“Bring all batteries online!” Matthias shouted. “All remaining ships, eliminate what’s left of Prince Adam’s fleet! Any who surrender are to be given quarter. Other than that, destroy the Emperor’s fleet! Destroy these relics of the past!”
“Yes sir!” The fleet was moving into position over the valley. They formed into a backwards V-shape, with the Odysseus at the furthest. Since it had the most firepower, they were safe. What was left of Adam’s fleet was desperately trying to get into position. However, at the moment, they were very leaderless.
The ground transports were loaded up with every single soldier they could get. The Knights were in various units of the mass of dropships that were deployed. The Fortress was still massive. It was broken into four giant chunks, each with a fair amount of distance. Sebastian was in charge of a group headed to the two that were the closest. Bane was headed to another, and Two-Face to the last. The Knights were to pick and take targets as they saw fit. Strategy had so little to do with this battle. This was to be a long, drawn-out cleaning operation. Everyone knew the score. Matthias may have advocated for prisoners, but for most of the ground forces, it was simple – no prisoners, no mercy. This was to be the very last battleground.
However, forces on the ground knew it too. Already, what anti-air defenses they could muster were being activated. It was strange, for artillery to come from the ruined floating city. There had been thousands upon thousands of troops in here. Now, that number was cleaved in two, but they were still impressive. However, they had a lot of other weapons up their sleeve.
The WASP came in above their anti-air, disengaging its shield. The wings became like fans again, with the particles forming into a solid mass between each section. They rained down on the enemy and blasted the artillery to pieces. Just then, something came out of the wreckage. It was massive! A machine that used what appeared to be four particle engines. The machine was shaped like a giant horseshoe crab. The particles it generated were a beautiful golden color.
Oracle looked over at Wolf. “What the hell is that?!”
A smile came to her face. “A new weapon. However, that is immaterial. It’s already dead. It just doesn’t know it.” She got on the comm. “Any fighters who are not actively engaged in combat are to come in and assist the WASP! Let’s bring that monster down!”
“Yes, my lord!” Several squadrons converged on them.
The behemoth vehicle was nearly double the size of the WASP. The front section of it opened up, with it getting a very disturbing some kind of head coming out.
“I don’t like this…” Oracle whispered.
From the head, a giant golden beam appeared! It shimmered in the air as it went at the WASP. The shield blocked it, but the beam didn’t stop.
“This isn’t good, boss! Our drive core can’t sustain this level of attack for long!”
The smile didn’t vanish. “Fear not, Peter. We’re not in danger.” She put her hands flat on the controls. All of them suddenly lit up. The readings in the drive core power levels were going up! The man didn’t question good fortune.
Just then, the fighter squadrons moved in. They blasted the monster with magnetic accelerator rounds and missiles, but they didn’t even hit! The particle beam it was emitting stopped, and instead a massive particle shield came up. This one wasn’t like the WASP. It was like a field that was used to keep an airship afloat, only this one was strong enough to block incoming fire. All the gold in the area, it was beautiful.
Audio came on. “Are you impressed, Wolf?! Riddler designed this weapon himself! A monster that is capable of taking on the WASP! Today, you shall pay for all the lives you’ve taken!”
From inside the field, beams of light came out. All over the machines exterior was particle beam launchers! What’s more, they were mobile. They were cutting their fighters to ribbons. Then, the head of the beast turned toward one of their smaller airships. It opened up again and the field cut off. The beam let loose, blasting right through the vessel.
Wolf was slowly nodding. An impressive design. However, for all the power it has, this weapon has some critical flaws. She cued up the main weapon, launching the jewel section right at the enemy. The head turned back around suddenly, grabbing on to it.
“I’ve got you now!” The beam inside charged, blasting outward. However, unlike how it usually functioned, once it hit the jewel, nothing happened. Inside the machine, the pilot was nervous.
She started to laugh. “As I suspected.”
“How so?” Oracle asked.
“To make the main weapon of this vehicle work, the beam has to be very focused. The jewel then redirects the focused beam like a prism. However, for a beam such as that, it has nowhere to go, because it is too large and unwieldy. So, the energy of it is just gathering up in there, until…”
It blasted into a massive shower of sizzling golden particles. The pilot’s screams could be heard from inside. The drive core lit up like a tree and exploded. In a flash, the Wolf was standing on the deck of behemoth, absorbing the particles into herself. Her smile grew even bigger.
“Oracle, head back to the Odysseus and get repaired. I will head to where I need to go.”
“Understood, boss. Good hunting!”
“Thank you, Peter. For everything.”
From on the ground, it was beautiful. Everyone was in awe. The dropships landed in various sections of the ruined Fortress. In Bane’s, him, Full-Crank and Sinestro came out guns blazing. Well, sort-of. Bane let loose a massive barrage of micro-missiles. It rained down on the enemy, turning the area in front into a funeral pyre. The enemy was fortifying their positions in each building. Sinestro used an energy burst to get herself into one of them, then going to work on those inside. Jets of blue light escaped as men screamed. Beneath the faceplate, Bane smiled. Not bad, that one. He took out his particle beam, taking aim at a couple of tanks coming down the road. The red beam became a hellish nightmare as it melted through both of them. Since the tanks didn’t explode, Full-Crank took advantage of the situation, having the munitions and armor of the tank form up around him. It became like a mutated metal shield, with gun barrels sticking out. Tank rounds went firing into the buildings. The soldiers were already setting up, using whatever cover they could find.
Full-Crank smiled. This is the kind of battle that I have always wanted. Madness, chaos and death incarnate! I want more.
Deadshot and Delta jumped off the dropship on the roof of on of the buildings that was still intact. The two of them got right to work. The enemy was in terror when their comrades would fall to their deaths seemingly out of nowhere. Fear was the word of the day with this battle. Fear and desperation.
The remaining three of the league of assassins also jumped off a dropship into another building. The first was using dual-pistols and a knife, the second was using a sword and a shotgun and the third was using an assault rifle and dual-pistols. Their mechanical bodies landed with the grace of a gymnast, right in the center of an enemy nest. They barely had time to react before being cut down. It was barely 30 seconds before all of them were dead. Their glowing eyes vanished down the stairs, eager to find new victims.
Ghost, Copperhead and Ventriloquist were part of a shadow unit that was moving silently through another section. The enemy was thick here. Their goal was to take out a stash of liquid Nova Particle fuel that was being used in the warheads of the Fortress’ defunct main weapon. The weapons themselves were now unable to be used. The bolt that hit the Fortress had blown most of them apart, sucking the Particles into the Black Sun. But the fuel remained. Large sections of it were leaking into the ground. Along with every other fluid inside the ship.
They got inside where the fuel was kept, seeing a few soldiers guarding the location. The battle was far away from this position, so they weren’t being too careful.
Ghost looked to Ventriloquist.
“Can your friend take control of any of them?”
She nodded. “Yeah.” Vincent, take over one of them and bring him over here! One of them started to twitch erratically, like he was in pain. Suddenly, he stopped.
“Now, have him kill the guards.”
The possessed man raised his weapon.
“Dude, what the fuck are you doing?”
There was no answer. Only bullets. Once the last one was dead, they had Vincent exit him, then Copperhead slit his throat. She was loving being back on the battlefield again. She forgot how much it was a part of her life. They set charges on the fuel, then ran. The detonators were set to go off remotely, but the estimated radius of the explosion was to be enormous.
They were roughly twenty blocks away when they set the fuel off. Sure enough, the explosion was massive. Enemy munitions and vehicles were stored nearby, so they went up as well. The explosion of the fuel was beautiful. It was almost a kind of dark pink. The rest added to how amazing it was to look at. The three of them and their forces headed back, to hit another munition’s storage facility. Traversing the area was an arduous task that was taking far longer than they hoped. Because it wasn’t just a city. There was a vast chasm of underground passages underneath it that had been part of the Fortress’ original purpose – a space colony. So it was like having a city beneath a city.
Emily was guiding a small army of possessed dead soldiers, gunning down any who came before them. It was utterly disgusting to look at. Most of these dead bodies were so mangled and bullet-ridden that they were not even human anymore. They wore the masks of death as they walked and fired. It was like she had a private army of zombies. Anarky was with her, running men through and letting her add them to her force. For each dead soldier she lost, she gained two. After a while, she had almost 50 at her command. Scarecrow was with them as well, using the blood of fallen enemies to make shells of armor onto his Armor suit, along with giant blades on both arms. To the casual observer, it looked like he was covered from head-to-toe in blood. It was more than a little terrifying. He used the blades in such a way that they were connected to his arm. But they extended so far and were so grotesque that no one wanted to get close. Which was smart because anyone who did ended up adding to his impressive collection of bodies. The three of them were like an army unto themselves. The soldiers who followed were mopping up.
They got to a building that appeared to be a kind of theater. The door opened, and they were face-to-face with a man in Armor. It was all-black, with glowing red eyes. There was something off about it.
“Ah, Marcus. I was wondering when you would show up.” The man had a very twisted voice.
“Grave. I see. So, you became a Knight of the Crown.”
The helmet collapsed, and they were staring into the eyes of a man with scars all over his face, along with a sadistic smile.
“Indeed I did! And it has been a wonderful time!” He looked over and saw Puppeteer. “Ah, Emily! So you are here as well. And what’s this, Caleb too! Well, isn’t this a nice little reunion?!” His laughter was unnerving all of them.
“What the fuck do you want, Grave?!” Anarky snarled.
“That’s simple, very simple. I want all of you to die!”
Inferno, Shockwave and Firefly were making their way through another section. Two-Face and his men were engaged with a bunch of soldiers dressed in white. They all had crosses. It was the unit under Azrael’s command. But the man himself was nowhere to be found. The three Knights were a little conflicted about turning their power onto former comrades, but it had to be done. Without their leader to command them, they were cut down without a lot of effort. Once they were finished, Two-Face said that they were headed further in. The three of them followed, dealing with whatever forces they came across along the way.
As for Azrael himself, he was running as fast as he could. He was desperate to get away from all this. It was clear that he had bet on the wrong horse, and now it was coming to bite him in the ass. If I can just get out of here, then I can ditch all of this. I’ll head into some ghetto, maybe even head to the EU and get sanctuary at the church. I’m still a man of the cloth. God was clearly on Wolf’s side. I’m such a fool! But I can’t apologize for it now. All I can do now is to get somewhere safe and wait all this out. It’ll be fine. Just then, a bullet impacted the wall in front of him.
“Going somewhere?” Two-Face asked coldly.
Inferno set a bunch of soldiers on fire, while Shockwave was clearing out another nest. Firefly used her burst weapon on a tank, with all occupants inside exploding. It was all so one-sided. Just then, they all caught sight of someone standing on one of the freeways. Whoever it was, they were alone. They were in Armor, but something was off about this – it was short. Very short. Like the person inside was just a boy. The three of them landed in front of the person. He stood up and faced them. The helmet collapsed, showing that it was indeed a boy. He looked to be about 14 or 15. He caught sight of Inferno and Shockwave.
“Alex, Elsa. Why are you here?” His voice showed genuine concern.
The two collapsed their helmets as well.
“Way I see it,” Inferno replied, “for the same reason you are.”
That got him looking even more concerned. “But I don’t understand. Why would you fight us? We’re allies? Comrades. You’re American. Why would an American fight against us?”
Shockwave stepped forward. “Haven’t you heard? We serve the Empress of America! We are her Knights. The question is – why are you fighting against us? You should join us, George. There’s no reason that we should fight.”
He shook his head. “Yes, there is. You are following a murderer.”
Firefly groaned. “That’s rich! Like Adam doesn’t have a fuck-ton of bodies on him too!” She disengaged her helmet.
The boy smiled at her. “Ah, you’re the ace of Winter’s Shadow! I’ve heard of you. Your defeat of Gerard was most impressive. Your talent is being wasted under that monster, Eleanor.”
She clenched her teeth. “Her name is Quinn, you little shit! If you don’t like that, then call her Wolf! But the Empress is just a job to her. She’s not a slave to that crown like Adam is.”
That caught the kid off-guard. “I see. Well, it appears that I can get nothing more from talking with you. We shall see whose cause is just, in combat.”
Deathstroke was quietly making his way toward the palace of the Fortress. There was someone he was looking for. One particular person. It was someone that he had been hoping to battle for as long as he was in Winter’s Shadow. It was the real reason that he joined Wolf. A chance to get revenge, now coming to fruition. If this person was anywhere, he was almost certain that they would be at the palace. Or close by. A smile came to his aging face.
Sara, baby-girl. I’m going to get revenge for you. Very soon!
Until next time, a quote,
“If being powerless is so very wrong, does having power make you right? Do you find vengeance evil? What’s your value of friendship? Is it justice?” -Lelouch vi Britannia, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion