Break and Guls enter a large dark chamber, as they no longer hear the distorted roars of the creatures following them. “Spread out and gain some clues. I’m gonna try to raise the others.” Guls nodded and looks around the chamber as Break brings up his connection code.
“Sarge, can you hear me?”
“...” no response is given.
“Ink, can you hear me?”
“...” no response is given
“To block our signal, this has now become a headache. Ink is going to be so irritating. Hey Guls, have you found anything?”
Guls is currently investigating the end of the chamber. “Yeah, come check it out.” Break comes closer as Guls lifts his hammer of flames to illuminate the wall. It’s covered in burn marks of who used to live here. “It was an execution. They’re no other marks or gunfire on any of the walls. They lined them up and incinerated them.” said Guls.
“If this was a temple made by elves and dwarfs. We can assume the killers belonged to the Imperium, but I imagine those things aren’t the handy work of the Imperium.”
“Witches and sentinels could do something like that but they wouldn’t leave an experiment behind no matter what.”
“Guls...” Break stop talking mid-sentence as the sound of footsteps becomes louder on the other side of the wall. Guls places his head on the wall, trying to listen in. “I hear talking, rather shouting.”
Break can hear it as well. He looks up to see an opening as a rumbling sound comes closer. “Back up Guls!” Guls jumps backwards, using his wings as an extra lift off the ground as a torrent of green liquid comes splashing down on the floor. The shouting heard early starts coming into focus as Sarge, Lake, and Comet scream alongside the sounds of very hard thuds. A few moments pass. Lake appears out of the tube as she flies away before making impact. Sarge and Lake crash onto the ground a few moments later.
“Ow my, oh hey Colonel.” said Comet
“Update.” said Break
“Undead again.” said Lake
“The undead are such an annoyance, they are no fun to fight. Are they magical or medical?” said Guls.
“By my studies, both. It is a very advanced method and powered by something. Also this green liquid, I wouldn’t recommend drinking it, it comprises the dead.” Said Comet.
“Noted. A horde of undead attacked us and we can’t communicate with Ink. We stick together and continue forward.” Said Break.
“Brilliant plan, but where do we go? This room seems to be a dead end.” said Lake.
” I can help with that.” The 5 turn immediately with weapons drawn, hearing this unknown voice.”
They turn to see a Sun elf wearing clean garbs of white. He raised his hands to show he was not a threat. “Comet bubble him, then scans him.” said Break
Comet pulls out his secondary his bubble gun. He rotates the barrier and fires a bubble of ice towards him. The bubble slowly fazes through him. “Please, I mean you no harm rather I can not do harm.” The sun elf pushes his hands together as they gaze through each other. “A hologram, rather a civil A.I. What’s your directive?” said Break
A passage opens up, leading further down. “To end this and save her. The device damaged. I’ll leave a recording of everything when you save her.”
The civil A.I disappear from once it came. “Guls, you’re going first.”
“Boss, I love a fight as much as the next, but do I seriously have to go down the creepy hole. Why not send the new guy?!”
Break marches past Guls as he heads down the creepy passage. “Big baby.” said sarge as he walked past him. “It’s ok Guls, take your time.” said Lake as she walked past him. Comet walks up to him. “What’s the matter, Guls?”
“Alright, I’m telling you this one time and don’t you say anything about it or I’ll have your head on a platter.”
“My lips are sealed.”
“I don’t like cramped spaces. It makes me feel weak. It makes me feel off.”
Comet's medical mind works at a sped up pace before the first word leaves his mouth. “I know a way that could help you overcome this... barrier.”
“Simple, close your eyes. Take a deep breath and count 3. Do that over and over while thinking of someone or something you want to beat and charge forward with bravery.”
Guls looks confused by the advice as he was expecting some sort of medicine, but he tries it. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath while counting to 3. He focuses his mind on the single thing he wishes to defeat. A figure clad in blood red armor with flames dancing around her. He can feel his muscles scream for action as he opens his eyes and charges forward with a roar that would make his kind proud.
Guls thundering charge alerts the others expecting an ambush but sees Guls charge without yield. “Hey Guls, stop!” said Sarge, but Guls is in a mindless rage as they see Comet behind keeping up with him. “Run! I can’t stop him!” Guls’ colossal frame and armor crashes against the walls, but Guls doesn’t stop. Break and the others run as they don’t wish to be trampled underneath Gul’s mindless charge. “What the kid said to him!” said Lake as feathers flew off of her.
The three ran faster than they even ran. Guls is even gaining speed as they can feel his breath on their necks. “An opening!” said Sarge. The three gain speed, seeing the end. As soon as they cross the threshold, Break and Sarge jump to the sides as Lake flies upwards. Guls crashes into the wall, stopping his charge. Comet appears a few seconds afterwards trying to catch his breath.
“He...so...much...faster...than I thought. By the wind, I’m out of shape.”
Guls pulls himself out of the rock wall. “Ow, my head, how did I get here?”
Sarge leaps from behind and hit Guls on the head. “You don’t remember! You almost made us into paste! I ought to turn you into pieces, you giant fur ball!”
“Sh.” said Lake. The others stayed silent as her rifles slowly came out of the box and aimed down the unnatural dark before them. She looks down her scope, allowing the dark to be bright as day. It showed those horrors in vast numbers looking at her as she hovered in the air.
“Incoming!” The horde rushes forward as Lake guns rain down molten rain. Break throws a few shock grenades to slow their moments as he rushes to the side of the horde. Guls leaps in front of the horde swinging his blazing hammer becoming a living wall of fire as Sarge and Comet lay down covering fire through the gaps of Gul’s swing.
“Comet bubble ball!” shouted Break
Comet moves up as Guls swings his hammer, knocking down a portion of the horde as their bodies burn. Comet sets up his sundial into turret mode as Sarge rushes forward, taking command of the turret, as eight barrels of solar energy become unleashed. The solar rounds tear through the horde, but they seem endless as they slowly move forward as fire spreads throughout. Comet changes the setting in his bubble. He aims down his sight towards the horde but changes direction toward Guls. Comet fires a dense orb of fire as Guls smack them forward into the horde. The first dense orb of flames pieces through the horde and, as it reaches the dense part, it bursts into flames consuming all in its path. Comet fires off a few more than Guls, smacks them into the horde.
The horde burns as they move slowly forward. Sarge rotates his launcher barrels and promptly clicks as Sarge fires off several blue rounds around the entrance of the tunnel. The rounds beep for a few seconds as they exploded into large chunks of ice, sealing the entrance as it contained the fire as the horde try breaking free from their fiery tomb. The squad lower their weapon as the flames dance behind the ice wall, allowing them a rest.
“Ink, can you hear us? Ink, please respond?” said Break.
“...” still no response as the connection code is being blocked by something.
“Sarge, Comet, you two know any tech from the days of war to block a connection code? Maybe we can figure out a way to break it.”
“Nope, just stories of battles.” Said Sarge.
“Same, my father was in the war, but in the later years and even during the recent conflict with the Federation, tech wasn’t his best department.” Said Comet.
As Comet finishes his sentence, he feels something crawling around his leg. He looks down to see a snake bare its fangs at Comet. Comet kicks the snake away as he lifts his Sun-dial to eliminate the creature. “Stop, don’t shoot!” Ink's voice came from the snake.
“Ink, is that you? We have been trying to hold on to you for the longest time.” said Comet.
“I have been trying to do the same, but something is blocking all attempts to contact you guys. You know how long it took me to get my portable connection code to find you?”
“Anything going on outside?” said Break
“Not much, both sides have given about 2 hours to see if you survive before they blow up the planet.” said Ink
“Was it the Union who offered the idea first?” said Guls
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“Haha, seems she’s still mad at you!” said Lake as she falls over laughing.
“Who hates who?” said Comet and Ink in unison.
“Break has an ex-wife. Anytime we’re in Union space, she tries her best to kill him, also us. It was a nasty divorce.” said Sarge.
“Now that they explained my personal life, let us continue. The bodies should be ashes now. Let’s see what’s causing all of this?” Said Break.
Comet and Sarge begin de-icing the entrance. The tunnel smells of burnt meat as the ice melted away. The fire has reduced the horde that numbered in the thousands to ash. Ink snake wraps around Break camera and bites into it, allowing a connection to the ship and Ink stream. The ice melts, allowing Guls to enter first, seeing nothing moving. Lake looks through her scope, seeing nothing as well. The squad enters the tunnel, but a Comet takes a step into it he feels a presence of pain surge through his body.
Comet falls on his rear as he checks himself. “Comet you ok?” said Sarge
“I’m fine, I guess the stress of the earlier fight caught up to me.”
“Alright, we’re near the end, so stay on alert.”
Comet nods in agreement as he covers the rear. The squad arrives at the end of the tunnel, reaching a right turn with a bright green light emitting at the end. Sarge leads with his goggles, checking for anything out of the ordinary. They post against the wall as they reach the end. Sarge pokes his head around the corner, spotting a rock covered figure sitting on a throne connected to 6 tubes pumping green liquids into its back. Sarge looks around, seeing 10 undead figures of elf, dwarf, and 1 asmodian corpse standing guard before it.
“Hey Comet, come check this out.” said Sarge
Comet moves up beside Sarge. “Don’t those guys look fresh?”
Comets pulls out a device from his copy cube, similar to Sarge’s goggles. Comet scans the bodies and surprised by the results. “It says they died yesterday, but given their uniforms and the asmodian. They must be thousands of years old. The thing on the throne is dead besides some brain activity. It’s probably the thing keeping the undead alive in some weird way. Can I bring it on the ship?”
“No, but what’s the difference between these undead and the ones from before?” asked Lake
“Well, in theory, if those dwarfs and elves are from the age of war? Turn undead, they are slightly weaker than me but the asmodian is as strong as Guls and fast as Break, but the bad part because they are so fresh after thousands of years they most likely have their muscle memory intact so we’ll be fighting undead soldiers. The stone guy on the throne besides some brain activity it’s anyone’s guess.”
“Great, and judging by their uniforms, they aren’t pushovers.” said Lake
“Yeah, it’ll take me about a few swings to deal with the elves and dwarfs, but the asmodian probably gonna take longer.” Said Guls.
“Alright, Guls and Sarge, go in first. Comet and I we’ll go in after a few seconds. Lake, once those things are on us. Take the head off the thing on the throne. Hopefully that’ll end whatever happening in this place.”
Guls rushes forward, alerting the undead guards’ attention. The guards move forward in perfect sync. Sarge appears from behind Guls as he covers Gul’s left flank. Guls gives an almighty swing as two undead ducks avoid Guls swing, but Sarge is there cutting the heads of the 2. The corpses fall onto the ground, remaining lifeless.
Comet and Break enter the chamber as they pin the asmodian and 4 others with gun fire. The Asmodian lifts its hand and sends out a dark aura of power deflecting the projectiles. Comet and Break rush forward. Comet, with his twin daggers, cuts through the smoke as the Asmodian pulls out a rusted sword. The two collide, but it quickly pushes Comet back. Break flanks with the other undead using his heavy pistol to remove limbs.
Lake quietly enters the room, seeing all undead occupied with the others. The stone figure on the throne remains motionless as Lake gets close. Lakes jumps up and places one of her stake drivers onto the figurehead, sending a 100,000 time folded piece of metal at 75mph through its head. The figure crumbles into dust as the undead collapse and turns into garden beds.
The green liquid feeding into the figure turns into moss, with thousands of flowers erupting out of its body. “Alright, double tap everything. I don’t want one getting back up and biting us on the ass.” Said Break.
Guls go around smashing their heads in and setting the bodies on fire. Sarge places a few explosions on the stone figure's body. A few moments pass and the bombs implode, ensuring it ain’t getting back up. “Alright boss, everything is double dead.” Said Sarge.
The hologram elf appears once again where the figure was. “Thank you for ending this curse. Please save her and return her home.” The wall behind the figure opened, allowing a rush of clean air to flood into the room. It covered the entrance in a thick fog as Comet gets closer. “It feels like I’m back home.”
Comet goes in first through the fog. The others pass through the fog, seeing Comet stand in the middle of a room filled with various flowers and other flora. It covered the floor in a thick mist of air. They get closer to Comet, seeing a young female sun elf within a glass coffin. Comet is scanning the elf. “She is alive, but in a deep sleep. I’ll wake her up on board the ship.”
A golden flower grows beside Break, giving him a seed. The seed sprouts a small flower as it connects to his connection code by uploading new information. The small flower wilts away as it has uploaded the information.
“Guls open the coffin.”
Guls moves forward and uses his claw to open the coffin. The coffin bursts open, sending out a golden wave of energy throughout the temple then outwards onto the planet's surface. Slowly, grass grew, then flowers, then trees as strong as mountains grew. It surprised the two armies to see life return to this dead planet. Both armies agreed to a crease fire because of the sudden explosion of life; It injured many troops on both sides.
Squad 912 returned to the surface, giving the go ahead that the temple was clear. The strange sun elf was to be taken back to the capital of the Jade Empire, Dryad Blessing.