Chapter 3: Prepare for War
Falias, Capital of Utona. The fortress city built over the last eight hundred years after the Exile as a defense against Urok and the Empire, as well as any and all threats. The city was built along a sea on a five mile high and twenty mile wide, round shield shaped mountain with twelve tiers separated by seven hundred foot tall walls manned by soldiers on patrol and various anti-siege weaponry with spells engraved in the very stone to make them virtually indestructible. Most of the city had been built from the stone brought out when the mountain was hollowed out.
The bottom eight tiers were residential areas where various peoples of the Federation lived and did business in the many markets and businesses. Most of the buildings were small, traditional looking buildings as Utonans liked keeping things seemingly simple, however, there were still various types of architecture throughout the residential districts built by various races and cultures. There were a few skyscraper-like buildings here and there, domes and some buildings that without spells worked into the very materials, would never stand up on their own, making some interesting feats of architecture.
The next two tiers were reserved strictly for the military; Utona's largest garrison was here. Soldiers moved in formation on the various parade grounds, there were tools of war ranging from ten foot tall suits of mechanized armor to massive ships sitting in their respective places about the place. There were also massive sets of doors that opened up and led shafts down into the hollowed out mountain, big enough for a ship to pass through. Utona had enough firepower in Falias to shatter one of its own moons and still have firepower to spare, with three other city fortresses- Gorias, Murias and Finias- just as well defended.
The second to top tier was reserved for embassies of the Federation. There were aristocrats and ambassadors living here in buildings built in the style of their home world to make them feel comfortable as they spend time here consulting with Dren, the king of Utona, and one of the members of the Federation that has helped forge and keep it together over the centuries, after his grandfather and father. The ambassadors were permitted to visit any place of the city except the military tiers, though they were allowed to pass through to get to the other areas, under escort.
Finally, the top tier was where Dren's Castle, Ardara, stood at the crest of the hill. It was massive, with yet another seven hundred foot wall surrounding it, making a nice death trap between that one and the wall separating the tiers. The Keep itself towered another five hundred feet above that with arrow slits poking all throughout the sides as well as various windows and balconies. Aside from the main keep, within the compound were various other structures of towers and domes. The flag of Utona, with its green, snow-capped mountain flew on banners on all the high points.
On one of the southern balconies, there was a figure in plate armor gilded Gold with various engravings and celtic-looking patterns all over. He wore a long, red fur cloak, which blew in the wind. He looked to be middle aged, yet was three centuries old according to Federation Standard Time. His shoulder length salt and pepper hair kept blowing in front of his vision, but he could still make out what he was watching, with a hard, angular face that had seen years of things to have to worry about. He idly thought he needed a vacation after his daughter's wedding, which happened to be just a few hours away.
Dren looked out onto his great city, watching as people were already lining the street that led in from the main gate to the south of the city, which had guarded roadblocks all they way up to the Temple of Dana on the top tier of the Residential District. They were hanging decorations on balconies and anywhere else they could find to hang them for the occasion. He smiled at how his people seemed comfortable, despite him being the father of the bride, marrying his daughter off to one of his long time rivals, Pope Lexus X of Cingeta.
Idly, Dren's eye darted around to the various fortifications, which appeared to still be manned by his fierce soldiers-at least on the side of the city he could see from this balcony, to check to see if they were not going lax just because they haven't had a fight in years, the Empire could show up literally any minute, at least according to the troubling report Ai gave him the night before upon her arrival. He knew what he had to do, but didn't like it one bit. He also scanned an eye over the outer wall of the lower district, easily seeable at this altitude, and saw the field towers were all still in place.
He then gazed out at the port and saw various ships docked in the harbor from every civilization in the Federation, some were merchants, some belonged to his people, and most today, which were anchored out as far as he could see were visitors to see the wedding. He had a strict, no fly rule in effect over the city, only military craft were allowed to, since he had to keep his security tight after hearing the news from Ai, normally various craft would be zipping all over the sky, though he had to admit he liked the serenity and quiet that temporary rule granted him. It was hard to sleep when an old ship came within even two miles of the palace, loud enough it make the walls shake.
The last thing he looked at was the Gateway, a massive, silver colored metal halo that had various layers that all spun in opposite directions except the stationary outside layer when it was activated in the control room, which was a ship that was literally fused to the ring. Since it was deactivated-a further security precaution, he could see the moon behind it like a pupil for a massive eye in the sky, hanging above the ocean several miles out to sea, but clearly visible.
Yeah, everything looked so peaceful right now; he wished it was like this all the time, however, he had only one daughter and a son, Sreng who had died in the last skirmish with the Empire twenty years passed. He had died a hero however and Dren was proud of that, though he missed his son, usually in spells, and today was one of those days. He thought about that last fight against the Empire, their mighty ship Dreadnought was raining death down upon the planet Strathore, and still had plenty of assault batteries onboard to gun down anything that even got close to it. Dren had seriously thought he wasn't going to get out of this alive, especially after casting an S rank fire spell that engulfed the ship from the ground, and did absolutely nothing but give away his position. He watched in horror as all the batteries he could see began turning toward him to blast him and any of his troops to charred bits of meat, when seemingly out of nowhere, his Sreng's one man fighter ship came zipping between two half ruined buildings and kamikaze attacked the bridge of the dreadnought, right through the force field that served as a front view port, parts of his fighter managed to hit something vital because the Dreadnought began exploding all over and then crashed into some deserted buildings, and still sat their to this day, a rusted ruined husk of a battleship that remained as a monument of sorts.
"Are you listening to us Your Highness?" A Utonan Man's Voice said behind him.
Dren turned around and sighed on the inside. He really hated dealing with meetings sometimes, but that was part of being a leader of men. "Yes, I know we need to talk to the council on the Colony to strengthen the numbers of soldiers on the border planets. You know I do what I can, but I have to talk to them to convince them to go and convince their planet's leaders. It isn't easy, and there are way too many 'ifs' for my liking. It would help greatly if any of you can also put in a few words with your leaders." He was looking toward the end of the massive table in the meeting room, at some of the ambassadors and delegates of the other worlds in the Federation, who under the treaty were allowed in meetings that discussed actions that would affect the entire Federation. However, Dren had a good deal of Military meetings planned that he would make damn sure they wouldn't find out about.
He Looked at the men sitting on his end of the table, his generals of the Green Legion. The first was his right hand, an old man who looked almost like he was carved from stone he was so muscular and rigid. His face was all angles and bore scars on both cheeks and across the brow. He wore the formal dark green that almost seemed black uniform of the Legion displaying his many medals of various acts of valor and surviving battles. Of all the men in the Federation, Zyeers had seen the most battles. He had been around for centuries and had been just a recruit when Dren's Grandfather, Luhn was the king, before there was a Federation, when it was just Utona. He had seen things that no man should ever have to see and survived things that nobody thought possible, earning him the nickname Bithbheo, which means unkillable in the old language.
The next man he looked to was still wearing his armor's jumpsuit from morning drills. His hair was cut short on top and went into a fine braid that went about halfway down his back and had a sharp spike on the end. He had turquoise eyes that shown with the fire of youth despite being only a year younger than Dren. He had his trusty spear Gae Bolg next to him, which had been passed down the family for generations, ever since according to story his ancestor during the ancient days of the mythical planet of Earth had carved it from the bones of some sea beast. It could pierce the hearts of thirty men at the same time, which was a site to behold. He never let that spear out of his site. He also looked like he'd rather be anywhere else but in his room, with these "damned foolish politicians" as he liked to call them. This was Potchen.
Moving on, Dren shot a glance on his other side and saw Pomiel, another old vet from his father's time. Slim, but agile, he was wearing on of the formal uniforms, though his looked somewhat…deprived in comparison to Zyeer's. He was staring blankly off into space, most likely astral projecting into the women's public baths again. That old coot was always like that, but his knowledge of war was second only to Dren's and Zyeer's.
Finally, there was Beargalore, or Bearg for short. He had been recently promoted after taking charge of a small unit on the border planet Conquest after their commanding officer was imploded before his eyes. Despite being vastly outnumbered and cut off from help for months, he turned the odds around using the terrain and hot and run guerilla techniques and held out until the calvary could arrive. He was still somewhat young, his one cheek had a nasty scar from a bolt going in his mouth and out the side of his face in a bout of dumb luck. He also wore a formal uniform, with only a sparse amount of honors, but everyone at the table knew they were among the highest despite being the fewest among the generals. Besides, he was still young and had potential. If he survives, and continues to perform as he had.
They all knew what the serious look in Dren's eye. They all tapped their fingers on the table three times softly one at a time as he looked at each one in turn, with enough interval between as to not let the ambassadors notice. They all thought it was time to end this useless dribble and get to the real business. Besides, Caeci and Ai should be along any moment. Dren wasn't even paying attention to whatever the representative from Europea was talking about.
He looked in the corner at Cake, the court jester dressed in motley and holding a scepter. Cake was originally an Imperial Inquisitor who was stripped of his abilities to use magik due to a spell shard. A spell shard is an extremely rare thing that happens when two massively powerful spells collide, the results of the shards that are formed in space full of concentrated and chaotic sorcery can be completely random. The more powerful the spells used, the higher the risk a shard will form. Of course Cake wasn't his real name, it is something Dren's men came up with to shame him further. After what he did in his life, death was simply too good for him. He was once proud and strong, now he was meek and skinny, and not for lack of food. Dren meant to see he lived for some time like this.
"Gentlemen, may I have your attention?" Dren raised his voice high enough to be heard. It is only a few hours until the event everyone in the Federation has been talking about for months. The wedding of my Daughter Cesya to Lexus of Cingeta. I'm thinking you all might like a bit of rest until then. These matters can surely wait until this evening after we all had our fill at the feast afterward. I'm sure we'll all be in better moods by then. Why don't you follow Cake to the entertainment room where he can do something to entertain you for a while." Dren hoped they'd all leave, he needed this meeting to be secret. His men knew the drill.
Potchen stood up and stretched and took his spear in his hand and slung it on the sheath on his back, since he can't sit with it in the sheath. He gave a tired groan with some yawn mixed in, putting his hand to his mouth for added effect. "Yeah, I need a shower after morning drills and to get changed. A nap wouldn't hurt either. I think I might have overexerted myself in armor training. I beg your leave, my Lord." He looked to Dren and with the eye none of them could see from their angles gave Dren a sly wink.
Not bad Potchen. Not bad at all. "Yes you may go Potchen, I want you looking presentable, after all you are to represent our planet before the whole of the Federation this afternoon." Dren said with fake sternness along with a dismissing wave.
"Thank you my Lord, I shall do just as you say." Potchen bowed and exited the room through the ornately vine carved doors, leaving them open as if to invite anyone at all to follow his example.
Dren's other Generals came up with other false excuses and headed on out afterwards, a few ambassadors leaving between each one until Dren sat alone in the room. He waited about a minute. "You all can come out now." He said in an amused tone of voice as he took his seat.
His generals were all approaching the table as well as Ai and Caeci by the time he sat down, Ai and Caeci shutting the door quietly on their way in.
"One of these days you are going to have to tell me how you time that out so perfectly." Ai mused, her fox-like ears twitching as she took her seat, being careful of her twin bushy tails.
"That's my secret. Maybe I'll tell you on my deathbed if you are around." Dren Joked.
When they were all seated, Dren opened up a small compartment on his end of the table, there were sever switches, and buttons, some of which Dren toggled, closing the drapes to the windows and dimming down the spheres of light glowing overhead to absolute darkness. There was a mechanical whirling sound as a circular panel on the ceiling slid open and a semi domed device descended from the hole and clinked as it locked into place. Dren then threw another switch and the device activated, producing a three dimensional star map throughout the room complete with territorial boxes and names of objects in the great void. The faint light of the star map allowed everyone to see each other clearly enough in the dim light.
"Ai, are you ready to give your report of your last mission to my generals?" Dren asked in a tone that should have been used to command her to tell them, but she understood how dire the situation was to become.
Ai stood up and walked over to a star out on a branch of the galaxy and pointed at it. "Please zoom in to show this system in it's entirety." Anyone sitting in the room and unaccustomed to these star maps would suddenly feel sick ass all the stars seemed to warp past at a speed that made them seem beams of light as the map automatically adjusted to reveal the system Ai pointed out. It had ten planets revolving around a yellow star. The ones to the inside of the field of asteroids were small in comparison to the massive objects to the outside, which were gaseous planets, except the furthest planet. There was an even more massive one moving at an eclipse that was perpendicular to the others, as to pass right through where the asteroid field was, each of it's moons were about the size of one of the inner planets.
"Where is this?" Potchen asked with a bit of interest.
"well, it has been many millennia since the war that drove mankind from their ancient homeland and into the stars, but this is your origin, Earth now called Neo Urok. The center of the Empire." She pointed at the blue and white ball that was third from the star." This is the place I snuck into to gather intelligence for the past ten years, which was about thirty-five years on Urok. As you know, your year system in the Federation is the average time for the original eight colonies of the Federation to circle their star once. As you know, right after that battle on Strathore, the Empire seemed to withdraw for almost no apparent reason after centuries of fighting the Federation to bring us under it's heel and strip us of all our emotions and thoughts that make us who we are and turn us all into just another cog in their war machine. My mission was to go in and investigate. What I found is troubling. They plan to attack Utona, the dead center of the Federation, and the proverbial "glue" that keeps the Federation together. I managed to get here about a week before the attack, which gives us about six and a half days to prepare if they didn't bump up their schedule. I did make a pretty big commotion when I escaped into the Gateway. I would have used sub-space communications, however they blew off the dish. The troubling thing was it was done by a mage with a gun….in orbit. I fear he might be another one of the breed along which the High Inquisitors of Gilgamesh were from a thousand years ago. If that is the case, we may need to gather as many sorcerers, druids, mages, and any other person skilled in the arcane arts to defend this place, let alone the whole Federation. I have seen and felt some seriously powerful magicians on that planet alone."
"I'm just curious, what is that thing orbiting Earth, i mean Urok? Legend said it had only one massive, silver moon, which looked like a man's face if you looked closely enough at it." Beargalore asked in an almost confused voice, he was pointing at the huge ring made of metal and some sort of crystal that the entire planet could fit through.
"I'm glad you are all sitting down for this, but that is their Gateway. That is actually the one the ancient Atlantians left disguised for them to find to make their way out into the universe, since as you all know, the laws of physics make interstellar travel impossible, unless you cheat and defy these laws through arcane means, that is what the Atlantians left in their legendary Library of Alexandria on Earth, however I doubt they expected their ancient enemies to make use of it when Gilgamesh, the last true Urokian, was freed from his prison on Nibiru, that planet with the really strange orbit in comparison to the others."
Zyeers, Dren, and Pomiel all had the same serious expression of contemplating on their faces. Beargalore was simply shocked. Potchen was gawking at that massive Gateway. It was Caeci to actually speak up. "Do you have any idea how many troops they can move through a gateway that size and just how fast? They can send a formidable force to half the Federation in a matter of days…" She said with sheer awe at the realization.
"Well, if we can keep the gateways locked down, they will be trapped in subspace and be forced to turn back, since it is unlikely we will just open the doors. After all, only two and a half ships were ever built that could survive the forces within subspace itself without a tunnel that the gateways bore between themselves, like wormholes of sorts. One of those ships was destroyed during a battle in my grandfather's time, another my son destroyed, and the last…moving on, However, they will most likely put all their forces to the border planets and then advance from there trying to either sneak past our patrols, or fight their way through on several fronts, slowly boxing us in and leaving us nowhere to go. At least, that's what I figure." Dren simply stated as if he was explaining his strategy if he was in the Empire's shoes. His generals all nodded agreement.
"Even if we block the Gateways, you do realize a magician powerful enough can tear it open from the inside, though unless they are as strong as Exanimus, or Thanatos from a millennium ago, it will be a suicidal attempt, since even if they succeed, it will drain them dry enough of energy they will simply perish. I used to think nobody would be willing to just throw their lives away like that, but I seen what fanaticism and the desire for glory can do to a person. We may be in trouble." Ai stated. "Besides, I picked up on the fact they found some sort of new species of insect on a planet that seems to adapt to just about anything, though I didn't see them or get any better details except rumors in the streets. I hope they are just rumors, I'd hate to be throwing fire at a swarm of insects and suddenly it didn't faze them…." She honestly looked scared, her ears folded flat on her head and her tails slumped down between her legs, like a scared canine.
"Yeah, fanaticism is a real problem when it is used against you, but when it is in your favor it is great. Your men don't tire as fast and they fight much fiercer, still standing after they receive wounds that would cripple or kill them normally. It is a strange thing." Pomiel put in with a tone that made him sound almost sagely.
"I'd recommend we put our troops on the border planets on high alert and close all the Gateways along the border. We should also keep a strong magician of sorts at each Gateway in case they break through. Even if they can't hold out, they will buy us time to get reinforcements there in time. We should also call in the reserves to watch the space around each planet, especially ours and the border in case they try taking the long way around and forget using Gates altogether. Dammit, I was hoping I could relax in my old age. I guess it is true what they say. There is no rest for the weary." Zyeers put in, sounding truly disappointed at the end of his retirement plans, which Dren had been trying to talk him out of.
"Good call Zyeers, So we have almost a week to prepare. We should evacuate the planet of any non combatant and lock down this city. We will get right on this after the wedding. You will all come with me to avoid letting people knowing something is up until I want them to know, we don't need any mass panic. We should get someone on the Gate with a platoon at the controls to guard them, and preferably headed by a magician." Dren stated, the generals nodded.
"Well, It has been a while since me and my spear reminded the Empire why they ran in the first place, guess it was only a matter of time until they forgot. I shall increase the intensity of training to get our troops ready. They have been getting lazy and fat with nobody to fight, unless we put them on the borders or to quell down a civil dispute." Potchen actually sounded amused at the idea of getting to abuse his men a bit to toughen them up.
"Dren, may I make a suggestion?" Ai asked.
"Go ahead lass." Dren nodded to her.
"I'd like to take Caeci with me to search for Valhalla before the Empire gets here." She said, with a hint of doubt Dren would agree, though she knew he'd like to know why someone with her wisdom from living so long, despite looking young, would even ask to do something that would be such a waste of time at first glace.
Dren raised an eyebrow, confused. "May I ask why?"
"I received a prophesy last time I visited the Spirit Plane. 'The Damned One who seeks Redemption, the Dreamer and the Fallen shall soon awaken. In the darkest hour he will bring the only ember of light. If it is to extinguish or blaze bright, the Fey he once loved is the key.'"
Caeci's eyes went wide, remembering her dream. "Wait, you want to find Exanimus, the Fallen. But he died fighting and defeating the strongest of the Empire's men, ending the stalemate of the war and allowing the newly formed Federation to push back the invading empire. It is in the history books. Besides, Valhalla is a frozen wasteland now, only scientists go there to study the after effects of all the spell shards those two created with their terribly strong attacks. For crying out loud, there are icebergs floating in air miles off the ground because of the massive amount of mana released there by those two. Not to mention, I've never met Exanimus, I simply am not old enough." She almost pleaded. She didn't like the idea of having the fate of the known universe resting on her shoulders. Not to mention what it would mean if Exanimus loved her. That would mean….
"Yes, you are right. You are not exactly who you think you are Caeci. Though you suspected sometimes, such as the other day when you remarked about how much you look like the Statue of Shardara in the Hero's Hall in the fortress." Ai explained. "Just before that last battle Exanimus went into, which he didn't even plan out or prepare for, he was simply out for vengeance at that point. The stubbornly kind-hearted man, though he'll never admit it, that you pulled out from that monstrosity sunk back into his soul when Thanatos appeared and struck you down. He expended a massive amount of his own energy reserves to bring you back to life, but he failed. Stricken with a shattered heart and an insatiable thirst for blood, he put you in my care, frozen until I could bring you around. Honestly, I am surprised his sanity held out long enough to do that. He bid me farewell, though he didn't ask the odds of recovering you, he knew they were slim at best. He was still drained of energy and planned to take on Thanatos, who was slightly more powerful than him even when he was at full strength. He went alone with his ship Orpheus to do what I thought was to seek death. It was later I learned he ripped out the source of power for the ship, the macht-stein and used it's raw power as his own. I went there after the battle and found his tomb. He still breath's though he seemed to be an empty husk, leading me to believe his soul was dead, so I left him and worked over the course of the next few centuries to do the task he had given me. Alas, I finally succeeded, but you had no memories, so I had to reeducate you, which is where your memories begin. Your childhood memories you fabricated yourself to fill in the hole in your memory. I believe your memories will return in time of being near him. One more thing, after he defected from all he knew for you, he went by the name Lucien Mitternacht, which ironically translates to He who brings the light in the darkest hour in various old Earth languages. So there you have it Dren, that is why I think I should go." Ai finished, out of breath from he long speech, she was panting a bit, since she spoke fast as to get to finish.
Before Dren could answer, Caeci slumped out of her chair, a completely betrayed look in her eyes, she was breaking into a cold sweat. "Lies…..YOU LIE!" She grabbed her hair with both hands and tugged as she sprang to her feet and attempted to flee the room, unable to accept what had been laid at her feet so to speak. However, she didn't get far. Ai used wind magic to knock her legs out from under her and to catch her and set her down in a chair gently, then she used more wind to hold her down and gag Caeci.
The men in the room were stunned at the treatment their allies were giving each other, however, the older generals were wise enough to stay out of this, but Bearg, the youngest spoke up. "Ai please tell her it is just a bad jo-"
Ai shot him a dark look that sent a shiver down his spine and silenced him on the spot, her golden fox-like eyes almost seeming to glow in the dull light and her ears at full alert, standing up rigidly. "She knows this is truth, and she has to accept it and soon before we all perish! Stay out of this!" She turned back to Caeci, who was trying to get free. "That dream you had last night. That was him calling to you. We need to get Lucien if we are to survive, and I can read you like a book before you even try to deny that name doesn't ring a few bells in that voided part of your mind!"
Funny thing is, a few memories had returned to her in he past few minutes, most likely loosed from her dream, and now being forcibly dug out by Ai, who was mentally probing her and reminding her of things that happened in the past, forcing her to accept. After what seemed weeks, with only a few hours worth of memories forcibly recovered, she stopped trying to get loose, acceptance that she wasn't who or what she thought came over her. She calmed down and realized the only real way to recover her past was to embrace her destiny, which seemed to entwine with this man from the past.
Seeing Caeci calm down visibly, Ai let the restraints loose. "So, you feel better now?"
"Yes, and no at the same time, I realize there is much about myself I don't know. And I wish to know it, so I guess I have no choice. Dren, may I?" She asked in a collected, though barely restrained tone of voice, because one of those memories recovered was of her and Ex, Lucien and her stranded alone on a planet and he was fending off a massive beast with his bare hands, since he was drained of his mana reserves. He could have died, but he lunged in without hesitation. This in fact was the event that made Shardara fall in love with Exanimus, whom she would rename Lucien later, and he would accept her gift of a new name with pride. This was also the first actual decent act he had ever committed, but she didn't remember that part yet. She did remember falling for him though when he risked his life at that time however.
"You may, but please stick around long enough for the wedding. Cesya will be most upset if one of her closest friends suddenly ran off just before one of the biggest days of her life." Dren said, smiling, but inside he was hoping he and his people could hold out if two of his most powerful mages took off just before a battle. "Just be sure to hurry back, if you would." He added, hinting at his concern, since he learned years ago to control his features, making him unreadable, after all, men didn't follow an obviously fearful leader, they followed someone who seemed arrogant and sure of himself who never flinched no matter how great the temptation. "We shall talk more of this later, but for now, let us put some of our plans in place, and figure out more details later, we only have a couple hours left.
All the men got up and left the room to get ready for the evening. Caeci Still sat where she was. Ai expected this. "You do realize this path is going to be dangerous and much more difficult than you realize. But it must be traveled. I shall be right along side you to make sure you make it to the end." Ai said, her voice full of that warmth that only really old, close friends are capable of giving each other.
"Thanks, and I know you are usually right. Ya know what they say, Kitsunes may look young, but they possess wisdom beyond their many years, and also more tricks than one thinks capable of." Caeci joked, which was definitely a good sign. "Now let's get down to the Temple. Cesya is going to be angry if we are late. By now there's got to be a massive crowd to get through."
"Actually, I got a nice shortcut, after all, I did help design this fortress." Ai winked and led Caeci out the door.
Down in the barracks, deep within the mountain, there were literally thousands of beds lined up with trunks at the end of each one. It was clean and orderly. Glowing orbs every few yards kept the massive underground chamber lit fairly bright. Everything looked ordinary, there were even a few platoons worth soldiers sleeping in the beds, the men on the third watch.
One of the men, a lieutenant, was getting into his formal Legion uniform, complete with a few medals for his adventures on a couple of the border planets, skirmishes at best, nothing like the battles back in the day Pomiel thought, but he'd have to do since he was a B ranked magician, stronger than the average C rank.
The man was about 5 feet in height, well groomed, with a close trimmed beard and moustache. He wore his service saber at his side and his few medals proudly. He saw Pomiel approach and stood at attention.
"At ease, lieutenant. I got an assignment for you, a very important one." Pomiel said in a grave tone of voice. Since not only was it a monumentally important mission, but the young lad was obviously getting ready to head up to the celebration, however, he didn't react how Pomiel expected.
The man's face beamed as if this is exactly what he wanted to hear. "Sir, I am ready for any mission you send me to embark upon." The man said, rather enthusiastically.
"I need you to take a platoon of men up to the Gate controls and see it stays shut down, now matter the cost, if someone forcibly opens the gate from the inside, you are to hold the culprit or culprits off as long as you can to buy valuable time for help to arrive. This is not a drill or a bad joke mind you. You may die doing this. Are you ready?" Pomiel said just as grim as before.
The strange man only continued grinning as Pomiel went on, definitely a strange one, probably hasn't seen anything dangerous enough to put real fear of death in him yet is what Pomiel figured. "I accept your orders and you can count on me. I take it I can pick my own platoon?" The man asked.
"Yes. Men you know you can trust." Pomiel stated. "Remember Carth Onasi, this is extremely important." Pomiel was already walking away on to his next piece of bussiness to be taken care of before the ceremony.
Carth Onasi beamed until Pomiel was gone from sight, then grinned with what one could only call malice.