The Great Era: Beginnings

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Chapter 2

Shouts and screams of soldiers. Distinct shots of gunfire. Fire surrounded the plains, and in the outskirts of this chaos, a little hospital. It wouldn’t count as a hospital of its size, more like a clinic. It was a temporary one, built on a wide complex of houses. The clinic should’ve been set up as part of a stronghold for the Achien soldiers defending this frontier, especially when it was the single passing to the wide plains beyond. Many elite soldiers were sent, numbering in the tens of thousands, as well as a magnificent army of 100 thousand soldiers and a grand air force of 4,500 fighters (all fighters are controlled remotely and can also be bombers), led by the king Stasibel himself. When they reached the complex, the work immediately begun. An intricate maze of trenches was made, the walls of the buildings were repaired, and work on the main stronghold began as well as military barracks made from thick layers of metal outlined with a coating of energy-absorption substances.

However, they were ambushed when setting up camp. A small guerrilla battalion from one of the rebel nations was able to scout their position and create chaos when the Achien soldiers were trying to regroup. Then, the main army charged. They had managed to get through the hazardous mountains, and although they had lost many soldiers in the trek, had no planes and were outnumbered, they still had 10,000 elites and 43,000 soldiers, and they had the element of surprise. A group of Mutsalins infiltrated the control center of the fighters, and suddenly a shower of fighters rained down on the airbase which they had just taken off from. Explosions set off on the outskirts of the stronghold. The walls shuddered and soon fell. The Achien troops, not knowing the number of the enemy (their espionage was accurate, but it was the guerilla troops that shocked them), lost formation and a battle suddenly became a one-sided slaughter. The North side quickly fell to the rebels, and the Achien soldiers now retreated to the southern side to regroup, a hill with inner walls and a tower. It wasn’t finished, but it was enough high ground for them. The soldiers held their ground to their last breath. Many had fallen because of the overwhelming force of the rebels. They had brought reinforcements. Every now and then a line will fall, but will soon be fought back. Without the planes, the rebels have no use for anti-air. They fought sword-to-sword, with rare gunshots because they were all so close to each other. The artillery and rocket batteries constantly barraged the walls and the tower, reducing it soon to a heap of rubble, but the Achien soldiers held on. They all knew if they were to lose this hill, it meant losing many land beyond. So there they held, many fighting till they were extinguished of their breath. Others, though, fled in fear of their lives, already pacing to the plains before the pass was conquered.

The clinic flooded with wounded people, both soldiers and civilians in the vicinity of the battle. The tiles on the ground soon turned to crimson red from the blood that came from the patients. Military doctors and nurses tried their best, but there were too many people. Piles of corpses and almost-corpses now lie in front of the clinic. Suddenly, a messenger arrived. “The king is wounded!” Two elite soldiers came in the clinic, carrying a body, which was clearly the king. There was a clear burn that melted through the king’s armor, and blood was gushing out of the wound. The king had been shot by an Elite Rank silent pistol, and a few of his ribs are damaged, even vaporized by the heat of the blast. The head doctor quickly came and carried the king to a bed, now tainted with blood. The king still had a bit of consciousness, but he was not going to last long. He knew his time had come, so he called the two elites, who are also his bodyguards, that carried him to the clinic. All around the clinic there were explosions. Many injured patients and soldiers trying to seek shelter there were blown to bits. Not one bit of the clinic wall was not splattered red. From time to time, there were news of a wall collapse, retreat, death. It had seem like those were everyday news. Even injured rebels came to the clinic, but were rejected and they died a painful death outside the clinic, in the crossfire of the battle.

“Come, my two bodyguards,” the king spoke to the two elites, “my time has come, and I need you to deliver a message to my queen.”

“Can’t you send a hologram?” one of them asked.

“I do not trust anyone except for you two and my family,” the king drew a shallow breath, “the message may be intercepted. Please, come closer for my final words.” The two bodyguards came closer and realized the king was struggling to breathe.

“Tell my queen, ‘My queen Macrera, leave the palace when you hear of my death, and bring our son with you. The nobles are plotting to take over when I die. It was them who sponsored and led the rebels. Leave quickly, or the line of the Achien monarchs will end at their hands.’ Now, my comrades, after you deliver the message, tell her this, ’I have appointed two of my bodyguards to take care of you and your child. They will deliver my ring as proof, and if they lost the ring, they will whisper vhosta.’Now, go my comrades, do not fail your last… cough, order… ” With that, King Stasibel son of Norivel let out his last breath and died.

“My king, my lord…”The two wept beside their lifeless king. When the patients heard of this, they too wept aloud, but the doctor reached into his pocket, grabbed a disc-shaped object out, and whispered, “The king is dead.” On the other side, it crackled, “Then let our plan begin.”

“We must hurry,” a bodyguard said, “There must be spies for the nobles in here, and sooner or later the nobles will get the message. We must go now.”

They took the king’s ring and hopped on two sleek teravezas and quickly left the battlefield. Behind them, the pass was lost, and the remnants of the Achien army scattered across the landscape, with the enemy at their heels. More than one-third of the once grand army had deserted, and half of the remaining became casualties. However, soon after the evacuation, a huge explosion occurred, and there was a landslide, burying all those who were too slow to escape, whether Achien or rebel. That was the last-resort tactic of Stasibel. The landslide covered even the clinic and buried the body of Stasibel. It stopped the advance of the rebels, and the pass was temporarily blocked. “A sight to remember,” the bodyguards admiringly said, and soon wept. The teravezas are leading them to Achien, capital of the Achien Empire, over 2000 Achien metrics away.

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