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Thread: Pocket Legends: Neo Mages Episode 5: United Alterra Chapter 1: Army Hill

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    Default Pocket Legends: Neo Mages Episode 5: United Alterra Chapter 1: Army Hill

    Pocket Legends: Neo Mages
    Episode 5: United Alterra
    Chapter 1: Army Hill


    Angela: Everything’s pitch black. How long has it been since I was locked up here? That interrogator… I can’t stand him… It’s that awful music he’s been forcing me to listen to lately. His voice, though... Sounds… familiar.
    The ceiling lights glowed abruptly. The feedback started after a few seconds.
    Angela: Has it always been…?

    Interrogator: “Mikhailov, once the commander of the Crimson Army during the Alterran Civil War. He was killed in action when you and his inmates breached Camp D.A.”
    Angela: “He was nothing but a dirty red bear. A filthy-”
    A strong, patriotic music played, with screams erupting from the my ears.
    Angela: “AAAAHH!!!”
    The music paused as the screams died down.
    Interrogator: “Subject will be altered. In April 216, an alliance known as Alterra’s Diamonds formed negotiations with the Crimson Army. Both of them had one goal. What was the term?”
    Angela: “...”
    Interrogator: “Angela, do we need to resume again?”
    Angela: “No…”NO NO NO NO!!!”
    Interrogator: “What did the Alterrans want, Angela?”
    His aggressiveness started to grow as I desperately tried to calm myself. Desperately thinking about the past memories, there was suddenly a discovery out of the blue.
    Angela: “...Liberation?”
    A vision of Andropov had flashed in my mind.

    Crypta-Igneous Border
    *Crunch* *Crunch* Crunch*
    The Crimsons could spot us at any moment. Considering we were the top notoriety for our escape, the SUA won’t even care if we’re wanted dead. With no map nor food or water, chances of making it out alive are extremely low. No UA’s to aid us this time.
    BASH! Swiftly looking back, Andropov’s fist had struck the bark of a tree. I hear a few leaves falling, while his appearance looked monstrous. He paused for a moment before resuming to walk again as he looked up.
    Angela: I’d better give him some distance...
    Suddenly, I was able to hear a faint distance of automobiles coming by.
    Angela: “Andropov, they’re-!”
    He was already on the ground before me. I hid in the bushes while laying down.
    Angela: He’s got no elf ears. It’s strange… Is he trusting me?
    The lights from the automobile began to brighten, revealing a road in front of us. The truck came to a halt for no reason, until there was another one facing it. I was picking up their conversations.
    SUA Patrol #1: “Presekat’! Raskroyte svoi identifikatory!”
    One officer of the different truck got himself out while showing his ID book to the commanding officer.
    SUA Patrol #1: “Ah, tovarisch. Vy zametili ubegayushchikh zaklyuchennykh?”
    SUA Patrol #2: “Pfeh… My nashli chetverykh iz nikh, kotoryye pytalis' pereyti dorogu. My ikh rasstrelyali.”
    SUA Patrol #1: “Da, Eto deystvitel'no pozor. Yesli by Mikhaylov ne zanimalsya kontrrevolyutsionnoy deyatel'nost'yu, my by uzhe god nazad razobralis's chernikoi!” *laughs*
    Without looking back, I was able to hear Andropov already growling. At that moment, I didn’t know what could possibly be the worst outcome. The SUA’s discovering us, or him giving ourselves away.
    Angela: For the love of God, please don’t…
    SUA Patrol #1: “...Pravil'no. Kogda vy naydete etikh dvoikh, Tovarisch Dragunov ne izbavitsya ot nikh.”
    SUA Patrol #2: “Chto nam delat’, yesli oni sbegut, ser?”
    SUA Patrol #1: “Potom vstretim ikh u ozera. Uvidimsya zavtra v derevne.”
    SUA Patrol #2: “Ponyal.”
    Both of them had saluted one another. They started to get into their vehicles, and drove along with their directions. By the time the rumbling of the trucks had vanished, an empty road with the crickets chirping.
    Angela: “Come on, Andropov. Hurry.”
    I looked back but instead of anger, confusion is what gave him a new look. Was it something the officers had said earlier? He shook his head, but immediately crossed the road and disappeared into the forest.
    Angela: “Hey…!”
    From sunset to the middle of the night, we wouldn't dare to go back. The sight of the SUA patrols made our adrenaline rise as we desperately tried to find the border checkpoint. Despite going straight towards the north, I often felt that we were going back accidentally. I suddenly remember the time I talked with Rose before we both graduated.
    Rosella: “It sucks to force yourself to hide in a remote cave with your wife and child, while the DA are slaughtering everywhere in the mountains. We wouldn’t be so stupid to get out in daylight.”
    Angela: “Was it really that bad?”
    Rosella: *shrugs* “Better than being taken prisoner, I guess. Oh yeah. Whenever we went out at night for break, we were able to see little bits of light.
    Angela: “Yeah?”
    Rosella: “Raid? A celebration. Who knows? We had no watch, but the times when we felt the coldest, it surely was gonna be winter despite having no snow. Whenever the lights could mean at best, it gave us some bit of hope. ”
    Angela: “Well… But at least we were lucky to survive.”
    The school bell started to ring. We had to pledge to Dragunov before the class began.
    Rosella: *sighs* If the Elite Dragon wasn’t a legend, he would’ve probably burnt all the DA’s and Crimsons… Maybe all of us.”
    A wave of memories suddenly exploded in my mind. Among them were Mikhailov’s soldiers, an ancient painting of dragons, and a large room.
    Angela: No… Not now!
    As I suffered a massive headache, Andropov noticed me on the ground moaning. Aggressively, he started shaking me with frustration trying to regain my senses.
    Andropov: “Bliny! U nas net vremeni-”
    POFF! B-KRAK! I heard one of the patrols shouting at the others.
    SUA Patrol: “Dezertiry! Ustranite ikh!”
    Despite the constant headache, I got up to my knees and started running with Andropov. Although I was the fastest, he had greater stamina than mine. We stumbled ourselves down a river below. Scaling down below, the voices of the patrols became louder.
    SUA Patrol: “Bystro! Oni mogli bit plennikami!”
    While climbing down, the height seemed safe for us to dive in. Andropov paused the moment he looked at the river. Something was wrong.
    Angela: He literally jumped into the River of Peace during Forest Haven, and now he’s hesitating?! …No, it’s something else.
    Angela: “This isn’t the first time, isn’t it?”
    Andropov was furiously staring at the river with fear with both of his fists clenched. At any moment the SUA will shoot right at us. I leaped into the river, hoping to make it through alive.
    BLOSH! BLOHM! Hearing that Andropov divided after me, I could hear bullets whizzing through before losing strength. Diving deeper to avoid them, the headache had no longer resonated with me. The force of the river had swept us away, but the patrols will hardly be able to find us this time. The ice cold water kept roaring as I kept swimming, until I reached a large stone. Holding onto it as if it were my life, my soaked robes felt heavy. I had very little energy left, but I refused to drown myself into the river.
    Angela: Freezing… I’ll get frostbite if I stay too long!
    I kept swimming across, until I felt the ground. Reaching myself out of the river, there was zero chance that I was not going to start shivering. SPLOSH. SPLASH SPLISH. Water was dripping all over his soaked clothes, but his stiff appearance looked like a swamp creature waking from its aquatic slumbers.
    Sploch sploch sploch. Andropov’s face looked like a rabid beast hunting for its next prey. The cold seemed to not mind him at all.
    Angela: *shivering constantly* “Let’s… hurry. Andropov…”
    Had there been snow in Crpyta, we would have never crossed the river. To avoid ourselves easily, we were walking off road. Above ahead I was able to see roof like structures in the darkness. Getting closer, we spotted sources of lights inside the buildings. However, I was still unrelieved.
    Angela: We can’t rest here too much. The patrols will search in these homes.
    Andropov: “Sputkat’sya!”
    He quickly laid down as I followed him. We waited for a moment, until two figures headed to one of the cottages.
    Andropov: “My zatknem ikh oboikh.”
    He points right at them. I looked at him, and he made a gesture of a neck being sliced off. His eyes displayed a sign of burning hatred. At this moment, I didn’t know whether he was directing towards them or me. Getting closer towards our targets, one of the patrols had started knocking on the door.
    SUA Patrol #2: “Sotsialisticheskoye Agentstvo Ursany!”
    Crawling through fences and bushes, I could hear residents rummaging as one of them started to question.
    Resident #1: “Um… Prosti. Chto… vam nuzhno?”
    SUA Patrol #2: “Raneye v vash dom voshel razyskivayemyy zaklyuchennyy. Ty poyedesh' s nami yesli vy ukryvayete yego.”
    A female resident started speaking towards the male resident. It must be his wife. Surely the walls must be thin.
    Resident #2: “Tell him no… We aren’t hiding any of them.”
    Child: “Mommy…?”
    Resident #1: “Nyet! Nyet! My etogo ne delayem!”
    A truck lies in the middle of the road, with no one else there. The husband seemed to panic, along with his family. A moment of silence had occurred.
    SUA Patrol #2: “Obyskat' dom.”
    We heard the patrols entering the house, searching everywhere!
    Resident #1: “NOOO! You can’t be here! This is my- UGH!”
    Hearing an innocent civilian being beaten up by the patrols, I felt a form of disgust. Andropov, on the other hand, was about to become wild. Something messed up was going on inside.
    Resident #2: “ELIJAH! Get away from him, you-” BASH!
    The child started crying. I grasped the grass tightly, suddenly feeling the urge to become insane. Something strong was flowing towards my veins.
    SUA Patrol #2: “Podval zapert! Otveti ikh v lager'!”
    Angela: “...Kill the bloody reds. Let us send them to the-”
    Andropov immediately bolted towards the cottage.
    SUA Patrol #3: “Vy fashistskiye svini! V vragi Dragunova ne budut- AAGH!!”
    The urge had died down while quickly regaining my sanity. I quickly followed him inside, and there was him smashing one of the patrols with his fists.
    Child: *crying* “Mommy!”
    Desperately trying to wake up her mother, the father quickly ran towards grab a shovel that was hanging on the wall.
    Elijah: “Mathilda, stay back!”
    Alarmed, one of the patrols tried to pull out his pistol to aim at Andropov, but I shoved him and started to strangle him. The patrol however, released my arms and striked a punch in my cheek. I fell down to the wooden floor, as the patrol strangled me in return. The husband roared, slamming his shovel into the patrol’s head. As soon he started pulling me away from the patrol while dropping the shovel, Andropov grabbed the tool and began to eradicate the officer. SPANG! SMASH! KLANK! BOK!
    Andropov: “UUOOOOOHHHH!!!”
    BRACK!
    Elijah rejoined with his wife, covering his daughter’s eyes as he stared at Andropov with horror. The bloody clothes and his look had made him look even worse than the demons of the Shadow Caves. He started walking towards us slowly, while grasping onto the blood coated shovel. I wiped the blood from my nose, quickly standing up.
    Angela: “THAT’S ENOUGH!!”
    The moment he froze, I walked up towards him. As much I was angry at the SUA for murdering my parents, at least one of us had tried to remain calm. I cared less whether Andropov would be able to understand me or not.
    Angela: “Keep it up like this, and you’ll never be able to avenge Mikhailov and others.”
    Andropov: *pants heavily*
    Angela: “Your commander would have done the same if you had died. BUT GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF! HE NEEDS YOU ALIVE!!”
    His eyes peeked down at his bloody clothes and the shovel he was carrying. Still enraged by what the SUA did, he was unable to lose his anger. THUD! Dropping the shovel aggressively, he turned his back towards the corner of the house. His breathing reverted normally.
    Andropov: “Vy nikogda ne dolzhny beeli prisoyedinyat'sya…”
    He muttered under his breath as he sat himself down into the corner. I could feel his hatred towards me.
    Angela: “...”
    Elijah: *points* “Y-You! All of you need to leave at once!”
    Ursan: “NYET! Stoy…!”
    A familiar voice had sprung inside the cellar. Andropov became alarmed.
    Angela: Is that…?
    Elijah headed towards the bed and pulled a box that was under. Grabbing a key from inside, he went towards the lock and unopened it.
    Andropov: “David?!”
    He got up and walked towards him. David was already out of the cellar, feeling calm. Andropov, on the other hand...
    Andropov: “Kak ty vyzhil? A gde ostal'nyye?!”
    David: “Ayy, blin…” *pauses hand* “Uspokoysya, ladno? Ya skazhu tebe pozzhe.”
    He then turns at me, with his face becoming relieved.
    David: “Smelaya devushka… You live!”
    Angela: *smiles* “Glad you made it out.”
    After a chuckle, David tried to converse with the residents. Elijah started to agree. He then cleans the blood from his wife with medical supplies and for himself. The daughter sniffled while clinging to her mother.
    Elijah: *sighs* “Alright… You’ve got tomorrow until midnight. But that’s it!”
    David: “U nas yest' vremya do zavtra.”
    Andropov: “My uyezzhayem posle togo, kak oni priyedut.”
    The husband became alarmed as Andropov spoke, but David relaxed him.
    David: “He say we are to leave in morning.”
    Andropov: “...”
    Elijah: “Jannette, please take Mathilda to the bed.”
    Jannette: “Yes, dear.”
    She tagged Mathilda to the bedroom. The child looked at Andropov, who was trying to get some sleep. She looked at him as if he looked familiar.
    Mathilda: “Mommy, is that-?”
    Jannette: “Go to bed, honey.”
    Both of them went to the bedroom and closed the door. David started to drag the bodies and dumped them to the cellar. We don’t know what to deal with now. Elijah started to clean the wooden floor, while the sight of blood became less transparent.
    Angela: “Sir… I’m sorry for the mess we made.”
    Elijah: “...I’ll get some water.”
    He went to the kitchen after he shortly organized his belongings. After pouring down a jug, he offered me a cup. Despite of drinking the whole cup, I now had less urge to eat.
    Elijah: “Don’t tell me… You’re one of those Neo Mages, aren’t you?”
    I paused for a moment. Despite him being an elf living with a human wife, his tone tells me that he’s not very supportive.
    Angela: “...”
    Elijah: *drinks* *sighs* “Frankly… I never trusted Maverick and any of his ideas.”
    Angela: *becomes puzzled* “You know him?”
    Elijah: “I was not qualified to become a mage in my youth, despite our old traditions encouraging us too.” *hands newspaper*
    Grabbing a newspaper that was entirely written in Rushian, a headline was shown with a group photo of Maverick and the others.
    Elijah: “Have a seat.”
    The moment I sat down, an awkward feeling occurred inside of me. He seemed to be more calm than before.
    Angela: Why am I being nervous right now?
    Elijah: “When the riots began, they quickly moved to the UA. Since the citizens of Medved weren’t allowed to protest, I guess they had to go with their last resort.”
    A memory of Dragunov’s portrait appears in my mind.
    Elijah: “But they failed... I do not know what Maverick and the others are planning right now, but something tells me they’re scheming another plot. Perhaps their next mission will result in the collapse of Alterra once again.”
    The idea of us becoming “valiant heroes” no longer existed anymore. Reminded of our escape, I decided to move onto another subject.
    Angela: “Are there any military bases near Igneous?”
    Elijah: “I don't know. However, there were times I saw airplanes hovering above the skies. Even when I tried to sleep at night, I was still able to hear them.”
    Angela: Airplanes… We must be close to safety, then.
    Elijah: “Tell me, why did you come here? To seek refuge? Or is it to escape from this country…?”
    Angela: “I want to see my sister again.”
    Elijah: “And what will you do when you will finally meet her? Should you resume fighting for the sake of free will, or listen to your leaders to use you as a tool of war?”
    Angela: “...What do you know about the people you lost?”
    Elijah: “The people that live in my hometown. I guess this question applies to everyone else.”
    He then looked at the window. Almost none of the other houses had their lights on.
    Elijah: “When the Novi Zakaz started, they started to deport most of us for falsely accusing us as Dark Alterran sympathizers. We were simply villagers, trying to get over the obstacles Silknight had created…”
    Angela: “...I think the Elf Queen trusted Dragunov too much.”
    Elijah: “The Dark Alterrans have used this method since Bling’s regime. Someday, I would hope that the Elf Queen’s people would never be like them.”
    Angela: “Elijah, why don’t you come with us?”
    Elijah: “I do not condone trespassers coming in just so to harass my family. The sight of seeing Dragunov’s secret police only makes me feel tired. I do not wish to abandon my family or my homeland. At this moment, I feel like it would be better to pass away in the soil where I was born.”
    Angela: “I was… I was born here as well. My parents moved there to Balefort, until the war began.”
    Elijah: “Young lady, what is your name? I would like to know before you and your companions leave.”
    David: “Angela.”
    The Ursan appeared with him wearing a SUA uniform equipped with a pistol holster. The other one was placed down near Andropov while he was sleeping.
    Elijah: “Is that so? It is a beautiful name.”
    Angela: “Yeah... Do you have any blankets?”
    For once, I thought we would never be able to find shelter while being marked as Dragunov’s enemies.

    Interrogation Sewers, Balefort Sewers
    Interrogator: “David escaped to St. Incar before you and Andropov arrived. We have no intel on how Yakov and the others have managed to survive from the patrols.”
    I felt like I was about to space out, but the mention of the deranged sound will happen again made me back on track.
    Interrogator: “We’ll go through this smoothly. What happened when you and Andropov were crossing the border?
    Angela: “The cave. The cave we found…”

    St. Incar, Crypta
    The white clouds covered the sky in the small village. Andropov and David had already finished their breakfast. I had just finished a slice of bread with jam while thinking about our escape. Before they could head out with their uniforms, Andropov’s face was covered with a blood stained bandage, with his face partially painted in red thanks to Jannette. Just when we were about to leave the house, the daughter stepped up to Andropov.
    Mathilda: “Um, mister Ursan?
    Andropov: “...?”
    Jannette: “Mathilda!”
    Mathilda: “Are you the hero of Rushia?”
    The wife had taken her away. Andropov turned back without a word.
    Jannette: “You’ll have to forgive her. She likes learning about Alterra’s legends.” *laughs*
    Elijah: “Indeed she has...”
    He came out with a shovel. Elijah had a garden in his backyard, preparing to bury the bodies.
    Elijah: “Get the jerry can outside. Don’t lose what you need the most.”
    He stepped down the cellar, dragging the bodies out of the outer cellar gate.
    Andropov: “V put.”
    David: “Da.”
    Coming out of the door, we stepped out of Elijah’s cottage. I was raising my hands in the air as if I was a prisoner of war while David guided me. Andropov was already carrying the jerry can as we got closer. He checked the fuel storage and started to insert more fuel until it was done. While I was on my knees, I heard a faint sound of a vehicle once again.
    David: “My dolzhny uyti seychas zhe!”
    The truck was getting closer towards us, but Andropov could tell that it was not a new one.
    Andropov: *growls* “Kogda ya uydu, ty pristrelish' drugogo. Yey nuzhno zalezt' pod gruzovik!”
    David: “Go down, Angela! Quick!”
    He pointed below of the truck as he jogged away, implying that I should take cover. Quickly crawling under the vehicle, I sure as hoped that the SUA won’t be able to find us. Although a bit cramped, it was the only option for me to not get caught.
    Andropov: “Ya dolzhen prosto zastrelit' vsekh vas...”
    The rumbling of the truck became louder until it came to a halt. After a short sputter, I discovered an officer coming towards Andropov. When they spoke, I knew who this officer was.
    SUA Patrol #1: “Identifikatsiya, tovarisch? Podozhdi ... Pochemu ty v eto maske?”
    Andropov: “Elf isportil mne litso. Ya prikonchil yeye vchera.”
    He had to speak as if he had a sick throat. Funnily, it was still winter.
    Andropov: “Yeye khoronit tot, kto yeye nashel.”
    SUA Patrol #1: “Deystvitel'no? Togda davayte posmotrim sami!”
    Andropov: “Davayte begat' trustsoy, tovarisch.”
    Both of them had started to head towards the direction where Elijah was living, but something was wrong.
    Angela: Why are they both heading towards the cottage?! No wait… Is Andropov gonna lure one off? What is David doing on the other side?
    Seconds have passed and I was unsure what to do. The urge to crawl out of the vehicle became strong, but not because I wanted to end my life. I then hear another faint sound of footsteps.
    Angela: Should I crawl out? But if I do, I’ll get shot-
    POW! POW! POW! David must be targeting the patrol that was waiting inside the vehicle. Andropov should've heard this by now. POW! I immediately froze with terror. He’s gone. All that’s left is me and David.
    Andropov: “Prover'te na spine!”
    I was wrong. He was speaking normally as he raced towards the back of the other truck. I saw David’s boot coming towards him, while sighing myself with relief.
    David: “Khorosho! Angela! Good!”
    I immediately crawled out of the truck by reversing myself. One patrol was being dragged out by Andropov to check for extra items, while the other was lying far away. David was carrying a crate as he placed them on the back of our truck. Grabbing an apple, he handed me a handgun stolen from one of the patrols.
    David: “You get on!”
    He headed back towards the other truck with an apple in his mouth. After getting on the back, I helped myself to a candy bar. There was more food for us, and it would be enough for us to last one more day. David returned with a wool-padded jacket carrying another long crate while the jacket was on top. Placing both of them at the back, he gave me a thumbs up.
    David: *grins* “Telogreika.”
    He then went to the passenger’s seat and I started to wear it. Although it looked big and unclean, it would be effective since it provides warmth. Appropriate for this season. Andropov was wearing one as well.
    Andropov: “Patruli budut zdes' v lyubuyu sekundu!”
    David: “Tty umeyesh' vodit'?”
    Andropov: “Komandir nauchil menya azam...”
    He entered the driver’s seat, operating the truck. It started to sputter while gaining acceleration. I then noticed Mathilda running out of the door and started waving at us.
    Mathilda: “See… you… later!”
    Her mother spotted her and took her inside. I felt like I was breaking inside. If Mom and Dad weren’t arrested by the SUA, then I would have never enlisted in the Neo Mages. I then thought of Andropov. Losing his parents and his commander must have been devastating for him. The drive was surely going to last long enough until the border was reached. I opened the second crate. A pair of axes and a scoped lever-action rifle.
    Angela: Talk about handy.
    What seemed like minutes took like hours for us to reach there. We arrived at a path that led to a forest. Noticing a huge sign that was clearly in Rushian, we knew that the border guards would shoot us on sight if we got closer. After a couple of minutes, there seemed to be a long wall of fence in the distance.
    Angela: Jackpot.
    The truck then accelerated forward. I started to hang on one of the rails, but we knew that we weren’t going to stay on the truck for much long. Andropov then drove deep into the forest, until it came to a halt. After a short sputter, the duo began to plan out.
    David: “Nam pridetsya soyti s uma. Ya slyshal, tam tanki.”
    Andropov: “My dolzhny eto nayti, togda…”
    Nighttime. We immediately stepped off the truck and crept towards the north. Making it out of the forest, we grabbed our weapons and started to go to the border. Just about we were to reach out of the trees, a watchtower was peering through the night ground with its huge light. As soon as the ray passed, we immediately crawled towards the grass until we started to conceal ourselves in the bushes that were close to the road.
    David: “Blagodarit' kusty...”
    A few yards away, and then we’ll be able to cross the mountains. Considering we had pistols and axes, we had to wait for an opportunity while avoiding ourselves from the lights.
    Angela: “How are we gonna get across…?”
    David: “Chto teper'?” *looks at Andropov*
    Andropov: *clutches rifle* “Otvlekite vtoruyu bashnyu.” *points another tower to the right* “Kak tol'ko tank prokhodit.”
    Another faint rumbling had started in my ears. This time however, there was some kind of a squeaking sound. I peered to the left. There was light coming towards us. The silhouette, however, was shaped differently compared to other armored vehicles.
    Angela: “Unbelievable…”
    David: “Zhdat'! Vot ono!”
    A T-34-85. With its powerful cannon and its standardized mobility, it kept advancing. Any sudden move, the hull gunner would finish his job. After the tank passed through us and faded away into the night, the lights were still operating.
    Andropov: “Yey pridetsya vynesti bashnyu.”
    David: "Angela, you kill bear." *points at watchtower*
    I looked up at the guard that was operating the spotlights that were inside the wooden tower. The governmental budget must’ve been overspent on their nuclear rocket program.
    Angela: Orb destructive missiles… Where the hell is the second location? Back at Medved, we knew that Dragunov arrived at Wyldwood just after the operation… If that’s the case, then why haven’t the second missile been launched a year ago? Did Dragunov never go to Wyldwood at all? Is there no missile at all?
    I started experience a little headache while trying to remember what happened before the failed assassination. The light was about to pass behind us, and David started to nudge me.
    David: “Ayy!”
    Regaining my consciousness, I looked back at him with a bit of optimism.
    Angela: Thanks, David.
    The spotlight started to pass through, spotting nothing but bare grass and a couple of bushes.
    David: “Go! Go!”
    Urging me to go, David and I both got up to our knees and raced towards the tower. He was wielding an ax, although it would take time for him to cut down. While I started climbing up with a pistol in my hand, I noticed Andropov distancing himself away while aiming his rifle at the other tower.
    CHOP. CHOP. The other guard would surely spot me before taking the current one out.
    Border Guard #1: “Chto v…?”
    My head peaked at the guard who remained unnoticed. POW! The guard fell to the wooden floor. I quickly climbed up and grabbed the knife from the guard’s belt and aimed at his back.
    STAB! The guard no longer moved. If I had tried to topple him over, his strength would’ve estimated me. The other guard must’ve heard the gunshot, because he started shouting in their megaphone.
    Border Guard #2: “NARUSHEETEL’! NARUSHEETEL’! YA POVTORYAYU! NARU-”
    K-POW! Andropov must’ve finished him off. I quickly grabbed a few of the belongings that were inside the tower and climbed down. David was desperately cutting down the leg of the tower. Androvov had arrived wielding an ax after he flung the rifle over his back.
    Andropov: “Toropit'sya! Tank skoro priyedet!”
    Since he had greater strength than David, he went to the other leg and started chopping it down with force. Judging from their faces, they were in a dire situation of escaping Crypta right now. Andropov’s face was filled with rage and frustration, while David’s mentality was surrounded with fear and exhaustion. A couple of steps towards the UA, and we wouldn’t have to stress ourselves anymore.
    Angela: Climbing up the mountains would be dangerous. Only if you weren’t expertly trained.
    BR-CHOK. Andropov raced towards the leg that David had been struggling to finish chopping it down. While both of them were near completion, I started to hear another grumbling noise.
    Angela: “TANK!”
    Andropov: “DAVAY!! DAVAY!!!”
    THOK! THAK! DOHK! DAHK! BR-CRACK! The wooden tower started to groan as Andropov and David moved out of the way. We both gained distance from the tower to avoid ourselves being crushed. Hoping it would crash down the fence, the tower lost its balance and started crashing down the fence wall. BOSH! Dust immediately spread, but that did not stop us from hesitating.
    Andropov: “BEGAT’!”
    We bolted towards the mess but at last, three of us had stepped into UA soil. The terrain became rocky as we headed uphill. Never I thought we would make it out alive.
    Angela: Rose… Thompson… Mark… Cinnamon… Let’s all go home.
    Distancing ourselves away from the border, we knew that there would be squads of border patrols arriving at the scene. That didn’t matter anymore. We kept running towards the mountains until we would reach huge boulders that would provide us cover.
    David: “Ne mogu poverit', chto my sbezhali, ser!”
    Andropov: “My vse yeshche ne v bezopasnoy zone. Ikh pogranichniki mogut deportirovat' nas obratno-”
    BOM! K-BRACK-SCREEEEEEEEEE…
    The ear splitting noise had stopped as we struggled to stand up. Had the shell landed right a couple yards at us, we would’ve been finished. Arriving at the rocks, gunfire had erupted but we were quick enough to conceal ourselves in the rocks. Crack! Crack! Pop! Crack! Piff!
    Angela: Must be firing from the turret.
    The tank stopped shooting after several seconds. I peered over to see what was going on. A couple of armed trucks have arrived at the collapsed tower. One of the SUA patrols had gotten out of their vehicles and seemed to complain at the tank crew for their incompetence.
    Andropov: “David, skazhi devushke, kuda nam nuzhno idti.”
    David: *nods* “Angela, show where we go!”
    Angela: “If we’re lucky enough to find a military base, we can reveal ourselves who we really are.”
    David: "Ne slishkom daleko mozhet byt' voyennaya baza.”
    Andropov paused for a moment. After inspecting his gun, he immediately headed north once again.
    Andropov: “Otlichno. My proydem cherez eto.”
    Crossing through the rocky mountains, the terrain started to become steeper. Andropov was always on the lead, considering he had been serving in the Crimson Army. As someone who has trained in the Snowpeak Mountains, I felt some sort of strength increasing in my body. David, who had been only in a few weeks of conscription, was our tail. Even though we were far away from UUSR territory, we had to be cautious of snipers. They could easily mistaken us as armed spies to sabotage UA logistics. Above ahead, there seemed to be a cave.
    Angela: “A war shelter?”
    David: “My mozhem perenochevat'. Zhalko, chto net ognya.”
    Andropov: “Prodolzhim utrom.”
    It was no ordinary hideout. Old tattered banners of the Dark Alterran Empire were hung on the cave walls, as some of the chests lay empty and swords lying on the cold ground. A skeleton of a Dark Alterran knight was sitting on the floor with a musket next to him. A faded bloodstain on the cave was still seen above the knight's head, being surrounded by an army of red tally marks. Andropov stepped forward and kicked the skeleton away in fury.
    David: “Ayy…” *shakes head*
    The skeleton was on the floor, laying lifeless as it should. A piece of parchment had caught my eyes. I walked closer to it.
    David: *searches through chest* “Nashli ugol'!”
    Andropov: “Mne eto mesto protivno…”
    I grabbed the letter and unfolded it, which revealed the knight’s will.

    The third month rises in the year 216 and at this moment, they are bombarding our capital with their behemoths encamped at the Blackstone Mountains. Such roar from these monstrosities will be capable of sending our entire division to an insane asylum without a fight.

    My hands tremble as I am writing this, being caged inside of an armor forged from blood of a thousand slaves slain. Soon enough, all of these lost souls will drag me to the gates of hell.

    The Alterran population is half born of beasts, are we not? After all, we are no other like the humans that have inhabited our lands since the birth of mankind. Greed, hatred, pride. All these desires for one to strike against the beings of purity. This has been our code for our campaign that was supposed to result in absolute victory.

    Our lives were filled with joy when our great army saw the destruction of the Alterran Holy Kingdom. Three years ago, we were sworn to wipe the corrupt and unholy systems of their kingdom. Three years after our new establishment, the irony lies within the cracked swords and rusted bayonets.

    The purple tide crashes through our cities. The empire has committed one of the worst sins in the history of the greater people. The witch is out of this world. She no longer steps on Alterran soil, but no legend of ours dies.
    SILKNIGHT HAS ABANDONED US.

    -Squire Unglocklesser
    15th Chaos Battalion


    At the back of the paper, it was a gray symbol of wings of a majestic creature. An odd feeling had suddenly flowed in my mind. I felt that something was missing, but that moment started to fade away. I decided to keep the letter, and started to sleep just like the others.
    Angela: What was that…?
    The small campfire had left out a small trace of smoke in the early morning. With the little food we shared from the watchtower I stole yesterday, it would be important to save for later. As we distanced ourselves away from the cave, we were back to climbing more mountains. Strong gusts of wind were present, but the sky looked ideal. Blue, no clouds, and a bright white sun.
    Angela: Just how long will this take…? This is actually much longer than the last time we hiked...
    David: “Angela, you ride plane before?”
    Angela: “...I was only lucky enough to survive back at the airport. Why?”
    David: “When I in Iesgora before Andropov fly with Mikhailov, we see enemy below. Melkiye nasekomyye.”
    Angela: “You were a scout back during the Forest Mountains offense?”
    David: “Da, da. But when I come back, too. Sun looked eh… Krasivaya! I think of the world is to look very good.”
    I looked at the sky once again. As blue as it is, it was quite empty. Although the unpleasant experiences I faced in Medved and Camp D.A were unavoidable, I started to visualize the clear sky as a world with absolute freedom. Maybe Alterra wasn’t such a bad world to live in.
    Angela: “Yeah… Sometimes it can be beautiful.”
    David: “Vy ved' pomnite bitvu, Andropov?”
    Andropov: *grunts* “Ya ne khochu ob etom govorit'.”
    The Ursan in the lead then stopped climbing for a moment as soon he was almost on top.
    Andropov: “Shh!”
    In no way did we arrive so quickly. A military base lies ahead while there are guards surrounding the area. However, they were surely not our enemies.
    Angela: “UA soldiers. They’re our allies.”
    David: “What we do?”
    Angela: “Follow me.”
    David: “Chto?!”
    I got up to my feet and started moving towards the UA soldiers for them to notice me. Two of them were guarding the gate. I then surrendered myself in order for them to view me as a mere refugee.
    Angela: “PLEASE DON’T SHOOT! WE’RE NOT SPIES!”
    Andropov and David probably knew that it was going to be out of control, but I believed that it was the only way to get through the final checkpoint.
    UA Soldier #1: “Huh?!” *aims rifle* “HALT! DON’T MOVE!”
    I then stopped and went on my knees, feeling somewhat frightful. When the second soldier came close to me, he started shouting.
    UA Soldier #2: “IDENTIFY YOURSELF!”
    Angela: “My name is Angela! My parents once served the Elf Queen before the civil war! They were later executed by the-”
    UA Soldier #2: “ARE YOU THE ONLY ONE HERE?”
    Angela: “No, sir! I have two other friends accompanying me for support!”
    The next thing I knew, David first surrendered towards the UA troops before Andropov. He was less optimistic than David, feeling that it felt rather stupid. Andropov had never surrendered to anybody, but I am sure that the UA are not his enemies. The soldier looked at them, and then gave me a look.
    UA Soldier #2: *spits at ground* “You’d expect me to believe a bunch of this crap?! I’ve seen people pulling the same excuse out of their-”
    UA NCO: “Corporal Terry! What the hell’s going on?”
    Terry: “SIR!” *salutes at NCO*
    Passing through the opening gates, he looked at us that were on the knees with our hands behind our backs. The human wearing his shades stared at me as if we were no better than his kind.
    Angela: Come on… Won't you just take us already?
    The officer then turned his back and started to walk away.
    UA NCO: “Take them to interrogation.”
    Confiscating our belongings and weapons away, we were then dragged by UA troops into the airfield. A white hangar rested as there were anti-aircraft emplacements near to it. A row of Mustangs and other types of aircraft rested, as pilots began to converse with other troops.
    Angela: Lots of Avians here. I wonder if Mark had volunteered himself in the Air Force.
    UA NCO: “Any slightest form of resistance, and you’ll be sent straight back to Dragunov’s den. Understood?”
    While David tried to translate it to Andropov, he just sneered in response.
    Andropov: “Vy, navernoye, vospol'zuyetes' temi zhe metodami, chto i Dragunov-”
    UA NCO: “I won’t repeat myself again. Like I’d give a rat’s plat even if you're an Alterran Legend.”
    Andropov growled, but he knew not to go berserk once again as before.
    Angela: What if they don’t believe us? Will they just throw us back to the UUSR? Will our efforts all be for nothing?
    I started to worry as we started to become closer towards the facility. There was of no clue what will happen to us next.
    Avian: “ANGELA?!”
    A familiar voice appeared, and I quickly looked back in response. The Avian appeared in his pilot uniform with his helmet he was carrying. He stared at me in pure disbelief, while David, Andropov and I were being sent straight to interrogation.

    To Be Continued…
    Last edited by RushalotPL; 12-26-2021 at 02:25 AM.

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