They were slaughtered without ever laying eyes on their enemy. They were denied glory by these cowardly barbarians. Now as he looked up, he was surrounded by at least a dozen black armored figures in front of him. Some of them were taking the rabble away from the carnage before him, while others simply stared him down.

"Get the kids inside and call for a medivac. They don't need to see what's about to happen. I'll take care of him myself." Mitchell ordered as he dropped his weapon before him. He lifted his visor and store the centurion down with pure hatred in his eyes. Never before had he ever seen such barbarism before this day.

"You damn coward!" The centurion spat at Mitchell, who only smirked at the pathetic insult. "I heard rumors of the warriors of this world. Men who only attack from range and care far too much for common rabble. Now we'll see just how brave you are!" The centurion drew his sword and charged Mitchell, who just stood still. As the sword was ready to strike him, he sidestepped, avoiding the blade by inches. The facial expression of the centurion got angrier, while Mitchell's stayed the same. A look of focus, but with eyes that conveyed pure hatred. Even as the man kept swinging in anger, Mitchell could only find it amusing how the man seemed to be giving it his all, yet he was only playing with the man.

Once more the man swung, but this time it was different. When the man swung, he grabbed his wrist and squeezed it tightly enough break it. The man collapsed and screamed in pain. He tried to use his free hand to grab his dagger, but Mitchell grabbed his arm, locked it in place, and punched straight down onto his elbow, breaking it. His screaming was soon cut off as Mitchell lifted the man up to face level and store daggers into his very soul.

"Damn, looks like the Captain's having some fun with that asshole." Foley remarked.

"I'm tempted to join in on this ass whupping." Replied Diaz. "Especially after what they did to those poor children."

"Don't need to worry about that, looks like the Captain will make damn sure those kids get avenged. And that they'll never be harmed again."

"WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" Mitch screamed at the Centurion as he held him in place , bloodied and helpless. "KILLING CHILDREN WHO CAN'T FIGHT BACK! FUCKING ANSWER ME YOU DAMN COWARD!"

The centurion spat blood in his face before laughing. "You may as well kill me now. You may kill me, but you won't beat the dragon. That dragon is only a baby and yet your flying arrowheads did nothing more than anger it. Any ships brought by sea will be sunk by it's might strength and your armies shall fall before our might. So go ahead, kill me, it makes no difference in this battle. You've already lost." This made Mitchell smirk as he heard the man's attempt to scare him

"And you haven't even seen a fraction of what we can do. We're just a quick response force, not a proper army. But even still, we'll make quick work of your pathetic dragons and these so called Immortals." He then drew his fist back and punched the man into a nearby car, killing him instantly.

"Hey, doc, what do you make of that?" Dunn excitedly exclaimed.

"He's fucking dead." Allen answer was deadpanned. "I mean for fucks sake, his internal organs would've been fucked with a punch like that, and assuming that didn't kill him, the impact with the car broke his damn spine.

"I'd be lying if I said this was boring." Foley said laughing.

"Cut the chatter ladies, let's focus on the task at hand." Mitch ordered to his team. "Foley, how long until the medivac arrives?"

"Should be here any minute, sir."

"Where's Irons?"

"He's desperately trying to keep those cops alive. They had a number done to them." Soon the scream of jet engines could be heard as three Warbirds arrived, each carrying Pararescue, bringing out stretchers for the wounded. While the children were easiest to get aboard, special care had to be taken for the cops. The stakes had just barely missed their major arteries, but it was still a mess. Medics had to exhaust much of their painkillers as to make sure they didn't die of shock from the sheer pain.

"I just hope they make it through all of this. Although part of me thinks that after everything they've been through today, they won't want to."

"Let's hope it's not the latter, sir."

"WE"VE GOT A LIVE ONE!" Someone shouted from behind them. As they both looked behind, they could see Allen and Parker hauling a blonde girl out from the school. At first they thought she was another victim, until they looked at her ears. Her ears were pointed like an elf. She was an invader. She was was young and looked no older than sixteen. She had a black eye and was crying. And she was absolutely terrified of the soldiers in front of her.

"Where was this bitch hiding at?" Foley inquired as he got a good look at the elf.

"She was hiding inside a storage closet with some preschoolers, apparently trying to keep them safe from the others. We heard crying from a hallway and found them there. At first her hands lit up blue and she tried to attack us, but Allen knocked the bitch on her ass."

Mitchell approached the young girl and looked down on her with a mixed look in his eyes. Even as she stood, he towered over her by at least half a foot. "Look at me." She still couldn't force herself to look up at him. Getting annoyed, he put his hand underneath her chin and forced her to look at him in his eyes. "What is your name?"

"T-Tuka. My name is Tuka." Mitchell glanced around at those present, including Allen, Irons, Foley, and Diaz. They all knew what he was thinking. Hell, they were thinking it as well. But they also had to realize what she did. He drew his Glock and racked back the slide, which made Parker walk away from them

"If you hadn't have saved those children, then you'd end up just like the rest of these fucking cowards. You better pray to whatever god you worship that others are as forgiving as I am." He whispered to her before smacking her over the head with his sidearm, knocking her out. He then gestured for one of the pararescueman over to him. "Take her back with you and make sure she's put with the other prisoners. Just be sure to document what happened and throw her with the other of her kind that was captured around the embassy."

"Yes sir!" The man replied before hauling the elf over his back and dragging her to the nearby Warbird.

"I think you made the right choice, Captain." Parker said as he approached Mitchell. "She could've fled and left those children to their fate. But she hid them from these savages."

"Maybe your right. But like I said before, she better hope the others see it that way. Because I guarantee many will want to kill her." He sighed deeply before looking into the sky. "But there will be time to think on that later. Now we need to finish what they started. UN convoy has just reach the Nesti Fueling station. It seems the enemy is in a complete retreat and we're linking up with the rest of the teams to encircle and cut off their retreat at the portal with the Marines. Let's get moving."

0730 Hours

Reykjanesbraut, Hafnarfjordur

Nesti Fueling Station

United Nations FOB

As the counteroffensive entered full swing, a convoy of UN troops from America, Canada, Britain, and Russia had just arrived and began to set up their Forward Operating Base. They were the left hook of a massive QRF that was tasked with taking the city back and cut off the enemy. They had pushed the already fleeing army from all areas south of Miðbær, but had already lost dozens of men when they were tasked with clearing the houses from the stragglers who refused to retreat. The Canadians even lost a few lightly armoured Humvees and LAV-30's. However such losses were mt with heavy handed retaliation against Saderan forces. Regardless, the situation was becoming clear over the airwaves as they advanced further into the city.

"This is bulldog 1-1, 1-2 has been hit, I repeat, 1-2 is down, over."

"Our position is no longer tenable; we are pulling back to the FOB, over."

"What the fuck is that thing? It won't fucking die."

"It just kicked our Humvee over, did someone grab the LAW?"

"Backblast clear!"

"This is Coyote 1-1 interrogative; we have hooded figures running in between the buildings taking shots at us, do we have permission to fire on the buildings?"

"This is Godfather Actual, you are clear to engage the enemy at your discretion, how copy?"

"Solid copy Godfather, we-, shit left side, Hannigan, sweep them with the 240 Bravo!"

"Enemy infantry, 200 meters ahead, light em up with the chain gun Lewis!"

"1-3 is down, repeat, 1-3 is down, over"

"Jesus Christ, their burning alive, Harris, grab the fire extinguisher now!"

Sergeant Santiago Martinez simply shook his head as he patrolled the streets around the FOB while listening in on the radio chatter from a nearby Canadian Humvee. He kept on walking until he came across a Canadian corpsman putting a sheet over the body of a man. But there wasn't just one body. There were nearly two dozen bodies covered along the side walk. He walked over to the medic and put his hand on his shoulder. His name tag said Tremblay.

"It never gets any easier does it?" He spoke softly to the medic.

"I've seen dead bodies before, but nothing as bad as the shit we're coming across." The man replied. "Ever see anything this bad before?"

"Worse I've ever seen was a large mass grave uncovered in Argentina when I was deployed in South America. Had to have been hundreds of thousands of bodies there, but they had been there for a while." Martinez replied solemnly as he looked down to the corpses before him. "You ever deploy before?"

"Once before, in Bolivia. Wasn't much we could do there though, aside from helping some isolated villages that miraculously avoided the fighting in the war." Both men had seen their fair share of left over atrocities left over from the war decades ago. Seeing that alone angered them, now they were seeing it happen before their own eyes and they were far from happy about it. "I heard the radio squawking, but I couldn't hear it properly. What's going on?"

"One of the your country's LAV-30's just got hit pretty bad a few blocks north of here. Medivac had to be called in to deal with the wounded."

"Fuck man." Tremblay ran his hand through his hands as he looked around at the carnage before him. "Hasn't the world already been through enough already?"

"We have, but I can guarantee you this war won't take five years and billions of lost lives. I just hope our old enemy doesn't get any ideas about this shit."

Before Tremblay could reply, there was gunfire off to their left on the road. Russian and American airborne units were dragging out prisoners from the nearby buildings who had surrendered to them. As they got a closer look, they could see that some had desperately tried to run, only to be shot in the legs by the soldiers. They were then dragged into the middle of the road and thrown in a pile. A Russian soldier grabbed a bottle with a rag in it. He held the bottle out to a nearby American solider, who brought out a lighter and and lit the rag. The man then threw the bottle next to the men. Within seconds, they were lit ablaze in the middle of the street. The legionaries who didn't run and were still alive watched in horror as their fellow men were burned alive in front of their eyes. The men airborne personnel just watched and laughed at their suffering. They didn't care what happened to them. They showed no mercy for the people of Iceland, and in turn, would show no mercy to them.

The remainder of the prisoners were then marched over to the wall of a nearby building, where the soldiers threw them against it. Many of the legionaries were begging to them in a language the soldiers couldn't understand nor did they want to. Once they were all lined up, a squad of soldiers lined up and readied their weapons against the Saderans. An officer shouted the command and they let rip. In less than a second, dozens of men slumped to the ground, having experienced the closest thing to mercy they'd receive. However not all were dead, as one legionary was leaving a bloody trail as he attempted to crawl away from the soldiers around him. Upon seeing this, the soldiers laughed at the man's suffering. Sergeant Martinez proceeded to walk over and stand over the man, with a slight smirk on his lips.

"Do you feel that? That is what it's like to feel powerless. Just like you and your kind raped and murdered your way through Iceland, against a people who have no power to stop an invader. Now you know what it's like to desperately want to escape. Escape from a fight you have no chance in winning. Quemate en el infierno, hijo de puta" With that he punched the man straight in his throat, crushing his larynx, cutting off air to his lungs. Martinez simply laughed as he walked away from the man, who slowly suffocated. "I'd say that was fitting for the bastards. What do you think, corporal?"

"Personally, I'd prefer if we let them live, at least until the various intelligence agencies around the world interrogate and get any useful information from them."

"Well there ain't much we can do now. What'd do you say we go grab something to eat before the rest of the units arrive and we have to push further into the city." But that quiet wouldn't last much longer. As they walked over to the nearby refueling station, ready to sit down and open an MRE, a Humvee that was facing northbound on the intersection burst into flames and flipped over, causing the men who had been relaxed to scatter for their rifles and run to the front.

"WE'VE GOT CONTACT!" One of the Russians screamed as they rushed to the road and began to engage the enemy. As they began to lay down fire towards the enemy's direction, bolts of blue light began flying past them, something they hadn't seen before. As Martinez rushed into cover and looked through the scope of of his M4 rifle, he saw that this was a completely new enemy force. They wore illustrious silver armor, carrying a shield and sword as they advanced towards the FOB. But they were far different in capability. They pointed their swords and blue bolts of energy erupted from them, one of which he saw bring down a fellow American soldier. He aimed back down his scope and fired off three shots center mass at the clearest and closest target he could find. But they bounced off of the man. He fired off three more, this time to the head, but the result was the same. There was a small blue ripple of light each time the bullets impacted.

"Who the hell are these guys?" Tremblay slid into cover right next to Martinez, focusing his C-9 rifle and opening fire, but letting off the trigger when he realized his bullets didn't do anything. "How the fuck are these guys bullet proof? First its giant fucking dragons, now we have bulletproof assholes shootings lasers at us with swords. What the fuck are we going to do?" As they all scrambled to combat this new enemy, the radio crackled to life at all the nearby checkpoints recently established by airborne units.

"This is Viper 1, we've got contact just south of the Hafnarborg church, engaging now!"

"This is Coyote 1-1, we've got enemy forces assaulting the Asturgata bridge. 1-2 has been disabled by enemy fire, who the hell are these guys?"

"This is Viper 2, we're under attack at the Lækjargata intersection, requesting immediate assistance!"

"Looks like things are going to shit along the front. The hell are we going to do?" Tremblay looked back in his scope and saw that on top of the new silver armored men who steadily advanced o their position, there were hundreds of regular legionaries marching behind them, who seemed to have had their morale restored and were eagerly ready to fight once more, despite being forced into retreat just half an hour ago. He looked around and could saw the bodies of a dozen fellow soldiers, all laying lifeless, with more men being rushed behind barricades due to injuries. But soon the ground rumbled and he could hear the sounds of engines roaring closer to his location. He looked back and saw a convoy of vehicles pull up, including British Warrior MK2's and Canadians LAV-30's. The 25mm chainguns, coupled with the .50 cals from numerous trucks and M-ATV's, tore straight through the once seemingly unyielding force of men before them. Upon seeing their elite soldiers slaughtered by the crews of the IFV's, the legionaries broke formation and began a scattered and sloppy retreat. But they wouldn't get away that easy. The crews of the vehicles ran them down, even as they chased them down through yards, parking lots, and side walks.

Be it by gunfire or by crushing them beneath the treads of the vehicles, they weren't getting away that easy. The same was going on all around the front. Despite the momentary chaos the attack inflicted on them, once they got up and running, they were unstoppable.

"This is Bulldog 1-3, the enemy is in full retreat at checkpoint Lima, pushing up now!"

"This is ODA Foxtrot! The enemy is disengaging. We've got em on their heels!"

"Run those bastards down! This is for the people of Iceland you fucking barbarians!"

Tremblay just sighed as he looked out in the distance and saw the convoy moving deeper into the city, ready to drive the enemy out completely. But for now, all he could do was tend to his wounded brothers in arms. For now, he was done fighting, but he knew there would be much more in the future. One way or another, he'd likely be a part of the spearhead into the world these bastards came from.

0900 Hours

Norðurnesvegur, Bessastaðir

1000 meters from the Gate

For Yao Ha Du, this invasion had been a nightmare from the start. Even before the official invasion had begun, she had lost two of her tribesmen to the locals. When the fighting began, the place was cold and dark. Initially, the locals offered little in the way of resistance, aside from the occasional mage or militiaman, the conquest seemed to be going well. It hadn't been long since they and the forest elves of Koan were subjugated alongside the Bunny Warriors by the Empire. Herself, Hodor Marceau, and Delilah, they each led their respective auxiliary. As they went deeper into the city, they began to realize just how bad of a mistake the Empire had made. In an effort to take a palace, they had lost hundreds of men to only five defenders. They had lost every wyvern they had brought with them to the enemy. Giant flaming arrows pierced through the sky and followed the riders no matter how fast they flew.

The situation grew worse into the early morning hours as a large fleet of flying metal birds flew over the city. Even their lightning spirit magic was insufficient to deal with the threat, even when they did hit their target. Soon reports flooded in about small groups of barbarians with magical powers wreaking havoc on the Empire's logistical system and officers. This caused Legate Tiberius, alongside Mage Godasen to return to the GATE with captured weapons and hundreds of slaves. They were soon ordered to scatter their forces even further to assist the Immortals, the elite soldiers of the Empire who guarded the city of Sadera itself. They all thought that if the Immortals were brought forth, that's they'd no longer have to fear the enemy. But they were wrong.

The united armies of this world had arrived to liberate the country they had just invaded. Thousands upon thousands of men, accompanied by dozens of flying metal chariots and iron elephants devastated Imperial forces in the city. Even a massive flying ship had appeared in the sky, which spat terrible fire magic on all Imperials stupid enough to be caught out in the open. The ranks of the 1000 strong Immortals who had crossed the GATE had been slaughtered. Less than 100 had begun their retreat with what was left of the legionaries throughout the city. Now they were running for their lives alongside the remaining Imperial units who had managed to escape before being destroyed like many before them.

"My daughter! Where is my daughter?" The panicked voice came from none other than Hodor Marceau, the leader of the Koan elf tribe. "TUKA!" He tried to stop, attempting to look for her in the mass of retreating bodies that was now desperately fleeing certain death.

Yao, seeing this and not wanting him to be left behind, grabbed a hold of him to try and talk some sense into him. "What are you doing? Do you want to get left behind?" She asked him practically dragging him as she desperately tried to catch up with the rest of her tribe.

"Where is my daughter?" He asked practically pleading.

"Last I heard she was well behind their lines and that was nearly two hours ago. Don't worry Hodor, she'll find her way back." She said in the most reassuring voice she could muster.

Their focus was interrupted however by a flying chariot flying over and spewing giant arrows into the lines of soldiers behind them, butchering hundreds of men and demihuman alike. Seeing this prompted both of them to keep running, in fear of being the next to draw their wrath. They could see the GATE from where they were. It may have been crowded in front of them, but they and the warrior bunnies were far faster than regular humans. They were so close they could perfectly make out the marble pillars of the structure and the now ruined building that once housed the leader of this nation. But what had been awaiting them was something they could never envision.

In front of them was the flame dragon. The exact same one that the Empire had used to burn not only her tribe out into the open, but the high elves well. But it was not the same fearless creature that had struck fear into their hearts all those years ago. This one had fears in it's eyes. It's wings were full of holes and it was missing an arm. It desperately roared out as dozens of giant arrows collided with it's sides. Then a large shadow overtook the creature. It was the vessel that had appeared earlier. Boom after thunderous boom erupted from it, each time causing the dragon to howl out in pain as it's insides were revealed with each hit from the ships magnificent power. On the ground, she could make out men carrying what she could only describe as giant metal cocks. They slumped them over their shoulders and yelled before a fire arrow launched itself at the dragon, taking even more flesh from it's already mangled form. Soon she could make out the form of iron elephants spouting fire from their snouts, doing even more damage to the dragon. More green flashes erupted from the giant vessel, and with each flash, a flaming projectile impacted and tore through the dragon. It soon collapsed before them, dead. None of them could believe it. Sure it was only one of the young offspring, but it was still a flame dragon. Not her, not the warrior bunnies, high elves, Immortals, or legionaries standing there could believe what they had just witnessed.

As they stood there awestruck at the awesome power they commanded, they failed to notice the large number of flying chariots that encircled them from the air and pointed their weapons towards them. Not only that, but soldiers appeared in front of them from seemingly nowhere. There hundreds of them. All wore the same black armor. As they looked around, more kept appearing in front of them, some just feet away from them. A closer look revealed dozens of different flags on their arms. They were a diverse group of warriors, as their faces revealed not only men, but women as well. But their faces all conveyed the same message. They weren't to be trifled with. And the fact that they all hadn't been slaughtered at their hands had meant only one thing. Surrender or die. They had no choice. That day, they all chose to live another day. But for many, they would wish they had died where the stood. For others, they would wish they had gotten to this world sooner.
Chapter 10: Aftermath Part 1
The battle was finally over. With Reykjavik back under control and the invading army pushed back, it was time to consolidate forces into the region and begin the long and arduous task of not only rebuilding the affected area's, but creating a plan to strike back at the enemy. However, the UN's main priority after the attack was helping the people of Iceland and turning Iceland into a fortress to prevent another attack from breaking through. With nearly 30,000 people dead or missing from the attack, alongside the hundreds of foreign nationals and military members, this represented the largest loss of life experienced in 43 years. The military kill ratio was 1250: 3, hilariously lopsided compared to the battles that had been fought in the past. But given the technological inferiority of the enemy, such an outcome was to be expected once UN forces arrived. What few that weren't killed were either captured or retreated. As of now, on the tarmacs of Reykjavik airport, lay roughly 10,000 prisoners, half human and half nonhuman, under heavy guard by UN forces until sufficient transport can arrive to bring them to various black sites and prisons throughout the world.

From Keflavik International, thousands of soldiers from the United Nations Security Council, alongside thousands of aid workers are flooding the country in order to render aid of the devastated nation. With most of the highways clogged, power out throughout the city, the USS Donald Trump was docked off the coast and plugged it's nuclear generator into the city, providing power and heat for the citizens who were previously freezing. Hazmat teams continue to clean up the carnage left from the invading force and from the retribution brought by UN military forces. Millions of tons of supplies from around the world are offloaded and delivered to those who desperately need them. For the prisoners who sat outside in the freezing cold with only the barest of essentials provided to them, they continued to look on is horror and amazement at what was being brought to bear against their world.

Reykjavik Regional Airport

Prison Campsite

December 7th, 2080

1300 Hours

All throughout the prison camp, those who resided inside would have never thought they'd be in such a humiliating position. For the Imperials soldiers and very few surviving nobles, they were disgusted with how they were treated. They were forced to live within the same area's as the demihumans. When they brought up their ranks and titles of nobility to passing UN guards, they were met with mockery and ridicule from them. This angered them to their very core. They were treated like common folk, just like the other prisoners present. A UN guard from a nation with a flag similar to that of the nation they invaded, had told them that all prisoners are treated equally, regardless of rank or birth, and that they should be glad to still be breathing. When one of the nobles, who went by the name of Mudra, tried to attack that same guard, he was immediately met with jolts of lightning throughout his body, paralyzing him. He then had his hands shackled behind his back and was escorted to an unknown place. When he returned, he was covered in blood, bruises, and missing a few teeth. No one dared attack any of the guards after that point. Not even the few surviving Immortals nor centurions would dare speak up or protest.

For the demihumans, they had expected far worse levels of treatment simply for being nonhuman. But that didn't matter to the guards, nor the soldiers they saw darting every which way. The only thing that mattered to them was that they were invaders and would be detained just like the Imperials. Sure the guards gave them strange glances, but they weren't met with typical slurs or harassment because of it. Where back home they'd expect harassment and unfair treatment, they were treated just like the Imperials were, which gave them confusion. They were given the same food and same clothing. They never expected such leniency from their captors. For the warrior rabbits and female elves, they expected to be raped and taken by enemy generals and officers as concubines, but it never happened. That caused confusion because they were renowned for their beauty back home, but no soldier tried to make an advance on them. This put them at ease, but they still questioned their motivation for treating them they way they did. During their initial days of imprisonment, a few Imperial legionaries tried to rape them, but were quickly put down by nearby guards and executed. When the guards were probed by the elves about why they acted in such a way, they were simply told they won't stand for such barbarism, and walked away. They had received some marginally better treatment though. For the younger elves and bunnies, who by human standards looked like small children, were often in their own segregated quarters away from others, while given warmer clothes and better food.

For Yao and the other various demihumans, it was time to eat. Under heavy guard by not only UN soldiers, but large four legged iron elephants, they were lined up and sent to various carts for their rations. The food was the same, but tasted amazing by their standards. Simple pasta, bread, meat, and water. They often overheard soldiers laughing about how they were eating such terrible food, although that made them curious as to what they had ate. If what they were eating was horrible by their standards and only fed to prisoners, then what else was there in this world? Regardless, it was a time for her and her people to talk, as these people also had them separated by gender, which meant it was harder for her to make sure they were safe.

"It is good to see you all once again." Yao said happily as she approached her surviving friends, Deliilah, Hodor, and For another day, she was delighted to see them all alive. She just prayed nothing would happen to them or her tribe, with them now having been captured and likely to never be returned home. "I must say though, I'm still at a loss for why we've been treated the way we have. Every since we were moved here days ago, there has been no torture sessions and only a few legionaries have been executed. It seems almost unreal that this is how they treat prisoners."

"Yes, Mamina was attacked by a group of centurions, but the guards that were nearby grabbed and threw them off of her. One of the guards was in a giant suit of armor and grabbed one of them by the head, throwing him farther than what I thought was possible. The others were then either beaten to the ground or were stunned by lightning from their strange staffs. They then executed every single one of them and brought her to their healing guild for treatment."

"Agreed, their care for prisoners is rather unusual, but I'm not complaining. I'm just glad to know that my daughter is alive, albeit nursing a nasty head injury inflicted by those who found her." Hodor replied as he poked his food with a fork before biting into his bread. "She had just come back from some of their healers when she told me what had happened."

"Wasn't she assigned to centuria in the southern portion of this city?" Yao inquired, curious as to how she had survived.

"Yes, she was. Until they were slaughtered at the hands of only a small group of enemy soldiers." He said grimly. "The centurion had ordered them to attack a school for young children. When they arrived there were two guards, who, after killing roughly a dozen legionaries, were captured and tortured. They then rounded up the teachers and students, killing the men and raping the women. They did the same to the children. She took it upon herself to hid the youngest of them from the centurion, who had already murdered a young girl after he used her." They all realized what he meant by used. Just another reason they hated the Empire for everything they did. "She then heard loud thunderous booms outside, along with the screams of the legionaries. When she was finally found by their soldiers, her attempt to defend the children from what she thought were the Imperials, was met with a blow to the head. When she was dragged outside, she described a horrific sight as the entire centuria had been slaughtered to a man, and the centurion having been brutally killed by the leader of those soldiers. When she was brought before him, he told her that the only reason he didn't kill her was because she protected the children."

"Yes, these people seem to have shown far more mercy and restraint than the Saderans ever showed us, especially my people." Delilah interrupted. However when she said that, a group of soldiers passing by overheard what Delilah had said, prompting one of the soldiers to approach their table.

"Excuse me for interrupting, but what do you mean by the Saderans and their lack of restraint towards your people?" A young blonde haired guard was before them. The flag on his shoulder was that of a yellow cross with a blue background. Yao and Delilah glanced back over to each other curiously, while Hodor studied the man and his weapon. It had a build similar to a crossbow, but very different in the way it looked and was held. It was all black with a trigger at one end where the guards right hand was placed. The second was along the shaft of the weapon, which from what he observed days before when he was captured, it was where the true power of the weapon came from.

"Why do you care about us? We're just prisoners, so why would you take the time to address us?" Yao inquired of the man as she leaned closer, causing the others to stiffen and raise their weapons slightly. Yao backed down when she noticed this. She had no intention of going through the pain that the idiotic nobles had before.

"It is alright, especially after the kindness they have shown us, it would be rude not to answer a few simple questions." She paused before continuing. "People have spoken of us warrior bunnies as a cruel, violent, and debauched species. Part of it was true. In the North-Eastern plains on the continent where our kingdom stood, everyday our tribes would hunt one another. While we birth many children, for some reason, we rarely birth any males. That is why couples and families are a strange concept to us. Children are raised by the entire tribe. We would raid caravans in search a suitable man to bear our children. Once we found a man who interested us, we'll pair with him until we grow bored, regardless of race. The lucky men are chosen for the sake of delivering a pure bread to the queen."

"Three years ago, the crown prince of the Empire, Zorzal El Caesar, against my people. The Empire needed more slaves and they looked to us. We killed a great many of their soldiers, but for every legionary we killed, ten more replaced them. It was the Empire that won out in the end. In the end our queen sold herself as a slave to the crown prince in order to save us. But most of us were either forced to join the Saderan army, live in chains, or die." The guards just stood there, eyes wide and trying to process what they had just been told. Hearing this made them sick and only confirmed the rumors they had heard regarding the nonhuman prisoners that made up half of all those captured.

"So the rumors we heard were true. You were subjugated and forced to fight. I assume it was the same situation for you two as well?" The guard was referring to Yao and Hodor, who simply nodded in agreement.

"My tribe was forced to kneel to the Empire when they released their flame dragons against us only a year ago. The one that killed many of our most skilled warriors, the same one one that killed my wife before my very eyes. The same dragon you killed like it was nothing." Hodor looked up at the guard in front of him and looked him directly in his eyes. A look of sadness and despair, but also gratitude for killing such a monster. "But alas, there are more where that came from. The one you killed was just one of it's offspring, and there are at least a dozen, alongside the two parent dragons."

"We already knew there was more than one. Two days ago, the same vessel that took down the first before your eyes took down the second a day after you were brought here. We don't care if it is merely a baby, if anymore of those things cross into our world, they will be killed." The other guard that spoke had a different flag upon his shoulder, the same one from the small palace that killed all those legionaries. From what she had heard, that nation was one of the strongest nations in this world, rivaled only by two others, who they were close allies of. "None of us can blame you for what you went through, that's why you've been treated better than the Saderans are. But you must realize that many will still see you as an invader and nothing more. We don't trust you and most of our world would love nothing more than to see all of you disposed of after any useful information had been taken from you. So heed this advice, if you get summoned by any of the guards or other personnel, and they interrogate you, it'll be in your best interest to tell them what you know." With that the guard walked away, in which the others soon followed him.

"I can see they are brutally honest, if arrogant, just like the Empire." Delilah remarked as she continued eating.

"Well for all their talk, we've seen what they can do." Yao said. "Still, I only hope they will show us leniency and allow us to go back home. Otherwise, we'll all end up in chains soon."

"That won't happen." Delilah interrupted. "These people despise the very institution of slavery and all those who practice it. I overheard the guards talking about how barbaric this invasion was and how they plan on getting all those that the Empire stole back."

"How many of these people were taken?"

"From the talk I've heard from the soldiers, nearly 30,000 were either killed or captured."

"And they plan on getting them all back?" Hodor scoffed. "Do they not realize that by the time they build up an army great enough to storm The GATE, the Empire will have moved them elsewhere. I guarantee you that even now, the royal family on Alnus hill is retreating back to Sadera with their slaves and plunder in tow. It'll be a waste of their time and resources."

"Still, I feel that they could be of great use to our people. If we play this situation correctly, coupled with their hatred of slavery, our people's could be freed from the Empire's tyranny."

"Only time will tell, Yao. Only time will tell."

Imperial Calander 687

Italica, Falmart

For the Imperial forces still residing on Alnus Hill, there was nothing but absolute chaos. After the royal family and most of the nobility had fled once the remains of the Immortals came back bloodied and beaten, morale had been practically destroyed. Of the 1000 Immortals that had been sent to fight alongside the legions, only five had returned back, and with them, they told the most horrifying of tales. Iron elephants that blew their armor apart as if it were nothing. Chariots that crushed their ranks beneath their might weight. And when the mighty flame dragons they had brought with them had been killed, much of the Imperials refused to believe it until the leader of the Immortals, one of those who had made it back, had described it's destruction. A large, flying vessel had appeared from nowhere only mere hours before they were forced to retreat. Loud thunderous cracks and green flashes tore through it's scales like they were nothing but paper.

Upon hearing this, the Emperor ordered 2000 force of the Immortals, along with three more flame dragons, to assist the remainder of the invasion force in defending the GATE at all cost. But even with those reinforcements to bolster the battered force that resided on the hill, it will be a monumental task for Legate Marcus Asinius, the commander given the task of defending the GATE from the otherworlders. He only had 45,000 legionaries left under his command, alongside 10,000 auxiliary, mostly goblins and goblins, due to how most of the elf and warrior rabbit auxiliary had surrendered to the enemy. This unnerved the general to no end. With the strongest of the mages escorting the Emperor back to Sadera, he was undermanned for the task he had to accomplish. Building proper defenses would take time, time which he could only hope they had.

Now inside the trading city of Italica, the Imperial family, alongside the remaining legates and mages, are drawing up a plan against the otherworlders and how they planned to strike back at them.

"We must not allow the GATE to fall into the hands of those barbarians! That is why we should send the adult flame dragons to eliminate them once and for all. All this talk of mighty sky ships and iron elephants, if they are so powerful, than why have they not sent them here already? It seems that they lack the strength to push past the GATE and had used up most of their forces from across their world to beat us back. It seemed that war they fought practically destroyed them, which will work to our advantage. We must take this opportunity to consolidate our forces and prepare another attack!"

"You must see sense brother, we cannot sent our best units into the jaws of our enemy. We must wait them out! If we went ahead and attacked now, we'd be putting the rest of the Empire in danger by sending our best units to fight them!"

"It is you who is not seeing sense!" Zorzal practically screamed at his sister. "How can you even be saying such words? They may have beaten us back this one time, but the longer we wait, the longer it gives them to build up a force to attack us on sacred Alnus Hill! We have the most powerful army in this world and it will soon be two! It's a grave mistake for us to be retreating when we should stay and fight the enemy while they least expect us. If only a thousand of our elite troops and two baby flame dragons can do what was described before they were killed, what do you think will happen when the full brunt of our armies come down onto them? They'd be hopelessly outmatched against us and would surely fall to our sword." Zorzal confidently boasted.

"And what if it isn't how you say it is? What if they bring down the full might of their armies once we cross the GATE? How do you suppose we beat them then?"

Zorzal simply smirked upon hearing this. "That is quite simple sister, we use the slaves we brought back from the otherworld. We managed to capture just over 10,000 of them. If we had to, we'd march them out in front of our legions and use them for shields. If the enemy truly cared for their lives, they'd surrender. If not, it just makes them waste their resources killing them first before our men. Now if you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to." With that he left the tent, leaving Pina in a sour mood. She had thought this invasion would've brought more land, wealth, and glory to the Empire, but she was wrong. For the 95,000 they had lost, they only had 10,000 slaves brought back, along with a small amount of their weapons, which according to Godasen, were woefully outdated by otherworld standards. She could only hope that the remaining forces at Alnus Hill held strong.

"Gentlemen, I understand that we are in a precarious situation with our recent defeat in attempting to bring civilization to those who reside on the other side of the GATE, but now we must focus on defending our lands. Should Alnus Hill Fall, we cannot allow this city to fall into enemy hands. I assume you've had enough time to work our the necessary plans for a defense?" Molt surveyed his generals around the table as the commander of the Immortals rose to speak first.

"Your highness, I have already left 2000 men at Alnus Hill and they will not fail like before. With them having the defensive advantage, the enemy will not be able to dislodge them. But should they be able to, I will station a force of 500 of my men here to help garrison what is left of the Italican army." The masked man said in a monotone voice.

"Very good, the rest shall accompany us back to Sadera. From there they will be deployed alongside the coast of the Blue Sea. With the loss of the GATE there as well, we must anticipate our enemy to attempt to strike by sea. Leave half your remaining men within the capital walls and the other half to the coast. Do not fail me!"

"As you wish." The masked man soon left the tent, off to give his men their Emperors orders.

"And what about you, Tiberius? What is left of your forces?"

"I had ordered my two legions to accompany the slaves and weapons back through the GATE when myself and Godasen had returned to bring back the slaves and weapons. Alongside the Praetorian Guard legion, I have 15,000 men right here. If more men are required, I'm sure we can recall a few of our legions from the western desert."

"That won't be necessary. But I will ask that you leave one legion here to help fortify this city. We must not lose it, else our main supply line will be cut off. The Praetorian's will return with us to Sadera, but I have a special task for you."

"What is it, your highness?"

"You will take your legion and head to the Blue Sea. From there you shall head down to the Glass Peninsula. An old legend states that there was a large vessel that was seen beached onto the rocks a just over a century and half ago. It was large and grey. Sailors said there was a massive fog storm during the night and the ship was seen shortly after. The merchants attempted to get closer, but were repelled by what they described as fire magic. I am ordering you to find that vessel and any secrets it may carry. This is to be done as soon as possible, so march as soon as you can."

Tiberius knelt before his Emperor before leaving the tent. Molt had only one more left to address and that was Godasen.

"How many of your students and fellow mages are left under your command?

"I lost seven of my students alongside another twenty mages to the enemy, your highness. However my best students reside within this very tent. I was only able to leave a handful of mages at Alnus Hill however, I didn't have many left after the retreat."

"And what about the otherworld weapons? Have you gotten any closer to unlocking the mysteries surrounding those that you acquired? Have the slaves been of any usefulness to you or have they resisted?"

"I'm afraid not, your highness. The slaves have been compliant, if very sluggish. Most grew tired under a few hours of marching, let alone what they've been doing until now. What few of them do know how to use the weapons, don't know how to build them. They explained the process is impossible without very specific tools, which they lack and we have neither the technology or the resources to make. I'm afraid that I have is all we've got for now."

"So there is nothing more we can do for now?"

"Not until I can deliver an example or two to the dwarves in the mountains. They are skilled metal workers and craftsmen, they might have better luck at this than I will. There is no magic to their weapons after all, so most of my skills are useless I'm afraid."

"What about duplication magic?" Molt's expression changed and Godasen looked at his in shock. Never before had he ever thought about using such a dangerous and demanding spell.

"It's a very difficult and dangerous spell to perform. it's not only demanding on those who try to perform it, to the point of exhaustion, but if done incorrectly, can result in the object being destroyed. Are you sure you want to take the risk of losing one of their weapons in such a situation?"

Molt sighed deeply and got up from his chair. He then paced around the tent before glancing down at the map on the table before him. "We face a threat unlike any we have ever seen before. We need all the time we can to not only prepare our defenses, but to learn how to use their weapons as well. I know the risk is great, but I must ask you to try. We must not fail, otherwise this world will be plunged into darkness."

Godasen merely nodded his head and ushered for his students to leave the tent. "If that is what you wish, your highness, we'll leave for Rondel immediately and begin the necessary preparations." With that Godasen to had left the tent, leaving Molt alone to his thoughts. "Just what have I gotten the Empire into? Those Oracles said that there would be great bloodshed, I just didn't think that it'd be us on the receiving end of it! Perhaps the god's will be merciful and send the Apostles to deal with them if they enter our world."

Unknown Location

Unknown Time

December 7th, 2080

Count Colt had no idea where he was. One moment he was sleeping in his quarters, the next he was being grabbed by the guards, blindfolded and was then knocked out. He still couldn't see anything, for the cloth used to blind him was still over his eyes. He had no idea what was going to happen to him. He wondered what he may have done to anger his captors. He had already seen first hand what they were capable of and he never wanted to cross them. Some of the more idiotic nobles had tried and were beaten horribly for what they had done. Right now, the only thing he wanted was to be back in Italica with his daughter, Myui. He hoped he could get the chance to see her one last time. But his thoughts were soon interrupted by a crackling noise and loud booming voice.

"Looks like he's awake. He's all yours now, just make sure you don't kill him to quickly"

"Who are you? I demand that you show yourself!" Colt demanded while trying to sound brave. However all further thought of bravery were dashed when what felt like lightning coursed through his body. He screamed desperately in pain, but there was no one to help him. The pain subsided after a few seconds and he was out of breath, still sitting in the chair he woke up in.

"You are in no position to be asking questions here, alien. Do you understand me?" The voice was much clearer this time, but also much closer. "Otherwise, you'll feel that same pain for alot longer."

"I-I understand." He begrudgingly said, clenching his fists together, angered at the position he was it. He soon felt hands tugging at the back of his head and in a second, his blindfold dropped off, allowing him to see his captors. Though it took his eyes a minute to adjust to the brightness of the room he was in. He couldn't see any visible lamps in the room, just bright floating orbs on the ceiling. He looked to his left and saw three people. One was a lady who he assumed to be a dark elf, but soon realized she was human due to the lack of pointed ears. The other two were men, both having their own distinct features, which made it obvious that none of them were from the same country. But given what had already happened days before, that didn't surprise him in the slightest. None of them look pleased to be here and all store at Colt with a burning hatred in their eyes.

"You will answer all of our questions in a manner that we deem satisfactory, otherwise." The woman paused and gestured over to the man on his far right. The man pulled up a cart and began opening it, bringing out an array of instruments from inside. Colt's eyes grew wide as dinner plates upon closer inspection of the instruments. They were torture tools. "Things will become very unpleasant for you. Do you understand me?" Colt could only nod his head in agreement.

"Good." The man holding the tools spoke. "Now our first question should be very simple. What is your name?"

"Count Colt Formal, head of the Formal Clan of Italica."

"Where were you born?"

"The city of Italica, on the continent of Falmart." The last part seemed to confuse them, as if they weren't expecting to hear it.

"What is Falmart?" The man in the middle asked.

"The continent from which myself and the others come from."

"That'll be good to know. Why have you people come here?"

"Do you know why you are here right now?"

"Who are you people?" This question only made all three of them smirk and exchange quick glances with each other. This time, the man to his right took the lead in the response.

"We are but three humble agents from our world's most powerful nations. Ones that aren't happy in the slightest to have to fight another war." Now it made sense to Colt. They were each the representatives of an angered power, one who was disturbed from it's slumber. "Our world was enjoying peace until your kind arrived. Our three nations have invested so much in rebuilding our world and we're not even finished yet. Now we have to fight yet again and just like before, we will win. Now I'll repeat the question, do you know why you are here?"

"I-I'm am here as a prisoner after the Empire's failed invasion of your world."

"Good. Now why did you invade Iceland?"

"Please, before I answer anymore of your questions, I must know what happened to my men. How many of them survived?"

"We killed 85,000, 50,000 of which were legionaries, the rest were nonhuman entities. We took another ten thousand as prisoners, evenly split amongst human and nonhuman. If you are asking how many of your own men, only those that we captured with you had survived. In all, it's less than 200 men."

Colt couldn't believe what he was being told. Two thirds of the invasion force wiped out by army only a fraction of it's size. But then again, he saw full well what they did to the flame dragon. "I had no choice in the matter. The Emperor called up the heads of all noble families to partake in the invasion of the new world and to bring civilization to it."

"So your Emperor thought that the moment he crossed into our world, slaughtered thousands of people, captured an equal number to be sold into slavery, that we'd just give up? You thought that you could just march in and scream to the fucking skies that you own the place?"

"Colt feebly nodded in response. "The consequences for refusing an order from the Empire can result in death. Just like the demihuman auxiliary we brought with us, they were conquered and forced to fight in the Empire's ranks. I did not care if I died, I just did this to keep my daughter and city safe."

"Let me guess, it's either serve or die, right?"

"Yes, the vassal states of the Empire learned that lesson seven years ago. They rebelled against the harsh taxes levied on them by the Empire. They were crushed swiftly and brutally."

"That's interesting to know. They'll be listed as a possible aggressor when we make our push through the GATE." Colt went wide eyed upon hearing this, thinking it completely mad of them.

"What? You can't!" Colt practically shouted as he tried to reason with those in front of him. "You may have beat the Empire here in your world, but to invade the Empire on it's own territory is impossible, especially given your current situation!" The man in the middle raised his eyes at his colleagues, who returned his questioning glance.

"And what exactly do you mean by our current situation? Do you not realize that with a force numbering less than 10,000 we repelled an army 15 times it's size. What do we have to worry about?" The man stared at Colt with a look of anger and confusion at Colt's question. "If anything, your Empire should worry about what we're going to do to them."

"I saw the war you went through. How destructive the armies of your enemies were and how you fought them with superior numbers and stealing their weapons. How many of your cities of glass were destroyed by your enemies and the amount of lives you lost. After five years of war, your populations and armies were devastated. After the narrow victory you secured, you don't have the numbers to mount an offensive campaign against the Empire. That is evident with how many nations it took to beat our legions back in the first place! If you try to invade, the war will end in Sadera's favor just like your war ended in your favor. You'll lose most of your remaining population and military in a useless endeavor to beat the strongest force in Falmart. It's best you just fortify the GATE and prepare for their next attack, because they will attack again. You should no better than anyone, having inferior numbers won't work in your favor."

They couldn't believe what the count had just said. He truly had no idea of what the United Nations were capable of. Once they had finished processing what he had said, all three of them burst out in pure, unconstrained laughter. This caught Colt off guard as this was the one reaction he had not expected. It was if they did not take him seriously. The one to calm themselves first was the black woman. She wiped her eye to clear a tear that formed from laughter and pulled out small black rectangle and pointed it towards the wall in front of Colt.

"If you seriously believe that, then I think it's time to bring you up to speed. A flag had appeared on the wall, two olive branches surrounding what Colt rightly assumed was their world, surrounded by white circles. The flag soon changed to a mess of other various images flooding the wall in front of him. Armies mobilizing, fleets of ships sailing, and hundreds of flying arrowheads taking to the sky from very large strips of land. He could make out what seemed to be writing going from one end of the wall to another, along with words emanating from an unknown source.

"Despite the barbaric attack on Tuesday that left nearly 16,000 Icelandic civilians dead, with another 10,000 missing, the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution calling for military action in the new world beyond what is only being called "THE GATE". So far, nearly every nation has pledged troops to be deployed against the force we now currently know as the Saderan Empire. While there are too many nations to list off currently, a small list has been provided to us by the President of the United Nations.

"The United States has pledged 100,000 combat personnel from all branches in the first wave, with an additional force of 50,000 that may be deployed in the second wave. Among those units will be the 6th Fleet and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which already saw combat during the battle of Reykjavik earlier this week.

Canada has pledged 30,000 initial combat personnel, with an additional 10,000 for the second wave.

Great Britain has pledged 45,000 personnel, with another 30,000 for the second wave.

France pledges 50,000 initial personnel, alongside 20,000 more for the second wave.

The Russian Federation, 100,000 personnel total, with an as of yet undetermined number for the second wave, as well as the Northern Sea Fleet to assist in the amphibious operations, which will be the largest ever seen since the Liberation of Australia.

The People's Republic of China, 85,000 personnel, with an undisclosed number for the second wave.

Mexico, 35,000 personnel total.

Italy, 35,000 personnel total.

Turkey, 50,000 personnel in wave one, with an option for 20,000 additional.

Germany, 40,000 personnel, with another 30,000 for wave two.

Japan, 40,000 personnel, with another 20,000 additional.

Norway, 20,000 personnel, with an additional 10,000 for wave two.

Other nations such as Korea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Poland, Greece, Georgia, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, The Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Denmark, and Ireland have already pledged support for Iceland. That is but a handful of nations that have already offered military personnel for the operations that are being planned, but for now, all we can do is wait for the brave men and women of the United Nations Defense Force to mobilize it's full strength as reservists the world over are gearing up for what will be the largest military operation in nearly 43 years."

The woman pointed the black rectangle at the wall and the mages went away. Now, once again, it was just a normal white wall. The Count sat there stunned. He had nothing to say. How could these people still have this much left after all that devastation? "H-how is it that you people still have manpower to do this?" He asked in a fearful tone.

"You were right, we were badly mauled by the end of our war. But that was nearly 43 years ago. And while our world is still far from completely rebuilt, we're stronger than ever before. Of the 8.5 billion people our planet had before the war, just over 5.5 billion were left after five brutal years of war. Entire nations were wiped out and by the time we liberated them there was nothing but ashes left. We know hardship and we know sacrifice. Most of the people on three continents were genocided, but the bloodshed we endured didn't stop there. But when it was over? We celebrated our victory and we rebuilt. In four decades we increased our world's population by nearly another 3 billion people! Our militaries are stronger than ever before. They didn't fail then and they won't fail now!"

Colt now felt a fear he had never before ever felt in his being. To take such horrific losses and come back from them? These people were far stronger than the Empire and he finally realized just how bad of a situation they were in. They had no hope of victory in this fight. Even if they killed ten of them for every one legionary, they'd still fall short of the numbers they'd need to be victorious. Colt merely put his head down and began to sob. Without ever having to resort to torture, he broke. The realization that his city and daughter were at the mercy of this unstoppable enemy. The man to his right grabbed his chin and lifted his face back, smirking all the while.

"Now it's time to answer a few more questions, then we have something to show you. Just how large is your Empire's military and what are important targets that would cripple them?"

The Count knew that he wouldn't be able to lie to them, they'd likely tell and he'd feel that terrible pain he did once before. If any other Imperials knew he did this, they'd call him a traitor and call for him to be executed. But if they were in his position, would they be able to resist them, with or without torture? He doubted it. He now had a duty to protect his city, and above all else, his daughter. "Among the forces that had retreated, there should still be another 120,000 legionaries, with another 40,000 auxiliary, not counting those at Alnus Hill."

"Alnus Hill?"

"It is the location in which the Empire's mages had opened the GATE at the behest of the Emperor. It is where the remains of our invasion force likely resides. Alongside that, there are two adult flame dragons and if you only killed that one, eleven more of it's offspring, with another 500 wyvern riders, war elephants, and 9000 Immortals. I have no idea what is left of the navy. Anything else belongs to the vassal states."

"And what can you tell us about these vassal kingdoms? How large are they and what is their allegiance towards the Empire?"

"The vassal states are 21 different kingdoms that are along the Empire's southern border. The most powerful vassal states are Elbe, Alguna, Mudwan, and League Principality. They hold the most influence and I happen to know the kings of Elbe and Mudwan very closely. While they still hold a hatred for the Empire, they would unfortunately mobilize if the Emperor demanded it. Even though the rebellion was seven years ago, they still maintain a sizable army. Between all of the kingdoms, they have anywhere from 120,000 to 150,000 men at the most, if they called up all their reserves. Please, let me try and reason with them. They have done nothing to deserve your wrath." Colt was practically begging them to listen to him. He knew they would fall just as quickly to their might as the Empire would. He didn't wish to see a whole generation of men wiped out, leaving countless widows behind, children without fathers, and crop fields unattended.

The three all exchanged glances with each other, followed by the woman writing down something on a large pad of white paper. They whispered to each other for a few minutes before returning their attention back to the count. "That will have to be decided by our superiors, and even then, it's unlikely that will happen. You, along with every other prisoner will for the time being, be kept in secure facilities here in our world. For those who prove to be cooperative, things may change. For now, we have one last question. What about your daughter, Myui?"

The Count's heart practically stopped upon hearing his daughter's name. How could they have possibly known about her? Sure, these people godlike weapons, but how did figure out he had a daughter? "How do you my daughter's name?"

"We heard you muttering her name while you were knocked out. We figured we'd question you about her last."

"Y-yes. She resides in the city of my birth, Italica. It is an important city to the Empire because it sits on a vital trade route to the capital city of Sadera. It's very likely that the Emperor has retreated there on his way back to the capital. He would almost certainly reinforce the city against any future attack." He looked back up at them, his eyes pleading hoping they wouldn't destroy his city. "Please, don't harm my daughter or my city. They are innocent in all of this. Please just spare my people your wrath. I'll do whatever you ask, just don't harm my beloved daughter."

Once again the agents spoke amongst themselves for a few more minutes while continuing to write down more on the paper they held. The woman looked back and spoke to him, while gesturing for the others to go behind the Count. "We can't guarantee the city won't be damaged or destroyed if the Empire has troops there and they try fight us. If they surrender to us, then the city will be spared. But if they attack us first, it's on them, because our militaries won't hold back." Soon the bindings that held his hands together had dropped, realizing his hands from the grip that held them tight. "Now follow us, we have something you need to see, should you still not believe us."

He was led down narrow and brightly lit hallways before he began to see the a doorway up ahead. There were guards on both sides, each wearing a blue helmet with two strange letters on them. The guards opened up the doors for them and the light of the outside began to shine brightly in their face. As Colt exited the building and looked out, he saw familiar surroundings. It was the camp set up for all those captured by the United Nations. There was a much larger military presence than before. Dozens of flying chariots flew overhead alongside at least a hundred flying arrowheads. Soon the ground began to rumble. He looked up and saw the same vessel that took down the might flame dragon, triumphantly flying over them, mocking those below who were once on the receiving end of it's wrath. But as he looked up, he saw the clouds above it start to part. What he saw terrified him. Vessels of much larger size and twice as long, spouting blue flame from beneath began to descend. They flew low enough to make out their Gargantuan size. And there was six of them. Some looked slightly different, but they all looked mostly alike.

A hand reached out and tapped Colt's shoulder. It was one of the agents who had interrogated him. "You see that?" He asked while pointing at the lead vessel, who Colt had already focused on. "That's one of our newest ships. The UNSS Eclipse, a Zulu Class DDX guided missile destroyer built in Saitama, Japan, a nation on the other side of our world. It's the first ship their country independently built actually."

Another hand reached out to him, this time belonging to the woman. "139 years ago today, a nation made the mistake of attacking and crippling one of my country's naval fleets. But they didn't finish the job and lost the war because of it. The lead admiral of that nation described the attack as "Awakening a sleeping giant and filling him with a terrible resolve." Now only this time it's your Empire that awoke the sleeping giant, and the giant is our whole world."
Chapter 11: Aftermath Part 2
Reykjavik Regional Airport

Prison Campsite

1500 Hours

December 7th, 2080

They thought they had seen it all. Those who were captured had thought they had seen all the United Nations had to offer. They had thought that for such a force to be made of so many countries, that no individual nation could stand against the Empire. They had thought that the force that was amassed that beat the Imperial army was all they could spare and all they had left. But all that changed once they were captured. They store down thousands upon thousands of soldiers, large armadas of ships, and hundreds of flying arrows and chariots, which continued to bring more and more troops into the country. For days after their capture, they were met by armies from all around this world. So many different weapons, but yet so similar. On the third day of their imprisonment, they thought they had seen all they had to offer, but it was not.

The same vessel that slain both the flame dragons had paraded over the prison, as a means of mocking those who were forced to surrender. But as the clouds above it had begun to part, even larger ones had appeared. Holes in the hull of the vessels had spat blue flame and they shook the earth by merely passing over them. If a vessel of much smaller size than the ones above them now could kill a flame dragon, what would these larger ones be capable of doing? For the surviving Imperial soldiers and nobles, they had lost all hope of a victory at that point. The demihumans, those who had hoped to join the United Nations, had seen this as a further sign that the Empire had stepped on a Griffon's tail. Even as they watched the vessels sour back into the heavens at such ungodly speed, it only strengthened their goals to join those who the Empire made the grave mistake of attacking.

Yao couldn't take her eyes off of them as their blue flames intensified and pushed them further into the heavens, before disappearing before their eyes. This once again strengthened her resolve to join this war against the Empire and hopefully save what is left her people in the Schwarzt Forest, before the Empire killed off the remainder of her already weakened tribe. She found herself looking over at the crowd of demihumans who occupied one half of the prison. They cheered on their former enemy, much to the confusion of the guards, who were befuddled at why they cheered on the fleet passing by. Why they, despite being their prisoners, had openly cheered them on. But for those who had heard the rumors they had heard about how harshly they were treated, it didn't surprise them. This however, angered the Saderans, who saw this as the ultimate act of treason, to cheer on their enemy who humiliated them in combat. This in turn sparked a massive brawl between both sides, started by one of the surviving Immortals. He made it past the divide that segregated the camp and he threw a punch at a nearby elf, who was thrown to the ground with the force of the blow. Even out of their armor, Immortals had strength superior to that of normal men. Another nearby elf had managed to approach from the side and defend his fellow tribesman, who was still reeling from the blow. But he was soon grabbed and thrown to the side.

Soon more men from both sides of the camp joined in the fray. Within mere seconds, the camp had become a mosh pit of violence as at least a thousand humans and demihumans traded blows to each other. The few guards that were within the makeshift courtyard were overwhelmed by the massive flood of bodies around them. The surviving Immortals made them their priority and attacked them first, catching them off guard in the beginning. Despite the superior fighting techniques of the guards, the sheer difference in strength made it impossible to fight them without an Exo-suit. But it didn't take long for snipers in the nearby guard towers to acquire targets and send round down range. The first Immortal had a hole the size of a plate blown open in his chest, his body soon collapsing after. Hundreds of other guards began to rush into the fray, carrying shields, nightsticks, rifles, and some in Goliath Armor. Vehicles began to screech into the courtyard and disembarked even more men, who quickly put themselves between the Saderans and the demihumans. However it took the guards opening fire into the mob of Saderans to finally make then kneel and surrender. Even a few Warbirds began to hover above and spoke in a loud voice that they could understand.

"Cease your hostilities or we will fire upon you! Get on your knees and interlace your fingers behind your head! You have five seconds to comply!"

Some were still stupid enough to charge UN forces, but were promptly gunned down for their trouble.

"Five, four, three, two-"

Upon realizing that they'd get nowhere with continued resistance, they dropped to their knees and interlaced their fingers behind their heads. The soldiers knew who started the fight and responded accordingly in dealing with it. They pointed their weapons at the mob of Saderans, daring them to attack. Other's threw swears at them and the the demihumans behind them.

"Worthless bastards!"

"Damn darkies can't be trusted to stay loyal!"

"I'll kill all of you traitorous scum!"

"Shut the fuck up you damn barbarians, you aren't in control here, we are." One of the guards shouted back at one of the prisoners. The man leapt towards the guard, but was met with a rifle butt to the face. The guard then pointed it down at the man and fired. A few more scattered shots were fired throughout the formation, but it soon subsided and the Saderans were being marched back to their section of the campsite, under heavy guard from UN personnel. Dozens of combat medics, mostly from the Scandinavian states, rushed over towards the demihuman section of the camp, administering aid to those injured. While most of the injuries were't serious, some required immediate care and they were rushed away on stretchers to the nearby medical tents. Most of the serious injuries came from the Immortals, all of which were then executed shortly afterwards. The rest were from elves electrocuting guards who attempted to restrain them, for which they were shot. The injured legionaries who lay on the ground weren't given any medical attention. The soldiers, fed up with the bullshit they had been putting up with from them, just shot them. When all was said and done, over 200 Saderans had been killed, with 15 UN personnel requiring medical attention. A news chopper had been flying overhead and caught the entire incident on live television, which gave entertainment to millions of viewers across the world.

Yao soon felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned to see who it was and she was met by Crow, the her second in command and one of the best fighters in her tribe. "Hard to believe it." He said as watched the prisoners being shackled and marched by armed guard. "After all that has happened and having been thrown in chains by a new empire, having been humiliated once again, the enemy continues to mock us." He said spitefully.

"I don't think it was meant as mockery to us." Yao was quick to reply back. "I think it was meant for the Saderans. Our captors know they started the war. And they wish to let them know just what their capable of. Also, they aren't an empire, just a coalition of countries."

"Nevertheless, they still seem to pride themselves on their military power, just like all humans. It's the only thing they are good at doing. Feeling superior over us elves for living with nature. Calling us barbarians for our lifestyles." He just shook his head as he eyed the various war machines of UN forces. "They show no regard for nature if these weapons they possess are any indication. Just like the Empire, they march carelessly across the earth without care for those who live there. They may claim to be benevolent, but they are no different. They'll use their armies to crush all that lay in their wake."

"Do you truly believe that? After the mercy they've shown us? They didn't have to take any prisoners, not after what the legionaries did on their way through the city. After the treatment we've received? You should hope they are different than the Empire, because otherwise, we won't survive here very long." Yao reasoned with her close friend.

"Why should we care?" He shot back. "It's more than likely we'll never see our families again, so why should we care? We'll either rot in a dungeon for the rest of our lives, be executed, or left to freeze out in this cold. The only thing I can thank them for is getting rid of that dreadful flame dragon, but it matters not when there are more at the Empire's disposal, ones to use to terrorize our tribe. Our families will almost certainly be punished for our capture."

"All the more reason you should want them to go across the Gate. They have the power to slay a flame dragon, along with an entire army! They were the first to ever defeat an army of Immortals in combat and have forever shattered their namesake. They could help our people, we just need to help them."

"And just how we do that? They seem to have everything under control as it is. Even if we had asked them for their help, what makes you think they'll listen to what we have to say? Most seem to not want to be bothered by us?" He made a good point. Aside from helping those wounded or occasionally playing with one or two of the children, most of the guards and soldiers seemed to prefer a distance from them. Many looked at them with scorn when they passed by. So many flags and faces, yet most looked at them the same way. She had heard some rumors about how their world was at peace before they arrived. Having fought a bloody war that took countless of their people. They had faced an enemy from another world, and it took them years to finally defeat them. That's why there were so many different armies arriving continuously. For how much the Saderans call cowardly for how they fight, she could take one look at them and see the truth. They were no cowards, just a people sick of fighting, a people who wished to enjoy peace.

"Then why don't we start now. At the very least, we can tell them everything we know about the terrain they'll encounter and the various tribes. It'll help both them and us if they know where our tribe lives. That way they don't attack them by mistake."

"And if they choose to destroy our tribe as revenge for what the Empire's legions did? It would lead to the destruction of our people."

"If we sit back and do nothing, our people are dead anyway. We must act."

"Then you can go talk to them. I want nothing to do with this foolish plan of yours." Crow then walked away towards his quarters, leaving Yao in her thoughts. If she didn't do anything, the Empire would surely take revenge on her people or force even more of them into their ranks. If she told the guards all she knew, they might use it to attack her people. The fate of her people was resting on her shoulders. She looked around for the nearest guards and approached them with caution. They took notice of this and they raised their weapons at here slightly. The men had a flag on their shoulder she had yet to see. A vertical tricolor of green, white, and orange. Behind them sat an iron elephant, albeit one with a much smaller and thinner snout.

"What do you need ma'am?" The man she assumed was their leader asked her. The soldier store her down looking for any sign of hostility. When he finished going over her, he gave a hand signal and his men lowered their weapons, but the snout of the iron elephant was still trained on her. "

"I wish to help you people against the Empire! I have valuable information that could help you!" The man looked back at his soldiers, who looked back at him in confusion. "I just beg that you help save my tribe!" The man looked confused, as if he wasn't expecting one of the prisoners to ask him for help.

"Clancy, go find one of those spooks on the base, will ya?" He turned back to Yao, who's eyes were pleading with him to answer. "Now I may not be paying attention, but we already took care of those rowdy barbarians on the other side of the camp. And I've already seen plenty of your people here, so what exactly do you need help with?"

"There are more dragons!" The man's eyes went wide upon hearing that. He saw how large of a creature it was and how much damage it took before it finally went down at the hands of the American navy. "The Empire will use them against my tribe, they'll be wiped out! Please, you must help us!" Her eyes were begging and she was clinging to his vest. As she was on the verge of tears, she caught the soldier coming back with two strangely dressed individuals in tow. One man and one woman, who looked much like her, but without the pointed ears. The man was the one who addressed her directly.

"We heard you need our help and that you have information that'll be useful to us."

RAF Hereford, United Kingdom

1600 Hours

Squad Leader Room

"The United Nations Defense Fleet puts on a massive display of force as six destroyers of the Home Guard fleet descend into the atmosphere above Reykjavik regional airport as a further show of force for the 10,000 prisoners currently residing within the makeshift prison camp. The UNSS Eclipse, or otherwise known as the Yamato, is Japan's first built and controlled destroyer. The others that took part in the event were the Kirov, Yubai, Rajput, Virginia, and La Fayette. Each of these vessels representing a different nation in the UN Security Council."

This brings up the total of the Home Guard fleet to 15 destroyers, 14 frigates used for escorting our cargo carriers, alongside the one carrier used for carrying the security garrisons for our Lunar and Martian bases. However this doesn't include the UNSS Icarus 01, which was recently seen leaving it's home port in Halifax, for a classified assignment. While the ship carries only bare minimum armaments, it carries powerful surveillance equipment such as spectograph's, wide field camera's, and infrared sensors. There are many theories as to why it has left Earth, but many claim it is an attempt to spy on Phauthi forces beyond Jupiter. Meanwhile, the UNSS CVN-68 Nimitz, is scheduled to assist in the deployment of over 100 satellites into orbit over the next two days."

In news in the Caribbean, the nations of Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, and Haiti have finally set up stable governments and infrastructure has been repaired. This is all thanks to American rebuilding efforts since the war ended. Shortly before the Caribbean was occupied and used as a staging ground by Phauthi forces, the United States undertook the largest humanitarian operation the world had ever seen. 90% of the region was evacuated and moved into the Midwest and Texas while US military forces reinforced the island. While they ultimately fell, much of the population was saved from what would certainly have been genocide. Once the war had ended, roughly a quarter of the refugees became naturalized citizens, who would later take residency across the nation when the war ended. Much them settled down in the southern states hat were ravaged in the war, seeking to repay the nation that helped them in their time of need."

"This is Renee Syhan, in New Delhi"

Mitchell grabbed the remote and turned it off, seeking to get some peace and quiet in order to discuss the recent operation with the other squad leaders. The room was filled with the leaders of each individual team that fought in Reykjavik. Nearly 40 men in all, from every continent, and every major power. Here they sat enjoying their second day back from the field. When they and their teams made it back in the late night hours of December 5th, most of them flat out went straight to their quarters by orders of Perryman. He even told the squad leaders to rest as well, but they took the debriefing and then rested. Now that they were well rested, they were celebrating a job well done and mission accomplished. However many of them felt as if they should be back out in the field, fighting the enemy that had invaded their world.

"This is bullshit." Mitchell said as he shook his head. "We're back here celebrating while over 10,000 people are lost on the other side of that fucking portal in Iceland. We should be back out there trying to get them back. Not sending our fucking fleet to taunt some backward barbarians who were already scared shitless when we captured them."

"I agree, the longer we wait, the more people who get farther from our reach and deeper into enemy territory." The Swedish lieutenant on the other end of the room agreed while downing another beer. "What's the fucking point of doing this if we can't save them?

"Don't beat yourself up over it lads, there's nothing we can do right now." Price replied, trying to console them. "We still don't even know if we can breathe on the other end of that thing. They may look human, but we don't truly know if it's safe for us. We have to wait for drones on the other side to confirm if we need Hazmat suits or not."

"Besides, we can't just say we failed because they were captured before we even arrived." The Chinese Captain, Jiang Lee interjected. "I'm not trying to be a rude ass, but it was better for this have happened in Iceland than any of our capitals. Lord knows we'd see far more dead due to population density." He wasn't wrong. Cities in the northern hemisphere, specifically in the US, Canada, Europe, Russia, and China swelled by enormous amounts when the war ended. A combination of refugees and baby boom made cities that once only held only a few million, swell into the mid to high millions, depending on the region. In places such as Japan and Europe, where birthrates were rapidly declining, shot up massively in the wake of humanities victory.

"Well no offence man, but your country has something like 1.7 billion people in it. It may not seem big for a nation like yours or India, but for a nation as sparsely populated and small as Iceland, that's a big fucking blow." The Danish operator shot towards Lee. "Imagine if a 100 million Chinese died in an attack, that's how bad this was for Iceland."

"It's 1.9 billion and yes I'm well fucking aware of how bad it is for them. I'm just saying this would've been a hell of alot more difficult if this popped up in a mega city." Lee replied with a hint of anger in his voice.

"Calm it down, guys." Price ordered as he reached into the case of beer on the table and threw them both a bottle. "This'll help calm our nerves for now. Don't get to shitfaced, Commander wants us for a briefing at 2000 hours."

"Still, why us?" Harkov slurred as he reached for his bottle of vodka, took a swig, and proceeded to pass it over to Weber, who was sitting right beside him. "Why not those purple bastards? After all they did, they should be on the receiving end of this shit, not us."

"I still ask myself what the fuck we did to deserve this." Itami interrupted, after downing the rest of his beer. "After all we've been through, we get thrust into war once again. We could all be at hope right now. Spending time with our families and loved ones. Instead we're fighting an enemy straight out a fantasy novel." Itami more or less summed up how everyone was feeling since they got the call.

"Well you should be delighted Itami, after all, I've seen those magazines you read. Should be right up your alley." Nilsen insinuated.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Itami asked as he raised his eyebrow and glared at Nilsen. He proceeded to burst out laughing, which angered Itami a slight bit more.

"Oh cheer up wanker, everyone knows you look at those weird tentacle porn things." The voice was from Adam Gideon. In his hands were one 24 pack of beer and the other being soda. Commander Perryman had delayed his deployment last minute as his team was the only that was up to snuff with the equipment enough to show the others how to use it. He came in with the second wave when the fighting really kicked up. "And don't deny it either, I picked up one of your disgusting magazines and slid it under your barracks." The whole room burst out laughing at Itami's expense, who was looking thoroughly annoyed at the topic at hand.

"We all have our vice, so fuck off." Itami countered. "Speaking of which, where were you during the fight? Why did Price, no offence Price, show up instead of you?"

"None taken mate." Price said as he took a swig from his beer.

"My squad was the only one's that knew how to operate the new weapons, so the commander wanted me to go with the second wave that arrive shortly after. Me and my squad arrived the same time the Yank aircraft carrier did."

"Personally, I believe the timing was perfect. We were low on ammo and desperately needed reinforcements to take back the city." Dabiri spoke up. "Speaking of that, were any of your squads at the broadcast station during the first hour of our arrival? Because I saw some cloaked figures get the jump on an enemy patrol and drag them away before they found me." Everyone just shook their heads at the question.

"My team was securing the Indian embassy, so it wasn't mine." The Gurkha captain replied, looking over at the MARCOs team leader, who also shook his head.

"Me and my team were deployed near the docks at Suðurhöfn where we sunk the galleys docked there." The Czech captain responded.

"I don't know what to tell you man." Mitchell said as he cracked open a can of coke. "I hit the road for the embassy, so I don't know who could've been there. No one else was that close to your location besides my own. Perhaps we can review the footage later and see if there's anything we can distinguish from it. For now, let's just enjoy what time we have left before the briefing."

"Yeah, I guess it can wait. Just bugs me is all."

"Anyway, let's change the subject." Gideon said it an attempt to get their minds off of the mission. "Any of you catch that live footage of that prison fight? Shit was fucking hilarious."

"It was fucking badass when that AST grabbed that poor son of a bitch and tossed him 20 feet."

"Honestly, I was hoping the fighting got out of control so the Talon drones could've opened fire on them." The JTF2 leader laughed.

"I'm just glad that none of our men were killed in the fight."

"A couple seemed to have been injured by those Immortal cocksuckers. They got executed pretty fucking quickly though."

Anyone see how that fight even started?" The SASR operative asked? "Because I noticed the fighting began shortly after our navy flew overhead."

"I think I can help answer that." Gideon said as he tapped his wrist console and cast it to the TV in the room. The camera focused on the nonhuman section of the camp as the fleet flew over it. As they passed over it, a large number of them started to cheer them on. Just like the UN personnel in the camp, the operators were dumbstruck at why the hell they were cheering on the same force that captured them. "It seems these Saderans liked to treat nonhuman entities like shit, which is why they did that."

"Still, why the fuck would they cheer us on?" Lee questioned. "They aren't exactly being treated much better."

"From what we were told by the embassy staff in Reykjavik a few days back, those assholes made it their mission to genocide and conquer those people." Harkov managed to get off without much slurring, but he was still visibly wasted.

"So much for not being shitfaced." Gideon remarked, earning him a middle finger from Harkov. "It seems that quite a few of them have actively sought out our men to give us information on the Saderans. If I was the politicians and spooks in charge of gathering the information, I'd seriously consider using them as a third column. I mean the CIA, MSS, and FSB have already placed themselves inside the base and are already interrogating the prisoners, but this would make their jobs much easier."

"I'm pretty sure they realize that too, but what would the people think if we just let them go because of their history? Hell, how do you think the people of Iceland would feel about that? I'm not saying it shouldn't be considered, but this is fragile ground." Mitchell made a good point. After all the damage the Saderan Empire caused on their way into Iceland, it would be extremely difficult to sell such idea to the general public. But, this was the CIA after all. Coupled with it's Russian, European, Chinese, and Israeli counterparts, they could almost certainly pull of something like this.

"We also need to consider that they are trying to trick us into getting our guard down and try to back stab us. I'm not saying I'm not sympathetic, but we can't just flat out trust them." The Brazilian operator explained from the back of the room. "We can't let our guard down here. We should wait and see what more information can be taken from them before we consider pardoning alien invaders."

The last few words were spiked with venom towards the prisoners. Of all the nations in the room, Brazil and Australia were beaten the hardest in the conflict. By the end of the five year conflict, Brazil had only 36% of it's population left alive, while Australia had less than 20%. Even today both nations still reel from the devastating losses inflicted upon their countries. While that has not stopped them from being a member of the international community and helping in peacekeeping missions, neither nation is as powerful as they once were. It's understandable why both nations have not only a searing hatred for the Phauthi, but for the Saderans. Neither team took prisoners and their actions during the battle with ones they did capture are best left untold. With the opening of the portal in Iceland, they saw this as a chance save a country from a fate that theirs ultimately suffered. And with it being unknown if more of these can be opened in other cities, no one, especially not Brazilians or Australians wanted to take the chance of another force wreaking havoc on another city.

"I'm not saying we do pardon them." Gideon quickly said trying to rephrase what he said. "All I'm saying is that they have information that's valuable to us. Even more so if they happen to know where the captured civilians might be. The location of slave mines and camps would be of great use for us in getting back our people."

"Nevertheless though, I wouldn't put it past the spooks given their history of really fucked up shit. Speaking of that, have any of you heard about what they set up around the portal?" Price asked the group as he took the remote off the table and switched the internet on and opened an audio app. Everyone either gave a chorus of no's or they shook their heads. "Well then, you'll enjoy hearing this." He typed in "Ghost Tape 10" and clicked play. Strange music and distorted animal sounds emitted from the tv as everyone stood confused to why Price had them listen to it. They stood there listening for a few minutes before it dawned on them. Psychological Warfare.

"So they hooked up speakers right outside the portal and started blaring ghost sounds?" The Grom captain questioned.

"Yes and no." Price replied as he paused the recording. "They've dug up and utilized a cacophony of distorted animal sounds, ghosts, scream of men being tortured, and little mix of Russian Death Tango. The last of which is a song that the Russian utilized during the battle of Stalingrad, which had a distorted female voice saying "Every second seconds, a German dies in Stalingrad.", alongside a countdown. They just made some slight adjustments to put the audio in their language and replacing German with Saderan. They're blasting it loud enough so it can travel down the portal. If anyone tries coming through it, they'll be frightened away by the tape."

"Sounds like they had fun putting that one together." Gideon laughed.

"Sounds like overkill, don't you think?" Itami questioned, earning a few looks from some of the lieutenants and captains. "If you thought I was being serious, I'm joking. But I'm fairly sure that after the beating we gave them, they won't even think about coming back here again. For now, we have the upper hand."

"What made you change your attitude, Itami? I thought you just did this for your hobby?" Mitchell's snark annoyed Itami, who glared at him, earning a laugh from him.

"Quite honestly Mitchell, seeing half of what I did out there in Reykjavik, especially when me and my team finally reached our embassy, something inside of me just changed. Seeing the suffering in southeast Asia when I was just a private was one thing. Walking through the remains of broken cities and refugee camps was another. But to not only fight an alien invasion, but to witness the suffering and destruction as the battle raged, was something entirely different." The mood in the room change as the other operators in the room had finally seen Itami, who they all once considered to be a joke, had finally crossed the threshold that they all had once before.

"Now you see. We were fortunate to grow up only in a world without the luxuries that our parents had as children, and not have to deal with what they did." The Brazilian captain spoke. "A world where the marks of the past remain very visible."

"But we must not let that weaken us. We know you have your vice to deal with the shit you've seen. We all have our vices to cope. But we must remain strong and ready for whoever and whenever we are needed." Gideon continued.

"You finally realized why you joined. Now you realize why we take our job as serious as we do. We can't afford mistakes. Nor can we afford failure." Harkov spoke as he stood up and put down his bottle.

"As long as we know our enemy is still out there, we, as well as every man and women who serves the in the UNDF, must remain vigilant. Our enemy is still out there. We were the first to resist one of their invasions, so they'll be back. Never again will we allow another invader to step foot on our home. Never will we allow the same suffering countless billions had undergone decades ago." Mitchell finished as he crossed his arms. "It's about fucking time you got your damn head on straight."

"Well when you put it like that, I guess you are right." Itami sighed and rubbed his stubble on his face. He hadn't expected a conversation like this today. Not when it was their first real day of relaxation, as they had spent virtually all day resting from the fighting. "Maybe you won't hate me as much anymore." Itami said jokingly. Mitchell just let out a heart laugh at that comment.

"Maybe, maybe not. Although I'd imagine a certain member of your team will be happy that you'll start taking shit more seriously. On that note, rein in that sergeant of yours. She keeps popping in between me, Gideon's, Harkov's, Prices's, and Lee's and just about every squad barracks on base. It's getting annoying and you need to fix that."

"Which one are you referring to? My medic or hand to hand expert?"

"You know damn well which one." Lee stated in an unbelieving tone. "The one with the cow tits." The whole room burst into laughter upon hearing that. They knew who Lee and Mitchell was talking about. Sergeant Kuribayashi, despite having only met many of the operators a few days prior, already had the reputation of a deviant and tomboy. That's not to say most of them weren't deviants, because behind closed doors, they all did their own things. But Kuribayashi took things to another level. She had a habit of going around to every male member of each team trying to get them to fight her. If they could, "Beat the crap out of her", she would date them. However the way she wanted the fight to end was not something any of the men would do. She had bounced from man to man, hoping someone would indulge her wishes. Some did agree to meet her in the sparing ring, but pinned her instead of beating her down. Round after round was met with her disappointment as no one would beat her down in the way she wanted.

"Oh, right." Itami sighed and stretched, knowing exactly what his sergeant had been up to lately. "I've tried to get her to listen to me, but she see's me as a disgrace to the uniform."

"Then use your rank and make her stubborn ass listen." Price interrupted. "For Christ sakes, take charge for once, Itami. I'm getting sick of her bugging my men. Hell, she even tried to get me to fight her. Me! Not only am I 40 years her senior, I''m happily married."

"Yeah, she keeps bugging Ramirez and Allen especially to fight her. All they're trying to do is relax, not beat the shit out of someone."

"And last I checked, she's near my teams barracks. And given how they're getting wasted right now, they might just piss her off." Davids informed them. "Quite frankly, if I were you Itami, I'd have beaten her ass myself for not obeying orders."

"Fine, I'll go find her and tell her to knock off her bullshit." With that Itami got up and began to walk out the door.

"I'm gonna get going as well, I'm gonna watch a movie with my squad before the briefing starts."

"Anything good?"

"Since it's December 7th, we'll be watching Tora! Tora! Tora!."

Itami cocked his head back when he heard the name of the film. All he could do what shoot Mitchell a glance he could only describe as "what the fuck?". "Of all the movies to watch, you watch that one?" Itami questioned.

"Well it's the 139th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. And there's also the fact that it fits pretty well with current events. An uppity empire launches an attack on an unsuspecting enemy, only to get a boot shoved up their ass as they strike back. Except the Saderans haven't done any real damage to our military and the UN will be the sleeping dragon that was awoken."

"It's the day when you Americans got off your arses and joined the bloody war." Price laughed, which Harkov and Lee joined in on.

"The day when we finally said fuck it and decided the Axis Powers needed a good ass kicking. Weber, itami, De Luca, ain't I right?" More laughs erupted as the German, Japanese, and Italian operators flipped Davids the bird as everyone else laughed at their expense. "Mind if me and my guys join you, Mitchell?"

"Why not, the more the merrier. We've got plenty of room in the movie room for y'all."

"Hell, since I can't drink anymore, I might as well join you." Harkov spoke while stumbling to get up. Soon a chorus of voices joined in agreement as they all began to pile out of the room. Some joining Mitchell in the movie room, others to the chow hall, while others went to the rec room to work out with their men. They still had a few hours to kill and they planned on using them.

Outer Orbit of Iapetus

1.5 million miles from Titan

Aphelion of Titan

1830 GMT

UNSS Icarus 01

This was a massive undertaking by the United Nations. To send a ship so far from Earth and so far past Jupiter was a dangerous mission. While the Phauthi were beaten, they never left the solar system, just relegated to Saturn and it's moons. For the Icarus, if they were seen, which given how stealth in space is practically impossible, was very likely, they would certainly be harassed by their old enemy. The Icarus had no weapons to defend itself. The only defensive system it had was it's electronic countermeasures to spoof missile systems. However that wouldn't help them against railguns or lasers. They'd have to stay outside of Phauthi territory, otherwise they'll elicit a response. Hat they did have however was a host of sensors used for not only observing the outer solar system for any more uninvited guests, but for observing other stars. A great many of Earth's space born telescopes and ground based observatories were destroyed in the war, so the Icarus was to fill that gap until such infrastructure could be rebuilt.

However they would no longer blast messages towards the stars. Since the first and only race to respond to them did not come in peace, the United Nations Security Council took direct control over SETI and no longer allowed them to do anything but listen to the stars. The ship was equipped with an array of spectograph's, camera's, and infrared sensors designed to pick up even the slightest presence of heat in the cold background of space. Since any spacecraft gave off heat, no one could hide in the great vacuum. The UN was expecting a proverbial round two at some point. While the most of the remnants in the solar system had no intention of ever fighting humanity again, there was a small splinter faction that broke off and refused the peace. They were annihilated in short order by their own, but it became clear that ET phoned home. The various defectors and prisoners, while having agreed to help UN scientists during and after the war, never gave up the location of their home. It was clear however, that their home was within 50 light years.

But for now, their job wasn't watching the skies, but to investigate a rather strange movement of Phauthi military assets on Titan. Right now it was Captain Etajima Goro of the JMSDF who was in charge of completing this mission. The crew of the Icarus was a mixture of Japanese, Indian, Korean, Canadian, and various European crew members, who represented the four nations that built the ship. The ship may have been small, only being the length and twice the width of an old US navy Zumwalt destroyer, but it was fast. Goro hoped he wouldn't have to use his ships superior maneuverability in combat.

"We're within range of Titan, Captain. The sensors are booting up and will have eyes on the surface in a few minutes. Infrared sensors have picked up large heat signatures consistent with explosions." The words came from the main tech officer, Lukas Fischer. He, like most of the crew, weren't military. They were members of their respective countries space programs. Of the entire 170 man crew aboard, only captain Goro, a dozen officers who operated the flare system, and a squad of fourteen marines were the only military personnel aboard.

"That doesn't make sense. Titan doesn't have a breathable atmosphere for either of our species. Why would they be detonating explosive devices within their own habitats?" Goro asked as he looked towards the control panels, seeing the infrared screen lit up brightly.

"Unclear sir, the telescopes are still focusing on the moon. We should get an idea of what we're looking at soon enough." He replied as he focused on the screens in front of him. A television lowered from the ceiling and turned to footage of the moon. The camera's and sensors were zoomed in enough to make out the bright lights that littered the surface of the moon. The colonists they had brought with them had set up habitats before the war began, hoping for them to be temporary. With their dreams dashed however, the moon had become their largest colony. The sensors could also see what was left of their fleet in a holding pattern above the main habitat, with transport vessels heading down into the atmosphere.

"The activity is centered around on point within their largest city, so it can't be a military exercise." Goro's second in command, Tokushima Fuji stated as he took a closer look at the screen in front of them. "You think it could be infighting between the splinter factions?" He asked as he stood there perplexed.

"Doubtful, they already took care of the pro war faction shortly after the war ended. There could be a few still left who want to see us destroyed, but we already know they won't get far. The pro peace faction doesn't want war with us and I doubt most of their population would either. It wouldn't be profitable for them. What we need to worry about is what happens when their home finds out about their loss." Goro said as he turned to Fuji. "What do you think?"

"I'm thinking we should have driven these aliens out of the system after the war. That way we don't have to worry about them using our system's resources against us at a later date."

He just shook his head at his XO's shortsightedness. "Despite what you might think, we weren't at the most advantageous position by the end of the war. Even when the Americans and Russians launched the Orion Battleships towards the end of the war, they were quickly destroyed. They still had and still do have a larger naval presence than we do. There seems to be a general misunderstanding about how we won the war, so let me inform you." He said annoyed.

"It was because we-."

"Enough!" Goro snapped. "You will listen, so I may explain the situation to you. When they arrived here, every piece of equipment they had was newly produced. After they subjugated their last world, they built everything new. All their old equipment was left for occupation. They didn't have factories for vehicles or a large population to draw recruits from. Sure, they had munition factories on Titan when they arrived, but for every man, tank, or aircraft they lost, they couldn't replace. They had colonists with them, yes, but no training grounds to train them. It was estimated that of the 30 million of their soldiers they used to fight us, only about 200,000 additional reinforcements came from colonists who joined. We killed 25 million of them, numbers they could not replace. The rest had vital roles to play in setting up their homes."

He paused for a short moment to look at the screen, still another few minutes away from getting a clear picture. "They realized we had both of those advantages and sought to cripple that. However those five years of preparation gave us enough time to build up an extremely large nuclear arsenal, capable of reaching orbit. When they got into low earth orbit to hit our cities, we could strike back with nukes. When they sought to capture the major population centers and industrial area's in the northern hemisphere, we shot down a multitude of their transport craft. The Americans alone shot down nearly two dozen transports, not including those shot down over Europe, Russia, China, Korea, or us. In all, we killed nearly 600,000 of them in the initial attacks, with another 150,000 captured alive. This isn't including the vehicles, both damaged and intact, that we got from them. It was that which allowed us a much better hand against the invaders. Coupled with prisoners, some of which who worked alongside us voluntarily, helped us win the war. It was us having our hands on their technology and their own people that let us win."

"It wasn't without losses though. Cities such as New York, Tokyo, London, Moscow, Paris, Berlin, Seoul, Ottawa, Beijing, and many others took heavy damage from the fighting. We had lost about 150,000 military personnel in the fighting, alongside another 500,000 civilians, and that was just in the north. It would be one of the few times we inflicted more military losses on them than they did us. They couldn't start their fight against the world's most powerful nations, so they went south. Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, were the first to fall. In just a few days, all resistance was swept aside and they landed without issue. For the next four years, until we finally gained the initiative, they swept over the southern hemisphere and eventually into the north. Even when we forced them on the back foot, we still needed 3-1 odds in our favor to win reliably."

"Why are you telling me something everyone here knows already?" Fuji asked confused as to why his commanding officer was giving him a history lesson.

"It takes three years to build a ship, but three centuries to build a tradition. We're still new at this game, Lieutenant. We have no experience fighting in space, despite what we were taught by the defectors and what we teach ourselves. No experience invading other world's like they do. We must take our time. Despite what many like you think, we are in no position to throw them out of the solar system. If we sent our navy to attack them, they'd face near total destruction. Our focus is to rebuild back home and buildup our defenses around Earth, which includes establishing a much larger presence on Mars first. We will inevitably face another attack, which is why we are to prepare. We train, we learn, and we expand our presence. Our first and only priority should be defensive. I have no doubt that one day we'll be capable of expanding into the stars, but for now, we belong here."

"Thirty seconds to eyes on!" Fischer alerted them as the sensors finally began to focus on the city on the surface. Everyone on the bridge began to focus their attention at the screen as they could steadily make out more and more details on the surface. Below the clear dome that surrounded the habitat, they could make out fires burning in the city. "We should have an idea of what's going on now. Camera's are picking up fighting all around the city. What the hell is going on down there?"

As fires raged in the streets, VTOL aircraft could be seen in the airspace below the dome. At first it looked as if they were fighting other aircraft, but it wouldn't make sense for either side to be willing to fight like that with each other, not when they could very easily compromise the structure around them. No, they were fighting living creatures. Similar creatures to what had attacked Reykjavik.

"What the fuck?" One of the technicians whispered as the images became even clearer.

"How is this possible? This can't be real!" Fuji muttered to himself as he store unbelieving at the monitor. Men with swords were being slaughtered by a relentless hail of gunfire and light artillery. Vehicles crushed entire crowds of fleeing soldiers as they showed no mercy to their enemy. Creatures similar to those which had invaded Iceland were among those being effortlessly slaughtered by a far superior enemy. Explosions erupted throughout the city as holes in the dome had opened and more forces poured into the city. But for everything that had reminded the Empire, they weren't them. Different armor and flags gave that away. That both worried and relieved them. They knew they would launch an attack against the Saderans in retaliation for Reykjavik, and it eased their minds to know they wouldn't have another potential enemy to fight.

What did worry them however was where this army came from. If past events were anything to go by, they likely came from the same world. Soon however, they had their answer. The epicenter of the fighting had been focused on by the sensors. All the building within a radius of at least a mile had been destroyed, except for one. One that bore a striking resemblance to the very structure in Iceland. The architecture was different, but it was still tall, and they could make out forces retreating into it. It had the same properties as the one back home. They now know what the sudden movement of military assets was for. It wasn't a simple exercise or uprising like much of the UNSC had thought. It was much worse. Another portal had opened right at their enemy's doorstep, and they had to alert the UN.

However their focus on the situation was interrupted as klaxon blared and the ship took a sharp right maneuver. They were being attacked

"Incoming projectiles, 10,000 kilometers and closing sir!" The radar technician alerted. "They have us in a radar lock, activate ECM!" He shouted towards the officer manning the ECM suite, who rapidly began smashing the buttons in front of him, in an attempt to avoid another radar lock.

"Where the fuck is it coming from!" One of the officers on the bridge shouted as they saw bright flashes off in the distance, just barely visible to the naked eye.

"We've got contact in the asteroid fields! Radar has five smaller contacts emerging from the asteroids! They're Skelters!

"We're sitting ducks out here without any escorts!" Another yelled as the camera's caught focus of five small craft with variable-geometry wings accelerated towards their ship.

"We have to get back to Earth immediately. We have to alert them of the situation, go to general quarters and get us out of here!" Captain Goro ordered to those on the bridge. Word went to the engine room and the ion thrusters went to full power as the Icarus gunned it away from Saturn and back home "Send word back mission control of what we found! They need to know in case we don't make it back." His last words sounded uncertain. He knew how bad the situation was. Without proper defenses, they'd get torn apart. That's why he ordered them to send all information back to Earth.

"Activating countermeasure!" Blue flares soon shot out of the sides of the Icarus as they desperately tried to avoid the forces trying to kill them. While the ship continued to accelerate, the projectiles still closed in faster. It would take them time for the reactor to transfer enough power to the engines in order to escape them. Assuming the Skelters had burned their primary thruster fuel, it would take them several minutes to reach their position. While they had gotten out of the way of the railgun fire, they still had to worry about missiles if the Skelters got to close. But of all the things they had prepared for, one thing they couldn't dodge, were lasers.

"Temperature spike on the port side!" The ship suddenly shook violently to the right. A hole had just been blown clean into the side. The force of the explosion sent everyone flying off their feet. One technicians head slammed into the control panel in front of him, breaking his neck.

"STATUS REPORT!" Captain Goro yelled as he got back on to his feet, looking as the panels all in the bridge were flashing red with damage reports. He looked over towards the chief navigator as he picked himself up off the ground and rushed back to his station.

"Compartments 3-7 have been breached, captain!" An Fuji screamed as the crew did their damnedest to get the Icarus back on course after taking such a hit. "We're venting atmosphere, we have to seal the compartments now!" He watched out the port side as more flares popped out in an effort to jam the radars of any of the incoming craft. Captain Goro only had once chance to get out of here and he wasn't even sure it would work. His ship wasn't just a reconnaissance vessel, but a test bed for new technologies. One of which has been researched by the world's major powers since before the war. A method for easy and quick space travel. The Jump Drive was a system that would allow for an Einstein-Rosen Bridge, a wormhole in laymen terms, to be opened.

The ship lurched forward once more as another explosion rocked the ship. It was now or never. The captain had made his decision. "Activate the prototype and get us the fuck out of here!" He ordered. The crew looked at him with some uncertainty at first, but realized if they wanted to get out of this situation alive, they'd have to do it. "Time to see if this thing works." The navigator sent word down to the engine room and they redirected all power to it. The nav officer went to his control panel and began to type in the orbital coordinates for them to arrive at. Everyone on board didn't know it it would work. This wasn't supposed to be tested for another month. But it would soon have a trial by fire. To avoid further damage from attacks, the Icarus had to take cover behind a nearby asteroid, but that wouldn't protect them forever. The ship soon hum and a blue swirling vortex began to form in front of them. It couldn't have come sooner. The Skelters shot past them and began to double back on their position. The last of the flares were fired as more missiles began screaming in their direction. With the engines ahead full, they slowly made their way through the vortex, allowing them to escape what would've been certain death. Now they were safe. Damaged and limping home, but safe.
Chapter 12: Deliberations
RAF Hereford, United Kingdom

December 7, 2080

1900 Hours

Recreation Room

"Now keep in mind everyone, the recent attack in Iceland has great parallels with what happened at Pearl Harbor. An uppity empire who sought to expand it's influence finally fucks up when they awaken a sleeping giant. Now our world is the United States and the Saderan Empire is Japan."

"Well that was a fucking hoot." Itami said in an unenthusiastic tone, noticing Mitchell's comment towards his country. But he was finally glad the movie was over. "What we gonna do now?"

"We could always watch some scenes from Doolittle." Mitchell suggested, giving off a slight smirk. "or maybe the Battle of Midway or Okinawa." He glanced over to Weber and chuckled. "Maybe we can watch Enemy at the Gates? What do you saw, Harkov?"

"Eh, we might have enough time for a couple of scenes." Harkov chuckled in response."

"Is this pick on the losers of world war two day or something?" Weber complained as Mitchell and Harkov simply laughed.

"It's just a joke you damn kraut, loosen up your panties."

"You Yanks sure do love to be assholes to everyone else." Gideon said in a snarky tone. "But I do agree, learn to take a joke Weber."

"Man, this bullshit. How about you pick on De Luca for once." Weber suggested, who was promptly flipped of by the Italian.

"Alright, look, how about we change the topic. We've still got an hour before briefing, so let's-"

Their conversation was interrupted however as an emergency attack alert began blaring from the operators cell phones and data pads. They were initially confused until they switched the settings on the television in the rec room to figure out what was going on. As they switched to BBC, they were met with an unsettling sight. The UNSS Icarus was seen emerging from what appeared to be a whirlpool opening in space. When it had completely exited the spacial anomaly, the Icarus was burning from it's port side. A massive burn mark scarred the side of the vessel as it slowly limped toward the UN fleet in orbit, who began to disperse from each other and swiveled their turrets towards empty space. Soon the engines on the Icarus began to sputter and cut out. Emergency thrusters began firing so that it would slow the ship's velocity and to avoid crashing into not only other objects in orbit, but into Earth as well. Soon the ship came to a gradual stop, entering a geosynchronous orbit above the planet.

"What the fuck happened to the Icarus?" one of the Canadians shouted as the images of the disabled ship filled the eyes of all those in the room."

"My brother is serving on board! What the hell is going on?" Another man shouted as everyone stood up and focused solely on the screen in front of them.

"Just minutes ago the UNSS Icarus just appeared from an unknown spacial anomaly and took up position just in front of our fleet before the ship came to halt and let out a distress signal. Right now, shuttles from the UNSS Nimitz race to dock with the damaged vessel, but it is unclear just how many are dead or wounded. Space tugs from the lunar base are being dispatched to assist the Icarus in getting back down to it's port in Halifax for repairs. This coincided with the United Nations Security Council calling an emergency session in Geneva, Switzerland."

"Those motherfuckers." Price said as he gritted his teeth.

"What the fuck was a ship with virtually no defenses, doing that far out in the solar system anyway?" Nilsen questioned as he watched a space shuttle dock with the Icarus, which he realized took far more damage than first thought. "We couldn't send a frigate to make sure it got back safe? What the fuck was command thinking?"

"I'm guessing they didn't expect to be attacked when they went out on recon. Still though, why the fuck did they attack the Icarus? It has no obvious weapons and it seems retarded to attack us for no reason. Something isn't right here." Itami reasoned as he looked back to his team, shock and surprise lingering on their face.

"Why the fuck did even attack our ship in the first place?"

"I'm not the only one who realized what the Icarus used to get back home right?" Mitchell asked as he looked back towards Price, Harkov, and a few other team leaders who occupied the front rows of the rec room. "We know for a fact that the Phauthi didn't have anything that advanced, so where the fuck did it come from?" Some of the other team leaders pondered that question. When the Phauthi were first detected by Earth's telescope arrays, they were slowing down from their approach towards Sol. They had achieved a speed of 50% the speed of light and spent nearly a decade gradually slowing down. Nuclear propulsion and fusion engines were fast and were a godsend for humanities space programs, but it still didn't explain how the Icarus managed to get back the way it did.

"It looks like those rumors of what's been in Area 51 might be true after all." The voice came from the Delta Force Master Sergeant, Ray Davids. He had always been a bit of a conspiracy nut, but after what everyone just saw, listening to him might not be a bad idea. "Think about it, even as far back as the cold war, rumors constantly spread about what was really going on in Area 51. One of them being methods of faster than light travel."

"You sound like a fucking nutcase, Roy." Gideon replied while looking at Davids like he was crazy.

"Let him talk." Price replied, interested in what he had to say. "I'm not saying I necessarily agree, but it makes you wonder what our governments really worked on before the war kicked off."

"Thank you. Anyway, while the light barrier itself can't be broken, there are ways around it, at least in theory."

"And most certainly fact now." Lee remarked.

"Indeed. An Einstein-Rosen bridge is a speculative structure that links two different points in space time. It doesn't violate the laws of physics and we've been working our asses off to see if it was possible." He explained to the operators who were paying attention.

"And where do aliens come into play in all this? Seriously man, I think the alcohol is getting to you." Weber laughed, receiving a middle finger from Davids.

"Well now that you mention it, this technology had to have been developed from something." Harkov reasoned. "There's no way we figured out how to crack this before the purple bastards did, even with their technology and defectors. It must've come from somewhere or something. Even with the funding our space agencies receive, there's no way they could've achieved this."

"Ok, even assuming this is even slightly correct, don't you think it would've become public knowledge? I mean for Christ sake, the cats out of the bag on whether or not we were alone in the universe, why the fuck the government still hide the fact that they had alien technology after all this time?" Mitchell tried to reason with them, but the more people who disagreed, another would jump into interject their own opinion.

"It kinda makes sense. Why would we openly talk about what we may be working on when we know who's listening? If your nation truly did have something of that magnitude, it would make sense to keep it a secret, even now. Now the only question I have regarding all of this is where the hell are these other aliens at? We already know that from the data we examined during and after the war, that they had already occupied a number of world's before coming here. We were the first to actually fend off an attack though. If they could pick up SETI broadcasts and find our old space probes, don't you think someone else would as well?" Lee had made a great point. On one hand, keeping your most valuable technology a closely guarded secret is a good thing. On the other, if the US or any other nation had alien technology before the war, where did they get it and who did it belong to?"

"That's the million dollar question, something I'm sure the government would try to figure out. With that said, there's no way in hell they could've heard our transmissions unless they were the ones we sent out specifically for others to hear. Chances are they picked up Arecibo or found Voyager."

"It makes you wonder what the WOW! message was, maybe someone was calling us for help or trying to warn us."

"It could've just been a message someone sent out a long time ago that just reached us."

"Maybe it could've been a call for help." A Frenchman by the name of Edmond Moreau interjected. "We already know we weren't the first on their list of people to subjugate, we just got lucky and became the first to survive."

"It honestly wouldn't surprise me, but If it was a message for help, then I think this galaxy is a fucked up place, given how the signal was narrowed down in the constellation Sagittarius, much farther away than just 50 light years.

"Remind me, how many other world's did they occupy before they came here?"

"Roughly five if I remember correctly. However only three came from other star systems, the others lived in the same system."

"Makes you realize just how lucky we were to catch them on approach to Earth."

"Why the hell did they even come here in the first place?" Lee questioned.

"God, glory and gold." Davids said. "Those are the three reasons humans have done what they have throughout history. Now obviously they loved to fight, ergo why they dragged out the war for as long as they did, as well as not just accelerating their ships into our planet. They didn't need resources nor did they care to spread religion. Which can only mean that they wanted our planet at least intact enough for them to live on. Sure, they can build ships to live on, but planets are safer by a much larger degree. They want real estate they can live on. Earth has an atmosphere suitable for them. Look what early humans did to the neanderthals when we left Africa. When you expand into new territory, you either wipe out the locals or severely reduce their numbers so they can't threaten you. This could very well prove that habitable planets are a rare commodity, something you don't just destroy."

"OK that's all well and good, but I think we still need to focus on why the fuck they attacked us all of a sudden." Before anyone else could respond, another emergency bulletin flashed across the screen grabbing the attention of those in the room. What they saw shocked them. Recordings from the Icarus's observation equipment was now live across the screen. An army similar to the Saderans was attacking the Phauthi colony on Titan. They saw as the recording panned over to a section of the colony almost completely destroyed. As their military ran over the invaders with trivial ease. At the center of it all, stood a Roman style building that the invaders were retreating into. Now they understood why the Icarus was attacked. Because they had just been attacked and were on high alert, just like the UN was. But this also meant that they wouldn't be going into this new world alone. A thought that they very much found horrifying.

"Yes, we can confirm these are the images the Icarus sent before it was attacked. It appears as if the same force that invaded Iceland, has also invaded the Phauthi colony on Titan. What this will mean for future military operations through the "GATE" as it's been called, is still unknown. However it is clear that-"

"You've got to be fucking kidding me." Mitchell exclaimed in a shocked tone as he and everyone else gazed at the images before them. Now their job just got a helluva lot harder. "How the fuck can this be happening?" Mitchell looked over and saw how quickly everyone in the room sobered up they all jumped from their seats, cursing wildly as they did. He glanced over and saw a Swedish operator vomit onto the floor, the rest of the team in pure shock at the recent turn of events.

"How the fuck can this be happening?" Harkov choked out as he glued his eyes to the tv set. "How the fuck can there be another one of these things and why did it open up in easy reach of our enemy?" He asked to no one in particular.

"Looks like our jobs just got a lot more difficult." Lee remarked. "Now we have to worry about fighting someone who can shoot back. Not that we haven't been shot at before, but this is going to make the upcoming offensive more difficult. Now my question is this, how the hell did the Saderans know who they were and how did they open up another one?"

"Perhaps they can't control where they open them up at." Weber responded. "Maybe they knew enough from those they interrogated to know about them, but even that is still debatable."

"I can't be the only one who realizes that those aren't Saderans, right?" Gideon pointed out. As they looked closer at the screen, they could see the he was write. Despite how the weapons and creatures were the same, they wore different armor and flags. This meant that they most likely came from the same world, but a different faction entirely. "Those aren't the same guys. But given the structure in the video, it's almost certainly the same world behind the one in Reykjavik. Which also means they have a direct link to our world now." Those last words hit the operators in the room harshly. While the portal in Iceland was bottleneck, it was still a means of passage to invade Earth.

"We better hope they still value the Geneva Peace Accords, otherwise shits going to hi the fan faster than you can say clusterfuck." Price said as he rubbed his eyes, still not wanting to believe what he was seeing. "Maybe it'll be one of those enemy of my enemy situations and they'll stay out of our way."

"You'll learn one day that cuts both ways, sir." One of the Russian operators replied to Price's comment. Regardless, I expect this to get bloody and quickly."

"You can say that again. If we come to blows again, that world will fucking burn."

"And we all know what happened to all those uncontacted tribes during the war, I'd expect nothing but genocide from those bastards. Hell, they burnt North Sentinel Island to the ground for fucking shits and giggles. They won't hesitate to slaughter their way through them for this."

"Then there's the fact that much of the Amazon and the jungles throughout Latin America and the Congo are infested with creatures that were released by the Phauthi to hunt down survivor. Those fuckers are nasty and extremely hard to kill." The Brazilian captain spoke up as he stepped forward. "They've become the reason we wall off our settlements and any mines still located within those regions are heavily guarded."

"Yeah, some of those things have infested the cave systems throughout Afghanistan. Although the locals, being superstitious about the caves, say they've always been around." Mitchell added. "My first deployment overseas was in the Afghanistan, specifically the Tora Bora cave system. We only encountered one of those things and we still lost two men before we killed it. Surprised we didn't just carpet bomb and pump the caves full of Nova gas. It'd make short work of them."

Price looked down at his data pad and sighed as he got up "Regardless, now we have to face the very real possibility that we'll have to fight them again. But I think we should pick this conversation up later gents. Commander Perryman wants us ready for briefing" he informed them as he got up and walked out of the room, the few members of his team present following him. Soon the rest of the room emptied out until there was only a few operators left inside. Mitchell, Gideon, Harkov, and Itami stood looking over at the screen one last time before making their way out.

"Well boys, something tells me that the next few months are going to be very interesting." Itami said in a half joking tone.

"Your telling me, my father is going to flip out when he he hears this. I better see if I can get some time off with my family for Christmas, lord knows my family wants to see me." Mitchell hasn't been around his family much for the past year due to work constraints and it's really started to take it's toll on him and his family. The same could be said for those not only in his team, but other units as well. And it was going to be even more strained due to recent events.

"Don't worry about it mate, we can hold down the fort here. Same for you Harkov, you both need time with your families."

"Not me." Itami remakred. "As long as I've got my Mei Com, I'm perfectly fine no matter where I'm at."

"You must be a virgin. You poor bastard." Harkov laughed as he smakced Itami on the back before walking out.

"Once Perryman is finished with the briefing, perhaps we can request some holiday leave."

"I hope so, because I have a feeling that once we cross that portal eventually, we'll be there for a while."

Geneva, Switzerland

United Nations Headquarters

December 8th, 2080

2100 Hours

In the new headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, the heads of state from the permanent security council members, alongside the rest of the world's nuclear powers, were set to give a statement the very same week when they were rushed into an emergency session after an urgent message from Joint Strategic Air Command in NORAD. Twenty one leaders were rushed into a secure room and were met with the computer screens displaying generals and admirals from their respective nations, as well as a number of intelligence agency members. When everyone had settled down, the recordings the Icarus had captured were put on full display for everyone to see. Most didn't believe it at first, but slowly came to realize that one of their worst fears had been realized. Ever since the Reykjavik Incident, there was worry in the upper echelons of the UN that the Phauthi would try to exploit this incident for their own gain. Now as they watched the feed as it showed an army of nearly the exact makeup on Titan, they realized that they wouldn't be entering this new world alone. Once this reached news outlets, the panic this could ensue would be massive.

Even while politicians were worried about the prospect of another conflict, the military leaders in the room knew damn well they wouldn't try anything anytime soon, but it was still best to prepare for the worst case scenario. However if this did spiral into another war, this would prove to be a great challenge for them, and they knew it. They haven't even gotten the full roster of manpower being pledged to the fight, let alone handling the logistical requirements of this new task. Even now, many old mothballed naval transports were being re-serviced so they could be used for the amphibious invasion. And now they'd have to take into account having to fight a superior opponent. Many leaders were only going to send fairly outdated equipment, with only the newer technology being used for infantry and special forces, but now they come up with an entirely new plan. With the world's militaries still mobilizing manpower and equipment, this would only complicate the situation even more.

"Is this confirmed?" The German Bundespräsident spoke up as he examined the footage before him, not wanting to believe it.

"I'm afraid so. We can confirm as of now that the unexpected movement of Phauthi military assets was not a drill or preparation for an attack, but a defensive measure taken by them against another unknown combatant." An American general had informed him. "That could very well explained why the Icarus was attacked, due to fog of war."

"Are we expecting an imminent attack?" The U.S. president questioned the man. He responded with a firm shake of the head.

"No sir, practically everything they have is currently stationed around Titan, it's unlikely they'd send any force to attack us, and as far as we know, the Geneva Peace Accords still hold true, despite the recent incident." The man replied informatively. It was good news to hear, but there was still plenty of bad. "Nevertheless, all nuclear silos and strategic nuclear bombers are on full alert."

"And what of our naval assets? Asked the Chinese president looked over towards his nation's admiral for answer.

"As of now, two of our four carrier strike groups and all SSBN's are out of port as we speak. I've ordered them to disperse in case of attack."

"Most of the Pacific Fleet had already been ordered out of Pearl harbor shortly after the attack on Reykjavik, however we've already ordered the rest of the fleet out of port. If someone from space comes knocking, we won't get caught off guard." An American Secretary of Defense interjected. "Currently our air forces have been placed on high alert and can be in the air within 15 minutes. Alongside national guard units deployed in major cities, we've started to disperse our forces over a wider area."

"We've already begun reinforcing our allies in the Caucasus and Central Asia." One of the Russians spoke up. "Necessary precautions have already been taken to ensure our forces aren't caught in the same operating area. However our carrier in Vladivostok is incapable of leaving port. But we are certain the DEAD systems will neutralize any attempted attack."

"And what of our Orbital Defense Grid? France has invested much in those satellites an we want to know if they are operational yet?" The French president demanded. A group of high ranking naval officers, seven in all, each from a different nation. A British officer took the initiative and spoke up first.

"Currently eight of the fifteen ODIN satellites are in place and operational, with the rest coming online within the next two to three weeks. If your questioning the readiness of our orbital defenses, then rest assured, we're prepared for anything."

"I don't believe we need to worry about our old enemy attacking us directly, but what the presence of our new enemy on Titan will mean for both us and the Phauthi." The Israeli prime minister pointed out. "We were planning an operation to deal with this Saderan Empire, whose military is reminiscent of that of the old Roman Empire, not a force with weapon capabilities still beyond our own."

"One thing that bothers me is who opened it and how did they know they were there? The armor of those who attacked Titan is not the same as those in Reykjavik. The creatures and weapons were the same, but it appears to be another country. We have to assume it connects to the same world as the Saderans."

"Which also means we must account for the possibility that the Phauthi send forces through their own expeditionary forces into that portal on Titan. This will complicate things greatly." Now they had to come to the realization that this campaign wouldn't be as easy as they once thought. Fighting an enemy as primitive as the Saderan Empire would be relatively easy, if not due to the firepower disparity, but in the ease of communication and easier logistical capabilities. But against an enemy that had had superior weapons to their own, and had come to Earth looking for another habitable biosphere, would not give up in this new world as easily.

"We are already drafting contingency plans for hostile contact with the Phauthi. However, this makes our plans for deployment much more difficult." An Indian general had stated. "Most of the vessels that are being used for the amphibious operation are mostly outdated mothballed vessels from the United States and Russia, which would be hopelessly outdated if we came into contact with a peer or superior force."

"We cannot spare our top of the line equipment into this new world, especially not any of our naval vessels. How do we know we won't lose them if it somehow closes?" The Chinese president argued. "And besides, we already know they can't afford another conflict with us, not when we can directly hit their civilians population, if we find their portal first. And if it becomes necessary, we destroy it before they destroy ours." The idea had started an argument between the heads of state over what course of action they should take with this new found information. Should they utilize their older equipment and technology, or if they should send their more advanced technology through in case they faced someone else on the other side. Either way, they ran the risk of losing not only their weapon and vehicles, but every soldier on the other side. It would be big gamble, one that could not be taken lightly.

As the arguing between the politicians had continued, a French general had come up with an idea. He cleared his throat to get the attention of those in the room. "Ladies, gentlemen, please, these are details that can be discussed later on. But we have a more pressing issue to deal with right now. We do not yet know the composition of the enemy on the other side. No matter how primitive they might be, we can't be careless about our moves."

"And what do you suggest we do?" The Russian president inquired. "Are you suggesting we send our most advanced weaponry against an enemy that still used swords?"

"Not necessarily." He replied. "We don't even know if the other world is even habitable for us. It may be for the enemy, but we shouldn't run the risk it not being the case. However I don't believe we should send our best weapons through unless it becomes clear that the Phauthi are willing to reengage hostilities. What I am suggesting is that we send a few drones and CBRN teams into both Alpha and Bravo point, which would allow us to test not only the atmosphere to confirm if it is breathable to us, but also to get a better idea on the defenses on the other side." The leaders looked around to each other and seemingly agreed with the plan. But now they had to decide who's nation would send the teams through to confirm it.

"And who would you suggest carry out this operation? There are only a few units in Reykjavik capable of carrying out such tasks, and they are still needed to clean up the bodies still being found." The Polish president inquired. "It'll take a minimum of days to bring in enough units to carry out such a mission."

"I believe that time is of the essence, so it is my opinion that we should make arrangements to send scouting units as soon as possible. While it will certainly take time to procure drones capable of passing through Bravo Point in Faxa Bay, have teams in country capable of crossing through Alpha Point in Alftanes. Not only would this operation help us gather information about the composition of enemy forces, it would allow us to find out what had happened to the 10,000 Icelandic civilian that are confirmed to have been taken by the Saderans. France has committed two squadrons from the 2nd Dragoon Regiment in Iceland right now and we can prepare one squad for deployment through Alpha Point, but they'll still be insufficient depending on the size of the area beyond. We'll need more teams to cover the ground and carry sufficient equipment to gauge air quality and scan the atmosphere for toxins." The generals from each respective nation began to talk among their leaders to discuss the viability of pulling teams for the operation. Some agreed with an operation as soon as possible. Others deemed it too risky to send men through Alpha Point this soon after they kicked the Saderans back. Others said it would be their best chance to rescue civilian and analyze the environment to make way for the counteroffensive.

"We have members of the 48th Chemical Brigade stationed near Alpha Point, I can make the arrangements to send them through after they've been properly equipped." An American general spoke up. "If equipment necessary for the mission is needed, we already have a shipment being offloaded as we speak. We were already making preparations for the day we inevitably strike back against the Saderans. In the off chance the atmosphere is suitable for us, we began flying in environmentally sealed NBC suits for any advanced teams that get sent though."

"However it'll take months to get more made and shipped here if our soldiers can't breathe beyond Alpha Point." The US president informed. "These suits are prototypes and have only just entered service. Even if production is sped up, it'll take far longer than any of us would like to outfit our forces with them."

"So here's to hoping our soldiers won't need them."

"Just how many teams will be needed for proper reconnaissance and assessment of the world behind Alpha Point?" The Israeli prime minster asked. "Because if they run into the enemy, they could risk being overrun and forced to retreat before proper readings could be made."

The Frenchman pursed his lips as he thought about it for a few moments. "At least three to four, with NBC rated vehicles, which my nation can readily provide. We have enough AMC's to transport a company of men." He waited a few more moments as the heads of states consulted their generals again. It was the Chinese president was the first to speak up.

"We have CBRN team in the country right now, they can assist in this operation once all preparations have been made."

"The 101st NBC Protection Unit has just arrived at Keflavik air base, they should be able to render assistance once called upon." The Japanese prime minister spoke up. "Just say the word and we'll make sure preparations are made for them to assist the other teams."

"I think that is all that will be needed for now." The Frenchman replied in a satisfied tone. "As soon as this meeting is over, I'll send out the orders."

"Now that that issue is out of the way, we need to discuss how we plan on carrying out the naval operations." The American admiral spoke. "As you know, we still have mostly Gerald R Ford carriers in use today. And given how much all of our nation's invested on our space defense capabilities, as well as our ballistic submarine fleets, little has been left for our surface assets. That is our one critical weakness. Most of our surface fleet is fairly old, but it also means we won't lose our most valuable assets if Bravo Point traps them on the other side. Right now we have enough amphibious assets to support our own marine forces, as well as 15,000 additional personnel, but it'll take an more time to activate reserve ships if there isn't sufficient sea lift power currently active."

"How long to activate the necessary number of ships, admiral? Time is of the essence in this situation." The US president probed. The admiral glanced over and whispered to a nearby officer, who passed him a clipboard with a single sheet of paper. After taking a few seconds to glance over the paper, he looked back up.

"At current activation rates of reserves, we're looking at the very least of three months time to activate our mothballed transport vessels alone, not including our surface combat or other auxiliaries. Once our reserve transports are ready, we're looking at room for an additional 30,000 personnel. This of course assumes we had them loaded to capacity with no supplies, which is impossible." The Chinese president took this opportunity to speak with his admirals as well, who had informed him of his nation's reserves as well.

"The People's Republic of China has enough vessels to transport 20,000, on top of the marine forces we've already committed to the fight. With our reserve capacity, we can transport an additional 35,000. More of our vessels are active, but majority are older. We can have most of our reserves ready in two months and enough reserves ready in three."

"But one thing we must realize is that we can't utilize every ship we have at one time. Not only would it be careless and impractical, it's not possible. Only a third of any of our fleets are active, with the remaining two thirds undergoing maintenance or about to deploy. Even then, our navies have commitments elsewhere in the world and we can't ignore them." The American admiral reminded them. After all, it just wouldn't be feasible to use their full military strength, not to mention it would be unnecessary due to the technological level of their enemy.

After the war, it was much easier for survivors and refugees to make their way to the coasts, as to be closer to food supply and closer to UN that in mind, many of the cities that popped up in the Southern Hemisphere after the war were heavily reliant on the navies of the surviving powers. Santiago, Lima, Rio, Freetown, Lagos, Mombasa, Alexandria, Casablanca, Algiers, Jakarta, Bangkok, Sydney, Melbourne, and Darwin became massive hubs for humanitarian aid being shipped from around the world. Millions settled in these cities and in the decades following humanities most devastating conflict, were the most stable places on each respective continent. It was easy to supply and protect the cities with them being located on the coast. It was the navies of the world that kept the shipping lanes open, allowing the cities to have easy access to desperately needed.

"Not to mention that bringing that much force is entirely unneeded given how our enemy is at least 2,000 years behind us technologically." The Russian president reasoned. "I'm not saying we shouldn't activate send our own ships through, but we must prioritize how we use our assets. My nation's naval fleet isn't as focused on amphibious capabilities as your own might be, but we compensate with our larger army and air defense system. The main incursion must be on the ground at Alpha Point. Bravo Point could very well take an aircraft carrier if we sought to bring one through, but do we really want to risk such assets in a bottleneck such as that? We should wait and see what our aquatic drones can find. We already saw what that dragon had done to the coast guard cutter in Iceland, do you want to run the risk of any of our ships meeting a similar fate? Naval operations should take place once we have an idea of what the oceans in the other world are like."

"And we'll make sure we don't go in unprepared." The British prime minister replied. "It'll only take a few days at most before aquatic drones can be sent though Bravo Point and we have an idea of what's on the other side. Bloody hell, they had wooden galleys in their invasion force, I'm fairly sure a destroyer can handle the waters just fine."

"As was just pointed out, there is still the threat of more of those dragons that could be hiding on the other side. We had tracked down and killed another of those creatures on the 5th, which was 57 kilometers from Alpha and Bravo point. If there are more waiting on the other side, sending our amphibious assets would be suicidal."

"Not to mention that the two creatures we killed were confirmed to be children." The US president informed them. Upon hearing this, the eyes of every leader and more than a few generals focused on him in surprise. The only leaders who weren't surprised to hear it were the Russian and Chinese presidents, who's intelligence services already learned this from the interrogation of prisoners over the past few days. Most of the room exchanged glances towards one another before the Egyptian president took the initiative and spoke up.

"And just how do you know this? If that is merely the offspring, which was already capable of slicing a coast guard vessel in half with a swing of it's tail, then what can it's parents do?"

"Our intelligence assets, alongside MSS and FSS, interrogated many of the prisoners taken during the battle of Reykjavik. Some took varying levels of persuasion to talk, others gave in easily, some were more than happy to give us any information we wanted. Our agents had learned about the Saderan military, political leadership, other nations on the other side of Alpha and Bravo Point, as well as the ethnic make up and geography of their world. From what were told from a noble we had captured, who goes by the name of Colt Formal, the Saderan military is still fairly large, large enough to still be an effective force."

"What are we dealing with, manpower wise? How much resistance are we to expect from them? And what of these dragons? How many of them are left?"

"From what we were told, eleven more offspring of similar size, as well as two parents. As of now, it is entirely unknown where the remainder of them are, and we won't know if there are any waiting directly on the other side, until we get eyes on the other side." A Russian general interjected. "What we are certain of it that of the 150,000 strong invasion force, only a total of 55,000 were estimated to have escaped, and are most likely preparing a defense as we speak."

"And that doesn't include the rest of their military." One of the Chinese generals continued. "As well as the units that escaped, they still have 120,000 legionaries spread throughout the continent of Falmart, which is where the Saderan Empire hails from." Many in the room raised an eyebrow as the name reminded them very much of an American corporation known as Walmart. A few even chuckled at the name. "Aside from that, they have an additional 40,000 auxiliary in their army, 500 wyverns, the smaller dragons British and American fighter squadrons engaged early on, as well as an assortment of war elephants and other animals. Aside from the dragons, both large and small."

We are also aware of the existence of a group of soldiers we encountered known as the Immortals."

"It is my understanding that these so called Immortals had proven invulnerable to small arms fire during the battle in Reykjavik."

"They were also responsible for roughly 75% of the military casualties taken on that day due to their abilities. Do we have an idea as to how many of them there are?"

"Our intelligence assets had concluded that a total of 9,000 of them remain within the Saderan military. From what they were able to gather from the prisoners taken, they are the elite of the Saderan Empire. They are responsible for guarding the Emperor, who we now now as Molt Sol Augustus, as well as protecting the capital city. Of the 1,000 they had sent to fight back out counterattack, only a dozen or so were captured, the rest confirmed killed. They are equipped with the absolute best weapons at the Empire's disposal, which also include magical enchantments." The word magic had caused many raised eyebrows and curious glances from those in the room to focus on the Russian president.

"Magic?" The Korean president questioned. "Are we sure that we're that's what were dealing with? It sounds far too ridiculous to be true."

"Alien invasions were also thought to be too ridiculous until it happened." The Mexican president responded as she eyed Korea's president curiously. "You do realize that Iceland was just invaded by a force that utilized literal dragons and other creatures one would only find in fantasy stories, right? And we've all seen the news footage from that day, robed figures darting between buildings, elves that conjured lightning which jammed our air forces and forced them out of Icelandic airspace, and those Immortals that had swords which were capable of destroying vehicles. After all this, you still refuse to believe what our agents have gathered from those who come directly from the world beyond Alpha Point? Magic might not exist here, but we don't know what awaits us in their own."

The Korean president, seeing as his argument was quickly shot down, sat down in defeat. "You make a good point, I'll concede my point."

"Please continue." The Indian president said as he motioned his hand.

"From what we know, the magic that they are imbued with makes them invulnerable to most forms of damage. That's why small arms were incapable of penetrating the magic aura around them. That magic explains what our soldiers saw as they shot them. They had a record of winning every engagement they've fought in. That's why their Emperor had sent them, in the hope they would turn the tide of the fight."

"But that illusion was shattered the moment they fought us." The Canadian prime minister chuckled.

"And I'm guessing their morale broke when they were slaughtered like animals."

"Exactly. When the legionaries of Empire had witnessed the best of their military getting mowed down by our forces, they began a sloppy and unorganized retreat in an attempt to escape. This resulted in them being caught in a bottleneck and being destroyed. But back onto the topic at hand, the magic they use makes them a danger to infantry and light armored vehicles, but vulnerable to large caliber machine guns or high explosives. Their weapons, are also imbued with magic that allows them to emit energy from them once pointed them at an enemy. The amount of energy capable of being emitted at one time can range from burning a hole right through a man's body, to being able to send a Humvee up in flames. They also have enhanced strength, allowing them to rip a man's arm from their socket. Which, if ever in a close quarters situation, would put most of men at a severe disadvantage."

"There also remains the fact that actual mages exist in their world and we've seen what they could do first hand. The staffs they posses can channel enough energy to destroy an APC. Apparently the most powerful mage they had, as well as many high ranking officials had come though with the invasion force, but had retreated back halfway into the fighting. From what we were capable of gathering, the mages we saw were only students, not fully trained in their capabilities. We already know they can create shields that block small arms fire, but we've yet to see their full potential."

"Which will only spell disaster if we don't know the full extent of their capabilities." The Japanese president groaned as he rubbed his temples. Everyone thought they had seen the full extent of the Saderan military, but not only had the dragons they witnessed being only mere offspring, they now had to address the problem of the mages and just how powerful they are. "And that's not something we'll find out until after we launch our counterattack."

"And having to send our men in without fully knowing their capabilities in combat will not end well." The German Bundespräsident commented. "I wouldn't suppose we captured any of these mages during the battle?"

"No, unfortunately. Most were killed by the special forces teams that arrived in the early hours of the attack, with the rest being killed or escaping when the push into Reykjavik began. But we may have gathered information that will help us should we encounter them again." The American president said matter of factly.

"And what may that be?" The president nodded towards one of his generals who brought up a tablet and began tapping the screen. One of the screens in the room had displayed the footage from one of the navy SEAL's helmet camera's from the battle. They had been forced to cover inside the lobby of a hospital by a group of robed figures.

"We need a new plan, because bullets aren't gonna cut it here. Any ideas?"

"Ramirez, throw an EMP grenade outside, Allen, I want you to lay down cover fire!"

The recording continued as one of the SEAL's brought out a grenade and tossed it in the direction of the figures. The camera was then turned away as it went off. As they recovered and approached the enemy, they were twitching and spasming on the ground. They held their heads and screamed in pain as the EMP grenade had disabled their abilities. Before it went off, they were incapable of harming the mages. But the moment it went off, they were rendered helpless.

"We have observed the effects of an electromagnetic pulse on their powers and it seems that, even if the effect is temporary, can leave them vulnerable to conventional attack. This opens a few options for us if our forces come into close contact."

"At least it gives our men a chance if they get caught off guard by them."

"And what about these Immortals? Do you have any idea how many of them there are?" The Italian president inquired.

"From what our main source has told us, there were 10,000 before the invasion, but they already lost 1,000 to us already. We're aware of most of their capabilities, but from what we do know about them, they'd present a great threat to our men in close quarters."

"Which brings us to a point I believe we need to address immediately. We're facing a force that focuses more on martial prowess and close quarters combat. Many of the special police teams that were sent to help the military to clear our the residential districts of Reykjavik had fallen victim to the Saderans in close combat. It became even more apparent when entire blocks had to be breached and secured house by house during the last days of fighting. Since we'll inevitably fight them in such proximity at some point, especially if we have to invade their own cities, it would greatly benefit our troops if they had the necessary means of self defense if they find themselves up close against them urban combat."

Many in the room agreed with the Russian general's proposal. It would benefit them greatly if UN forces were given courses on hand to hand combat if they ever found themselves at a disadvantage. But the training, as well as the possibility of having to equip every soldier with an environmental suit, would take time. Time which could be used to bring a swift end to this war and find all those taken during the fighting. For the UN, this wasn't just eliminating another alien invader, it was for revenge and retribution. They'd move heaven and hell if it meant bringing their people back home. For all the disagreements many nations still had, seeing a nation that had forever renounced warfare, being invaded by a force who sought to conquer all before it, didn't sit well with them.

But now they had to debate just what to train their forces in. Despite being a unified force, equipment or training wasn't uniform. America, Russia, China, and the European powers still produced and operated their own weapons. This meant a much more difficult logistical train. Many nations didn't have the necessary sea or airlift capabilities to move such large amounts of men halfway across the world, so it would be up to others to transport them. Despite all their advantages over the Saderans, logistics were still king to any military conflict. They couldn't rush this, especially now that there were more unknowns at play in this operation.

"I agree. We've already seen what has happened when our own were caught in close quarters and it didn't end well."

"But the main problem lies in how long this will take. Having our men take refresher courses will take months."

"We'll already need that amount of time to handle the logistics of this operation, so it would benefit us greatly if we take the necessary precautions. Better to have it and not need it."

"I recommend we utilize our special forces to help train our soldiers in close quarters fighting. Specifically teams from Korea, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Nepal, and China." The Mexican president recommended. "I've seen your nation's best in action before and I believe that they would be best suited in regards to how to protect themselves in such a situation. To ignore such a weakness in our armed forces will cost us dearly if we do not address this."

"I believe we could have instructors in martial arts brought in to provide additional training, but arrangements will have to be made as it will take time to assign the proper units for this task." The Turkish president said.

"I believe there is still some more information that needs to be discussed here. Mainly regarding other nations and species which reside on the other side of Alpha Point."

"The latter is already obvious due to half the prisoners we took. Speaking of that, how close are we to moving them to other sites around the world? Because right now their sprawled out across and airport we could be using to ferry in more troops."

"We've already begun the preparations to have 300 moved directly to Alcatraz Island, with the other 1,700 we promised to take elsewhere across the country."

"Prisons in Siberia have been properly prepared and we're ready to take them off of Iceland's hands. We'll be able to airlift more forces into the country once Reykjavik airport is cleared out."

"Now what of the other nations on the other side of Alpha Point?"

"From what we've already gathered, there are at least 21 different nations that reside beyond Alpha Point, all of which are vassals of the Saderan Empire. They are in charge of day to day administration of their territories, but must pay tribute to them. However they rebelled against the Empire seven years ago due to harsh taxes that were levied on them. The rebellion ultimately failed, but despite all this, they are still allied with them, more likely out of fear than anything else. The most powerful of these vassals are the kingdoms of Elbe, Alguna, Mudwan, and League Principality." Hearing the first two names perked up the ears of the German, Spanish, and Mexican heads of state, who heard names that meant something in their native languages.

"River Kingdom?"

"Are you sure the translations are correct?" The Spanish president asked. "Because I'm curious as to why they named their country any."

We are still unsure about that. Exactly why and how there are humans in their world, combined with the fact they are an almost spitting image of the Roman Empire, the similarities in their words, and how they speak a slightly evolved form of Latin, we're still investigating any possible connections they may have to our world. But back into the topic of the nations, despite the fact of being beaten several years prior, they still maintain an army that it estimated to be anywhere from 120-150,000 soldiers, with an unknown number of other assets at their disposal."

"That means we have at least 374,000 combatants that we would face in the other world, not counting their wyverns, dragons, navy, militia or elite guards in their cities."

"Almost 400,000 soldiers!" The Norwegian president exclaimed.

"And the vassal states would make up half of their manpower. Would it be possible to at least attempt negotiations with them or at least try to limit the bloodshed." The Swedish prime minister put forth. "They didn't declare war on us, the Saderan Empire did, so we shouldn't punish them for the Empire's transgressions."

"As much as it pains me to sound like a pacifist, I can't help but agree." The Russian president replied with a hint of annoyance in his voice. "If we have the ability to, we should at least open up diplomatic relations with them, given how they are likely not aware of our existence and it would be useful to build alliances on the other side of Alpha Point. If at the very least, it'll help save the lives of those who don't need to die needlessly. Not to mention that we could cause divides within the Empire we could use to our advantage."

"And how do you propose we do that? Back then, it was fear, not rational thought that reigned supreme. They'll more than likely side with someone familiar to them, not beings from another world. Trying to reason with them will be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible."

"That is where some of the prisoners we captured come into play. Among the various vassal kingdoms, there are various tribes of what we now know as "Demihumans", were systematically conquered and enslaved by the Saderans since the birth of their empire. Examples of this are the elves and bunny women we captured." The screen in front of them lit up with pictures of the POW's taken after the battle, mostly consisting of humanoid rabbit women, as well as two separate types of elves. One type had dark skin, while the others had blonde hair and blue eyes. "The rabbits show incredible strength in their legs, being capable of kicking a fully grown man at least several feet back. The elves, are capable of powerful magical capabilities. We later found from ones who came forward willingly to give us information, that they were behind the lightning storm in the sky when our teams first arrived in the city. They know their way around the continent and could help us in navigating the continent. They even helped us construct a partial map of the region."

The screen soon shifted to a map that covered about 1,200 kilometers from west to east. At the center of the map, was a red circle, which indicated where on this continent Alpha Point had originated from. There was two large mountain ranges, one directly to the north, another directly south. There was also a sea on the east coast that presumably led out to the ocean. Within the boundaries of the map, lay four different cities, all of which are within strike range of even their oldest weapon systems:





"The elves come from the mountainous and forested regions of the continent. Regions that would prove difficult to pass through and whose locals would be more than willing to help us in exchange for protection against the Empire. One prisoner specifically, said she would willingly join us if we guarantee to protect her people. Others have com forward willing to work with us, however many had stated they did not want to go back to their world. But those are details that can be worked out later. These four cities listed on the map are not only the most important cities in the Empire, they are within a relatively short distance from Alpha Point, which is located at a location called Alnus Hill. The first is the city of Italica, a city that is vital to keeping the Imperial capital of Sadera supplied. Which means that if we capture this city, we'd not only cut off the capital, but it would also afford us a clear shot towards the city."

"Which would also allow us to end the war quickly." One of the British generals realized. "What about the other cities?"

Yes, and it's even easier to know what could be potentially waiting for us when one of the prisoners we had captured was the leader of the city. Count Colt Formal, after realizing during interrogation that a war against us was futile, he broke down and started to beg us to spare his city, which is also home to his daughter. He left half of his army at the city to defend it, along with any other units the Empire may have deployed in that city since we pushed them back. At the very least, that leaves 2,500 defenders. Count Colt also happens to know the kings of Elbe and Mudwan very well, which would allow us to open diplomatic channels with the vassals. While I know how it sounds to pardon someone who took part in an invasion of our world, many of these prisoners are willing to work for us. They would be invaluable assets in a world that with completely different physical laws than our own."

The leaders in the room glanced around at each other and spoke lightly before turning back to the generals presenting the information. "This is something that will have to be considered at a later point, continue with what else you know." The Russian president ordered.

"The next important city is Rondel, which is home to the magic academy of the Empire. It's home to the magical capabilities of the Empire and arguably the most important military city to them. We've seen what their mages can do and the entire city is full of them. If we could secure the city, we would neuter the Empire's magical capabilities, which as we've seen already, is the biggest threat second only to the dragon problem. And since the retreating forces had stolen a number of firearms from the Icelandic police force during the invasion, coupled with how they managed to knock out power throughout all of Reykjavik, as well as broadcasting their demands at a TV station, we believe they could potentially try and replicate those weapons. What makes this even worse is the large number of people they captured, which they'll either use as human shields or as a source of information to use against us. I recommend we make the city a priority military target to eliminate the threat they pose to us."

"I highly doubt they'd figure out how to even advance to gunpowder, let alone become that much of a threat towards us." The Russian president laughed, which caused the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Mexico, Spain, and Italy to stare at him with a harsh look.

"That same line of reasoning is exactly how military operations fail." The American president replied harshly. "We already know they can make us bleed, we just don't know to what extent they can fight back further. While I doubt they'd make enough of anything to make a difference, simply underestimating them will lead to preventable losses. No matter the gap in technology here, we must treat them seriously."

The Russian president simply shrugged, knowing he was defeated. "Very well, but I believe that the threat of this city is being overestimated. However I do agree that we put it at the top of our priorities once we make it through Alpha Point."

"Agreed, what about the last city, towards the top?"

"Bellnahgo is a rather strange on to try and explain." The CIA agent rubbed the back of her head trying to find the words. "Apparently the city is home an actual god, according to the prisoners. Within the city, resides a temple where you can meet her. From what we had gathered, there exists twelve separate deities in their world. Bellnahgo is home to the goddess known as Hardy, ruler of the underworld." Those in the room looked more than bit unnerved and puzzled by what the agent had just said. For those who were religious, they saw this as ridiculous. If there was a God, it was their God. For those who weren't, they first laughed at the idea, but soon realized that it wasn't their world. But with how primitive the other world was, it wasn't unlikely that someone using magic could fool the masses.

"It would make sense given how backward they are in everything, religion doesn't exactly advance scientific achievement." The American president joked, earning daggers from half the room. "But if even half of this is true, we may have to take a completely different approach on how we handle this. But then again, most likely it's just the superstitious locals having the wool pulled over their eyes by some con artists."

"Just because you have no faith, doesn't mean many of us still don't." The Pakistani president replied harshly.

"If God truly existed, half of what happened to us wouldn't have occurred. I find it difficult to believe in some magical flying sky man, especially after how many countless billions around the world, who made up a vast majority of the world's religious population before the war, were slaughtered." His voice rose until he was practically shouting at the man. Things would've gotten worse if other leaders broke up the argument, with Iran and Egypt calming down the Pakistani president, and Sweden and China handling the US president.

"If I may bring forth an idea, if it becomes clear that there is an threat on the other side of Alpha Point that can't be dealt with conventionally, we always have the option of tactical nuclear strikes to get our points across. Suggested the Canadian prime minister. Most of the room seemed to agree with her. if their armies were incapable of dealing with a threat, then they could always resort to opening a few cans of Oppenheimer Light.

"I believe the rest of what we need to discuss, including the refusal of the Boer and Zulu republics to join the United Nations, as well as the potential of having a whole world of untapped resources at our disposal to help rebuild the rest of our world." The French president interrupted. Keeping the various generals and intelligence officers in the room would. "I motion that we send the recon teams through Alpha Point as soon as possible." After a short vote, 18-3, with only Israel, Norway, and Canada voting no, believing they should wait until aquatic drones could deployed. Soon half of the monitors in the room clicked off as the generals went to planning future operations, as well preparing CBRN teams on the ground in Iceland for their next operation.

Alpha Point

Altanes, Iceland

December 9th, 2080

0100 Hours

All along the strip of land that the GATE sat upon, was an assortment of barbed wire, barricades, machine gun towers, and dozens of armored vehicles, all of which had their weapons aimed directly at the pitch black entrance to what now referred to as Alpha Point. Hundreds of men watched like hawks towards the structure, ready for another attack to occur. There was enough firepower in their hands to make damn sure no one got through again. But with new orders being given to the CBRN teams in the country, a path was cleared that allowed vehicles to move directly into the structure. The lane was wide enough for two vehicles and no more. The rest of the space around it was taken up by barricades and equipment. The military had even begun constructing a dome directly over it, to ensure nothing can get through. Some strange figures had already exited it a few times over the last two days, all of which were detained, claiming they were but mere travelers. They were fingered as spies from the get-go. No civilians would be in the middle of a war zone, especially not from the world beyond.

Now a convoy of eight French Armoured Multirole Carriers, filled with the necessary equipment and teams sat inside patiently while they were given the go ahead to pass through and be the first on another inhabited world. American, French, Chinese, and Japanese teams would be the first to step foot in that world. But their objective wasn't to fight, but to see whether or not their own men could breathe in the atmosphere, as well bring back an accurate report of what awaits them on the other side. The vehicles rumbled in idle as they awaited the go ahead to pass. Soon the green light was given and the vehicles roared to life and began their journey through the GATE. Before they had passed though, they were excited to finally get to have the first look at this new world, but as the darkness enveloped them, they grew quiet. It didn't help that there were stereos blasting sounds through the tunnel that was meant to deter others from crossing it.

They traveled for at least ten minutes in pitch black darkness, with only the headlights illuminating the way. Occasionally they hit bumps in the tunnel, which made many of the men jump. The drivers informed them that it was the remains of the wounded members of the invasion force that had succumbed to their injuries. Even still, they were jumpy, fearing something would reach out from the black and grab them, dragging them into the abyss. When the lead AMC's finally saw a dim white light ahead, the soldiers inside felt assured they would make it through. As soon as they passed the threshold, they came to an abrupt stop. The headlights switched off and the area was scanned with thermal imaging to detect nearby lifeforms. It didn't take long before they found something.

"We've got contact!"
Chapter 13: A Warning
"We've got contact!"

Scores of thermal signatures lit up their view as they exited the tunnel. As the AMC's arranged themselves in an arrowhead formation, as to get a better view of the area and as a defensive position. But they soon found themselves facing off thousands of enemy combatants. When it came through the radio that they had contact, the teams on board each vehicle began to shuffle out and take up positions around the area, some setting up equipment, others readying their weapons towards the enemy force in front of them. Four members from each team was responsible for dealing with the atmospheric scanners and pathogen detectors, while the rest of their squadmates were tasked with defense. The Chinese especially were heavily armed, carrying an HJ-14 anti tank launcher, as well as two incendiary rocket launchers with them. Although they weren't made for combat, just like the flame throwers they used, they were originally meant for dealing with wasp nests. Now they had a new use here.

As the troops exited, they had expected the enemy be below the hill, and they were. From what they had observed, they were 150 meters from their current position, with the rest of their forces about one mile meters away in a massive campsite. It seemed that they hadn't expected an attack, which worked out in the favor of the hazmat crews. Luckily the engines of the AMC's were fairly silent, which kept them in the dark for now. For the UN soldiers, their worst nightmare would be getting overrun by the force in front of them before they could finish running scans of the local atmosphere. But it wasn't long before they caught onto the hazmat units on the hill. The sound of men bustling around and setting up equipment had alerted them of their presence.

"Shit, I think they see us now." One of the French soldiers said quietly over the comms as he readied his rifle at the enemy downrange.

"Seems like it. Who was carrying the rocket launcher?" An American captain by the name of Aeran Pierce asked. "Because I think we're gonna need it." He looked back through his binoculars and looked in disbelief at the sight before him. Not at the men closest to them. But at what he saw in their campsite a mile below them. Three large dragons, one of which dwarfed the other two, were sleeping deeper in the enemy campsite roughly a mile away. Others soon got eyes on this and they radioed back to command about what they found. They had been given a briefing about what type of creatures they should expect to see. Among those was the Type A Class Kaiju. So far, two of which have been killed so far. Right now, he was looking at three of them, one of which was much larger than the other two, meaning it was most likely the offspring. He knew they didn't have the necessary weaponry to fight them, but it soon looked as if he had no choice.

It wasn't long before the various monsters and legionaries who were previously digging and building the fortifications, seeing the giant metal beasts they had only heard of through the stories from terrified survivors, now right in front of them, forced them to flee their positions and run back towards the camp. As they left their tools and partly built fortifications behind, some of the soldiers were ordered to check out just what they were building. Trenches filled with spikes, wooded walls, and towers meant for ballista were lined up all around the exit of the Gate.

"Command, we have eyes on three Type A Class Kaiju on the other side of Alpha Point. Repeat, we have confirmation on three Type A Class Kaiju, one of which is larger than the ones previously encountered."

"Affirmative. How far away is it from the exit of Alpha Point?"

"One mile north of the exit, based inside a campsite at that same distance below the Hill. We also have eyes on a substantial enemy force below, please advise."

"Hold your current position and DO NOT ENGAGE unless attacked first. We can't send a QRF through Alpha Point."

"Roger command, Captain Pierce out." "FUCK". Pierce though to himself. The moment those workers get back to their camp, all hell is going to break lose. They could open fire and kill them, but the sound of gunfire would alert them much quicker than if they just ran and exhausted themselves. "Alright men, take up positions and dig in. We have to hold out until we get a readout of the atmosphere."

"Holy shit! Do you see the size of that thing?"

"I don't think a single rocket launcher will do much against any of them." One of the Americans commented to the Chinese soldier who brought up the anti tank rocket.

"It's better than nothing." He replied. "At the very least, it'll slow the thing down."

"I'm not arguing that, but you saw the news footage of the ones we took down in Reykjavik. It took two railgun rounds through it's chest and head to finally kill the damn thing. Unless you hit it directly in the eye, you'll just piss it off even further."

As the hazmat teams moved further from their position so they could investigate what defenses were being built. "It looks like these guys are trying to prevent us from launching our counter attack. But no matter how deep they dig, we've got bridge layers for just that purpose." One of the Japanese soldiers commented.

"If anyone has some mines, we can leave a nasty surprise one these guys come back up here? They even left their shovels for us to do it!" One of the French joked. But for the Americans, they brought mines with them. Everyone stared at the Americans in surprise as two of them carried a large case filled with anti personnel mines.

One of the Americans looked up and just smirked as he tossed a few towards the other hazmat soldiers. "Hey, Geneva Conventions died decades ago, so who gives a fuck?" Laughed as he and his team began setting them up. They dug small holes throughout the trench line where the Saderans were still digging. If they came back to dig later on, they would certainly set them off. The mines were similar in design to the old M18 claymore mine, but had four prongs that could either attack itself to walls, or could be buried into the ground, which was attached to a cylindrical body. A blue laser wire would be left just above the surface. Once tripped, the mine would push up and shoot steel balls that, once they made contact with the body, they would fragment throughout the body. The mines were new and state of the art, used by the many nations in the UN, although it wasn't the only antipersonnel mine in use, just the only one available.

"I'm sure they'll appreciate the surprise we're leaving them. Hell, knowing how stupid these backwards assholes are, they might even try to pick them up."

"Damn, how many mines did you Americans bring?" Of of the French soldiers asked, curious as to why they sought to bring them on this mission. "I mean this is just supposed to be a simple recon mission, not an invasion!"

"You can never be too prepared." The American replied. "There's nothing wrong with a bit of extra firepower. Besides, we'll be needing them in a minute. Just look north. We're about to have a whole damn army coming our way."

And he wasn't lying either. No more than five minutes after setting up the mines, the campsite below was lit up in torchlight as thousands of men scrambled to their weapons and take the fight to them. Once they finished laying down the mines, they sprinted back towards the line of vehicles which was in a tight formation overlooking the campsite below. They couldn't have picked a better time as wyverns began to take to the sky and make beeline for the exposed soldiers. The soldiers could hear war horns being blared throughout the camp below them and could see just how large the enemy force was. They looked up and could see small flames above them. It was the wyvern sand the riders. They swooped down towards the men, which was a bad idea. Immediately the CROW's system on each AMC opened fire on the dragons, cutting them down with ease. However they flew up higher, where the gun couldn't elevate to hit it. Those that escaped the kill zone, dropped their payloads towards the UN teams. Once it hit the ground, it become apparent what it was. It reminded many of them about Greek Fire, an incendiary compound used by the Eastern Roman Empire. Many of the troops managed to get of the way as one of the vials hit directly on top of a nearby vehicle.

"What the fuck was that!" One of the French screamed as he barely dodged the flames that engulfed the vehicle next to him.

"Hell if I know, they weren't doing this in Reykjavik!"

"Hold it together men, we've bigger problems to worry about! Let the armor deal with the wyverns, we've infantry incoming!"

As the wyverns retreated back towards the camp, the outline of marching army came into view. Thousands of men were racing towards their location with intent to drive the invaders off of their homeland. For the hazmat soldiers, they had to wait until they got within 200 meters, otherwise they'd be wasting ammo due to the ranges. It's also due to the fact that their suits didn't give them the best options when aiming down the sites. Despite how accurate the MDR was, they weren't going to waste ammo until they knew they could hit them. The machine guns however, they had the targeting systems inside the drivers compartment. They fired short bursts into the charging crowd of men, which tore through their ranks with trivial ease. It got even worse once they passed the 500 meter mark. The moment they passed the 200 meter mark, every man who wasn't working on the diagnostics had opened fire, which further terrified the advancing legionaries. At first they had only seen eight flashes where the enemy was. Now there was dozens of them, each one opened up more avenues of death among their ranks. The situation was made even worse as the landmines exploded one after the other, sending fragments of metal shooting into the formations around them. For every one man killed by one of the mines, ten more dropped to the ground in agony as their extremities were torn to shreds by metal balls traveling faster than the speed of sound.

But while the fighting raged on, the scanners were still running their check of the atmosphere, but so far no pathogens, at least none around them, had been detected. They'd need another three minutes for the scan to complete. For Ethan Cole, member of Hazmat Team Delta, he and his team were sent here to help clean up the carnage left behind from the enemy known as the Saderan Empire. Most of it was normal up until this point. He had even killed a legionary back in Reykjavik who spent a week hiding out in an abandoned building. He had survived by eating this humanoid pig. The sight was disgusting and Cole opened fire immediately killing the man before he had a chance to grab his sword. He had been in hot zones before. He's used force before. But this was a situation he never expected to ever be in. Now his team, along with three others, were carrying out an operation that would determine how the inevitable counterattack would occur. They couldn't send in drones because the equipment they needed for atmospherics scans was far too bulky for it. Using unmanned APC's was also out due to how long it would take for them to be brought from Moscow.

"I hope they can hold off for a few more minutes, the scanning is almost complete." Cole said as he looked back at the fighting going on around him. "Scans are picking up no harmful pathogens, but then again, we might not find any in this specific area either."

"Let's just hope we don't run into zombies while we're here."

"Well it's a good thing we burned all those corpses back in Iceland and locked down all civilian travel from the country. Last thing we need is this world's equivalent of smallpox spreading like wildfire and crippling us." One of the Japanese hazmat members replied. "Then the situation would be much worse."

"I don't think it can get much worse than this. Being on some alien planet being attacked by a medieval army was not how I saw my week." One of the French members remarked. "Hell, I'm pretty sure we all had better shit to do."

"That equipment better hurry the fuck up, because I don't think we have enough ammo to hold these bastards off!" One of the Americans barked. "We've got hostiles moving in from the-." But before he could continue his sentence, an arrow punctured a weak point in his suit and was now lodged in his elbow, causing him to collapse in agony. One of the medics ran over and restrained the specialists hand before he could remove the arrow.

"Do not try to remove that arrow! Unless you want to bleed out, you have to keep it there until we can get back across the other side!" The medic informed him.

"Then put me in a position where I can shoot those bastards!" He snapped at the medic. "One less gun means we have a higher chance of being overrun." The medic then carried the sergeant over to one of the vehicles and sat him down right beside it, allowing him to lay down covering fire.

But as they looked down as the campsite below, they were beginning to mobilize and many of them had begun to charge at them. They could see thousands below them. Once all the dragons in the sky were killed or their riders shot off, the eight .50 caliber machine guns belonging to the AMC's had opened up on the infantry below. Even as they stopped to form a shield wall, it did little to prevent the rounds from ripping straight through them. Soon the Chinese began firing their launchers, which would scorch through their lines and force them to break formation. The quad barreled launcher lit it's targets ablaze in red and orange flame. Some of the rounds were deliberately overshot so they would impact within the camp. It wasn't long before the tents throughout the camp began to burn, forcing many of their would be attackers to fight the fire instead of them. But despite all that, many were still charging uphill into certain slaughter.

There was just one problem. Ammo. Three of the AMC's had already depleted their ammo stockpiles on the dragons, with the rest of them running low trying to keep the seemingly unending tide of legionaries at bay. However it had seemed, at least for the moment, they had a reprieve. The legionaries began an unorganized retreat from the hill and the soldiers stopped to catch their breath. Then blue bolts began to fly their way, slamming against the sides of the vehicles, some cutting straight through them. As they looked down they could see a phalanx of silver armoured soldiers marching their way uphill. While the small arms of the hazmat teams didn't affect them, the machine guns did. However there was just far too many of them and not enough ammo. Soon all but two had gone dry and they were focusing on the Immortals. The last thermobaric rocket had been fired at approaching legionaries to their northwest, and while it had slowed the approach on that side due to the scorching heat forcing the men to back away, they had began to march around it. But as the Immortals got closer, they got more accurate. First just one man went down. Then another. Soon they had two dead and six wounded that they were loading into the back of the AMC. But it soon became clear that they could hold out no longer.

"Uh, guys?" One of the American Hazmat members asked nervously.

"What is it Crispy, can't you see where trying to work here?" Cole annoying replied to his teammate. But as he looked up, he could see what had caught his attention. "Holy fucking shit!" Cole exclaimed as focused his night vision just north of their location.

As they looked out at the burning campsite, they could see three pairs of giant glowing eyes. Soon flames started to form right below them and were belched out, revealing the form of three gigantic dragons. But one of them was much bigger. It dwarfed the other two and was at least three times the size of the ones encountered before. The dragons soon took flight, which made the hazmat teams begin their evacuation. In a last ditch attempt to try and delay the advance of the oncoming dragons, the Chinese squad member who had the HJ-14 took off to the front and locked it onto the signature of the closest dragon. The radar and infrared profile was monstrous, so there was no way it would miss.

"Smile you son of a bitch!" With the flick of a switch, the forty pound missile leaves the tube and accelerated towards it's target. As it approached closer to the target, the legionaries paused and locked their eyes on the giant flaming arrow that had guided itself towards the flame dragon. The dragon, realizing that it was coming it's way, attempted to fly out of it's way. That however, turned out to be a huge mistake. The missile was to close to redirect itself, but slammed straight through the left arm of one of the smaller dragons, severing the arm straight off, causing it to how in pain. It quickly fell out of the sky and skidded across the ground, crushing hundreds of legionaries beneath it's weight.

"Good, you bought us some time, now get your ass moving!" Pierce ordered to the Chinese soldier. He may not have been his countryman, but he was still the overall leader of the operation. The words still registered and he hauled ass to the nearby AMC. Pierce loaded up in the vehicle with the dead and wounded, refusing to abandon any of the wounded should anything happen to them. "Driver, get us the fuck out of here!"

"Yes sir!" He obey the order and the engine roared to life as they sped away from the battlefield.

Atmospheric scan: 95% complete

"Hurry that shit up, we are leaving!" One of the Chinese soldiers yelled at them as the AMC's began to back up towards the Gate. "How much fucking longer?"

"Almost there!" He hurridly replied. 96,97,98,99, and now 100% complete. He quickly transferred the files into his date drive and made a beeline for the back of nearby AMC, leaving all the equipment behind. Normally, they'd have time to pack up their gear, but they had no time. Being chased by two dragons who could snap a coast guard vessel in half, along with it's parent will make one perform a hasty retreat. Command would understand their problems. It was their idea that the operation move forward at the quickest possible time, so they couldn't complain if anything got left behind.

"Your just going to leave that behind?" One of the Japanese soldiers asked in a befuddled tone. "That's multi million dollar equipment!" One of Cole's team members, Jack McCan grabbed the man by his shoulders and pointed in the direction of the dragons that were now coming their way. Upon seeing it, the Japanese man's eyes went wide.

"Do you fucking see that? Maybe if you open your fucking eyes you'll see that we can't stay here!" He yelled at the man, before grabbing Cole's laptop and sprinting towards a vehicle.

"What the fuck is that supposed to mean you fucking Gaijin!" He yelled at McCan before being pushed by his squad leader into the back of their vehicle, which soon slammed shut. Realizing that the equipment was a lost regardless, he grabbed a grenade from his pouch and chucked it at the set up. A few others did the same before piling in with their respective teams and the AMC's spun around and got the hell out of their. The last two machine guns fired desperately at the dragons who began to follow them, but it only pissed them off as one of the dragons spat flame at the convoy of retreating vehicles. The heat did little but leave some scorch marks.

"Command, this is captain Pierce, we may have some company following us back through Alpha Point, requesting support!"

"Affirmative, units based on our side of Alpha Point are already massing for an attack. Interrogative: How many hostiles are following you?"

Pierce looked back and saw two extremely pissed off dragons following them as they got closer to the Gate. "Two Type A Class Kaiju are hot on our heels, they may try and follow us through, pleas-" But he was cut off as the vehicle stopped and began to be lifted into the air.

The larger dragon flew close enough and caught up with them. It picked up Pierce's vehicle, which was also ferrying the wounded, happened to be the last one with ammo, and threw with such force that it cracked open and burst into flames. Those that weren't flung out of the vehicle were burnt alive in the wreckage. They could all hear the screaming of the crew over the radio as they entered the black ether of the Gate. Many of the hazmat teams wanted to go back and retrieve the survivors, but they had run out of ammunition and had nothing to even scratch the dragons. But one by one, the voices faded. They all sat there stunned. Unknowing of what to do next. The last thing any of them heard over the radio was the desperate screams of that wounded men on board as they tried to escape the dragons. Many just sat with their heads in their hands, unbelieving at what just happened.

"Captain, say again? Repeat, captain, are you there?" The sound went through Pierce's headset, but he lay unmoving still, strapped into his seat, unconscious. The force of the throw had killed everyone not strapped in. The wounded were flown out of the vehicle and were helpless. The sounds of their screams punctured the night.

"They couldn't just fucking wait instead of taking us into that fucking shitshow." Cole said angrily to himself as he thought about how badly that operation had gone. How they left their dead and wounded behind for those barbarians to torture for information. He hoped that any of the survivors soon died, as being captured would be hell for them. "We don't leave our men behind." He sat staring out into the black as the now seven vehicle strong convoy raced back through Alpha Point and back to safety. The fucking captain is back there! We can't just fucking leave him!"

"We can't go back, if we do, we die!" The driver yelled back. Defeated, Cole just slumped down and sat there, only thinking about what would happen to any of the men unlucky to survive. But they had the data they needed, and that would help greatly in future operations. The atmosphere was breathabale for humans, just with less greenhouse gasses due to having to industrialization or nuclear weapons tests. However there were some unknown gasses in the atmosphere, something they'd have to go over in at the lab when they got back. Hopefully it wouldn't impact any personnel when they finally went through in force.

As they passed through the entrance to Alpha Point in Reykjavik, Cole could see they took this threat seriously. Dozens of tanks and armored fighting vehicles were lined up around the structure, as well as scores of infantry with anti tank launchers. Helicopter and VTOL gunships circled overhead, and fighters screamed past the sky in anticipation of another attack. The lane that they had used originally to get through was opened just long enough for the now seven AMC's to go through, before a group of tanks blocked it once more. Many of the men who were manning the defenses earlier were alarmed at the speed they came racing through Alpha Point. They were even more alarmed at the fact that there was only seven of them, not eight. They made it to the nearby quarantined motor pool and the crew, as well as the vehicles underwent cleaning. They would've had the station right there for them as soon as they exited, but that changed when they got chased back home.

Once their equipment was sanitized and confirmed not to be carrying any unknown pathogens or alien bacteria, they were cleared to pick it up. Despite the fact they lost a few million dollars in sensitive equipment, they made it back with the data they had gathered. Now Cole and his team had some time to review it before handing their reports in.

"This had better have been worth it." Ramirez muttered to himself.

"Well I think it's pretty clear that the lack of dead Icelandic civilians on the other side means we can breathe safety." McCan replied. "But that still doesn't account for any disease or bacteria, which lucky for us, we brought back none with us."

"Even still, we took a heavy toll. Not including captain Pierce, we lost a vehicle and it's entire crew."

"Do we have an accurate headcount yet?" Crispy asked.

"An AMC has enough room for thirteen people, but they had switch some men out to fit the dead and wounded. The drivers and gunner, Pierce, six wounded, and two dead. Of the two casualties, one was American, the other Japanese. Three wounded were Chinese, one American, one Japanese, and one French. The drivers and gunner were both French. We may as well count them all as dead though. You saw how big that damn dragon was." Cole said somberly.

"We may have taken a beating, but we made those bastards pay for every inch of ground they took on that hill." Ramirez said confidently. "If a rocket launcher can tear the arm off of the smaller ones, a couple of well placed tank rounds will surely take care of the bigger one. If that failed, we can haul one of those railguns over there on a flat bed trailer."

"You talking about the ones that look like they belong on a fucking battleship?" Cole inquired.

"Hell yeah, those ones that can tear straight through a warship. If you've never seen the video's of them, they can toss a tank around!"

"I know which ones. Aren't those the same ones mounted on our naval ships?"

"Aquatic navy, yes, space fleet has slightly bigger, but more powerful versions." Ramirez looked back at the Alpha Point, expecting something to come bursting from it any minute. "Let's hope we don't need it. Come on, let's go hand in our report and get our debriefing." The team looked back one last time, holding onto some hope that their captain had managed to survive the attack.

Pierce's vision was blurry and his body aching. All he could remember was alerting command of the two dragons chasing them before his vehicle was lifted into the air and tossed to the ground. As his vision began to clear, he could see the extent of the damage done to the AMC. It had been cracked open from the sheer force of the throw. The entire left side had been torn completely open, leaving himself exposed to anyone or anything that might pass by. Half of the crew that was once inside had been flung out when the left side had been torn off. As he hung upside down in the wreckage, he looked around the remains of the inside, and could see the rest of the once wounded soldiers. They were all dead. He reached for his knife and went to cut through his straps keeping him in place. As he cut them, one by one, he could hear something outside. He stopped cutting and listened closely.

"H-help me. Someone. Anyone." It was a survivor. Realizing he had to help the man, he went back to cutting through the last two straps. As he collapsed onto the onto the roof liner of the vehicle, he reached for the medkit mounted on the wall and scrambled outside. He carefully stepped outside and scanned his surroundings for any hostiles before advancing forward. He went to tap his comms, but his helmet was busted entirely. The radio was broken and the visor was cracked.

"Oh what the hell." He said to himself as he took his helmet off and tossed it to the ground. He paused before taking in breath of air, realizing that it was safe for humans, began to breath normally once more. In his first attempt to find a weapon, he found an MDR on the ground nearby. While the silencer it had on it was broken in half, he had a spare he always kept on him. A certain mission outside Lagos taught him an important lesson about what happens when you alert nearby enemies with gunfire. Although he and his team were dealing with violent creatures, not Roman legionaries.

He followed sounds of pained words and gasps until he came unto the injured soldier. His suit was torn apart and he had a large piece of shrapnel in his stomach. The man sat on his back, unable to move out of fear of further blood lose and pain. Pierce raced over to him after making sure the coast was clear. "Don't worry, I've got you, soldier. Just don't move and try to relax, help is on the way." He tried to reassure him. But inside, Pierce knew that help likely wasn't coming. A QRF couldn't be mobilized on such short notice, especially if they believe they were all dead. It was up to him and him only to try and save him.

"You've got t-to hide. That thing is looking." He said in a delirious tone. Pierce looked up and saw one of the dragons fly overhead. It was the same one that put them in this position in the first place. It seemed satisfied with having killed most of them, but he could hear the sounds of hundreds of voices yelling and were slowly, but surely coming closer to their location. "I-I don't want to die alone out here. Please don't leave." His voice begged as tears formed in his eyes as he gripped Pierce with what strength he could muster. The amount of blood loss, coupled with how cold it was outside, was only making his condition worse. He gently picked the man up and began to carry him to the wreckage of the AMC.

Omar. That was the last name on his name tag across his chest. Around his neck was a crescent moon, the symbol of Islam. If Pierce had to guess, he was likely the son of a family that fled the middle east when the region was turned into a landscape of radioactive craters. A few years back, he was in charge of training Egyptian, Jordanian, Iranian, and Pakistani hazmat teams to operate in the irradiated ruins of Mecca and Medina. The radiation had started to lower and every Islamic nation wanted to send in crews to recover anything left within the holy cites. Training them at first was frustrating, but this was something they desperately wanted. Unfortunately, they weren't able to recover much from the city. Many Muslims had held hope that the Tomb of Muhammad would still be recoverable, but there wasn't much left. But the same could be applied to virtually every city in the former Gulf States.

It was also the same in cities like Rome, Jerusalem, and every other city of religious significance. Their destruction drove millions of Christians and Muslims from the occupied regions to join the militaries of the nations who accepted them. The fire of vengeance drove them to fight the invaders out of their homelands. But that vengeance also lead to disproportionate casualties when in battle. But when all was said and done, seeing what little remained of their former countries had broke them. Between those massacred in the occupied regions of the world during the war, coupled with causalities taking while actively fighting, the world's religion took a massive hit. Many lost faith after the war when they saw all the destruction wrought in the world. However it was that same destruction that drove millions of Christians, Muslims, and Jews to attempt to rebuild their cities. However such efforts were hampered for decades until the radiation had died down. Even today progress is limited due to salted cobalt bombs dropped in the war.

Pierce himself wasn't exactly religious, but he respected those who still held faith. As he removed the hazmat suit around him, he got a look at the full extent of his injuries. The piece of metal was at least embedded at least three inches into his stomach. Based on the positioning of it, it was lodged into his kidney. There wasn't anything he could do for him except easing the pain. He grabbed an injector with morphine and slipped it into the nearest vein he could find. Even with what the medkit had, coupled with the fire blanket to keep him warm, it was clear he didn't have long.

"This should help ease the pain. I'm sorry I can't do more for you Sergeant, but we're on our own out here." He said quietly to Omar as he shivered underneath the blanket. "Those bastards likely think we're dead, so we should be safe for now. I'll get us out of here."

"Heh, with all due respect sir, your a horrible liar. I've lost too much blood." A small smile cracked across his face despite the circumstances. "I know enough about septic shock to know I've got it. And I've lost too much blood. Just make me a promise would you?"

Pierce simply nodded his head in agreement with what had just been asked of him. He reached around in his pocket and pulled out a note and engagement ring. Pierce realized just what he was doing and he didn't expect that. "Don't you even dare think about that, I'm gonna get you out of here!" Pierce exclaimed trying to help calm Omar down as he tried to brainstorm a way to get them out of here.

"Please, sir. Make sure my family gets this. I don't have much time left and I just want to make sure it'll get back to my family." Omar said practically choking on tears. "I always wanted to serve the nation that took my family in when they were just refugees. When I got the call to mobilize, I was in Marseilles. Before I left, I promised my daughter I'd be home for Christmas. I guess I shouldn't have made a promise I couldn't keep." He then tried to reach for his necklace, but was to weak to be able to reach it properly. Pierce undid and slid it into Omar's hand.

"You can't be thinking about that Omar, just think about them. Their expecting you to home and I'll be damned if you don't get to see your family again! I make sure all my men head home, even if I don't. Just hang on for a little longer, I'll see if the radio in the drivers compartment is still working."

"Please, make sure my family gets this. I want my wife and daughter to know I'm sorry, but I had to perform my duty." He clasped his hand tightly into Pierce's and looked deeply into his eyes. Realizing that further arguing was useless, he simply nodded his head in agreement.

"Don't worry, sergeant, I'll make sure these make it back to them."

"Thank you, sir." He said in a weak tone with a smile across his face. his grip loosened and his head slumped down. Pierce tried desperately to bring him back, even using an adrenaline shot from the medkit, but realized all his effort was in vain. Omar was gone. A man who sought to keep his family safe, had been one of the first military casualties beyond Alpha Point. All he could do was curse himself for not being able to get him back through Alpha Point. He removed his hands from his abdomen, which were now covered in blood. Having realized he had dropped the items meant for his family, he glanced to his left and saw them laying on the ground. His engagement ring, his necklace, and a note, meant for his family. The note had uncrumpled enough for it to be read.

To my beloved wife, Emma and my daughter, Mila, if you are reading this, then I regret to tell you that I will not be coming home. I have died in order to keep you both safe. I took an oath to defend my country no matter what and I have given the ultimate sacrifice. This is the cost of war. It is measured in more than any one life.

Mila, I'm sorry I couldn't keep my promise of coming home for Christmas. You know daddy would never lie to you, but sometimes things occur that we can't control. Having you gave me the strength to push on even in the darkest of times. To protect all we hold dear in our world. You will always be my little angel. I love you.

Emma, please keep Mila safe and find it in your heart to forgive me for leaving you all alone. All I wanted was to come home once again and hold you both in my arms again. If it is not on the battlefield where I draw my last breath, then it will be in your loving arms. I await you in Jannah. But until that day comes, keep me in your hearts, always.

"FUCK!" Pierce screamed as he threw his fist into the metal lining of the wrecked AMC. "Just another Black Hawk Down scenario!" He thought. "Fucking send us here without proper fucking support and don't even have a fucking QRF on station to help us! Did Gothic Serpent teach them nothing?" His rant was interrupted by the sounds of laughing and talking getting closer. Realizing that they were likely here to kill any survivors and take any weapons they found. He quickly grabbed the times dropped by Omar and fitted them into his pocket. However, not realizing just how close they were, when he grabbed his MDR, two figures stepped directly into the vehicle. Both sides froze for a few seconds. The legionaries had not expected for their to be any survivors. Pierce didn't expect the search parties would arrive as quickly.

"Get Ut Barbara!" one of them shouted. They both went to rush him, but he raised his gun and fired a short burst of seven rounds, which tore through both of them with ease. He rushed to the gash in the hull and pointed his rifle out towards the cold night, in which he caught two more legionaries in his sights, which he subsequently dropped. What he didn't see however was legionary coming up his right that grabbed his rifle and pointed it downwards. A fist ten struck him in the face, forcing him to reel backwards before he regained his footing. Sword in hand, the legionary rushed towards Pierce, a sadistic smile on his face. Pierce sidestepped the swing, cocked his right arm back, and threw all he had right into the man's left orbital, sending the man back into the wall of the vehicle. Seizing the initiative, he swung his foot up at the man's hand, knocking the sword from it.

When the legionary looked back up, it was clear that his left eye was useless. His orbital was fractured and his eye sunken. Pierce stood his ground and put his fists up in a defensive stance, daring the man to come to him. He scowled at Pierce and one again said something in his native language that he couldn't understand.

"Ego te occidit. Non es magis utilis nobis erit vivens. At ego faciam, tu redde quod feci vobis amicis meis!"

"Bring it on you motherfucker!" With that, the legionary slowly began to approach Pierce, sizing him up and studying his stance. Once they were but a foot away from each other, the legionary struck first. He threw a right hook towards Pierce, who blocked it with his arm, swinging a right hook at his face once again. For about thrity seconds, they were locked in a stalemate, unable to gain the advantage over one another. However Pierce had prepared to deliver a blow directly to the legionary's face, he dodged the blow and delivered a hard left hook into Pierce's gut. The legionary then clasped both his hands and forced them down onto his back in a harsh blow. He proceeded to grab him and threw him into the wall, forcing Pierce to collapse onto the ground.

"Haha, non infirmi sunt. Tu pugnare potes, non tuae absque relati. Iam ut vos scire quid suus 'cladem. Et eventually et habitabunt in te orbis terrarum." he kicked his foot towards Pierce, who was still reeling from the blow he received, had taken a kick to the back, keeping him down. However, in a burst of strength and adrenaline, grabbed the legionary's foot when he attempted to kick him again. He then swept his leg underneath the legionary, knocking him down. Both men stumbled to their feet once again and began trading blows. But for Pierce, he was fighting for his life. He didn't want to die in this shithole. He wanted to get back home so he could come back and retrieve his fallen. When the next blow came his way, he grabbed his opponents wrist when he threw the next blow, forcing himself behind the legionary. Leveraging his arm against the man's tricep, he proceeded to drop his chest and body directly onto his arm, breaking the right arm.

The sound of ripped tendons and ligaments filled the inside of the wrecked AMC. Now with the man screaming in agony at the broken arm, Pierce planted a knee directly on his spine and reached for his left arm. He yanked it back, twisted it, and brought his elbow down directly on the joint, once again leveraging his weight against his opponent. Pierce then stood up, gazing angrily at the now helpless legionary beneath him. With both arms broken, he could not get up. He flipped the man over and began delivering blow after blow to his skull. Even as the man faded from consciousness, he didn't stop. He was far too angry to do so. Even as the sounds of wetness and crunching from the skull followed every blow, he didn't stop. He only stopped when the man's face was completely unrecognizable. But in one final act, he unsheathed his knife and plunged it directly into the man's throat, a gurgling sound followed, then silence. He stood triumphantly over the man who had only moments ago tried to kill him. Now he was victorious.

But as he looked back at Omar's lifeless body, as well as the few others that were left in the vehicle, he realized he had an obligation to get them home. He knew he'd have to make it back to the FOB set up outside of Alpha Point and gather team to collect the bodies. He had no intention of letting them get desecrated by these sick fucks. He staggered outside and grabbed his rifle. Seeing that the coast was clear, he proceeded to head directly towards the Gate and hopefully make it back home.

Molt Sol Augustus was in a haze. He didn't understand where he was. All he could see was pitch black. But soon his senses were overwhelmed. The smell of rotting corpses, the sound of loud explosions, accompanied with the screams of countless voices. The taste of blood in his mouth. The pitch black soon switched to a scene of utter carnage. It was Alnus Hill. Every legionary that was tasked with defending the hill lie in bloody chunks all across the hill. The vision soon changed to when the battle was occurring. He watched as his elite, the Immortals, under the protective barrier of three battle mages had advanced on the hill, where the enemy had sat upon. He could see thousands of soldiers, all of which were wearing varying shades of green and wielded strange black staffs. Behind them, stood dozens of large, metal elephants that spat terrible fire at the Immortals. For the first few seconds, the shield had held, albeit he could see the strain on the mages. But then it shattered. Soon the enemy's explosive magic tore through their ranks and they began to fall in droves. Dozens more elephants, this time with longer snouts had directed themselves into the air and spat their terrible fire onto his legions from seemingly impossible distances. Each blast tore through more and more of his men, quickly depleting their already exhausted ranks.

In the skies, he watched as the wyvern riders of the Empire were swatted out of the sky as if they were nothing. Flaming arrows followed each one until they collided, showering gore along the battlefield. Only the tamed fire dragons were putting up any resistance to the otherworlders weaponry, but one was already missing an arm that looked as if it was done before the battle. Soon the enemy's elephants had focused their attention from the now devastated Immortals, to the dragons. The younger ones had managed to get close enough to breath fire onto the ranks of infantry below it, which burned a great many of them. But soon they were hit again and again from the terrible weapons from those beyond the Gate. Explosions rocked the earth as the enemy's elephants showed no mercy against the offspring and took chunk after chunk out of the dragon, until it was far too weak to move. It soon collapsed onto the ground, barely breathing. Soon it's head was blow in half by a bright flash of green light that came from somewhere behind the front line. Soon the next one was swiftly taken down, leaving only the female parent.

It being more armoured than it's offspring, as well as faster, gave it an advantage over the enemy. It swooped down and taunted them, grabbing lone metal carriages and elephants, and proceeding to throw them, often hard enough that they burst into flames upon hitting the ground. But his vision soon focused on more of the enemy exiting the Gate. More metal carriages and elephants. Some of them had large tubes on the back of them. They stopped not far from where the Gate and planted feet into the ground. They then shifted the tubes up into the air, where it became apparent it was aiming at the dragons. He looked closely at this strange weapon. On the side, there was a flag. A tricolor of red, white, and blue. White on top, blue in the middle, and red on the bottom. Soon the tubes erupted in fire and flaming arrows, much larger than he had seen hunt down the wyverns, began screaming towards the dragon at incomprehensible speeds. Eight large arrows impacted, one after one, into the wings and limbs of the dragon, until it collapsed to the ground.

But despite all the damage it took, it still wasn't down yet. It proceeded to get back up and charge the enemy's line, which caused many of them to enter an apparent retreat. But as he looked back, he could see another weapon. This one consisted of a very long metal tube, that shifted towards the position of the dragon. On the carriage carrying the weapon, he could see a familiar flag. 50 white stars within a blue background, with thirteen red and white horizontal stripes. He was warned about this nation specifically. These weapons, which all sat on rotating mechanism, slowly turned it's way to the dragon. Then, in a brilliant streaks of green light erupted from their snouts and headed straight for the dragon. Each light tore through it's thick scales, where other weapons had failed. With each strike, the dragon let out a cry of pain. Another streak of light, this time directed at it's head. Once it struck, it's head exploded violently, causing the body to collapse, joining it's offspring in death.

In the aftermath, he could see the battlefield clear of bodies. The only thing he could see was an absolute monstrous fortress built around the Gate on Alnus Hill. He could see a hundred different flags, but at the center of them stood a single blue flag. A map of their world, surrounded by two olive branches. He could see a massive army within it. Hundreds of thousands of men, all bearing many different flags on their arms, stood united among each other.

"They have but one goal in mind, Emperor Molt." He heard a voice call out to him. Startled, he called out to the darkness that overtook him once again.

"Who's there? What trickery is this? Are you another of the otherworlders tricks?" He asked, terrified of what was to happen.

"Do you know what that is?" The voice spoke once more.

"What?" He trembled fearfully as he could hear a cacophony of voices all round him, getting closer each second.

"VENGEANCE!" The voice screamed out to him, before he woke up in a pool of his sweat, to the sight of many concerned faces.

Realm of the Gods

"What have you done?" Miritta scolded Hardy for opening the Gate once again. "Not only have you opened it to the same world as you've done before, you opened yet another on a world with an even more powerful force!"

"We have already lost countless followers from the failed invasions, what do you think will happen when they inevitably come for revenge?" Zufmuut pointed out.

"Do you not realize the point of all this?" Hardy has asked them with a smirk on her face.

"What? That we may lose our followers and the status quo that we've kept for millennia to be broken?"

"And such factions will bring knowledge that will destabilize the world." Elange and La parroted at the same time. "Such enlightenment would reduce our influence and how much the people rely on us."

Hardy simply chuckled at the responses of her fellow Gods. "It will teach the Empire a great lesson in humility. For too long they've seen themselves as invincible, even many in the royal family had seen their rule as more important. So intend on teaching them a lesson."

"Your lesson could've been done in ways that are not foolish and pointless. I have foreseen the destruction they will bring with them. Both sides have terrible weapons at their disposal, power to rival our own." Palapon's anger had begun to rise at the shortsightedness that Hardy was displaying.

"And believe me when I say, they will bring far more souls into both of our domains that we could handle. If we do not close the Gate immediately, as well as dealing with those taken as slaves, our world will undergo radical change, change that this world will not survive." Emroy had informed them. His suggestion was taken into account by every of his fellow Gods.

"Not to mention they will damage the very world with what they seek." Wareharun spoke up. She was the living embodiment of all plant in the world. "Their machines belch smoke that will blacken the air, will leave giant scars in the earth from where they mine, and will clog the oceans with pollution. If they come through, they will not leave unless we force them."

"They see our world as just territory for the taking. If they gain a foothold here, they will gradually diminish our power here. They do not worship any Gods, which makes their very existence to be blasphemous." Duncan had explained. "I say we deliberate on what we are to do. I vote that we seal all three Gates as soon as possible. After that, we kill off all the slaves that were brought back from all three Gates."

Before they could continue their conversation, a bright flash appeared off to the side, directly in their realm. They were at a loss for what to do. There was no power capable of entering their domains. But now as the light diminished in brightness, they could make out a strange blue object before them. There was strange writing on the top of it as well. Almost as quickly it had appeared, a human had stepped out of it, wearing strange clothes and holding a small object in his hand.

"I'm terribly sorry to bother you, but I'm afraid I can't let you interfere in these matters. If you do, then there shall be severe consequences." The man explained. The Gods simply laughed at the human who had dared trespass in their domain. But the human just stood there, giving off a look of annoyance as they laughed at him.

"You dare trespass in our domain? Who do you think you are?" As Emroy went to strike this human down, he pointed the object in his hand directly at Emroy, which caused him to seize up and scream in agony. The other Gods just froze in place, unknowing what to do. Not only had someone entered their realm unannounced, but one of their own had just been struck down with ease by this human.

"I will make this very clear. You will not act in any direct fashion against the United Nations of Earth, nor will you interfere with the Phauthi Federation. You have opened the connection between these two universes one too many times, and now it will stay open. There is a link between the two that cannot be broken again, and I will ensure that it stays that way. Their world is protected and I will ensure their safety from any action you try to take. You have only yourselves to blame with such recklessness in your attempts to gain more followers. Now you shall deal with the consequences of opening the connection. Since my kind are no longer entrenched in war, I will be here to stay, to make sure you keep your word. Remember this, no matter how powerful you think you are, no matter how careful you think you might be in your efforts, I will see everything you do. I hope I'm understood."
And just like he appeared, he vanished in a bright light, leaving the Gods to ponder what he had just said.
Chapter 14: Remembrance Day
Alpha Point

Alftanes, Iceland

December 9th, 2080

0230 Hours

To say that the men outside of Alpha Point were jumpy was an understatement. When the hazmat had been sent in just over an hour ago, came screaming back, with one of their own vehicles missing, everyone had assumed that another attack was imminent. Thus, thermal scanners were pointed directly at the portal, watching and waiting for anything that tried to pass through. The so called "Ghost Tape" as it was called, was blasting at full volume down the tunnel, many hoping it would deter anyone from trying to cross through it. However that was difficult to handle at first to bring enough firepower to cover the whole area, given the portal was 150 meters across and 30 meters tall. The structure required to house and enclose it will had been authorized and construction was scheduled to begin as soon as possible, as a means to defend against further incursions. Until then, it was up to the men stationed right outside to keep a watchful eye on the entrance.

"Man, this fucking sucks,-" said Corporal Miller as he rubbed his hands together, trying to keep warm in the cold weather that was normal for this time of year. "Of all the times someone to invade, it's gotta be in the fucking winter. Why couldn't it have been somewhere warm?"

"Who the fuck knows? Maybe they thought there'd be less resistance this time of the year," Sergeant Martinez replied as he glanced back over to the Gate. "Although I don't think they attacked because it was cold;, they likely would've attacked no matter what."

"Yeah, you're probably right. Even still, this is some bullshit. I'm just bugged at the fact we're standing out here when they've nearly a hundred tanks and IFV's covering just under 200 meters of ground here. Not to mention we've brought nearly 100 fighters from the two aircraft carriers we have parked off the coast, not including what Britain, France, Germany, and Russia brought. I don't see the reason they need us out here freezing our asses off. "

"Still need boots on the ground for shit like this. I know it sucks, but there will always be a need for grunts like us. We just have to deal with the bullshit."

"You guys doing alright?" a familiar voice called out to them. Martinez recognized him immediately. It was Corporal Tremblay, the Canadian combat medic he met back on the 4th. He hadn't seen the kid since, but that was likely due to the large number of injured civilians and military personnel left in the aftermath of the attack. "I noticed you guys can't stand the cold, so I decided to drop by and bring you something. Breakfast tents have started up early and I figured I'd stop by and grab something for you both." In his hands were three containers of food, each stacked in his left hand. Martinez and Miller each reached for one of the styrofoam containers, both of them feeling the heat given off by the contents."

"Greatly appreciate it..." Miller blanked fora second before reading his name tag. "Tremblay." He reached out his hand and they both shook.

"It's nice to meet you. Not a fan of the cold out here, are you?" He asked Miller, noticing how he was moving the most out of the three of them.

"Nope, I'm from California, it doesn't snow over there. Well, at least not where I live. What about you sergeant, any snow where you come from?"

"Plenty of snow up in the Midwest, I got used to it when I was younger."

"Midwest? Your family one of the many that settled down in the States after the war?" Tremblay curiously asked.

"Yeah, family had applied for American citizenship when those bastards overran Argentina, hoping they'd get in before the Phauthi were knocking on the border. They finally got accepted four years into the conflict, right before they smashed through the remaining military forces we had on the Mexican side of the border. I guess that border wall president Trump had built finally came in handy. We fortified the hell out of it. At that point the US was already taking in millions of refugees from the Caribbean and Mexico. It was due all the chaos, that my family was settled in a refugee camp just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming. That city is where I was born."

"Huh, I guess one of you is familiar with the cold then, eh?"

"I really hope so. I know the winters have only worsened over the decades due to the all of the nuclear detonations, but I'm getting sick of the cold."

"Well the aftereffects of all those nukes are gonna linger for a long time, so you better hope that when we cross this thing, it's nice and warm," Tremblay remarked while pointing at the Gate. "And given how long it's going to take for everything to get prepped, you better get used to all this, Miller, because for the next few months, this is our home. Maybe we'll be able to go home for Christmas while they send some of those new drone units in our place."

"We can only wait and see. I just don't know why we can't send those tanks through, let them run roughshod on the enemy for an hour and just come back. We already saw how they fled from just twelve tanks belonging to the marines when the fighting truly began. He paused as Miller opened the container and began picking at the contents inside. "During our patrol I've counted 40 of them so far, so I don't see what the big deal is right now. Also, you Canadians know how to cook."

"I be sure to let them know. The Québécois in our unit loved the joint deployments we went on because it gave them a chance to food swap with the other countries. And so far, not one single person has ever not loved their cooking."

Martinez waited for the two to finish their banter before continuing. "Anyway, the Brass thinks it's best to sit back and figure out just what the fuck is over there and try not to lose anyone else. You saw how the hazmat teams came speeding through like a bat out of hell. That's exactly why we got rushed out here. Besides, it's for the best to let everyone celebrate Christmas and V-Day before sending them off to the first war in 43 years," Martinez explained to Miller. "But of course that hazmat mission would've had to been OK'D by the politicians in Geneva, so of course they had to rush this. And thanks to them, one vehicle and its crew didn't come back."

"It's time like this that I wish the military would take control of the situation like they did during the war with the Phauthi. Politicians don't know how to handle war, they should just leave it to us." Miller said.

"Well this is a different situation. If instead of us kicking them out of Iceland, we got our asses kicked, and they started attacking Europe and North America, I guarantee you Geneva wouldn't have any say over what we'd be doing. But we aren't fighting an enemy who is enough of a threat for the generals to consider evoking that power again." Martinez reminded the young Corporal.

"I guess you're right. Speaking of that, they've started moving the prisoners away from Reykjavik airport and are sending their asses to various prisons throughout the US, Russia, and China. I heard something about them being sent a Russian labor camp called Vorkuta, it's got some nasty fucking history behind it."

"They should be stripped of their clothing and sent into the bay," Tremblay said in a cold voice. "Every single one of them."

"That's certainly a creative way to kill them, and part of me agrees, but they have information we could use. We can't just kill them off!" Miller tried to reason.

"At least not until they give us everything they know, and given how the brutal the Russians can be, most of them aren't going to survive very long." Martinez replied.

"After everything I saw over the last five days, all the dead bodies we had to count and name; the women we had to treat for pregnancy and STD's we didn't even know existed; how many children we found crying over the dead bodies of their parents; I don't give a flying fuck about any of those barbarians. Let them dig a large trench and bury them alive for all I care. Of all the fucked up shit I've seen during all my deployments, this officially tops it." Miller and Martinez could only scratch their heads and look at the cold expression on Tremblay's face as he was undoubtedly remembering all he had seen previously.

"Shit, I didn't realize it was that bad." Miller muttered under his breath, just loud enough for him to be heard.

"We ran out of medical supplies tending to the thousands of wounded throughout the city. Many died of their injuries because we couldn't get to them fast enough. We were just overwhelmed. We came across a mound with at least a hundred corpses in it, and at the top, was the Saderan flag. That's why whenever we ran across any surviving Saderans, we just shot them. We just stopped caring about it. We didn't see them as other beings, we just saw them as animals."

"I can't say I blame him. You weren't there when those prisoners got burned alive, were you?" Martinez asked Miller.

"I don't believe so, I did see a bunch of bodies lined against the wall when we passed the gas station. How the hell did they burn them alive?"

"Some of our own and the Russians grabbed some Molotovs and burned them alive. I found it amusing, personally."

"Yeah, I definitely missed that. Although when my platoon was clearing out the docks, a couple of our guys got creative for execution. Our Lieutenant took an arrow to the knee and had to be medevaced out with a couple others. So to avenge the LT, a few guys grabbed some concrete blocks, some rope, and tied them to the three archers we captured. Didn't take more than a minute after being pushed into the water that they stopped breathing."

"Everyone got creative with the prisoners in terms of execution. They deserved everything they got and more."

"You can say that again. However I feel the Scandinavians will probably not treat them as harshly as most other nations will. After all, they won't share the same sentiment as other countries will in regards to treating prisoners well. Not after the damage they've taken. But as I've already said, we could use any and all information we can get. We need to know what we're getting into in this situation."

"Maybe you're right. Regardless, I think they got off easy."

"I'm guessing you haven't seen the leaked footage from the special forces teams, have you?" Martinez questioned.

"No, I've been busy dealing with wounded. Why?"

"Basically they took back a hospital that the Saderans had captured in the early stages of the fighting. They found their wounded inside the rooms and decided to help them along on their way. One of the SEAL's in the op literally threw a guy out a fucking window after he finished interrogating him."

"Then there was what happened outside the US embassy. They had to censor the fuck out of that video on YouTube though."

"What the hell did they do?"

Miller smirked before he responded. "If you've ever heard of the Rwandan genocide, think about what happened to the Belgian peacekeepers. Apparently the legionaries raped a group of schoolgirls, which caused some of the operators on site to lose it. I might sound a bit fucked up, but I thoroughly enjoyed the video. It's got like 200 million views already. Look it up later, you might get a kick out of it."

"Maybe I will later. But right now, I need to get going. Maybe we can catch up later today." Tremblay looked off to his left and saw a group of soldiers running towards their position. "Hey, maybe your relief is here and you can relax."

Martinez and Miller glanced at each other and towards the group of soldiers rushing past them. "Uhh, we're still supposed to be on patrol for another two hours." Martinez said befuddled. "I don't like this."

The group of soldiers rushed past them and began to position themselves just outside of Alpha Point. They were soon joined by a cacophony of engine rumbles as armoured vehicles moved into position and pointed their weapons towards the blackness of the portal. Orders were being shouted as hundreds of soldiers took up position around the portal. As the three ran over to figure out what was going on, they could hear the speakers blasting orders in Latin, as well as English.

"What in the hell is going on here?" Martinez directed at one of the privates taking up positions alongside the sandbag barricades erected just hours earlier. "I thought we were in the clear now?"

"I don't know sir, all I know is that one of the LAV's picked up a single thermal signature approaching from Alpha Point. We've got medics coming in just in case it's one of ours, but it seems unlikely!" As they all aimed their weapons at Alpha Point, they wondered just who could be so stupid as to think they could try come though here. They had enough firepower pointed directly at the portal to flatten all of Reykjavik. A few would be spies had attempted to pass themselves off as refugees and religious travelers earlier, but they had been quickly detained and put with the rest of the prisoners. They just hoped this wouldn't take too long. They were all sick and tired of standing out in the cold all night.

"I've got eyes on one individual coming through and whoever it is appears to be injured." One of the lieutenants informed everyone as he took his eye out of his thermal tracker. As he did, the 30mm gun aboard the nearby LAV began steadily tracking the lone figure, who was steadily coming closer to the spotlights illuminating the exit. But as the figure stepped out into the light, they were met with a sight they had not expected. It was one of their own. Captain Pierce had survived the attack. But from the look of it, it hadn't been easy. He was limping through Alpha Point, dripping blood, and covered in cuts and slashes across his body. He even had an arrow sticking out the back of his vest. As soon as he made it all the way though, he turned his attention to the crowd of men who had lowered their rifles as it became clear that he was no threat.

The lieutenant and a squad of medics rushed over to him and tried to sit him down, but he refused. "Sir!" one of the medics addressed him "You need to sit down so we can look at your wounds!" However they were brushed off by the captain as he stood up and walked over to the Lieutenant.

"Give me a vehicle and fireteam, the bodies of my team are still out there!" he practically screamed at him as he gripped the man's shoulders. "I won't leave them to be paraded around by those barbarians!"

"Sir, you need to calm down! We can worry about that later, but we need to put you into quarantine immediately!" Pierce wouldn't take no for an answer. He shoved them out his way and began making his way over the the nearby LAV, which had stopped tracking him once the spotlight illuminated him. But he could go no further as one of the hazmat teams that had accompanied him across earlier, was now blocking his way and attempted to shuffle him away to the nearest decontamination unit.

"Let me go, dammit! I need to bring my men home!" he screamed as he glared at those trying to restrain him. Soon his leg gave out, and if not for the medics at his side, he could've collapsed. He was then carried over to a stretcher for further treatment.

"We can't sir. Command won't give the go ahead for a rescue mission. I'm sorry, but even if they did, it can't be launched now. After what was reported on the other side, command won't risk any more assets. Not after what we just did." And just like that, they were just going to leave them behind. Lord only knew what would happen to their bodies at the hands of the Saderans. It angered him to know that he wasn't able to bring his men home. But he remembered he still had one more task to complete. The note for Omar's family. Even if he couldn't bring him home, he could still deliver the note to his family.

Marseilles, France

December 20th, 2080

1000 Hours

All was quiet inside the truck as Pierce and the rest of the hazmat unit traveled through the busy streets of the city. There was nothing to be said. They all knew what they were about to do and they weren't happy about it. This was just the first stop they'd make in two cities for four families. Luckily for them, it wouldn't take them very long. The early morning traffic in the city of Marseilles wasn't that bad, or at least not as bad as it could be. It also helped that being in a military convoy gave them a clear line of passage on the roadways. Many of the civilians driving past, could guess where they were going, especially once they were seen heading into the larger residential areas. It only took two days before the news found out about the lives lost during the recon mission. The countrymen of those lost had known there were casualties taken, but they had not know who. The survivors of all those who went on the operation had just only recently been allowed to call their families and let them know they were safe. But for the families who hadn't heard from their loved ones, they had a lurking suspicion they would never see them again.

When the convoy slowed to enter the residential streets of Marseilles, the soldiers noticed many eyes following them as they pulled up to the curb and stepped out. Many of the passersby had stopped to see what was going on. They watched as both French and American servicemen stepped out and approached one of the nearby apartments. The commander of the French CBRN team, Captain Edmond Leblanc, took the lead and knocked on the door. Just beyond the door, Pierce could hear the enthusiastic voice of a little girl inside. He had never expected he would have to do something like this in his life, but he had made a promise, and he wouldn't make promises that he knew he couldn't keep.

The door swung open and a little girl greeted them. She was young, maybe six or seven years old. Her eyes were filled with excitement, expecting to see her father come home. "Maman, il y a des soldats à la porte!/Mama, there are soldiers at the door!" She said joyfully as she was greeted with a dozen soldier standing just outside. But as she began to scan Pierce and everyone who had accompanied him, he smile began to fade as her eyes bounced from one man to another. Soon her smile was completely gone as she saw that her father was nowhere to be found. "Où est Papa?/Where is Papa?"

Just as she asked that, a women who appeared to be her mother came to the door, a beautiful brunette with brown eyes. She carried that same joyful look on her face, expecting to see the face of her husband after his deployment. But when she saw the men standing outside her door, she knew it wasn't going to end like that. Her expression quickly went from happiness to despair at the realization that her husband was gone. "Non, s'il vous plaît./No, no please." Her voice cracked as she was on the verge of tears.

"Je suis terriblement désolé, madame./I am terribly sorry, madame." Captain Leblanc spoke in a solemn tone. "J'ai le regret de vous informer que votre mari a été tué au combat le 9 décembre 2080./I regret to inform you that your husband was killed in action of December 9th, 2080." As each word left his lips, the expression of dread on her face only got worse until she was in tears.

"Quand papa rentre chez-nous?/ When is daddy coming home?" The little girl asked while tugging on her mother's shirt. The mother could only look down with tears in her eyes and kneel down to and embrace her daughter in a tight hug.

"N-non, mon coeur. Papa ne rentre pas chez-nous./I-I'm sorry, dear. Daddy isn't coming home," She said crying. Her daughter joined as they both sobbed in each others arms. Leblanc and Pierce could only look at their feet as mother and daughter cried in each other's arms. The rest of team that accompanied them, lowered their heads in respect. Remembering the promise he made Omar, Pierce took the crescent and note from his pocket and held them in his hand. As he finished looking over the objects in his hand, he sought to get the attention of the mother.

Once Pierce got opportunity, he approached the mother. "Votre mari voulait que je vous donne ceux-ci./Your husband wanted me to give these to you," He said as he handed the items to Emma, who graciously took them. "Omar était un homme bon. J'étais honoré de me battre à ses côtés./Omar was a great man, I was honored to fight by his side." She only hugged her daughter tighter as she dropped the note, having finished reading it. She took the crescent and put it around her daughter's neck and proceeded to pull her in closer.

"Je vous remercie./Thank you." She spoke softly while still crying. Pierce just nodded and stepped back, giving captain Leblanc the room he needed to pass on the necessary information and the situation regarding Omar's body. As he looked behind them, some of the neighbors had gathered and watched with mixed expressions at what was unfolding before them. Close friends watched in shock as they realized one of their own would never return. And this was just the first stop they had to make today. Being the bearer of bad news, especially at this time of year, to the next of kin like this was not enjoyable in the slightest. He could only shake it off and tell himself that it was his duty to do this. And this close to not only Christmas, but Victory Day as well, this was the worst time to deliver such news. But the rest of the French families would be informed by Captain Leblanc, although that was of little consolation to him, as he still had families back in the States to inform.

RAF Hereford, United Kingdom

December 25th, 2080

Christmas Day

43rd anniversary of Victory Day

0900 Hours

At the entrance to Alpha Point, just outside Reykjavik, the military presence right outside had been heightened ever since the hazmat teams came back home. Every bit of ground and air based firepower was focused directly on the dark ether than led to a world many only dreamed of in fantasy novels. Every soldier was just waiting for someone or something to exit, daring the enemy to be stupid enough to think they could come back without consequences. Many of the soldiers stationed in Iceland were chomping at the bit to race through to the other side and eliminate this new threat. Many officers and high ranking officers wanted to as well, but they all understood how important and difficult logistics are. They knew they wouldn't pass through for at least three or four months. Those however, were the most optimistic predictions. Giving the forces involved, it was expected to be almost half a year. Of the nearly 1,000,000 combat and logistical personnel that had been pledged for this operation, less than 5% were mobilized and on their way. Many nations were still working out what units they were going to send and how quickly they could send them. But there were more pressing issues.

Not only were both Alpha and Bravo Point, severe bottlenecks that would put them at a severe disadvantage, there was virtually no infrastructure to support a large military force in Iceland. Even now, a large majority of the forces that were deployed in Iceland, roughly 30,000 personnel, were almost entirely stationed out of Keflavik International airport. But even with Reykjavik regional airport being freed up and the prisoners being moved to different countries, it became apparent they needed to create infrastructure from scratch. Plans were drawn up for a massive expansions for existing airports and port facilities, as well as for new ones to be built to accommodate the incoming troops. Even in the days leading up to Christmas day, 2080, thousands of combat engineers from around the world had been working nearly nonstop in order to make way for the incoming troops. Airfields were being built across the countryside for hundreds of heavy transport aircraft from around the world, docks and ports had to be expanded to make way for the large fleet of ships that were offloading tens of thousands of tons of supplies every day, and barracks had to be erected across the country to house hundreds of thousands of soldiers that would soon follow. It would be a difficult task to undergo, but it wasn't impossible. But much of that would wait for now.

Today marked the world's most celebrated holiday, Victory Day. Not only did it marks a victory over the worst enemy humanity has ever faced, but it also marked the day in which half a decade of human suffering had ended. The day in which humanity emerged victorious in its deadliest conflict. At the end of that five year conflict, 3.1 billion people, 37.5% of the world's populations at the start of the war, were confirmed dead. Another 100 million would still be considered missing all those decades later. A war that had left a deep scar on humanity. Not just physically, but mentally as well. Over half of the surviving population had some form of post traumatic stress disorder by the end of the war. Historical cities that were home to ancient empires and religions, lay devastated in the aftermath. The southern hemisphere was in complete ruin, the earth forever scarred by war. Cultures were wiped out; entire cities were left completely barren without a single survivor; and the environment was greatly damaged in the aftermath. Even now, the damage was still visible in the highly radioactive remains of many cities around the world, as well as the mass graves that held millions of victims. By the end of the war, the laws of war had become a thing of the past.

Orbital based nuclear weapons, biological weapons, anti personnel mines, anti-personnel ammunition, undetectable explosive devices, and blinding laser weapons, all previously banned at one point or another by the Geneva Conventions, became common place during the war. For humanity to win, the nations of the world couldn't hold back and had to utilize every dirty trick and tactic in the book to win. But even then, the fight was bloody. It took five years, but the nationss of Earth emerged victorious in the end. It wasn't easy, but every surviving nation, at least for the duration of the conflict, put aside their differences to fight an enemy who sought to take their home. By switching their economies to full war production and implementing a draft unlike anything ever seen in history, humanity captured the initiative and won. Now, Christmas Day represents the day humanity faced judgement and won in the face of overwhelming odds. For everything that humanity had lost, from religious cities, cultural and historical sites, and some could even say much of their moral codes, but humanity emerged stronger than ever as a result.

Today wasn't only a day of remembrance, but of celebration. To not only mourn all those who died decades ago, but as a way to celebrate humanity's greatest achievement. The operators at Hereford partied no less than anyone else would this time of year. While they may not have been with their blood family, they were just as close to those they served with. Everyone was celebrating in their own way, whether it was getting drunk, chatting with family over the internet, playing games, working out, or just engaging in regular old time debauchery. Mitchell was busy trying to account for members of his squad in the early morning hours, so as to get them ready for the events planned later in the day.

"So has anyone seen Dunn, Allen, or Diaz? I can't find them anywhere." Mitchell asked as he walked into the rec room and saw Itami reading manga on the couch and Dabiri playing chess with Nilsen in the corner. "They've been missing since last night and I need them accounted for."

"Join the club bro, Kuribayashi has been gone since last night as well. Usually Kurokawa keeps a close eye on her, but she lost sight of her last night. Apparently she kept pestering some of the men all around base to beat her in a fight. I don't think I need to include all the other things she was asking for, do I?" Itami replied, keeping his nose in his comic the entire time.

"Well that's a given. But if she's missing too, someone may have taken her up on the offer and beat her. In which case, lord knows where we need to look first."

"I mean can we blame our guys for wanting to blow off some steam?" Itami inquired as he put down his manga. "I mean, after what they saw and did in Iceland, it's probably for the best. As long as they don't let a relationship get in the way of their jobs and distract them from the goals at hand, does it matter?"

"It's more of the principle of the matter. While they aren't exactly immature, they can all get out of hand from time to time."

"Live and let live I say." With that Itami went back into his manga, hoping Mitchell would leave. When he didn't, Itami gave him a side eye.

"Dammit Itami, we need a headcount in the next hour or there'll be hell to pay. Now help me find them!" Mitchell commanded as he snatched the book from Itami, only to regret ever grabbing it when he saw what was inside. Simply put, Mitchell already thought Itami a weeb before all this happened, but seeing nothing but under aged girls, ranging from scantily clad, to completely naked, he thought the man hit a new low. Right as this happened, Lee and Gideon, were passing by, but not before glancing at the pages of the book and sending a look of disgust towards Mitchell, who directed his hand towards Itami in response.

"Fucking Japanese." Lee muttered underneath his breath as he shook his head. "We just finished getting our headcounts finished. Most other squad leads have finished their headcounts, but it's only a few people in total."

"Who are you missing, Mitchell?" Gideon asked. "If you need help finding them, just ask us."

"Yeah, I'm gonna need some help on this. Allen, Dunn, and Diaz are currently unaccounted for, and I've searched all over, but no one's seen them since last night around the bars."

"And I'm having trouble finding Ashti and Gilani, if you can help with that." Dabiri interrupted from the corner of the room. Having been beaten by Nilsen twice in a row, he figured he'd quit and find something else to do. "They're the only ones not accounted for on my end."

"Well that one is easy. Gilani challenged Ramirez to a marksmanship competition last night, and to no ones surprise, Ramirez won. I last saw him in the mess hall. I told him to check in when he was finished. As for Diaz and Ashti, they, along with some of the other female operators had spent the night drinking. Only reason I know is because Corporal Taylor stumbled out of her quarters with a hangover. They got a rude awakening from an air horn." Gideon chuckled as he pulled the small can from his pocket.

"As for Dunn, he was in the simulation chamber against some of mine and Harkov's men. Trying to beat his SAS time at the cargo ship challenge. So far, they've been going at it for over an hour and still won't give up." Lee informed them.

"But I'm guessing Allen is still nowhere to be found, isn't he?"

"Afraid so. If you want, we can have a message go out over the intercom and tell him to get moving," Gideon suggested.

"No," Mitchell declined. "Not gonna make a scene out of this. I guess I'll go double check the barracks assigned to my team, then go from there." But before he had a chance to leave the room, Staff Sergeant Davids, alongside Ramirez, Gilani, and Dunn entered the room, snickering all the while. Mitchell knew them well enough to know when they knew something he didn't.

"Heard you were looking for Allen and that crazy SDF girl." Once again Dunn burst out laughing as he entered the room, gaining the attention of those inside.

"Let's just say he's nice and rested after last night." Ramirez snickered as he gave his Captain a playful nudge with his elbow. "Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole hallway heard what happened in that room." Upon hearing this, both Mitchell and Itami looked at each other, realizing just what they had meant.

"Where are they!" Mitchell demanded as Itami hopped up from his seat on the couch, only for it to be taken by Nilsen, who had taken interest in the conversation at hand.

"Well, hold on, you might want to hear how all this happened." Ramirez interrupted. "After bugging the hell out of Allen all last night, he finally took her up on the offer for a sparring match in the training room. After holding back the first couple rounds, Allen decided to give her what she really wanted. A few hard hits, he pinned her to the ground and locked her in place. Next thing you know, we followed them to Kuribayashi's quarters and the rest is history. Hell, they still haven't woken up just yet."

It was at that point Mitchell and Itami sprinted out of the room, followed by the few SEAL's and other squad leaders, all of whom wanted to see this.

Allen's head was pounding after last night. On top of drinking heavily the night before, he had decided to take one of the Japanese operators up on an offer to fight him. The same one who had a reputation for bugging most men on the base to fight her and beat her. Now originally, he didn't want anything to do with her and he constantly avoided her advances towards him. However, being drunk and sick of being bugged by her, figured he had nothing to lose. After pinning her in the ring, she took him back to her quarters for a fun night. Or rather, he carried her to her quarters while being completely oblivious to the fact that they were being watched. However, he can't say he regretted his decision one bit. She was well endowed and amazing in bed. Part of him wished he had met her sooner. She was very muscular for her size, which had amazed him. Suffice to say, that provided them with ample ways to have fun. They both had experience with partners who couldn't keep up with them, so it was refreshing for both of them to know they were a match for one another. Especially Shino, who had found someone who wasn't afraid to get rough with her.

"Ugh, man," Allen said as he rubbed his head, still killing him from the hangover. "My fucking head's killing me." As he looked over at the alarm clock next to the bed, the realization of what had just happened had finally began to set in. Not only had he banged one of the foreign operators that his team was working alongside, he had done it on Christmas eve and well into the morning, when he knew damn well he had to be somewhere. Today marked the anniversary of Earth's greatest achievement, and here he was, stumbling around the room naked, trying to gather his clothes and get ready before the Captain found out. They all had events to take part in later that day, so they had to be ready. In ports around the world, naval fleets from around the world would be making voyages in every major coastal city.

It also marked the beginning of the first annual fleet week celebration which included a predetermined list of destroyers in orbit making visits over the major cities of Earth. On top of that, the UN had announced a new fleet asset which they would be showing off over the Lunar defense base. But despite all the parades, both holiday and military related, occurring in every major city, the UNDF had by no means let its guard down. In the wake of the Battle for Reykjavik, national guard units had been deployed in virtually every city on the planet. And with this day being the most important for billions, no one was going to risk anything happening. Whether the threat comes from space or an interdimensional portal, they were ready to respond.

In his rush to get his clothes back on, he hadn't noticed he had awakened his partner from the night before. She wanted to stay in bed, but just like Allen, had noticed the alarm and thrown the covers off the get dressed for the day ahead of them. "So, did you sleep well, farm boy?" she giggled as she reached for her clothing that was scattered across the floor.

Allen simply smirked at the comment from the SDF woman. "After last night, you bet. Although we shouldn't have slept that late, we've got shit to do today. Hell, Captain's gonna kill me if he finds out."

"Sucks to be you." She giggled. "Even if my screwball of a Lieutenant finds out, I'm not afraid of what he'll do. Hell, he might just give me a slap on the wrist and go back to reading his degenerate books."

"You shouldn't talk about your superior like that." Allen scolded as he turned back to see a confused Shino. "He might not be the best example for a team leader or the typical patriot that wants to serve their country, hell, you should hear what Captain Mitchell has to say about him and his personality, but you still need to respect him. He may not give a damn about his career, but you should."

"Trust me, you don't have to serve under him, so you don't know just how obnoxious he is. While I do care for my career, he is very lax on punishment; he doesn't lift a finger."

"That's not the point. Even if it's just out of principle, you should still respect him."

"Of all the things in this room of myself for you to focus on, you focus on my opinion?" Shino playfully questioned. "Sure you don't want to focus on anything else?"

Allen simply chuckled at her question. While he personally wished they had more time, he knew that heads would roll if they didn't get their asses in gear. And oh how he was right on that. "I would love to, but right now we've got to check back in. You doing anything later tonight?"

"As far as I know, I'm free as the wind. And since we won't be as strapped for time, maybe I can try out some ideas I've had floating around my mind. What would you say if we added a third to this fun?"

"I'd say that sounds nice, but I don't think anyone else is willing to play loose with the rules like we just did. Is sex really all you have on your mind?"

"Eh," She shrugged her shoulders as she fished for her phone in her pocket, only to be greeted by a dozen missed calls and texts. "Not everyday I find someone who can not only kick my ass, but have the balls to do so. You're a keeper."

"Whatever you say, crazy. Let's just get going before someone has the chance to spot us here."

"Oh it's a little late for that one, Allen." Allen and Kuribayashi froze upon hearing a third voice in the room. As they both slowly looked over at the doorway, they saw that not only had it been opened without any of them hearing a sound, but standing in the doorway was Captain Mitchell and Lieutenant Itami, the former of whom was giving Allen a death glare, while the latter was only shaking his head in disappointment. Behind them, Allen could see the faces of Dunn and Ramirez, both of whom were grinning ear to ear and giving him a thumbs up. He could also see some others as well, but he didn't know any of them by name. All of whom were smiling at the sight in front of them. "I'm eager to here why you two thought this was even remotely a good idea. I understand the need to blow off steam, but on all fucking days? We've been looking for your asses all fucking morning, and suddenly I learn that not only one of my own is in a section of the barracks he shouldn't be in, but you dragged him in here, knowing what kind of trouble you two could get into? There are rules and regulations for a good reason. So I want to know what the fuck you both were thinking!"

"There's no excuse for what I did, sir. Just a moment of weakness and an urge to relieve stress." Allen answered while looking his Captain straight in the eye.

"And what's your excuse, Sergeant? As far as I'm concerned, your as much to blame for this as Allen."

"Sorry, sir! I just wanted to find someone who could keep up, and who better than one of the SEAL's? I figured as long as we were careful, we'd be fine."

As he paused, one of the JSDF personnel, who went by the name of Kurokawa, slipped through the doorway, and headed directly for Shino. In her hands were a cup of water and a pill/ She glared at Kurokawa initially, but took what was given to her. But before she could walk away, Shino whispered something in her ear that changed her look from disappointment to disgust. "Absolutely not!" She screamed in response towards Shino's question. "What kind of woman do you take me for?"

"One who needs some serious di-"

"ENOUGH!" Mitchell yelled, having heard all he needed to. He glanced over to Itami, who just shook his head and kept quiet. "Don't either of you think we're done here. Get yourselves squared away and meet in the assembly area in 30 minutes. We've all got shit to do. Not to mention there's a special guest to see us. I don't know who it is, but Commander Perryman says it's important, so get your shit together."

As Mitchell slammed the door behind him and watched as the crowd began to disperse, he couldn't help but notice that Itami did absolutely nothing during the whole thing. He didn't say or do anything to Sergeant Kuribayashi. That's what annoyed him about Itami's personality. The man lacked character and the will to actually do something about it. "Are you shitting me, Itami? After all that, all you did was shrug your shoulders and shake your head? For fucks sake, you're her god damn superior, fucking act it!" At this point he had Itami backed up to the wall and began pressing his finger into his chest. "You need to take charge and quit being a lazy fuck! You're a fucking squad leader, now fucking act like it!" With that, he walked off to gather up the rest of his squad for the day ahead of them. Itami just sighed and followed him.

"So who do you think's here to see us?" Griggs asked in a hushed tone, hoping the captain wouldn't hear him.

"I don't know," Vasquez replied. "But whoever they are, I hope they hurry up."

The sentiment they held was the same across all teams. As they all stood at the position of parade rest in the assembly area, they could only wonder who had wanted to see them. They should be participating in the annual celebrations that would usually fit this time of year. Even if they couldn't be with their biological families, their brothers and sisters in arms were another family, one equally as important.

"Be quiet," Mitchell scolded in a quiet, but stern tone. He wasn't dealing with anymore problems, not now. He already had to deal with how to discipline Allen, and he wasn't looking forward to anymore problems. However his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the Commander giving orders.

"ATTENTION!" he shouted, sending them all into the position of attention without so much as a second thought. As Perryman looked over his teams, he couldn't help but feel pride at what he had accomplished. Over the course of the last two decades, he had not only gained influence in the US military, but had helped build relationships with nations that normally wouldn't sign off on multinational operations together. It all culminated seven years ago when it became clear that such a force was hidden Phauthi outposts were discovered around isolated locations in the southern hemisphere, it became evident that it would require the utilization of smaller teams before a larger force could commence mop up operations. After their success in a series of raids across Africa and South America, Perryman had been given permission to keep the unit active. Should the nations of Earth call for them, they could be anywhere in the world within half a day. It's for that exact reason that some teams had arrived quicker than originally expected. The use of newer, supersonic transport craft had allowed teams from Brazil and Australia to arrive within a short time period. "Good morning ladies!" He yelled loud enough to be heard by the battalion's worth of special forces operatives in front of him.


"PARADE REST!" Perryman simply smirked as he saw his unit move in unison on his command. "I know the last few weeks have been very," He tried to find the words to explain just what the hell had happened over the last few weeks. "Unusual to say the very least. Chaotic would be another. It was something none of you had ever trained to do. You've been trained to fight an enemy that's more advanced that's us, one that would make us work hard just for a small victory. But what you all saw and fought against in Reykjavik had not been something any of us would ever expect to see. An army straight out of ancient times, backed by various creatures and monsters you'd only find in fantasy tales. They even had some weapons and abilities we had never seen before. But despite it all, you answered the call of a nation that was in need of help. One that had forever sworn away war and relied on its allies for protection. And despite having virtually no intel on the enemy, being heavily outnumbered, and with little in the way of support, you not only succeeded in your objectives, but did so without a single casualty on the battlefield."

"Your superior weaponry, training, and teamwork, had paved the way for the retaliatory force to arrive and completely take the city back. And in the final moments of the battle, you even managed to capture a force that outnumbered you. Once again you showed the world that you'd answer the call when required and you did that in spades. But our world faces a new challenge today. As we celebrate our victory over our greatest enemy, we must not forget that we have a new mission ahead of us. Another empire had come to our world, seeking to conquer all before it. And just like those who sought to conquer our world 43 years ago, we beat them back. But this time, our situation is much different. Unlike with the Phauthi, we have a means of striking back against the Saderan Empire."

"Our world faces a new challenge. We will no longer be on the defensive, just waiting to see when and where our enemy will try to strike again. We will have vengeance against those who shattered the peace of our world. Once again the unity of our world will be tested as we face a new enemy. We'll be fighting them on their own turf, which immediately puts us at an disadvantage. But I have faith that the combined might of our nations will overcome these challenges and pave the way for us to exact justice for all those slaughtered in Iceland, as well as those who were captured and still remain on the other side of Alpha Point. But enough of myself talking, there is someone here who wants to thank all of you for the job you've done."

Out from the nearby building, came an unknown figure that was flanked on all sides by bodyguards. As they got closer, it became apparent just who it was. The Icelandic president, Freyja Mínervudóttir, was the unknown guest.

"Were you expecting this?" Dabiri whispered over to Nilsen, who was aligned right next to him in formation.

"Honestly, this was the last person I had expected to see visit us."

"What do you think she's here to talk about?"

"Probably here to thank us. Other than that, I got no clue."

"Well lets hope it doesn't take to long then."

30 Minutes later

To say that everyone was anxious was an understatement. After a speech from the Icelandic president in the morning, everyone was excited to see just what was about to be unveiled at the 43rd anniversary. All across the base, the recreation rooms were packed as squad after squad filed around the televisions and watched the live feed of parades and flyovers by the destroyers coming down from orbit. Spirits were high as fireworks displays lit up the skies around the world, and this was only the start of the celebrations. Commander Perryman had promised to give them a front row seat to what was being demonstrated by the UN today. Many were arguing as to what it might be.

"So what do you think their gonna be showing off? A new type of ship? Or a new robot?" One of the Gurkha's asked.

"All I know is that it's a new weapons system, something around the Lunar colony." Weber replied as he looked up into the clear blue sky.

"I'm betting it's a new defense platform, like the ones we've got around orbit now. Speaking of that, does anyone else hear that?" As they all looked up towards the northern sky, they could hear the faint sound of rumbling. As the seconds ticked by, it got louder, until the sound was unmistakably that of the fusion powered engines of the UN destroyers. From the clouds, the blue flame of the engines could be seen from miles away as the behemoth spacecraft punched through the atmosphere and leveled itself at a reasonable altitude. The ship was marked with the Union Jack, the flag of its home nation. Along the bottom of the hull, the name, HMS Prince of Wales was engraved. It was the eighth ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name, the seventh of which had been sunk in 2036. It strutted proudly over its home country, a testament to not just Great Britain, but to humanity as well. But it wasn't all that was being shown off.

Following not far behind, a cluster of blue streaks in the sky could be seen entering the atmosphere. They were too large to be regular fighters, roughly the length of the old B-1 Lancers of the US Air Force, albeit looking more like a heavily modified F-35. Now it was clear what they were. They were humanity's closest thing to a space fighter. They weren't small as you'd expect in science fiction, far from it. As any military or space agency would tell you, when it comes to spacecraft, bigger is more efficient. They began to slow down as they streaked closer to the base. As they did, the internal weapons bay opened up and an arm lowered a flag down. Each fighter carried a flag representing its home nation, as well as painting the sky with the colors of their nation, one fighter for each country. The first wave of five consisted of America, China, Russia, France, and Great Britain. They were followed by Japan, Germany, India, Korea, Canada, Turkey, and Mexico. The last wave held the Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Iranian, Israeli, and Pakistani fighters. Everyone watched in awe at the speed and maneuverability of them as they did aerial maneuvers over the base before darting off towards London, no doubt one of their many stops for the day.

"What you just saw was the result of decades of research by top aerospace engineers, scientific, and computer specialists the world over. We desperately needed a response to the Skelters possessed by the Phauthi. And what you just saw is that response. Those 17 nations spent the most time and money constructing them in secret. In isolated bases around the globe, thousands of workers spent the past decade constantly refining the design until they made something useful. Now we have our own SSTO capable craft, capable of reaching anywhere around the globe within minutes. These are simply the prototypes, with seven more on the way. When today is over, they'll link up with the Nimitz in orbit and become The 1st Aerospace Fighter Squadron. They aren't cheap, not by a long shot, but they're necessary. We have a long way to go before we can catch up with our adversary completely, but we will one day. This is just the start."
Chapter 15: Deliberations Part 2
Relief. What Jason Burns felt after confronting those beings was exactly that. He had wagered that his abilities would be enough to force them to back off and not interfere with what was coming. He knew he ran the risk of facing a power beyond his own when he traveled from his home universe to another. He knew that when he was given the combined power of humanity's fighting spirit and tenacity, a combined consciousness of every human that ever existed. However, it could only be used in the most dire of situations. Godlike beings from a universe that invaded his home was enough for him to act. Even more so when they had planned to close the portal between their universes, denying the Earth the chance to not only seek vengeance against those who invaded their world, but rescue the 10,000 Icelandic civilians who had been captured, who from what he heard, would've been killed. From what the others had told him, this was first time the gateway had opened in a long time, but this time he couldn't sit idly by.

He knew he had to act. While he had never really believed in God nor did he believe himself to be one, he couldn't deny the power he had been given after he had died. During the war, with so much being devoted to the war effort across the world, many industries around the world were severely reduced or outright went bankrupt. The movie industry and comics had been devoted to making propaganda against the Phauthi. Luxury car and aircraft manufacturers were taken over by the military. Cosmetics manufacturers had their resources moved to fuel and medical production. Companies that made toys, video games, and other luxuries that kids and adults alike had come to enjoy in the first world, were without them. Industries and companies went bankrupt as the global economy was hemorrhaging from the war. Even companies like the mighty Walmart, Apple, Samsung, Walt Disney, and many others had been brought to the brink.

Even internet service providers across the world were being forced to shut off and severely limit internet access across the world as nation after nation fell. Even online gaming had soon become impossible as it was a way for the Phauthi to gain information. The pampered first world nations of America and Canada, who even in the world wars, had never seen fighting or struggle on their own territory, were now beginning to learn just how many across the world had felt in the past. The entire northern hemisphere was feeling the effects and didn't like it, but had to endure it. But many were still hopeful that one day the war would end and the world would return to the way things were. That's why in 2036, on the eve of the biggest offensive the Phauthi would launch, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world, gathered in Anaheim, California for a massive celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Pop culture fans from all walks of life gathered in defiance at the war going on around them. They were there to show that no matter how hard the times were, they wouldn't give up who they were. Fans of many different franchises came together in one place to celebrate a common interest. It was intended as a major propaganda boost for civilian morale, to be used as evidence that things would soon be back to normal and there was nothing to fear. He, like many others who had come, wanted to pretend that the war wasn't going on. He had cosplayed as the Tenth Doctor, something he had always wanted to do, but was economically impossible, especially earlier in the war. For the first two days, everything was fine. People acted as if the world was back to normal and enjoyed themselves. He was enjoying himself being in America, having always wanted to visit the country. However, as the sun rose on the third day, everything had gone horribly wrong.

Tungsten rods and air strikes shook the city as Phauthi forces in Baja attacked US forces along the US-Mexico border wall. Originally made as a tool against immigration, it had become a fortress made to repel any attack. They had thought they were safe from attack, especially the Americans, who had not expected such a daring assault. But what everyone saw towards the south had convinced them that normal was gone. The city of San Diego was obliterated in nuclear fire, and with it, 250,000 US troops and millions of civilians and refugees. As evacuations were underway for Anaheim and Los Angeles, the arena collapsed from an airstrike. He desperately tried to save people even as rubble came down, but it was ultimately useless. He was soon crushed underneath the rubble and sucked in his last breath.

Believing himself dead, he was amazed when he saw a bright figure who stood before him. It was a relatively modern soldier who had almost certainly died in the War. He had explained that his time as the host for mankind's fighting spirit was over and that he had to pass the torch. Jason was an excellent choice, given how he acted selflessly in the face of danger. As he accepted the responsibility, he was made aware of what he could and couldn't do. He was not to interfere directly in the War, but was there to ensure that should the need ever arise again, he would be the one to protect humanity. He had become the living embodiment of willpower for the human race.

"What you did was not only extremely stupid, but reckless! Do you have any idea what you just did?" the voices called out to him.

"And who decides when interference is actually necessary? If not for what I did, not only would the connection between our worlds be severed, thousands of people would have been forever lost in that world," he explained in defense of his actions.

"You knew nothing about what they were capable of and took a gamble that could've cost you your existence," the voices replied.

"So you'd rather I sit and do nothing? And last I checked I'm still here. You can call it luck or chance; I really don't care. But I wasn't about to let them prevent our world from exacting revenge for what happened."

"Yes, but you took an aggressive approach to an unknown force. You should have spent more time properly analyzing the threat ahead of you," another called out to him.

"Well from what I had gathered from shortly after I had arrived, they planned on shutting the connection to our world and killing all those taken from Earth. I heard enough to make a proper judgment on my further actions. After I made it clear what would happen if they intervened any further, I left." It seemed as if no answer he gave would satisfy them.

"It was rather fortunate that our combined powers had any effect on them at all. It makes us question just how powerful they really are and just how they got their powers in the first place."

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," another voice echoed in his mind.

"It could be the peak of evolution for their kind. After all, one of those so called "Gods" we encountered was just that. The evolutionary peak of plant life of that world."

And now they were all clogging his mind with their arguing and debating. The one disadvantage of being in this position was having to deal with the constant chattering of countless voices when an argument was raised. He could block them out temporarily, but it required focus to accomplish. He did consider their words and their criticism of his actions, but he felt he had had no choice. This would be the first real opportunity to see how well the United Nations dealt with a new threat while being the more united than at any other point in history. It would also be a good chance to see if the UN fell back on old style imperialism or if they'd treat the innocents of this new world with respect and dignity. While none of them would shed any tears for those who died taking up arms against Earth, they didn't want to see humanity become the monster that once ravaged them.

Only time would tell in that regard and they had plenty of time. It would still be months before the UN led a spearhead through to the other side and began its long campaign of retaliation against the Saderan Empire. Now all that could be done was sit back and watch the events unfold before them. He could not directly interfere again unless it was made evident that the beings in the other world would try to stop the UN.

"Are you even listening to what we are telling you?" a voice questioned him.

"Yes, I am. However I am also thinking about the future of all this. A new frontier for humankind and the possibility of a new conflict. We must stay vigilant on this new development."

"Agreed, but you will not act out of line unless we deem it necessary. It is our job to watch and only act if absolutely required."

"Very well, I can agree with that."

"One more thing," another voice called out to him, "Why did you materialize in a giant box?"

Burns just smirked at the question thrown his way. "I figured that since I died wearing this, I might as well make the most of it," he told them.

Geneva, Switzerland

United Nations Headquarters

February 20th, 2081

1100 Hours

Having still much to discuss since their last meeting, the leaders of the United Nations Security Council, as well as other major powers, met once again in Geneva to deliberate the future of the new world before them. The prospect of natural resources at their disposal, which could be used to help rebuild their world, as well as being a fallback plan should anything happen to any of the ships in the asteroid belt, had become a major talking point since day one. An entire world of untapped resources would greatly reduce their dependence on their mining force in space, as well as lessening the cost of transportation although this would mean building new infrastructure in Iceland and Falmart to survey, mine, and transport it. However it was also recognized that a single hub for raw materials is a dangerous bottleneck and could be crippled if attacked. But it was a cost the leaders of the world were willing to pay.

This would also help solve the food security problems faced in many parts of the world. Even as farms across North America, Europe, and Asia worked at max capacity to produce enough food for Earth, much of the land across the southern hemisphere was still unusable. Only places like Brazil, Madagascar, and parts of Australia had land that was capable of growing crops. Between the radiation from salted cobalt bombs used decades before, as well as regions which saw significant changes to the soil by the Phauthi who intended to use it for their own crops,rationing was still in effect, at least compared to pre-war levels. No one could afford to waste food, not when many parts of the world were reliant on getting food delivered. Rationing had just ended across much of the northern hemisphere a decade ago, but when compared to the days of pre-war waste and luxury, it might as well be rationing. From information gathered about Falmart, the land and climate seemed very suitable for major crops and high yields.

it would allow for more resources to be diverted to the military, as quite a few nations used older, but upgraded equipment. What little modern equipment used by the UN was in America, China, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Russia, who wielded the largest economies and militaries. But even then, old tanks and aircraft still had some limited use in the field. Many were being requisitioned for the offensive against the Saderan Empire, due to many nations refusing to send their best equipment through the GATE.

There were also the new sources of cheap labor and weapons, as seen during the battle of Reykjavik, which many countries wanted to harness. But right now the biggest concern was that the Phauthi would again wage war against humanity, only this time for another world. While many were skeptical that they would try again after being beaten before and lacking the numbers to go on the offensive, the fact remained that if they were to capture the GATE in Iceland, they'd have a direct path to Earth again. Everyone knew this and that was why Iceland was being fortified by just about every ship, aircraft, and artillery piece the UN could spare for the defense.

"I believe that the last time we met, we only discussed a fraction of what needs to be addressed before we begin our campaign against the Saderan Empire," the Russian president announced as the various leaders sat down in their assigned seats, with an assortment of high ranking military officials and government agents taking seats near their respective leaders. "The first order of business that must be addressed is the information gathered from the prisoners we've acquired since the battle of Reykjavik. Over the last two months, our intelligence agencies have managed to learn a great deal about what lays on the other side of Alpha Point. I yield my time to agents Sokolov, Liu, and Smith, our senior most agents assigned to extracting information from the prisoners." As he finished speaking, the three agents stood up from their seats and made their way towards the podium where the Russian president was standing.

Confidently, they took up positions around the podium, with agent Sokolov taking the lead and shaking the president's hand. "Thank you, Mr President." As the Russian president returned to his seat, Sokolov took up a position directly on the podium and began to address all those in the room. "I don't seek to waste any time, so I'll begin with what we've learned. Over the last few months, many of the prisoners, especially, the non-humans, have been more than willing to provide us with the information we've been seeking. One of our main goals, getting a complete map of the Special Region, has been successful. With the help of many of the non-humans captured in Reykjavik, we've completed our reconstruction of the continent awaiting us on the other side." Sokolov nodded to the CIA agent, who then turned towards the large screen in the center of the room and clicked the remote in her hand, revealing the map.

"The continent, which we've identified as Falmart, has a longitudinal length of 11,000 kilometers and latitudinal length of 6,000 kilometers." She clicked the remote again and this time it changed to different colors, each one representing the various nations and how much land they controlled. "In purple marks the territory of the Saderan Empire. The other assorted colors denote the territories of the various vassal states and their proximity to Alpha Point. They are based entirely to the south, meaning that if hostilities break out, we'll know exactly where they'll come from, as well as the geography of the region. This also puts most of our weapons systems within range of every major city on the continent."

"And in regards to the vassal states, we have locations on their respective capitals, thanks to a very cooperative source." the Chinese agent continued. The screen shifted to the picture of one of the prisoners taken that day. "Prisoner #125, otherwise known as Count Colt Formal, has provided us with valuable information regarding the vassal state leadership. Not only has he given us specific locations of their major cities, but he's also acquainted very well with the kings of the most powerful kingdoms. Seeing as how it was the opinion of many here that we should at least try to open diplomatic channels with those nations, we propose using him once we counterattack through Alpha Point and secure the other side." That suggestion caused more than a few glances between those in the room. Some agreed with the idea while others ridiculed it.

"So you suggest that we just let him off, free? After everything that happened in Reykjavik?" the German Bundespräsident said, surprised. "It doesn't matter how guilty or sorry he feels, he still took part in an attack that resulted in thousands of people being raped and murdered!"

"We all share that sentiment, President Müller, but we also have to remember we're going into a new world completely blind. We'll need every advantage possible to win this as quickly and efficiently as possible. You must remember that the Phauthi have their own access to this world as well. We must secure it to the best of our ability before they have chance to gain a foothold."

"Besides," the US president interjected. "Nothing says he gets to go free. Just like the rest of those we captured, once their usefulness to us is finished, they get thrown back in jail. I agree with you, they don't get a free pass, but we must recognize their importance to the future of the campaign."

"Yes, but we cannot forget the circumstances that got them here in the first place. I've read the reports from our teams on the ground during the early hours of the attack. At least in regards to those elves, they went out of their way to save the lives of Icelandic civilians during the battle." The Canadian prime minister interrupted. "These so-called 'Demihumans' were forced into this affair after being brutally beaten by the Saderans."

"The prime minister makes a good point," one of the Canadian generals said. "These people hold no loyalty towards the Empire and could prove to be a very useful Fifth Column force. I would even argue for repatriating prisoners we've taken in exchange for them pledging their allegiance to us and helping rescue any civilians that were captured. I know how this sounds, but they'll know the continent better than we do; they hate the Empire; and could become excellent assets for intelligence. We can't just outright dismiss them."

"But consider the political backlash from this," the Mexican president reasoned. "Not only are the people of Iceland out for blood, but so are millions around the world. If word got out that we let them go, how do you think that would turn out?"

"That's why we'd have to either find a way to limit the social backlash from us doing so, or keep this completely under wraps."

"I think we need to slow down," the Russian president interrupted. "Before we discuss the possibility of using them as a penal battalion, let's allow our agents to finish what they have to say." He then motioned to the agent, letting him continue.

"Thank you, Mr President. Like I was saying before, Count Formal is on good terms with the largest and most powerful vassal states, specifically the kingdoms of Elbe, Mudwan, and Alguna. From the information provided to us by the Count himself, they are called upon by the Empire to do their bidding should the Emperor feel it necessary. He explained that the Empire has been seeking to conquer their lands completely since the rebellion and would likely order them to mobilize against us."

"And since the vassal states make up roughly half of the military power on the continent, it would certainly make conquest easier for them and would tie us up in more fighting," the CIA agent explained. "If we use the Count as an intermediary, it could allow us to open relations with them. Since they will be familiar with the Count, they would likely believe him if he explained the situation to them. We've declared war against the Saderan Empire, not them, so there's no need to draw in other nations if we can avoid it."

"But this still works under the assumption that they'll even listen to us," the Mexican president interrupted. "As I said before, we're a completely unknown force entering a medieval world. Any attempt to use him as a bridge for relations could make them believe we just tortured him and forced him to say what we want. We must face the very likely possibility that they'll still fight us anyway."

"We still have to try!" the Swedish prime minister argued. "There are literally hundreds of thousands of lives at stake here, many who are woefully ignorant of what's going on in their world! We have to at least try and implement some form of diplomacy, less we feel like running over and occupying the whole damn continent."

The Russian president chuckled at the remark. "That's going to happen one way or another, at least this way, it won't be as bloody. The possibilities that this world can offer us, as well as the emergence of another gateway to our enemy, are far too great to pass up."

"So we should just become the conquerors that tried taking our world 43 years ago?" The prime minister threw his hands up in frustration. "They may be more primitive, but it's still their world, no matter what may lay on the other side!"

"I'm not trying to sound cruel or imperialistic here, but quite frankly, it doesn't matter at this point. But this world is extremely backward," the Chinese president interjected. "This isn't the same technological disparity we faced with the Phauthi. Depending on the field in question, they were almost century ahead of us. Here, the disparity is about two millennia."

"Not to mention that since the Phauthi have access to this world as well, it's imperative we get a foothold in this world, unless we're willing to give them another world to claim, on top of giving them a much easier way to invade Earth," the US president added. "And despite what you may be thinking, I doubt anyone in this room is willing to approach even a fraction of the heavy handed tactics he Phauthi used on us. That's why we're considering the diplomatic route with other nations to secure this world as quickly as possible."

"There's also the added benefit of not having to worry about them later on in the conflict. Since they and the Saderans don't trust each other, we could use this as a way to further weaken their grip on the continent and enable us to end the campaign quicker. It'll be more efficient in both time and resources to focus solely on one enemy at a time. However there's more important news that we've learned about the vassal kingdoms."

"And that would be?"

"They are rich in natural resources. When we asked about resources, there were a few things that caught our interest. The first of which was a large deposit of fluorescent metals within the nation of Alguna, as well as in the northern territories of Falmart. The descriptions given make it more than likely that they are deposits of uranium, a resource we've almost completely mined on Earth, and are mining from the asteroid belt. Of course we won't know what it is until we can actually get boots on the ground, but if it is confirmed, from the size of the deposits they described, it would be far larger than any known deposit we've encountered."

News of this had certainly improved the mood of many in the room, mainly the world leaders, who saw the benefits the new world provided. Uranium was an especially important resource. Its use in nuclear reactors, weapons, and spacecraft made it invaluable.

"If you could guess, how much uranium would be located in these regions?" the Chinese president asked. The CIA agent looked back at her tablet and back up again.

"From the size of the area described to us, and it could very well be an exaggeration, roughly twice as large as the McArthur River Mine in Canada. And that's just one of the many resources described to us in detail in Falmart. In all, we could be looking at amounts larger than we've mined previously."

"On top of the possibility of uranium, we've been informed of large amounts of gold, copper, silver, and platinum. Much of this resides within the vassal state of Elbe, but that can be worked around at a later point. We were also made aware of large fields of thick, black liquid that resides within Elbe. From the description provided, it is almost certainly petroleum."

"I'm not sure of how much use that will be though," the French president interrupted. "Most of the petroleum reserves on the planet were exhausted during or shortly after the War. What reserves are still around today are small and used only for older military equipment that hasn't been converted to electric power, excluding various consumer uses. At most, it would be a cheap method for corporations to manufacture goods across the planet."

"But there's something we're forgetting in regards to fossil fuel usage," the US president interjected. "Scientific evidence by the early 2000's had already showed that we were affecting the global climate with the amount of carbon dioxide we were pumping into the atmosphere. By the end of the War, global temperatures had increased by one degree, and accelerated the melting of the polar ice caps. We've already built sea walls around every major coastal city, as well as upgrading infrastructure to deal with the rise in sea levels caused by the conflict."

"We burned over two decades worth of petroleum within the span of five years during the War. Between the damage done from the multitude of nuclear strikes which had made the middle east mostly uninhabitable, to most countless islands being swallowed by the seas, to temperature spikes making life unbearable in many regions around the globe, we can't afford to burn more petroleum in our atmosphere unless we want our climate to deteriorate even more." The Japanese prime minister added on.

"Best case scenario is that any commercial or private entity who seeks to utilize such deposits, will have to burn them in that world, not our own. We've made far too much progress to go back to that." The US president finished. "We can't afford to damage our planet's climate any further. Any economic activity using fossil fuels will have to take place over there."

"Even you must realize that our world will never be completely green." The Polish president interrupted. "For how much more energy efficient the civilians and military is in terms of transportation, much of the oil still being accessed in wells around the planet go towards other things vital for our world to run. Sure, we've found certain substitutes, but it can't replace our uses for it. Not right now anyway."

"Besides, there are more important resources we need. On top of uranium, we need easier access to aluminium, lithium, titanium, tungsten, and a large assortment of rare earth elements." The Israeli prime minister stated. "Resource extraction is among one of our primary concerns when it comes down to what this world could offer us. However it isn't the most important. Is there any indication of how fertile the land in this world is?"

This time the focus came back to agent Sokolov who responded to the question. "From information gathered from the CBRN team that was sent to the other side back in December, the soil is extremely fertile and tests performed on soil samples have shown it would be compatible with currently grown crops."

"That's good news," the French president remarked. "Our agricultural sectors are being strained by the output they need to produce to keep up with rising demands. Much of the soil already in use has been heavily degraded. While progress is being made in ensuring the stability and continued use of current farmland, it's getting difficult to continue to support the growing population."

"And our attempts to recultivate much of the land across the southern hemisphere has met with mixed results," the Mexican president told them. "Land in southern Brazil and northern Argentina have proven to be responsive in our attempts to cultivate it, but we've still run into problems in doing so. With an entire new continent at our disposal, this could solve our food production problems as well."

"There's also the fact that the Phauthi altered much of the soil in Australia, Africa, and South America, to grow their own crops, which they intended to use for their own people, which has forced us to once again alter the soil so it can be utilized for our own uses."

"But we must not become overly reliant on this new world," The Spanish president interrupted. "This portal is a massive bottleneck for either side that goes through it. Sure, it may be 200 meters across and 50 meters high, but should it be destroyed, not only are we losing any personnel on the other side, but we'll lose our easy access to any resources as well."

"That's why we've already taken precautions in ensuring that nothing happens to either Alpha or Bravo Points. UGV's have been deployed to the other side of Alpha Point to not only keep any potential saboteurs away, but also to provide protection for the drones that were assigned for bringing back the dead from the first probing action taken back in December. So far, the bodies of those lost during the hazmat mission have been recovered, but all of their gear and weapons were missing."

"With the forces in orbit, local ABM systems, and a significant military presence, it's unlikely it will be destroyed. And since from what intel we've gathered, this is an artificial structure, it won't close naturally. As long as an opposing military force doesn't get close, it's firmly in our hands," an American general stated.

"I still believe we should've waited until a proper QRF was in position for reinforcement. It would have avoided the unnecessary casualties we incurred," the Israeli prime minister argued. "We should've sent a proper force with them to batter the enemy defenses and force them away from the portal. Not only have we wasted the lives of those sent, the Saderans now have more of our own weapons and gear. While I doubt they can effectively use it, there are still ten thousand Icelandic civilians and hundreds more foreign nationals on the other side that could know how."

"And from what we've already seen from the Saderan military, they might be primitive, but they learn quickly, as evidenced from what we've witnessed and from those we've interrogated." The CIA agent informed them. "During the Battle of Reykjavik, they not only managed to cut the power for most of the city by interrogating the locals, they managed to broadcast a message at a news station, although by ordering those present to set it up. Their superiors were smart enough to begin ordering the capture of all weapons belonging to dead police and military personnel. Information gathered from surviving embassy personnel, as well as survivors of the attack, point to the enemy having the ability to peer into the mind of any individual, going through all of their memories and collecting information from them."

At this point, one of the French generals in the room raised their hand for permission to speak, which was granted quickly. "So you're saying that they have the ability to acquire the skills of anyone they capture, which in turn allows them to learn how to use any technology?"

"Not exactly," the MSS agent answered. "From what we were able to tell, they can visualize everything within a person's mind, but are incapable of understanding it right then and there. However it did allow them to identify key targets that would hamper our efforts, as well as our reluctance to hit their formations when they used civilians as shields. That's evident when they turned their attention on power stations and such to cripple the city."

"Now whether or not they could possibly learn more from those captured later on with enough time is still unknown. It is certainly a possibility we've considered, but we don't have much more to go on aside from survivor accounts."

"So does this mean they saw our world's history?" the Turkish president asked . "If they did, why in the love of all that is holy did they continue with the attack after seeing how outclassed they were?"

"I'd bet a really bad case of arrogance. They at least share that with the historical Roman Empire; they were egotistical." A British officer replied.

"That's a safe bet to make. The human prisoners display extreme levels of arrogance, as well as refusing to believe that they've lost the war," the CIA agent informed them. "They still hold out for the Empire coming back through and beating us. They seem to be under the impression that we took irreplaceable losses during the War." The looks on most of those in the room mirrored those of the interrogators when they first heard it. More than a few in the room began laughing at hearing such a thing, but brought themselves under control quickly.

"And exactly how did they come to that conclusion?" the US president asked.

"The international response to them attacking Reykjavik. When they realized that more than one country had taken part in the counterattack, already having knowledge about the War, they had assumed that we could only beat them back by gathering a force from every nation on the planet, thus they believe that no single military could defeat them in open battle," Sokolov explained.

"Still, they lost roughly 85,000 of their own, along with another 10,000 captured. Our losses were only 204. How can they still believe they can come back from that?" the befuddled Indian prime minister asked.

"Agreed, from what I remember from our last meeting, it was estimated that there would be almost 400,000 soldiers on the other side of Alpha Point, roughly a third of which belong to the vassal states," one of the Italian generals added.

"And simple math would tell us that the total size of the Imperial military would be roughly 320,000 before they attacked us," an Indian general said as he finished typing the information into his calculator. "They lost nearly one third of their entire military in one failed attack. In pure military terms, that's a catastrophic loss. I'm sure if any of our own nations took such heavy losses in a single engagement, it would be crippling."

"So it begs the question from why they still think they can absorb such losses and still win against us, especially when our own numbers in Reykjavik numbered less than 10,000." A French officer asked.

"It stems mostly from their history of never being defeated in a war before. More specifically, there was a conflict they fought roughly 330 years before they made contact with us. They called it the Arctic War, in which they lost 60,000 men in a single engagement against horsemen tribes who inhabited the northern section of the continent. Now there's a quote that was told to us about how the citizens of the Empire reacted those losses, but it's far from appropriate, so we'll leave it out." The CIA agent replied

"They eventually won the conflict by rebuilding their army, as well as using the vassal states to win the conflict, although at a horrific cost. This has since fed into their belief of invincibility and that they'll never be defeated or conquered," Sokolov explained. "They also see us as weak for the care we take in combat to limit civilian casualties, as well as for refusing to enter close combat with them."

"It sounds as if these barbarians need a lesson in humility. One we're going to give to them," the Polish president stated. "They claim we're savages and barbarians who know no meaning of war? Well, I say we give them what they want. A war they will never forget in a thousand years!" he exclaimed.

"Now the bigger question is how we can use the demihuman prisoners we've taken to our advantage." The CIA agent brought everyone's attention back up to the front. This time the screen in front of them was filled with pictures of the various species taken captive from Reykjavik. "As many of you might be aware, they had at one point or another been attacked and conquered by the Saderans. They vassalized them and used them because of their unique abilities."

"The first race listed are the strongest, but the dumbest of all the various species." The screen then focused on a single image, showing a green-skinned, heavily muscled creature with a pig-like face. "Known as goblins to the Saderan Empire, they are a brutish species with a love for fighting and capable of resisting small arms fire. They were usually tasked with using large hammers and other instruments to break down barricades and doors across Reykjavik. They were the largest of the auxiliary forces deployed by the Empire, but also the one that took the most losses in combat."

"So they would be of virtually no use to us in combat?" one of the British military officers asked.

"That is correct. The only way they'd be willing to fight is if you bribed them, which certainly isn't going to happen." The screen changed again and focused on another of the species captured by UN forces. This time it was the MSS agent who took the lead on informing them. "The next species we captured are known as Warrior Bunnies. Humanoid rabbits who are adept in combat. From what's been observed on the battlefield, they have extremely powerful leg muscles which allow them to jump across rooftops and fall from higher distances than a human can, while not being injured in the process. They've also shown themselves capable of kicking a man back nearly 20 feet with one of their legs. Then there's their hearing, which is extremely sensitive. They can hear farther and pick up noises humans can't. Last but not least, they can see in the dark naturally, which initially put some of our men in danger when combating them in Reykjavik."

"Then how did they end up working for the Saderans? Because if everything you said is correct, they should've won most engagements against them on the battlefield," a Russian general asked. "I'm surprised they didn't fight to the last soldier if they are that capable."

"Attrition warfare, as well as using magic against them, which they didn't have. As for why they surrendered, that's where their history gets darker. Roughly three years before Alpha Point opened, the Empire was in search of slaves, and the Bunnies were the next target. Initially, they did fairly well against the regular legionaries, but the Empire used superior numbers, as well as their elite Immortals to beat them back. The campaign was originally started by the Imperial crown prince, who we now know as Zorzal El Caesar. From what little we got from the prisoners regarding him, he's extremely sadistic, arrogant, and selfish. Given that bunny women are renowned for their beauty beyond Alpha Point, Zorzal made it his personal mission to bring them to heel. Their queen, who they call Tyuule, had offered herself as his personal slave in exchange for her tribe being left in peace. As you can already imagine, that's not what happened. Those who refused to be sold into slavery were executed, some escaped, but most were thrown into the service of the Imperial Army."

As he finished speaking, he could see many in the room shaking their heads at what they just heard. It wasn't that they didn't understand that this was common in ancient times, but they couldn't deny that it was depressing to hear such events. And given the events that happened in Reykjavik with the Imperials, many of them couldn't help but think of the hell all the captured civilians were going through at the moment. This was just one of the many reasons they wanted to cross Alpha Point as soon as possible, to rescue their own, and to eliminate the Saderan Empire.

"We really are dealing with a bunch of backward barbarians," a Swedish officer remarked. "It makes me wonder just what it the hell we'll be doing in this world when we get there. None of our governments will allow slavery under any capacity, no matter how much of their economies are reliant on it. And since we're looking for our own people, we'll need to tear that continent apart to search for them. By the time we're done, that world will be unrecognizable to the natives. Whether they like it or not, they'll have to abandon that barbaric practice."

"I'm sure we're all agreed on that, but our main focus is how quickly we can secure the other side," the Korean president responded. "Please continue," he added with a gesture. The CIA agent nodded her head and continued.

"The last major ones on the list are known as elves. Now they come in two different categories. The first are known as High Elves. They usually reside within the forests of Falmart, away from major towns and cities. The Dark Elves, however usually live within the mountains to the south. Aside from skin tone, they seem to share similar abilities, many of which me and my colleagues agree will suit us the best. It was because of their abilities that they were brutally subjugated by the Saderans."

"And what might those be?" one of the Canadian officers inquired.

"The first is their ability to harness magic." Again, the word magic just didn't sound right to many in the room. Sure, many had been present during the previous meeting, as well as having seen footage from Reykjavik, but the fact that magic existed didn't sit well with them. Some believed it was just an unknown form of technology. This was understandable since magic is usually perceived as supernatural fiction, as seen in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. For something so commonly thought of as fiction, to now be real, bugged everybody. This also led to governments recruiting so called "magic experts" from various regions of the planet. Since they were dealing with an opponent who possessed magic, they recruited many fantasy experts and began to question them of what to expect and how to possibly deal with certain situations. "As some of you may have read from the AAR from Reykjavik, our aircraft encountered a massive electrical storm that jammed their sensors and electronics, which forced our pilots out of the airspace for a short time. This lightning was extraordinarily powerful in how it affected the electronics of our aircraft. While the majority of the aircraft we had in the air at that time were old F-35 models approaching the end of their serviceability, some of our newer aircraft, the V-99 Warbirds, reported failures in multiple systems after being struck by this form of lightning. It would seem that the High Elves were the ones responsible for the event."

"So you're telling me that our enemy is capable of using single individuals as anti-aircraft weapons, ones that can't easily identified, and can easily blend in with a civilian population while giving no obvious sign of what they can do? That's just lovely, now isn't it?" a British officer exclaimed in an exasperated tone.

"And since it's been observed that they can damage our aircraft with those abilities, it will be extremely difficult to deal with. Especially if they entrench themselves within an urban area and deny our forces air support. This could become a problem for our forces in urban combat, even more so if the Saderans intentionally use their own people as living shields and force us to fight them close up." Another officer added.

"That was one of the things we realized when we first learned all this. With enough training, they are able to perform these attacks with ease, although it requires concentration to pull off properly. The storm in question was created by a single elf. We confirmed this after cross referencing video footage from aerial assets and CCTV footage from the launch site. The elf in question is currently in custody and has helped in our understanding of their combat abilities. However it should be noted that the subject in question relatively young compared to the others in custody, which suggests the possibility that those with more experience can perform even more powerful attacks; ones that would be far more effective against our forces."

"And exactly how old are some of these prisoners?" the Swedish president ask. "Because many of the photos taken show a few of them that can't be more than 16 years of age. Not to mention the outcry from human rights organizations across the world."

"Well they can get over it. After what they did when first arriving in Iceland, they don't deserve any sympathy. Besides, half of them aren't even human in the first place. And if we're being really technical, every single prisoner we've taken is an alien simply because they aren't from our world." The US president gestured for the agent to continue the briefing. "But enough about that, please continue."

"That's where things get rather complicated."

"How so?"

"The youngest elf we captured was stated to be 154 years old." Everyone in the room did a double take upon hearing that. Some were slack jawed without anything to say. Others just glanced at those next to them and whispered to each other.

"And how do you know they aren't lying to you? Because this is starting to sound extremely far fetched at this point. What proof could they possibly have to back up such extraordinary claims?"

"Along with the fact that every prisoner we've taken, human and otherwise, have confirmed that elves live extremely long lives. We initially conducted carbon-14 dating on all of their bodies, however it failed to yield results. Instead we compared the telomeres within the bodies of the Saderans and compared to examples from around the world. We then compared them with the telomeres from the elves, which gave us their ages. And since a standard year in Falmart is roughly anywhere from 383 to 389 days long, which would put the youngest at roughly 162 Earth calendar years. The oldest we encountered is roughly 420 years old. Not only do they posses abilities still mostly unknown to us, they age at a far slower rate than humans. Which means that virtually all of them are more experienced in combat, for big or little that might matter in the end. All we know is that one of their youngest was nearly able to knock our aircraft out of the sky. There's no telling what a group of older and more experienced ones are capable of."

"I thought this was supposed to be a briefing about how we could potentially use them against the Saderans, not how much of a headache they'll be once we cross Alpha Point," the Russian president pointed out. "Because all I'm hearing is problem after problem in the face of our invasion."

"That's entirely the thing. Most of the demihumans don't want to fight, or at least, don't want to fight us. They've shown extreme hatred towards the Saderan prisoners and the Empire in general. This was observed during the first week after Reykjavik was secured when a mass riot occurred between the segregated segments of the prison camp. And while it didn't take long to figure out the cause. The hatred between the two groups is considerable. Within that same week, several prisoners came forward offering us any information we wanted or were otherwise apprehended and interrogated for said information. Like Count Formal, they are willing to help us in exchange for sparing their people from our retribution, especially the elves."

"And how do we know they won't backstab us or turn tail and run back to the Saderans?" one of the American officers asked, which prompted many others to whisper to each other in agreement.

"While we have reason to be cautious, after everything described to us, they hold nothing but rage and contempt for the Saderans. After all, they willingly told us everything that we're reporting to you right now. Many practically begged for us to listen to them and to help them."

"And just what exactly do they need our help with?" one of the Indian officers asked.

"Keeping their people safe. They fear that with this failure, their people would be left vulnerable to Imperial retaliation. It seems the vast majority of their best warriors were part of this invasion, with half or more now dead or captured. Without them there, they're defenseless."

"Doesn't sound like our problem. Quite frankly, it sounds like they should've just fought harder to begin with," an American officer chuckled. "Even if we were to take them seriously, what can they really offer us in return?"

"Aside from one less group of people we have to fight, they know the world better than we do," the MSS agent replied. "That, and they've also highlighted many regions of importance to us, including mineral deposits. All they want in return is to be allowed to go back home and live in their ancestral lands, free of outside interference."

"Well letting them go back is a tall order," the British prime minister said. "The political and social backlash we would see from just letting them go would be immense. Whether they truly didn't take part in the killing is irrelevant, all that matters to most people is that they were there. I'm not denying their usefulness, but we must be careful on how we approach this."

"Then we make them work for their release," the US president suggested. "It's easy, we allow those who we believe will help us the most in our goals of securing the land behind Alpha Point. We monitor them 24/7 and keep them on a short leash. If they follow our orders and actively help us hinder the Imperials, then we could very well let them go home to their kind. If they run off or otherwise try to go against us, they get dealt with at the discretion of those on the field and we keep those we already have in custody. Or we can establish contact with their people and work out some sort of deal with them. They allow us passage through their land, as well as rights to any important deposit of natural resources, and we'll give them back their people."

"That's the idea we've had with Count Formal, however he has stated that in event the Empire losses Alpha Point to us, they'll likely occupy his home city, which he has already surrendered to us. The biggest problem is how to minimize destruction to the city while also eliminating any hostile presence. Our best idea is to infiltrate the city using some of the demihuman prisoners we've taken, some of which were in the direct service of the Count, to deliver a message to his daughter and those running his estate in his absence. If we get his militia to stand down, as well as make the Imperials think we're coming from a single direction, it would minimize civilian losses and maximize Saderan losses."

"The idea could work," the Swedish prime minister agreed. "I say we give them a chance to redeem themselves and help our war effort, despite how much I disagree with how we're handling it. If nothing else, it means we have more friendly or neutral forces in this world not trying to kill us."

"If we can use them, I say we do it. They have everything to lose if they try to lie or otherwise go against us. They saw firsthand what we can do, so I believe that they'll keep to their word," The Korean president argued.

"Very well, we'll put this to vote before we finish this meeting."

The meeting dragged on until midday, while they discussed the military aspect of the campaign. So far, nearly every nation present had selected what units would be taking part in the invasion and who would be providing most of the logistical support. Once that was finished, all 21 nations present voted to utilize the demihuman prisoners, once selected and thoroughly vetted, to help guide them in this new world. They also tasked the various intelligence agencies with drawing up a plan with military leaders to use Count Formal to bring the vassal states to the negotiating table, and secure the city of Italica. But until then, the wheels of vengeance were turning strongly, and it wouldn't be long before the UNDF would see a trial by fire against a new alien force, and quite possibly an old one.

Imperial Calendar 687

Glass Peninsula, Falmart

The journey through the Blue Sea had been perilous. Tiberius had always heard the stories from admirals about how dangerous is was to travel the sea. Giant storms would swallow entire fleets and send them to the depths. Mer People who prowled close to the surface often looking for single ships that would be easy prey. Even massive Aqua Dragons that could single handedly wipe out an armada and not receive even a single scratch, had dwelled in these waters. But Tiberius wasn't scared. He felt no fear over what could happen. The only thing on his mind was the task given to him by the Emperor himself. A task that would determine whether or not the Empire would have a chance in the upcoming war with the other world. There existed a legend of a ship made entirely of steel that appeared in a storm roughly 155 years ago.

When merchants had first reported seeing it, they reported it as being nearly a stadium long, with four strange ballistae on the deck. As they tried to approach the ship, they reported that the ballistae began to spit fire at them, which severely damaged their vessel, forcing them to retreat. They also reported seeing dozens of men scrambling about with strange staves that shot fire at them. Before the Gate was opened, one would simply laugh at such stories, most likely being the imagination of a drunken sailor. But after recent events, many such stories were being brought back to the light and were being studied vigorously. There was even an old legend about five blue metal birds that appeared in the skies above the Imperial colony to the south. However this was deemed of the utmost importance to find. For if they could unlock the secrets of the otherworld weapons, they could turn the tide of the conflict.

But he wasn't the only one tasked with a great duty. During their invasion of the world beyond the Gate, they acquired many useful things. Aside from over 10,000 slaves, all of whom had some knowledge of the technology of their world, they also acquired a great many books and maps. The books, once properly translated, revealed great insight on this world and its history. Its old empires, all its wars, and its political alliances. The latter would be useful as many were trying to come up with ideas on how to cause division within this "United Nations of Earth", which was the totality of the world's nations. The maps were even more useful. In correlation with the books, they figured out which nations had the most power and those that were the weakest. This had given them a few ideas.

They had warned their world that the Empire would open another Gate in retaliation for interference. It wasn't a bluff either. Now admittedly, they wouldn't know where it would manifest and they'd run the chance of invading one of the larger countries or one of the smallest. But with the assistance of maps, they could figure out the best places for such an attack. Godasen and his mages quickly ruled out attacking any of the nations that were part of the "Security Council", as it appeared that they held the most military and political power in their world. While they steadily narrowed down the list, they had a few promising targets. While they couldn't close the GATE on Alnus Hill or in the Blue Sea, they could create one that would only last a few days at most, enough time for them to launch attacks wherever they chose, causing chaos around their entire world.

There was one target that looked very promising and wouldn't risk outside interference. There existed two nations that resided in the southernmost tip of one of their continents, which hadn't joined their "United Nations". It seemed that they were the first to fall to their old enemy many years ago. Their entire world sat and did nothing, which left bitter feelings in those who inhabited them. From what could be and was still being gathered about them, they had relatively small populations, even smaller militaries, and more slaves for the taking. Godasen argued that by capturing large numbers of their peasant population, as well as capturing their weapons, he and his students would have more examples of their weapons to study. Not to mention it would add two more vassal states to the Empire. There was also the possibility of having their armies serve the Empire, which would greatly benefit from having access to their skills, despite how embarrassing it would be for barbarians to teach Sadera how to fight.

"We are approaching the site of the legend." Tiberius was broken out of his trance by a hand on his shoulder. It was Admiral Regillus. He had known the Admiral for many years and could attest to the man's character. Both were veterans of the Imperial military and survivors of the recent failed attack through the Gate. Aside from Legate Marcus leading the defense at Alnus Hill, they were the only surviving commanders from the battle. Both had seen first hand what the otherworlders were capable of, and that only strengthened their determination to find what they were sent to locate. "It seems the story was correct, my old friend. Our wyvern scouts report that there is a shipwreck directly ahead."

"Good," Tiberius replied calmly. "I hope we can get something useful from this. We can use whatever we can get in this war."

"Then perhaps this ship will provide us with the answers we need. If we could learn how they built such vessels, then we'll build a navy to rival their own in no time." Tiberius chuckled at Regillus's comment. They both knew that this would be no easy task, but they had to believe that something would come from this. They had come too far to give up now.

"I'd like to think so. But I think this will be a bit harder than our mages learning how their strange staves work. We're talking about an entire ship. This will be no easy task. Besides, I don't like thinking about what condition this ship might be in. Rusting for over a century and a half. It could very well fall apart when we touch it."

"That may be so, but if it's been stranded for that long, there's a good chance we can find the weapons described to be intact. And with the scribes here with us willl draw and record every detail about the ship. Even if we can't use it, we can copy it."

"Maybe you are right. The Empire has always adapted when faced with new challenges. This will be no different. Although I do believe I'm right in saying that this will be the hardest war we'll ever fight." Tiberius said confidently. "This will cost more than we'd ever think possible, but by the time it's over, we'll be unstoppable."

"I agree," Regillius said before pausing. He focused his vision at one of the islands ahead. As the fog began to clear, they both could see their target. As they got closer to the ship, they could see that it certainly had been in that location for some time. The entire ship was covered in rust from bow to stern. It fit the size of what they were looking for, as well as being made of steel. It didn't take long for messenger wyverns to alert every ship in the fleet of the finding and where to go. Within minutes they had landed on the shores of the nearby island. Behind Tiberius and Regillius was an entire legion, assisted by 50 auxiliaries, mostly orcs and trolls, brought mainly for their strength.

"I want every inch of that ship searched!" Tiberius commanded his men. "This is a mission from the Emperor himself and we will not fail him! Now get moving!" As he studied the ship more closely he found the design was very peculiar. Near the stern of the ship, sat two long pillars that looked like chimneys. Both were rusted, but he could still make out some white coloring near the top. The center of the ship was filled with numerous support beams the use of which he couldn't figure out, if they had one at all. At both ends of the steel supports were even taller steel poles. There appeared to be a watching post towards the bow. But what baffled him the most was the lack of oars. There wasn't even a sail. Somehow this ship moved under its own power. That was a secret that would prove invaluable if they can figure it out.

Once they reached the deck of the ship by use of ropes, they could get a much clearer picture of what had happened. There were pieces of metal scattered across the deck of the ship, as well as skeletons. Upon closer examination, they discovered a mixture of Mer People and human bones.

"It seems that whoever these sailors were didn't expect an attack." Tiberius muttered to himself. he saw something in the hand of the strangely dressed skeleton of one of the sailors,. As he picked it up, his eyes went wide. It was one of the otherworlder weapons! He began to issue orders for every legionary to follow, while also waving the weapon in the air so they would know what to look for. "Any weapon or stave you find on this ship, you will capture! These weapons could prove valuable in our war against the enemy from the otherworld!" As he continued across the deck, he came across more examples of weapons. Aside from the spears that still resided in the skeletons of the sailors, he found longer wooden staves that looked intact, despite being exposed to the elements for over a century.

It was similar to a crossbow in that regard. But one thing he didn't understand was w there was a strange piece of metal sticking out of the right side. It seemed to be part of some type mechanism within the stave that he couldn't understand. He simply handed the weapon off to a legionary, who then sent the weapon back down onto the beach.

"This ship certainly is strange." Regillius remarked. "I don't understand the purpose of such a design. Although I can understand what these might be." He said as he pointed towards a long cylinder on the ship. As they got closer, it appeared to be some type of weapon, similar to what they had seen used on the ship they almost captured. It looked much like a ballista, except it was all steel. "It's definitely some sort of weapon. And once again, it's all steel."

"Well one thing is for certain, this was no regular merchant ship. All the dead have the exact same weapons and uniforms. This belonged to a nation."

"Not only that, but the legionaries report that the lower deck is filled with some strange rocks. It's unclear what they are, but it must be really important for the entire lower deck of the ship to be carrying it."

"Perhaps we'll take plenty back with us and the mages can figure it out."

As they finally made their way below the decks, they could see that the rust had made it impossible to open most of the doors. The orcs and trolls were put to work smashing them open with their heavy hammers and mallets. It took them time, but they eventually got them all opened. One by one, they searched every room they found, taking everything they could in the process. So far they had gathered another two dozen weapons from the rooms and dead bodies. Eventually they found their way into what they assumed was the captain's quarters. The room was fairly unremarkable, but there was one thing that caught the eye of Legate Tiberius. Hanging on the wall was a flag. A flag he had recognized and despised. It was the flag of a nation from the other side of the Gate. He tore the flag from the wall and held it in his hands.

"Is there something wrong?" Regillius asked, wondering why his friend was so focused on a single flag. "Do you recognize it?

"This flag belongs to one of the countries that beat us back. A country who had a palace in the city we had captured. Five of their men killed hundreds of legionaries before finally succumbing to our forces. This ship once belonged to them." Tiberius smirked as he tossed the flag down and looked over at his friend. "But now, it belongs to us. The knowledge this ship holds will prove invaluable. The weapons especially. And if the other legends are correct, there are more of their weapons just waiting to be found."

"That is certainly one way to look at this. But there's something This ship is far too large for the number of dead we've found. So far we've only counted forty-four sailors among the dead, which means that some could have escaped."

"Which also means there are more weapons on this island. Have the men search the entire island. Tell them look for anything out of place, especially burial sites. They wouldn't have gotten very far. And something tells me they didn't last very long."

"This is looking to be very promising. We've already acquired over 30 weapons from this ship and the trolls are already in the process of removing the steel ballistae. Our scribes are slowly and carefully writing down every little detail about this ship. It won't be long until we have the secrets that reside in this ship."

"And we'll use those secrets against our enemy."

Legate Tiberius and Admiral Regillius had found what their emperor had told them to find. They had gathered a great many otherworlder weapons and believed that what they found would help change the tide of the war. But they didn't know just what they had found. They didn't realize that most of the crew was gone and would never be found. They didn't realize the importance of the manganese ore in the storage center. What they didn't realize was that the ship had disappeared without a trace and was the greatest naval mystery of all time. They had found a ship that had belonged to the United States navy during World War I. The USS Cyclops.

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