A strange New Year, Chapter Two

Jan 4th, 2016
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  1. >You're Fem Nonymous.
  2. >A day passed since you're successful mission.
  3. >You're resting your front hooves against the sill of the throne room window, standing on your hind legs.
  4. >And breathing out clouds of cigarette smoke.
  5. >The cigarette floats in front of you in a green mist.
  6. >And next to you, standing Brenadotte.
  7. >Also smoking.
  8. >She's still freaking out, every now and then.
  9. >But she's adjusted, quite well.
  10. >And she has taken the role of your personal guard amazingly well.
  11. >"Damn, I can't belive all of this happened."
  12. "You and your men are doing great. Well, women now."
  13. >And the fact that you've implanted blind loyalty into them, proves to be quite useful.
  14. >"You know, I'm not really sure. Why are we doing this?"
  15. "Smoking?"
  16. >"Ah, no. This war. This war of yours, why are we slaughtering men?"
  17. "This war of mine, you ask?"
  18. >You look at Bernadette
  19. >The cigarette between the lips of your mouth, the filter scarred by fangs.
  20. >She looks at you.
  21. "It's either us, or them. I doubt they'll let us be. I doubt humanity is able to coexist with anything, including itself. They'll kill their enemies, their own subjects, even themselves. They'll keep on destroying until there's nothing else. And it still won't be enough."
  22. >"Chrysalis told you that, my Queen Nequira?"
  23. "No. I see beyond things, unbound from the petty things as humanity. The humans will destroy themselves. And the only thing we can do to stop them is destroying them. Quite paradoxical, is it not?"
  24. >"Preserving humanity and nature by destruction. As paradoxical as we can get."
  25. "Yes."
  27. >Tanks, boats and airships.
  28. >Weapons, armour and ammunition.
  29. >And you have a lot of soldiers.
  30. >And none of you care how many millions and billions of men try to stop you.
  31. >No one can stop the impending storm.
  32. >You're standing upon the command deck of the main Zeppelin.
  33. >And next to you Bernadotte.
  34. >She's standing proudly, beaming with anticipation.
  35. >The day D is upon us.
  36. >The sun is setting, and once it sets, you and every single drone in the collective will wreck massive havoc.
  37. >You and the armies.
  38. >Hooves clap behind you.
  39. >It's Chrysalis.
  40. >"Welcome, to this eve. For we start our conquest! This is a command from your Queen! We shall cross the ocean, fight the human scum and emerge victorious!"
  41. >Cheering resonates through the airship.
  42. >"Let's move now, on the double!"
  43. >The drones turn to the controls.
  44. >The sky begins to slowly zip past.
  45. >Speedboats, and smaller ships lead the charge.
  46. >Airships, armed to the teeth, loaded with ammo.
  47. >Speeding onwards, to the mainland, toward the glorious battlefield that awaits you.
  48. >"And so, the sealion crosses the ocean, and climbs atop the hill." Brenadotte says with a smirk.
  49. >The mainland is a hour of flight away.
  50. >But no one leaves, everyone is pushed to the windows.
  51. >Pushed to the windows, watching with anticipation, awaiting to see the lights of the cities.
  52. >To see the lights, lights that'll announce your death march.
  53. >You're coming for them!
  54. >Airships sail the sky.
  55. >And so do the anti air defence missiles.
  56. >Explosions scatter the night sky, missiles exploding without even putting a dent in the plating.
  57. >That doesn't mean that the airship doesn't shake like an undercut pig.
  58. >But you're firing back.
  59. >Cannons, shells.
  60. >And all the airships attack the anti air defence sites.
  61. >Boom.
  62. >And another one.
  63. >Boom.
  64. >Green flames slice through the night sky, as the shells, launched from the cannons speed onwards to their targets, tracer rounds burning, lighting the sky.
  65. >Loaded full of spores and explosives.
  66. >The city below lights up for milliseconds, explosion sounds muffling over the screams of civilians and soldiers torn to shreds.
  67. >And again. The city cries and rumbles, as if it was a dragon cut through by a blade, poisoned by the metal.
  68. >And the spots that the shells scarred, begin to coat themselves in black chitin, trapping whatever may be unfortunate enough to run fast enough in a pod.
  69. >As the death tally increases, so do your ranks.
  70. >And once you get rid the pesky missiles, drones will fly out of the airship.
  71. >"We've successfully destroyed all anti air defence sites. They're in chaos!" Bernadotte says, looking up at you and Chrysalis.
  72. "Let's give them a proper warm welcome, then."
  73. >"Commence ground combat operations! Deploy paratroopers!"
  74. "I'm going in with them." You say.
  75. >You don't know why.
  76. >You just feel the lust for slaughter, your green blood pumping throughout your veins as you think about slicing their throats and breaking their necks.
  77. >"Fine, no sense in stopping you. Just come back in one piece. Take miss Bernadotte with you."
  78. >You thank the Queen.
  79. >And you're galloping off to the rails.
  80. >Rails that'll give you an initial speed boost.
  81. >"Lowering external armour! Opening hatches."
  82. >The ramps pull out.
  83. >The city burns, the horizon covered in smoke, flames reflecting upon them, lighting up the sky.
  84. >You breath in.
  85. "The scent...It's so familiar. It smells so wrong, yet just right. The scent of women being killed on sight. The smell of babies burning to a crisp. The fragrance of the old being lined up and shot. The smell of slaughter, the bouquet of war." You think out loud.
  86. >Yes, It smells so oddly satisfying, pulling you in deeper, deeper into the whirl of battle.
  87. >You gear up as quickly as you can.
  88. >You line up for the ramp.
  89. >You're first.
  90. >You step on a launching platform, bars securing your hooves in place.
  91. >Three
  92. >You brace.
  93. >Two
  94. >You ready your wings.
  95. >One
  96. >Final prayer.
  97. >A loud screech sound, and you're being launched.
  98. >Air quickly pumped in, sending you forwards, blue sparks flying off.
  99. >You're propelled forwards, and the bars on your hooves release.
  100. >The entire platform stops, sending you out.
  101. >You freefall, landing in a high speed, cracking asphalt around you.
  102. >And not even a minute later, half of the squadron had landed.
  103. >You walk though the streets.
  104. "Just look at how it burns."
  105. >The buildings are blazing, looking like a giant bonfire.
  106. >"Yes, this is quite a wondrous display. But..."
  107. "But what?"
  108. >"There's a bunch of survivors. Not far off."
  109. "Alright. I'll flank them. You go frontal."
  110. >Your expert tactical skills, and Bernadotte's nose come in quite handy.
  111. >Hoofy?
  112. >Heck, you don't have a hand anymore.
  113. >You buzz up onto the rooftops.
  114. >The fact that you and every other single drone share a hivemind, a link between each other proves useful.
  115. >Why are you speaking anyway?
  116. >Anyway, you continue moving.
  117. >You follow the instruction Bernadotte is giving you, skipping over holes in the roofs, flying some distance, and then you see them.
  118. >A police car barricade.
  119. >Six men, armed with pistols and rifles, defend an entrance to a building.
  120. >Once your drones come in sight, mixed with the new batch of younglins that barely just hatched, they fill the streets.
  121. >"Fuck!"
  122. >They start to fire.
  123. >"Why won't they die?"
  124. >They panic.
  125. >You smirk.
  126. >You begin walking down the wall of the building, trotting slowly.
  127. "Little girls, lost in the sea of flame! Look around you, it's hell come to earth. But it's only a pale shadow of what's about to come."
  128. >You smirk, and to the largely strong surprise, finish walking down the wall.
  129. >They start to direct fire at you.
  130. >You raise your shield and ready your weapon.
  131. >The rifle.
  132. >A black, fully automatic, twenty millimeter weapon, loaded with explosive or spore tips.
  133. >Cannon at your hooves.
  134. >You hear clicking.
  135. >You smirk, drop your shield, and spray your entire clip into the men.
  136. >Boom, boom boom.
  137. >The city falls, just like these ragdolls of men.
  138. >You drop down the clip.
  139. >And the men drop down.
  140. >Without a single scream.
  141. >You reload, and trot on.
  142. >There are more men inside.
  143. >You open the doors, walking in, with a small group of drones.
  144. >Clap, clap and clap.
  145. >Your hooves clop against the marble flooring.
  146. >Is this a courthouse?
  147. >You trot.
  148. >No one in the foyer.
  149. >They're on the next floor.
  150. >Even you can smell that.
  151. >You smirk.
  152. "Do we have the spore grenades?"
  153. >"Yes, we do. I like your idea."
  154. >You walk up a glorious staircase of marble and wood.
  155. >To your left are court rooms, to the right many offices.
  156. >And you can smell their fear from everywhere.
  157. >Muffled explosions echo through the hallway.
  158. >They're still bombarding the city.
  159. >"Right! You've heard her, get the spore nades ready!"
  160. >A drone with a big box scurries in.
  161. >You pick few up with your horn, Bernadotte doing so too.
  162. >You trot.
  163. >First pair of doors.
  164. >Pull the pin.
  165. >You open the doors, throwing the spore fooled smoke grenades inside the rooms.
  166. >Sounds of suffocation, bodies dropping, sent into a series of spasms thanks to the thick black smoke that holds to the ground, pouring out the doorposts.
  167. >Another pair.
  168. >And two more.
  169. >And then the last one.
  170. >In front of you, a door marked as a courtroom.
  171. >You bust it open.
  172. >Around twenty people, unarmed, scared, women and children.
  173. >Your drones surround them in a corner.
  174. >"What shall we do, my Queen Nequira?"
  175. >"You'll leave them be!"
  176. >A third voice.
  177. >A man.
  178. >And five more men with gas masks, bulletproof vests and assault rifles.
  179. >You turn around.
  180. >"You monsters! How dare you attack unarmed civilians! How about you pick on someone your size."
  181. "Are you challenging me? How amusing."
  182. >"I'll be amused when I scrape your brain against the floor."
  183. "Fine. Come bring it then."
  184. >"With pleasure. Though I think your lack of fingers handicaps you."
  185. >You smirk.
  186. >A green flame envelopes a circle of ground around you, moving up.
  187. >You're standing there.
  188. >Fem Nonnymous is standing there.
  189. >You take a battle stance. You know how to handle yourself in a fight.
  190. "Satisfied with the equal footing?"
  191. >A couple drones form a circle around you.
  192. >"Come hit it, then."
  193. >You dash forwards
  194. >He grips you, using his size to full advantage.
  195. >You throw him over your back, preparing to strike a kick, but he rolls away at the last second.
  196. >You manage to put a couple cracks into the floor.
  197. >He charges up for a punch.
  198. >You're not fast enough.
  199. >Your face takes a direct hit.
  200. >You recoil back, at the strength of his punch.
  201. >You return to proper position, green blood oozing from your nose.
  202. "I've had enough! Let's get serious!"
  203. >You slide back, Bernadotte throwing your rifle.
  204. >Fully loaded magazine.
  205. >Point blank range.
  206. >No way you will miss.
  207. >He pulls out a revolver, with trained speed.
  208. >"Seems we've caught ourselves in a predicament."
  209. "Yes, you may have a point. I'll shoot you, and yours friends will swarm me. Close gunfight is messy."
  210. >"And I'll shoot you, and your friends will tear me apart."
  211. "You should back out."
  213. >The man grumbles.
  214. >"You fuckers. We'll get you!"
  215. >He then backs out.
  216. >Victory achieved.
  217. >The children are crying.
  218. >You turn back to the crowd.
  219. >They're scared, as if you were a bunch of scary skeletons.
  220. >You come closer, and light a cigarette.
  221. >You're staring at them, a bunch of honorless sniveling cowards.
  222. >You breathe a cloud of smoke out.
  223. "We'll make it quick for them. Animals should be striken down humanly. Then again, my drones could use a lunch."
  224. >Your sentence brews fear.
  225. >A fear so sticky and dark that it rivals black coffee.
  226. >The scent washes over you, your ears twitching.
  227. >One of the old stands up.
  228. >"Let the women and children go! This isn't honourable!"
  229. '"Letting such a nice snack go? We all could use some fun."
  230. >The man is standing with a stave in his hand, leant against it.
  231. >A large scar runs down his cheek.
  232. >He's slightly hunched over, under the weight of the years.
  233. >His skin wrinkled, by the winds of time.
  234. >"If you do that, you're no better than the German dogs during the war, no better than Russians in Berlin!"
  235. >You just noticed.
  236. >That accent, those speech patterns, the way he pronounces everything.
  237. >Sounds just like Pip.
  238. >Could they be related?
  239. >He looks old enough to be Pip's parent.
  240. >Holy shit.
  241. >What're the chances, if he is Bernadotte's relative.
  242. >That...
  243. >That wouldn't change anything.
  244. >It doesn't matter who these people are.
  245. >Bernadotte is standing next to you.
  246. >And she'll keep on standing there, unless you tell her.
  247. "Fine. We'll let you go."
  248. >The drones that blocked the entrances form up, and create a straight path for the exit.
  249. >Either way, they'll have to walk through the spore filled hallway, they won't reach the exit.
  250. >You should feel bad. You're letting them go, but you're killing them.
  251. >But you don't feel bad.
  252. >You can't feel bad for cattle going to the slaughterhouse.
  253. >The drones begin to push the survivors, out into the grayed hallway.
  254. >Once the first humans begin to strangle and grasp upon their necks, as if something had pushed on their throats, panic breaks loose.
  255. >Your drones press on.
  256. >The drones push all the people inside the spore filled, gray clouded hallway.
  257. >But the old man had been taken aside.
  258. >Away from the carnage.
  260. >You know how the assimilation process works.
  262. >Non told you that the spores exacerbate the tissue in the neck of the human, provoking an allergic reaction of a giant magnitude, provoking suffocation, and strong spasms of the entire breathing organ along with the transversal muscles.
  263. >All of the muscles the victim controls, sent into a giant flurry of cramps.
  264. >The allergic reaction is so strong it excites all of the lymphocytes, sending them all over the body, ending their life span in less than ten seconds flat.
  265. >The user ends up without an immune system.
  266. >No defence against pathogens.
  267. >The spores had meanwhile set root in the victim's lungs, growing through the blood vessels, flesh, organs, muscle and most importantly, into the lymphatic ganglions, taking over the system.
  268. >They penetrate painfully the subject's body, growing out in a flurry of yellowish strands from the subject's skin. Sometimes even digging into the ground, but always creating a cocoon around the subject.
  269. >It ends up rewriting the instructions for production of immunal cells, producing the bacteria itself, the organism that'll change the being into a drone.
  270. >The organism packs so much, that if it were to encounter a lymphocyte, the bacteria would get obliterated. That's why the spores are so important.
  271. >And as time passes, so does the amount of infected and affected cells increase, flooding the victim's blood stream, killing red blood corpsulae in the biggest extreme, producing the black look of the blood vessels, thanks to the hemoglobin being used as food by the bacteria.
  272. >The victim is still in heavy eclampsia, the tachycardia enhancing the spread of the change.
  273. >Heavy breathing started by the lack of oxygen in the tissue and blood because of the lack of hemoglobin. This allows more spores inside the victim, overgrowing them more and more.
  274. >Then the pituitary begins to produce a mix of hormones, drowning the victim inside them.
  275. >Brain washing by their own brain.
  276. >The organs bend under the pressure of the bacteria, changing more and more.
  277. >They end up producing chemicals that harden up the veins and arteries, and lastly even the green acidic blood that transfers oxygen instead of the hemoglobin that's now in pieces.
  278. >The fact that acid transfers oxygen to tissue proves to be quite damaging to cells that aren't built to endure a PH below five, end up melting, creating the distinctive holes in the limbs.
  279. >The holes help dampen the sound and the mucosa creates a grumous slime that helps lubricate the joints and the shell.
  280. >Of course, this transformation is uncontrollable, and so is the outcome, unlike the magical one. All of the end line drones are the same. Loyal to the end, strong quick brutes. They aren't the smartest ones though. But it's much easier than directly changing every subject. Just throw a grenade and enjoy the party.
  281. >The entire thing is done within fourty minutes.
  282. >Ugh, walking on two legs is uncomfortable.
  283. >You burn away the disguise, in a wondrous mix of green flames.
  284. >The humans are turning into drones.
  285. >And you watch it with anticipation.
  286. >Trotting in between them, they reaching out with their bodies half taken over, the cocoons bent under the pressure of them reaching out to you, their black blood vessels clearly showing through the half see-through cocoon.
  287. >This transformation, this ticket to new glorious lands.
  288. >It's worth it paying a little in pain for that.
  290. >The drones are finished.
  291. >Almost with the ding of a timer, the new drones begin to rip themselves out of their cocoons, grunting and moaning in the process.
  292. >The old man is standing in horror, mouth agape.
  293. >He's muttering something.
  294. >He's shocked.
  295. >Why did you do this again?
  296. >Right, because you can, because you enjoy watching them squirm in fear, watching their attempts at resistance which end fruitlessly on your chutinous shell.
  297. >You enjoy watching them cry out for mercy, only to be squashed beneath your hooves like an insect.
  298. >You enjoy them screaming beneath you, as you slowly end their lives.
  299. >Slowly and painfully. Just because you can. Just because you enjoy it.
  300. >Ow, you fell some sort of an edge over there.
  301. >No matter.
  302. >"Y-You bastards! You gave a promise!"
  303. "I never said that I promise a safe pass. I let them go, and so they took their life into their hands. I'm not responsible for the dying. They took their own life, and so they lost it."
  304. >"You merciless, spineless thing! You're a devil, a thing, you, you, Monster! My grandson will get you! He went to get you and he will get you!"
  305. >You smirk.
  306. "You mean the granddaughter, right? She's happy beside me."
  307. >"Don't dare to fuck with me! Show him to me!"
  308. >You turn to Bernadotte, whom is already on two legs.
  309. >The mercenary Captain that you met in a tent, that man that would march to battlefields all over the world for mere pennies.
  310. >But now, he's marching for you.
  311. >The old man is staring in disbelief.
  312. >"What in god's name did they do to you, Pip."
  313. >"What the hell did you do to him!"
  314. >You stare at the man.
  315. "I've done nothing but released him, released him from the shackles of humanity. She's happy beside me, and I'm beside her, my loyal guard. And there's nothing you can do to change that, old man. So how will it be? Will you show a spine? Or will you go like the rest of those pathetic men? Will you show more guts by ending it yourself, or will you leap into the hallway in faint hopes of getting through? Or do you want me to end it, to line you against a wall and just pull the trigger, let the bullet fly out for a close meeting with your head?"
  316. >He's trembling in fear, trembling because he knows everything ends here.
  317. >Everything ends with the fact that his grandson, someone who he grew a bond with now stands careless about his impending doom, right next to his headsman.
  318. >And that he would shoot him without a blink of an eye, because he now serves the attackers.
  319. >But something else grows inside of the emotional pressure cooker that he is.
  320. >Defiance.
  321. >Defiance against you, defiance against your drones, defiance against his impending doom, as if he could nudge it far enough, so that he could avoid it. Defiance against everything you've ever brought tonight.
  322. >But not Bernadotte.
  323. >How interesting.
  324. >Almost as if he seems more okay with it each second.
  325. >More and more open to the fact that Bernadotte betrayed humanity, his friends, family and even himself.
  326. >Almost as if the old man wanted /him/ to shoot, to end this suffering.
  327. >To end this nightmare you've started, to end it with a last bark.
  328. >A last stroke of defiance, that you won't enjoy shooting his head through.
  329. >That /you/ aren't getting to torture him.
  330. >That /you/ aren't going to drain him until he's empty.
  331. >Defiance.
  332. >Something that makes human what they are, something that differentiates them from animals.
  333. >Something that makes a man's heart what it is.
  334. >It's something that even in the slightest concentration makes a man something precious and rare.
  335. >Defiance makes a man a worthy opponent.
  336. >An oponent worthy of your time, an oponent that you'll fight until either one of you drops dead.
  337. >Yes, you see why Chrysalis just doesn't go for the easy final solution.
  338. >Because she enjoys the fight.
  339. >And because you do too.
  341. >Now, there's still the problem of the old man, Pip's grandparent.
  342. >You seriously don't know what to do.
  343. "Now, how will it be?"
  344. "What will you do?"
  345. "How will you let it end?"
  346. >"Just shoot already! Just shoot! Shoot like you've shot so many before."
  347. >You tilt your head.
  348. >He wants you to shoot.
  349. "Oi, Bernadotte. What about some target practice?"
  350. >"With pleasure, my Queen."
  351. >A green mist envelopeses the cannon, the twenty millimeter weapon, the magazine for then rounds loaded full of explosive tip rounds.
  352. >Your servant takes aim.
  353. >You can see the barrel shaking.
  354. >Is she scared?
  355. >You can't feel anything.
  356. >Only the man's defiance, as he braces for the roar of the round dashing through the barrel, right after the hammer hits the behind of the round, chambered in the barrel.
  357. >A click resonates through the silent courtroom.
  358. >The round is in the barrel, waiting for the last push from the hammer behind it.
  359. >Boom.
  360. >A muzzle flash later, and even sooner than you anticipated, an explosion.
  361. >A hole in the wall.
  362. >The man is still standing.
  363. >In one piece.
  364. >Did she just really miss?
  365. >She did.
  366. >By half a feet.
  367. >"Run, you fool! Run!"
  368. >The old man doesn't need a second push.
  369. >The court room isn't even that high up.
  370. >He leaps off, falling for the ground.
  371. >And that's the last you see of him.
  372. >Because, just as he leaps.
  373. >Everything slows down.
  374. >Slows down to almost a halting stop.
  375. >Your weapon glows, Right, aim, and push the trigger.
  376. >Aim.
  377. >Trigger pushed.
  378. >Click, boom.
  379. >You see the muzzle flash, the round flying out from the front, and the empty cartridge ejected from the side.
  380. >It's speeding onwards..
  381. >And then everything returns to normal.
  382. >Without a scream, you see a hole, a hole in the man's back.
  383. >He's thrown forwards even more, under the impact of the bullet.
  384. >And then, a dull slam.
  385. >The round slices through and impacts the house on the other side.
  386. >Bull's-eye.
  388. >The barrel of your weapon is smoking.
  389. You've just shot someone running away.
  390. >An unarmed man, a man that couldn't harm you, Chrysalis nor any of your drones.
  391. >You just...shot.
  392. >Just shot.
  393. >"Why did you.."
  394. "I don't know. Let's move. We've got a war to win."
  395. >You trot outside.
  396. >The rest of the conversation stays silent.
  397. >"We're done here. I'll meet you on the bridge."
  398. >Right. Chrysalis just barged into your head.
  399. >You buzz up to the Airship, the drones splitting between the multiple units.
  400. >This was a successful operation.
  401. >But at what cost.
  403. >No.
  405. >This was a decisive victory.
  406. >No men survived.
  407. >They ended up either as food, or new drones.
  408. >The industry and knowledge stayed intact.
  409. >The attack is a resounding success.
  410. >Why worry then?
  413. >Half an hour later, you're standing at the command deck, the bridge of the airship.
  414. >"You should have a look at this." Chrysalis says, a stack of papers floating before her.
  415. >You pull the papers closer, using your horn's magical properties.
  416. >Right, what do we have here.
  417. >Printed out, on the paper lie headlines from what seem to be news all around the world.
  418. >Alien invaders take over three cities in span of twelve hours. High ranking government officials consider a final nuclear solution, in case of inability to drive the invasion out.
  419. >Military unit survives encounter with the Queen, commander says that the Invaders proclaim themselves as Changeling, and that they have acid blood and shape shifting abilities, security officials concerned.
  420. >Fanatics begin to worship the invaders.
  421. >Presidents and government leaders consider creating an alliance to fight off the alien threat.
  422. >Scientists still look for enemy invasion spacecraft.
  423. >"They're much better organized than I thought."
  424. "It still seems like they're mobilizing their forces for a counter attack. Let's strike now! Let's strike whilst they're vulnerable!"
  425. >Chrysalis shakes her head.
  426. >"Even though our forces quadrupled, we are in an even bigger chaos than them. We need to reorganize, reload and then shoot."
  427. "But we're missing an opportunity! And what if they do decide to skip summer and start a nuclear winter? Will it affect us?"
  428. >"Initial damages would be hard to endure. Unlike them, though we can endure ridiculous amounts of radiation. Nuclear fallout would be a terrible and I'd even say a destructive problem for them. Remember, if they can't drive us out and we both know that they can't, they'll try to nuclearly sterilize the three cities, probably including our home island. And since the amounts of warheads have been vastly lowered, they'd have to use smaller missiles. Tridents, probably. It'll release more fallout."
  429. "So you're saying that we're fine, even though they Hiroshima us?"
  430. >"Not necessarily fine, but we'd end up better than them."
  431. "Let's get to work then."
  432. >The following months and weeks blend into one.
  433. >Organization, fighting and training.
  434. >Then you return to war.
  435. >Cities fall, and so does mankind.
  436. >One by one, they fall like flies.
  437. >Until one day.
  438. >The final stronghold of mankind.
  439. >London.
  442. >The airships are flying in.
  443. >Fleets, full of ground soldiers.
  444. >Full of missiles, bombs and ammunition.
  445. >Eight million people down on the land, covering in fear.
  446. >England has been burnt down to a crisp, it's citizens crying in agony.
  447. >Eastern Britain burnt down to the ground.
  448. >Cambridgeshire
  449. >Burnt down, toppled and level with the ground.
  450. > Willingham
  451. >No more standing, it's inhabitants shot. Men hanged, shot and stabbed, left bleeding on the street. Women raped and shot. Children torn apart.
  452. >Cambridge
  453. >In ruins, burnt to the ground.
  454. >And now, for London.
  455. >For London is the heart of the enemy.
  456. >For London will fall, and so will fall human race.
  457. >They've found out you've been listening to their news.
  458. >Now they're begging.
  459. >Begging for mercy.
  460. >Begging for mercy won't get them anywhere.
  461. >For you won't give them any.
  462. >For it'll be a bloody slaughter, your shell will be stained with their blood.
  463. >And once dawn breakes, you'll be standing with your hooves up high.
  464. >Once dawn breaks, you'll be standing on their mangled corpses.
  465. >Once dawn breaks you'll be victorious!
  466. >"Smell that air. Couldn't you drink it like a good wine? The taste filled with sweetness and bitter at the same time. The wine, waiting for us to open it."
  467. "You're annoying this, are you not?"
  468. >"Enjoying is too strong of a word. I'm positively looking forwards to this fight. Just imagine what bloody struggle awaits us! Our war is coming to an end! Our work is about to bear fruits, as we attack the final human stronghold, as we hunt for them in the streets, just for fun, just for the hell of it."
  469. "Yes. This'll be just like that. Our glorious march."
  470. >You're flying over the canal.
  471. >Battleships half sunk, speedboats running between the wrecks of the great British naval fleet!
  472. >Bigger ships aiming, ready to bombard the enemy from off shore, with heavy ordinance.
  473. >To move up the Thames and spread havoc and chaos.
  474. >This glorious slaughter.
  475. >And all in one night.
  476. >Trotting towards the large viewpoint on the bridge, the windows presenting water below and cloud speeding overhead.
  477. >It is a silence before the storm.
  478. >Well, silent up until now.
  479. >They've managed to set up some sort of a long range missile defense.
  480. >Explosions illuminate the night sky.
  481. >Missiles, missiles and more missiles.
  482. >Boom, boom, boom.
  483. >"There are too many! Lower altitude, go as low as you can! We need to get off the hook! Turn engines as low as you can! Tell battleships in range to fire tracer rounds!"
  484. >Explosions shake the airship.
  485. >Then you notice the mighty cannons firing.
  486. >It works.
  487. >The heat seeking missiles divert from the course, others lacking ability to turn as quickly hit the water.
  488. >There.
  489. >But there are more incoming.
  490. >"Throw flares when they close on, quick evasive maneuvers! find those missile sites, and bombard them with our missiles."
  491. "So much for a stealthy approach! I thought we weren't traceable by radar!"
  492. >Yes, that's the two of us.
  493. >The pour of missiles has lessened, and his had allowed you to speed up again.
  494. >It's there. The shores of England.
  495. >Shouting resonates throughout the airship.
  496. >"Faster, Faster!"
  497. >"Full speed ahead!"
  498. >"We see the spires of London! Charge the city, faster, faster!"
  499. >Drones, personnel, everyone staring deeply out of the windows, chanting the sentence over and over.
  500. >Faster, for you see the London lights.
  501. >For their despair smells, and pulls all the way up here.
  502. >You can feel their fear, despair and anguish.
  503. >As if they realized that this is the end.
  504. >Chrysalis calls everyone onto the bridge, the changeling soldiers and drones lining up in two large squares.
  505. >You, Liam and Nathan.
  506. >Bernadotte isn't here.
  507. >Doesn't matter.
  508. >You and your Queen's lieutenants line up behind her, watching the drones lined up before your Queen."
  509. >"Welcome all! This is the last fight, for today, for today we claim Earth completely!"
  510. >Loud cheering resonates through the airship.
  511. >"We'll walk the streets, burn their houses, and destroy until we fall down tired on their mangled corpses! Destroy! Crush and kill!"
  512. >The drones happily cheer, as if Chrysalis told them they can have the cake in the fridge.
  513. >Chrysalis allowed them some sentience, though they're obedient to the word. It's nice having output for your melodramatic speeches.
  514. >It also showed increase in combat performance.
  515. >"Tonight we destroy the human race!"
  516. >"Queen, What should we do about Buckingham Palace?" One of the drones in the crowd asks.
  517. >"Burn it! Topple Nelson's Column, the tower of London, the Libraries, destroy them all, they're repulsive."
  518. >"What about Trafalgar Square?" Another one asks.
  519. >"Destroy it!"
  520. "And what about London Bridge?"
  521. >"Burn it down, and see it fall! Like in the song."
  522. >Chrysalis grins.
  523. >"Go forth and destroy everything you see, devour everyone you meet. Destroy and forage to your heart's content! This mighty capital, the last standing stronghold of humanity is nothing but the desert on this mighty menu! Now, let us toast the occasion. Tonight is a feast the likes of which haven't been seen before."
  524. "Cheers!"
  525. >"Cheers!"
  526. >And with that, all the twenty airships armed with fourty five centimeter canons begin to bombard the London below.
  527. >Speedboats rush up the Thames river, and begin to unload their cargo of troopers.
  528. >Larger dropships begin to hit the shores of Thames, unloading heavier vehicles.
  529. >Hell came to London.
  530. >Artillery bombardment.
  531. >Landing craft.
  532. >Heavy vehicles.
  533. >And many, many troops, ready to shoot.
  535. "I'd like to join the fight."
  536. >"Join? On the ground? They've managed to put up quite the resistance. You would put yourself in quite the danger. Denied. For now, anyway. How about we go watch from the baloon? The fires always give the sky a wonderful shade of red."
  537. "Yes, that'd be lovely."
  538. >"That settles it."
  539. >Chrysalis stands up from her throne, and leads you up, through the many access hatches, this one leading to the top of the airship balloon.
  540. >You both trot, Chrysalis then using her disguising ability, to walk as a man that she was before.
  541. >God, it's been ages since you saw that face.
  542. >Non Anonymous, Secondary medical school graduate.
  543. >Queen of the Changeling hive, and the fuhrer of the largest Empire in the existence of the world.
  544. >Now, walking atop the flagship of the Changeling Hive war fleet.
  545. >Explosions and screams, shout muffled, by the distance under you and them.
  546. >You lag behind Chrysalis, or Non, or whatever is walking in front of you.
  547. >You do as your friend did, and catch up.
  548. >On two legs.
  549. >You, you before all this mess.
  550. >Fem Nonnymous, an aspiring graphical seeing student who left everything for a friend you've trusted.
  551. >Now by hers side, watching London burning.
  552. >"Is that London Bridge?"
  553. "London Bridge is burning down!"
  554. >"London Bridge is burning down, my fair lady! What should we do?"
  555. >You both laugh.
  556. "Let's make sure it all burns down!"
  557. >"Yes, that's a perfect idea!"
  558. >Non smiles.
  559. >"I've been meaning to tell you something..."
  560. >You curiously turn your head at your friend.
  561. >Hardly readable as always.
  562. "Let's hear it then."
  563. >"Well, for the past months we've been destroying humanity, and I've felt great when it was with you, heck when I was around you I felt like I haven't before. Butterflies in my stomach, if you understand me."
  564. >Wait, what?
  565. >Did he just admit love to you, or was he just blabbering nonsense?
  566. >You did smell something in the air.
  567. >You thought it was just a glance of something.
  568. >He's standing there, staring at the burning city, a swirl of emotions flying within him.
  569. >But do you feel the same?
  570. >Did you feel the same burn inside you?
  571. >Yes, you did, the last few months were fun, oddly enough, you wouldn't ever dare to say that murdering humanity would be fun, but you're standing here, above burning London, admitting that.
  572. >But was it because you enjoyed the slaughter?
  573. >No, it was Non's company, how he acted nicely towards you, even though he didn't need to, and even in some cases shouldn't have done so.
  574. >How he tried protecting you.
  575. >All those little things.
  576. >Actions will speak louder than words.
  577. >You sheepishly kiss your friend's cheek.
  578. >He blushes and smiles.
  579. >He wraps his arm around your shoulder and brings you closer.
  580. >And you two just stand there, watching London burning below you.
  581. >It feels nice.
  582. >Nothing stays nice for long though.
  583. >An explosion shakes the airship.
  584. >You two stumble, barely standing.
  585. >A very large explosion.
  586. >Boom!
  587. >It's going down!
  588. >The airship begins to tilt forwards, with you on the tip.
  589. >You manage to grab onto some railing.
  590. >And you even manage to catch your Non.
  591. >You feel your skin gripping against the metal.
  592. "I've got you! I won't let go!"
  593. >You wince as you feel your grip lessening, the pain as your hands begin to ooze green acidic blood.
  594. >Your acid green blood dripping, melting your clothes off on a few spots.
  595. >"You have to! We'll glide down! Change mid flight, but you have to let go now!"
  596. "Argh! Fuck!"
  597. >You wince and let go.
  598. >You aren't that high.
  599. >A bit higher than the Big Ben.
  600. >The clock tower, the clock tower you're next to.
  601. >Right, make this quick.
  602. >You focus, and hear the green flames enveloping you again.
  603. >Come on!
  604. >You unfold your wings.
  605. >A sharp pain shows that they protest.
  606. >The air resistance makes the frail wings that we're meant for slow flight protest against this kind of a hard usage.
  608. >Fuck.
  610. >FUCK!
  612. >You cry out as the weak bug wings that weren't meant for this kind of stress pull back and to the sides probably even snapping slightly force you into quickly losing stability and control over your fall.
  613. >You twist, kick and turn as you fall.
  614. >Something hits you, knocking you into the face of Big Ben, turning you around and protecting you from the impact to the hard surface.
  615. >You're knocked inside the clock tower.
  617. >You stand up.
  618. >Except for your wings and a few scratches, you're fine.
  619. "N-Non!? Non! Where are you! A-Answer me!"
  620. >You want to call out again, but as dust settles, you don't need to.
  621. >Your friend is laying on the ground, a couple large shards piercing their back.
  622. >Glass.
  623. >Probably through the lungs.
  624. >Open pneumothorax, and god knows what else..
  625. >"Jesus, what a bloody flight."
  626. "Don't talk! I'll get you out of here! A-And fix you up! You'll be fine!" You shout, galloping over to your friend.
  627. >"Don't make promises y-you can't keep."
  628. "S-Shut up! I'll make sure you're going to get through!"
  629. >"Damn it, Fem. Someone must've betrayed us. The explosion came from the inside. Y-You are the new Queen. Take care of my subjects! Kill that double-crosser." The changeling Queen says and coughs.
  630. >Green acid spits out, and melts a couple small dents into the floor.
  631. "Use the hive mind! We'll find a way! I. won't. leave. you!"
  632. >Non Anonymous, the Queen of the Changeling hive smiles, and shakes his head.
  633. >"Sorry, No can do. F-finish our war."
  634. >The Queen's eyes then close, and her head leans to the side, with a slight smile on her face, with the green acid running down the corner of her mouth.
  635. "D-don't leave me here, please."
  636. "Please don't."
  637. >You sit there, on verge of tears, your heart aching.
  638. >You want to cry.
  639. >But you can't, for you have no tears, or a way to shed them.
  640. >Non Anonymous, The Queen of the Changeling Hive, Chrysalis, the one that sows fear into the heart of the enemy, has died with honor.
  641. >Damn it.
  642. >Damn it!
  643. >
  644. >You're going to get that double crossing son of a bitch!
  645. >You'll rip him apart!
  646. >You won't leave anything for any of the scavengers, there won't be a single trace of his existence left on this earth.
  647. >His entrails will paint the walls of London red, his screams will announce his end!
  648. >He deserves a long death.
  649. >And you'll happily give it to him.
  653. >You're standing on the London streets, just after exiting the Big Ben.
  654. >You need to find some drones, and get help for your wings.
  655. >And find that traitor.
  656. >Who could it be?
  657. >Out of all the drones, only you, Liam, Bernadotte and Nathan knew enough to do so much damage and had the means to do so.
  658. >All of you were at the command deck.
  659. >Except...
  660. >Bernadotte.
  661. >Where was /he/?
  662. >Where was the mercenary?
  663. >What was he doing?
  664. >Was he planting explosives around the fuel tanks?
  665. >And where is he now?
  666. >Liam is the most loyal servant ever, probably since he advised Chrysalis. He wouldn't even dare to think he'd backstab her.
  667. >Nathan was the security Chief. He had access to all the weaponry.
  668. >He has the means.
  669. >But not a motive.
  670. >The changeling hive was all he has. To lose that would mean he'd be all alone. And he was once before and from what you've talked with him, he wouldn't be able to survive that again.
  671. >So, who's the last one?
  672. >Bernadotte.
  673. >He certainly has the skill, and even the means.
  674. >He had access to your weaponry.
  675. >Including those charges you kept for breaching.
  676. >But what would be his motive?
  677. >Of course.
  678. >Something as old as mankind.
  679. >Revenge.
  680. >Revenge for you taking his body and mind, his men, his friends and his family. Heck, even probably for you taking his manhood.
  681. >But wasn't he loyal to the word?
  682. >Didn't he always obey you?
  683. >Damn, that first city.
  684. >He purposely missed.
  685. >He almost let him run away.
  686. >Then at the other time, he refused to use the spore grenades.
  687. >How could you be so blind.
  688. >If you were to look closer, the Wild Geese must've disappeared too at the time.
  689. >Along with Bernadotte.
  690. >That bastard.
  692. >You're trotting through the London streets.
  693. >London is burning.
  694. >Queen Chrysalis is dead.
  695. >All of the drones should know.
  696. >You need to use the hive mind to talk to all of them.
  697. >Shouldn't be too hard.
  698. "This is a message to all drones from Queen Nequira. We have been betrayed from our own ranks. The mercenary group, Wild Geese along with their Captain, Pip Bernadotte, have betrayed us, and have blown up the air dreadnought of our fleet, the Deus Ex Machina. Queen Chrysalis, has died with honor during their vile attack. This betrayal won't go unpunished! Under the Queen's dying orders, all control over the hive Haas been transferred to me. We will finish what the Queen has started and we'll burn this place to the ground!"
  699. >A resonating message echoes throughout your head.
  700. >"The Queen is dead! Long live the Queen!"
  701. "I want a tactical report, and someone to pick me up. I'm at the Big Ben. And if Bernadotte is listening, I won't give you a quick death."
  702. >An engine roar catches your attention.
  703. >It's one of the heavy vehicles.
  704. >Tracks, a big canon and thick lightweight plating.
  705. >The perfect tank.
  706. >The vehicle stops bedside you.
  707. >A changeling drone pops out one of the hatches on the tower.
  708. >"Queen! Please get onboard, we don't have much time."
  709. "My wings are broken."
  710. >The drone buzzes out of the tank, and helps you inside the crammed vehicle.
  711. "Alright. So what's the situation?"
  712. >"We've vanquished the enemy resistance pockets. But the main issue currently is the Heathrow airport. They've barricaded themselves. All of their forces are set there, that place must be of utmost importance. Heavy vehicles, troops and hardcore weaponry."
  713. "We'll regroup. And strike with an iron fist."
  714. >"Regrouping will take time."
  715. "They can't go anywhere. They've barricaded themselves in, dug in, and they know that that airport is their tombstone."
  716. >"Right! I'll make sure to set up an order. Liam and Nathan are en-route."
  717. "How far are we?"
  718. >"If we maintain speed, we'll be there in thirty minutes. Medics will be on site, I'm sure they'll fix your wings, my Queen."
  719. "Good. Continue with your work."
  720. >The vehicle speeds through the...empty?
  721. >Empty London streets.
  722. >No cars, bikes, nothing.
  723. >It's as if all London citizens walked.
  724. "Did you see any civilians?"
  725. >"No, oddly enough. As if they all disappeared."
  726. "They are planning something. Heathrow isn't even that easily defendable, there are better sites to reinforce. Like the Buckingham Palace basement catacombs."
  727. >"An escape plan? To where?"
  728. "What if they're trying something else. What if they save themselves, and nuke us?"
  729. >"There is a fallout shelter. But not reinforced for direct impact."
  730. "Then why are all civilians, soldiers and everyone withdrawn from the city? They had a year to plan this all, there had to be something stupid happening, something we missed."
  731. >"What are you pointing at?"
  732. "Anything that'd give them an edge, from a new pesticide, or to a spaceship! They're planning something, and I don't like it."
  733. >"Right, I'll get the CAC on it."
  734. "Tell the Central Analization center to also go through the Pentagon contingency plans. Anything from nuking the Russians, the Twin Towers, or evacuating US to Mars. We have thousands of drones, they'll surely have to find something. Have a small portion point up the telescopes. They have been using the metal found around London, I'm sure they're going to find something."
  735. >"Telescopes? What do you think you'll find, an escape colony ship?"
  736. "Who knows, everything is a possibility. For now, we here will focus on a condensed tactical attack. With exypectance of everything."
  737. >"Do you think you'll find Bernadotte?"
  738. "I hope so, so I can run him through with my bare hooves."
  739. >You pull out cigar, lighting it, and breathing out a cloud of smoke.
  740. >You need a smoke.
  741. >And you don't care about the no smoking sing in the vehicle.
  742. >You poke your head out, your mane flying in the wind, the cigarette lit red, making a trace behind you, as you close on Heatrow.
  743. >You peer, as you watch the tanks get closer.
  744. >Your units are regrouping.
  745. >From five are ten, and from ten twenty.
  746. >Troops ride the vehicles, with loaded arms, ready to unload all of their ammo over the chest of your enemies.
  747. >This is the finalle!
  748. >Let's go in big and go out victorious!
  749. >You're riding the tank.
  750. >Medic drones managed to patch your wings up whilst moving.
  751. >And now, you're about to pierce the enemy lines with explosive shells.
  752. >You'll tear them apart.
  753. >And Bernadotte too.
  754. >You'll tear them all to bloody shreds.
  755. >You have a helmet and a flak jacket, and stand with a cigarette, watching out of the tank's turrent hatch.
  756. >Goggles on your eyes, you're protected from any sort of shrapnel.
  757. >Now, let's go.
  758. >"Shells are loaded, my Queen!"
  759. >Right, autoloader.
  760. "Fire once in range of enemy barricade!
  761. >"Copy that! Firing once in range!"
  762. >There's a machine gun mounted on the turret, with a great three hundred sixty degree turning range.
  763. >You grab hold on it, and try turning it.
  764. >It works, great.
  765. >The barricade is closing in, you can make out the men with all sort of weapons standing on top, ducking.
  766. >All hell breaks loose.
  767. >When the tank fires, the recoil shakes the entire vehicle, the five shot clip of the cannon emptied into the barricade.
  768. >Five high explosive shells flying towards a pile of scrap.
  769. >Boom
  770. >Pieces of the wall fly everywhere.
  771. >Boom
  772. >Men scream, the debris hitting some of them, as if it were a shotgun.
  773. >Boom.
  774. >The defenders begin to fire, their small arms fire shattering over the plating of the tank's armour
  775. >Boom
  776. >The men on the barricade fly, under the shock wave of the explosive shell hitting their wall.
  777. >Boom
  778. >The tanks drive in, fastest as possible, their machine guns screaming, spitting bullets.
  779. >Muzzle flashes illuminate the night, the defenders dropping like flies.
  780. >Troopers jump off the tanks, running around, and into the terminals, the characteristic barks of their weapons overscreaming the weapons of the defenders.
  781. >But something even louder pierces the night.
  782. >A very loud jet engine
  783. >And a sound of something heavy moving at a high speed.
  784. >"My Queen! CAC just picked up something in orbit! It seems that they've built a huge structure in geosynchronous orbit!"
  785. >Then you see it, it's something looking like a SR71, zipping past at a very high speed.
  786. >A blue flame from engine pylons, and a black hull.
  787. >And it's speeding away, fast. It lifts off, and soon, you don't even see it.
  788. >Holy crap.
  789. >Was it what you think it is?
  790. >A single stage to orbit aircraft.
  791. >They've moved all civilians into orbit, where you can't reach them.
  792. >Of course.
  793. >An evacuation plan.
  794. >They'll just run away.
  795. >Typical.
  796. >You pick up the machine-gun from It's mount on top of the tank.
  797. >You jump out of the vehicle.
  798. >The hive mind is useful for communication. Your teams don't need a radio.
  799. >"My Queen! We're hunkered down, we can't move an inch!"
  800. "I'll try to flank them!"
  801. >The drones are stuck in one of the terminals.
  802. >You gallop past, the windows to the outside showing the enemy defenders blindly suppressing the enemy.
  803. >You stop, slide a bit, turn forwards them, and then you pull the trigger.
  804. >The ammo belt is neatly folded in the barrel magazine, full of rounds ready to jump out once you command them with the pull of the trigger.
  805. >And you pulled it.
  806. >Bark, bark, bark, bark.
  807. >The rounds shatter the glass without a problem.
  808. >Sound of glass shattering, under the sound of gunfire.
  809. >And then, screams, many many screams.
  810. >"Thank you! There have been reports of Pip Bernadotte being sighted near the customs office!"
  811. "Copy that, continue moving."
  812. >You begin to gallop, the weapon hanging in a cloud of green mist beside you.
  813. >You're moving to the Customs office, for the enemy is there.
  814. >The runways are empty, no planes in sight.
  816. >Customs.
  817. >Right in front of you
  818. "Bernadotte! You bloody coward, show yourself!" You shout.
  819. >Heavy gunfire welcomes you.
  820. >You barely manage to jump and take cover behind a corner of a hangar building.
  821. >Yup, he showed himself alright.
  822. >You levitate out your helmet, only for it to be shattered by a shell.
  823. >How are you going to tackle this?
  824. >Right. Magic.
  825. >A shield would be lost in a hail of fire.
  826. >You need to get closer.
  827. >Teleportation! You'll just blink!
  828. >Here goes nothing.
  829. >A portal opens below you.
  830. >Your horn glows, and suddenly, you're behind Bernadotte.
  831. >You're flying.
  832. >You use all of your momentum to land a strong punch on Bernadotte's head.
  833. >The traitor steps forwards, under the sudden punch, losing all magical control over hers weapons.
  834. "You bastard!"
  835. >He turns around, and tries to land a punch in your face.
  836. >You duck, only to be underswept by her legs.
  837. >You employ a kicking motion, knocking your foe back.
  838. >"You're late, they ran away!"
  839. "I'm not late enough to kill you, you spineless coward!"
  840. >You stand up.
  841. >"Come try it then!"
  842. >You cry out, and rush towards the changeling.
  843. >He expect a punch, but instead you use all your momentum to knock him over, both of you flying through one of the windows of the airport terminals.
  844. >Glass shattering.
  845. >You send a kick to his belly, using it as a way to gain distance.
  846. >She stands up.
  847. "Why did you do it!? What reason did you have!"
  848. >Instead of answering she pulls out a revolver from the holster on her back hoof.
  849. >Eight shots.
  850. >You raise a green magical shield, all of the bullets gently bouncing off.
  851. >You lower your shield.
  852. >He dashes forward, hitting you with the stock of the weapon.
  853. >You take the hit, green blood flying off your mouth and lips.
  854. >You spit it out.
  855. >You return the favour, and hit your enemy.
  856. >Bernadotte flinches at the hit.
  857. >You knock her over.
  858. >You kneel on her belly.
  859. >You quickly change form, and use your fingers to press down hard on Bernadotte's neck.
  860. >Precisely, the trachea.
  861. >You seen Non's textbooks.
  862. >If the trachea is crushed, the victim suffocates.
  863. >You press down harder and harder.
  864. >She tries to knock you off.
  865. >Punch, punch, punch.
  866. >But it's hopeless, she cannot knock you over.
  867. >Soon, a crashing sound, like bones breaking, echoes through the terminal.
  868. >A parody of a scream, something that sounds more like if you were to blow air into water through a straw, echoes even louder than the sound of the trachea breaking.
  869. >She's crying.
  870. >You don't lessen your grip, pushing through even more.
  871. >She's trashing around, kicking, her tail and mane flicking everywhere.
  872. >You press down even harder, anger and angst filling you.
  873. >You won't let that traitor go until she's dead.
  874. >She killed Non, betrayed you, betrayed tour comrades and friends.
  875. >Even herself.
  876. >The trashing slows down, and she reaches a hoof out.
  877. >It falls down like it was a ragdoll, a marionette, the strings of which it has been hanging on, like the strings have been cut off in the middle of play.
  878. >The deed is done.
  879. >You stand up, and walk off, not looking back.
  880. >You walk.
  883. >You arrive at the tanks. "My Queen! We've secured the airport! The structure in orbit has disappeared in a flash of light, after recieving this message."
  884. >The drone lifts up a piece of paper.
  886. >4a 73 6d 65 20 6d 72 74 76 69 2c 20 6e 65 76 72 61 63 65 6a 74 65 20 73 65 2e 20 4e 69 6b 64 79 20 73 65 20 73 65 6d 20 6e 65 76 72 61 63 65 6a 74 65 2e
  888. >"It came out as gibberish. We assume the message was corrupted."
  889. >You nod.
  890. "I'm tired. Take me back home."
  891. >You're comfortably sitting on the throne room, on the tropical island.
  892. >This is where it all started.
  893. >Liam and Nathan are standing next to you.
  894. >Aparently, they bailed out before the crash.
  895. >Earth is yours.
  896. >And this planet has entered the most stable eternity it ever endured.
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