The Oblivion Chronicles: Book 2 - The Answer's Call by JHarris15 | World Anvil Manuscripts | World Anvil

Chapter 20

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Chapter XX

The Fallen


Charlie ran through the corridors of the fortress, trying to find the data room, whether Jack would be there or not, she didn’t know, but that was where the teen had been sent to. As she ran, she heard to gun shots ring out ahead. She continued to run around the corner to see the lad standing behind two dead bodies, his gun gripped tightly in his hand.

“What’s going on?” Jack asked.

“We’re leaving. Now.” Charlie said and Jack made no complaints when she grabs his arm and hauled him towards the exit, hoping that it wasn’t too late.


Outside Codsworth was running around telling his soldiers to get out as quickly as possible, but he had a different message for Kerl. As he approached the veteran, he took a few shots at the men attacking him.

“Kerl. We still have one more objective before we can properly leave.” Codsworth said looking towards the entrance to the cave system. Kerl also followed his gaze and nodded.

“Don’t worry sir, I’ll take care of it.” Kerl said, and gathered two others before running to the entrance and began placing bombs all around it.

A shout from Dmitri caught Codsworth attention, looking at the captain who was pointing at the metal doors. The commander followed his pointing hand and looked around to see the huge steal doors beginning to close.

“Gods.” Codsworth said. He looked around, half his soldiers were still engaged in battle, he knew at that moment that he’d fucked up massively.


Up on the tower, both Dave and Mia could also see the gates closing, but they had bigger problems, they had found themselves trapped on the balcony, with five guards trying to get at them, they had locked the doors, but neither knew how long they would hold.

They both stood looking at what they thought was their only escape, Dave holding the knife he had been given, Mia having taken fallen sentry’s gun. As they prepared for what they thought would be their last stand, a whirring noise came from behind them. They turned to see the gunship that they had dropped in from hovering next to them.

“Thank the gods.” Dave said and he and Mia rushed forward. As Dave clambered into the gunship, a difficult thing considering the thing hadn’t properly landed, the door to the fortress finally gave in and crashed to the floor, the five soldiers that had been trying to get to them came bursting through the door and out onto the balcony. Mia fired her gun at them killing two. Dave made to go and join her, but she shook her head.

“Get in!” Dave yelled as she killed another guard who was charging at them. She shook her head again.

“I told you. I’m here to kill Boris.” Mia said smiling as the smoke started to come from the engines of the gunship. The BOT controlling it called out.

“The engines are overheating. We’ve got to go. Now!” The BOT called out, it’s sterile voice contrasting oddly with their present situation.

“See you around, rich boy.” Mia said and ran forward, killing the other two guards before running into the fortress.

“No!” Dave yelled but before he could do anything, the BOT pulled the gunship up and flew off towards the west.


Back on the ground, Codsworth was now just franticly yelling to anyone who would listen to get out, as the metal doors continued to rise behind them. Some he knew had made it out, the huge bear had charged out and was now covering the retreat through the woods. A few moments later he had seen Charlie half dragging Jack out through the metal gates. Jamerson had also vacated along with Barca. He was looking around when Dmitri came running up to him.

“Codsworth we’ve got to move.” Dmitri said, he was under no illusion, if they didn’t get out quickly, they would be dead men within the hour.

“But?” Codsworth said, but at that moment gunshots rang out from above them. What was left of The Iron Company had taken up position above them and were raining down bullets at them. One such bullet had hit Codsworth in the side and the commander collapsed to the ground.

Dmitri who by some miracle hadn’t been hit, picked up Codsworth and ran as fast as he could towards the slowly closing doors, once he arrived, he dropped the semi-conscious Codsworth through the rapidly shrinking gap in the doors. Took one last look at the poor souls who were still fighting and jumped through. 


The doors fully closed a few moments later. Although he couldn’t see what was happening behind them, he could hear the screams as the remaining part of the raiding force was gunned down with no hope of escape.

Picking Codsworth up off the ground he ran towards the west hoping to the gods that he could avoid The Iron Company who were rampaging through the woods to his left, killing any of the attackers that they could find, as he ran however the sound of a huge explosion came from the fortress, the sound of the cave entrance exploding, a final gift that they had left for Boris, the screams of the trapped soldiers however, continued long afterwards.


“What about Dave?” Jack asked as he and Charlie ran away from the fortress.

“The gunship was able to pick both your brother and Mia up.” Charlie said, at least she hoped so, she had seen a gunship flying to the west and hoped that the BOT had managed to pick up the kids. “But right now, we can’t do anything for them. All we can do is keep moving.” Charlie said, and although Jack looked stubborn, he didn’t argue back as he was so prone to doing, clearly realising the gravity of the shit they were in at this very moment.

The two continued in silence for about fifteen minutes before the sound of gunfire nearby brought them to their senses once again.

“What the.” Jack said, as he saw a group of the raiders getting gunned down in a clearing ahead of them. Before he felt Charlie push him to the ground and not gently either. He felt his hands cut against a sharp rock and looked down to see they were bleeding, he chose to ignore it however and looked up to see Charlie crouching next to him, her gun raised. As a voice came up from the clearing.

“What do you want to do with these men IronEye.” The voice said, as the gruff voice of the man called IronEye spoke up.

“Leave them for the crows.” IronEye said when another voice called out.

“We’ve got a live one here.” The voice said pointing at the body closest to Jack and Charlie. The man called IronEye walked over and knelt down on the ground to inspect the person on the ground. He tilted his head from side to side. Before grabbing the man and hauled him of the ground. For a few moments there was silence, before a cracking sound erupted like gunfire and the man fell to the ground dead, his neck snapped, his deadened eyes inadvertently staring right at Jack, who started to panic.

Charlie could feel Jack begin to hyperventilate and saw him open his mouth to scream, but she managed to cover it just in time.

“Move out.” IronEye said and he along with his goons moved out of the clearing. Charlie waited for a few minutes before standing up and taking her hand away from Jack’s mouth. She walked up to the corpse, knelt down and closed its eyes. Jack walked into the clearing a few moments later and observed the scene. Every one of the raiders were dead.

“What’s this.” Jack said kneeling down in the dirt and looking at a massive footprint that looked more like a paw.

“Brydon most likely. But we best keep moving. I want to be out of these woods by daylight.” Charlie said, as she looked around almost certain that those men would not be the last to sweep these woods for survivors.

After about an hour they had reached the edge of the woodland and were almost blinded by the sunlight which was directly ahead of them. Jack slumped down against a tree, completely exhausted his mop of brown hair sticking to his face. Charlie under normal circumstances would have joined the teen, but they were not out of the danger zone just yet.

“You still got the hard drive?” Charlie asked looking at Jack who fumbled around in his pockets before nodding. ‘Well at least that’s something.’ Charlie though before offering her hand to him, which he took reluctantly. “Come on Jack.” Charlie said pulling him up. “We’ve still got a day’s walk back to the camp, then you can rest.” She finished and walked forward. Followed by Jack.


Still inside the forest Dmitri and Codsworth, walked through the thickets trying to get out of this infernal woodland. Which as far as Dmitri could tell, seemed to have no end. Then there was the problem of Codsworth who was only capable of walking a few hundred meters before collapsing and forces Dmitri to haul him on his back. The wound the commander had suffered was serious, but not as far as Dmitri could see when he had examined it a few miles back, fatal. He hoped that if they could just make it out of the forest then they could call for the gunship that had taken Dave and Mia to safety, to come and get them, but so far there had been no report back from the aircraft.

“Dmitri, where are we?” Codsworth said, the commander was becoming slightly delirious due to the lack of water and his injury, this had been the third time he had asked Dmitri that question and each time was the same. Dmitri would answer and the commander would nod, whilst he got even weaker. 

“Forest near Lord Boris’ fortress.” Dmitri said for the fourth time.

“Okay.” Codsworth said and fell silent.

“You two, hold there.” A voice came from behind them. Dmitri turned around to see a man standing between two trees’ holding an assault rifle at them. “Wait you’re…” The man started looking at wounded Codsworth and reached for his comms, but Dmitri shot him in the chest. He walked up to the man, who had recognised Codsworth Dmitri aimed at the man’s head and fired.

As they continued on however Dmitri’s mood started to pick up, despite almost being caught. There was something even better. Sunlight. The woods arounds them were defiantly thinning. As they crested a small rise the pair walked out into open grassland, this sense of jubilation was short lived though as Codsworth keeled over onto the muddy ground.

“Codsworth.” Dmitri said kneeling down, but the commander wouldn’t wake up. He was completely dead to the world around him. Dmitri got on the comms and turned it to the frequency that he knew the gunship was on. “Mayday, Mayday. We need you to perform evac at point.” He checked the GPS on his gauntlet and read the coordinates. But when he turned off the speaker, expecting to hear the sound of the BOT. There was nothing but static. “What in the gods name.” Dmitri said and repeated the message. But again, there was no response other than the static. He looked around, but there was nobody else in sight. Sighing deeply, he hauled Codsworth onto his back once again checked the compass on his gauntlet to make sure he was heading in the right direction. And walked towards the east, hoping that he would run across someone who could help him, before he reached their camp.


Despite Dmitri’s hoped he came across no one else until he summited the hill that their encampment was situated on. Troops both from the raid and those that had not gone on the mission helped him take Codsworth to the medical tent where he found Charlie and Jack already there, Charlie had suffered a large cut to the arm and Jack appeared alright, other than his hands.

Codsworth was deposited on one of the few remaining empty beds. Where the camps medic, Oscar quickly came over to him before turning to Dmitri.

“What happened.” Oscar said.

“Gunshot wound to the side. Plus, I expect he’s severely dehydrated.” Dmitri said sitting down on a chair and the medic nodded, as a doctor begins taking off the commander’s armour for a better look. As Charlie came over to him. “Has anyone else made it back.” He asked his throat incredibly dry.

“Jamerson, Fredricks and Barca arrived about two hours after us.” Charlie said. “But other than that, you’re the first back since then.” She finished.

Dmitri sighed. Codsworth out of action, no sign of Brian and Kerl. He wondered to himself if this day could get any worse. “What’s wrong with him?” Dmitri asked looking at Jack as Charlie followed his gaze.

“Nothing physical, his hands will need stitches most like, but other than that…” Charlie said trailing off and Dmitri didn’t need to hear anymore. He guessed that the lad was wondering where his younger brother was. He got up and walked out of the tent and walked through the camp.


Dmitri slumped against the ground, completely exhausted. It had been the longest continual battle he had ever fought in. Looking up at the sunrise he wanted to go back out there, to see if he could find anymore stragglers. There had still been no sign of the gunship carrying Dave and Mia. Brydon was also out in the field looking for more survivors and there was still over one hundred troops unaccounted for. He closed his eyes but half an hour later he was woken up by Charlie.

“Dmitri.” Charlie said looking down at him.

“What?” Dmitri said groggily, it had taken him this long just to nod off, and he wasn’t best pleased that he had been disturbed.

“The officers have called a meeting; they want a debrief.” Charlie said, her arm was still bleeding, but it was no longer hurting her, although she wasn’t sure that that was a good thing.

“Why me?” Dmitri asked. He had had no intention of doing anything other than sleeping after carrying Codsworth back across the kids knew how many miles of enemy terrain. The last thing he wanted was to be dressed down by those that had not even been there.

“Because with Codsworth drifting in and out of consciousness, and no sign of Brian. You are the most senior officer on the base.” Charlie said.

Dmitri groaned, but got up albeit grudgingly, this was exactly what he had not wanted to happen, to be summoned in front of the officers and taking the verbal beating that was almost certainly coming.

“Fine.” Dmitri said and walked with Charlie towards the command tent.


“Well.” Clive Hornet said, a stern looking man and a low ranking captain who Codsworth had left to guard their encampment whilst the raid was taking place, around him was; Barca, Jamerson and Fredricks. Jack sat to one side holding the hard drive in his bloodied hands. Dmitri stood in front of them all.

“So far just under half the raiding force has returned.” Dmitri said, that was an overstatement and he knew it, as far as he had seen only a third were confirmed to have returned. But he still had a fools ape that others would continue to trickle in as the hours ticked by. “However, the mission goals were still achieved, we have access to Lord Boris’ plans and we had dealt a crippling blow to his men. As well as shutting of his entrance to the enemy, the true enemy.” Dmitri said emphasising the last part.

“Be that as it may. But we have lost over half of our best men.” Clive said.

“Yes. And Codsworth will have to answer for that when he fully regains consciousness. But we have shown Boris for what he is. By attacking his home, we have made him look weak to others who might have been persuaded to join him.” Dmitri said, he was trying to find the positives, but no amount of them would compete with the loss of so many good soldiers.

“Forgive me if I fail to see the bright side of this.” Clive said, sitting down on his chair and looking at the map in front of him. “We are now in a vulnerable position here.” Clive continued. “We need to pull back to Prostead Bridge. From there we can reorganise. And perhaps salvage something from this mess.” Clive finished as he got up and walked over to the still slightly shell-shocked Jack. “Now boy, hand over the hard drive if you please.” Clive said his hand outstretched. Jack didn’t say anything, but he also didn’t give up the hard drive, he just continued to stare blankly at the floor. This lack of a response seemed to anger Clive who held out his hand to the point that it was in Jack’s face. “Now!” Clive said starting to get angry. When Jack again did nothing Clive made to grab the small square box. But Charlie raised her gun.

“Step away from him.” Charlie said aiming the gun at Clive who turned around smiling, as if he had not expected for this to happen.

“What in the gods name do you think you’re doing?” Clive asked, placing his hand on his own weapon.

“Give the lad sometime at least before you threaten him, the kid’s brother is one of the missing.” Charlie said her gun still raised, her arm was shaking slightly and seeing this, Dmitri also proceeds to take out his own gun and aimed it at Clive.

“Sit back down, there’s a good man.” Dmitri said and Clive turned to him looking even more furious than when he was dealing with Charlie alone.

“You don’t tell me what to do!” Clive shouted clearly angry that he was loosing control of the situation. But not as angry as Dmitri, as at this Clive’s superior lost his temper.

“Don’t forget yourself. Sir. Whilst Codsworth is out. I am your commanding officer. Now sit down. Shut up. And perhaps I won’t end your life here and now!” Dmitri shouted, he was not going to be ordered about by this pen pusher, not this time anyway. Clive looks around at the room, but when nobody comes to his defence, he gives up.

“As you wish. Sir.” Clive said and sat back down. The silence continues to fester until a sound came from outside waking them out of their stupor. And glad of an excuse to leave the tent, Dmitri rushed out to see what it was.


Brydon came limping into the camp, with a small bundle in his arms, he was covered almost head to foot in scars and the cloths he wore were ripped and burned beyond recognition. As Dmitri and Charlie ran out to see what the commotion was, they recognised the thing in Brydon’s arms.

It was Dave. Covered almost head to foot in blood and with a few burn marks on his left side, particularly on his arm which seemed to have taken the brunt of the damage. The boy was completely unconscious and lay limp in Brydon’s arms.

“What happened?” Dmitri said as Brydon continued to walk towards the medical tent, this was bad, as he doubted that either he or Charlie would be allowed within a hundred miles of the manor if Dave didn’t survive whatever happen to him, as Vernon would probably kill them.

“Found him in the downed gunship about five miles away from here.” Brydon said as he continued to advance.

“What about the girl? Mia.” Charlie asked, the two had been dropped of together, and it felt weird to see only one return.

“There was nobody else.” Brydon said as he entered the medical tent; put Dave down on the table and sat down on a chair, which creaked slightly but was able to hold his weight. “I just need to rest up a while.” He finished.

“Is there anyone else out there?” Dmitri asked.

“If there is. I’ll find them when I go back out. But I saw no-one on the way back up here if that’s what you’re asking.” Brydon said and closed his eyes. And fell asleep almost at once.

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