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Fear Not

The angels have returned!

"Hey, Aziza. Can we talk?"

"Sure thing, Rico." Gasping for a bit of air, she cleans her eye while beginning to smile ever since the death of her mentor, Ausar. Even when he had his distinguishing gruffness in his remarks, he always meant well, trying to protect and support her akin to the protection a older brother gives to his little sister, even with the discussions and differences that come with the closeness in such bond. "What bothers you?"

"I just wanted to tell you how... strange this is for me. I mean, I still can't believe we are being brought unto this mess. I mean, we were nothing but simple "Siegfried" recruits and now are being "asked" by Green Eyes to join in the reclaiming of London."

Surprising him a bit, Aziza reaches for his face with a instinctive comforting care. Automatically, he decides to hug her affectionally as he reciprocates the affection and support over her loss. After a few seconds lapse, he decides to continue expressing his suppressed thoughts, letting go of a charge he has taken ever since the late events befell on the trio. Even though Samuel acts as the de-facto leader of the three, lately a great amount of focus has been on him, much to his dislike and and cause of stress.

Adding to his opinion, she interjects her own view on the mission as she looks over Adam and Sam across the room while they prepare for the following mission. "I have to admit, I also feel bombarded by all the stuff that has happened lately. I mean, I can't believe they are gone, Roi and Ausar. It seems almost surreal, and now they are asking us to go back to the battle and find a missing girl that god knows if she is alive or not."

Sighing, Rico also shifts his view towards his friends while contemplating the direness he faces himself with his company, "I understand. To be frankly, I don't have much hopes about her being alive at all, neither do I trust Green Eyes. Do you trust him?"

"Not one bit. I doubt he has any humanity left in him anymore. I mean, all I saw when that man interrupted our lute was a machine without emotion, not a human."

Like the cold one supposedly feels when a ghost is nearby, Ralec has become a hardened empty shell inside of frozen metal, without any empathy left for enemy or ally. Seeing himself as better and more advanced, there is no more reason for him to feel anything but apathy for what is lower than himself, sharing about the same amount of similarities with a human as he has with a dog and having the same disdain for men's lives as he has for a ant's; lesser biological constructs are merely tools to serve for a absolute goal when useful and necessary, however as tools they are bound to be broken and replaced, a philosophy that has made him fame for executing plans with immense casualty polls but are ruthlessly effective.

As they lay in the room where they are located before they depart, Abasi enters to have a little chat with the group and bid them good luck as they officially greet him upon his entry.

"No need for formalities, you are now Siegfrieds and I want to speak with my men."

"But Abasi, we were not part of Cairo squad." Samuel says as he indirectly inquiries about Abasi's motives for speaking with them, besides Aziza.

"Not officially, but you fought alongside us. That makes you all part of my group in my book. Anyway, I wanted to tell you good luck. I know it ain't going to be easy, in fact I am dead certain it is going to be a bloody hell, but I know you four are going to keep each other company and protect yourselves.

When I first met you three, I saw something that was innately born between you, something not taught but born, and that was union. You fight as one and care for each other besides the role of soldiers and friends, but as brothers. With union comes strength, always keep in mind that.

Aziza, you are the most kind soldier I've ever met. In fact, many times I wonder what the hell are you doing in the military instead of being a saint. Still, you are one of the best soldiers I've ever met and loyal to the end. Never change that.

Remember, this is the strongest group you will ever be part of. I am proud to have fought alongside you and wish I could accompany you four." Hearing the intercom informing the soldiers to report at their designated gunships to depart for the mission, he hurries to finish his speech for his companions and friends, "Now, give those damn rebels hell by my part."

"Yes, sir!" They all cheer in unison as they begin to leave.

These damn kids, they never learn I just don't like formalities, do they? Ausar thinks to himself jokingly while smiling and keeping a eye on the four entering the gunship alongside several other armed men and women. As the aircrafts leave the port, he retreats back to the barracks where he continues with the necessary, and sorrowful, procedures that come after the death of fellow soldier and informing their families of the news.


The following mission will follow the special anti-confrontation formation commonly deployed by the special forces. Designed to purposefully avoid unnecessary confrontation, it follows a shape similar to that of a diamond. Located at the beginning arc of each side are located the scouting men, whom relay the position and information of the enemy to the advancing middle; at the front is the marching team, consisting of assault troops and vehicles, they are tasked with eliminating immediate opposition. The most secure position is populated by the supply runs, armored jeeps and central command, located at the center of the formation, effectually maneuvering and advancing per according to the information relayed by the scouts to avoid any unnecessary risks. At the end are mainly just snipers and long range gunships capable of eliminating stragglers and other threats at long distances, covering the rear of the demolitions convoys.

Of special interest in the anti-confrontation technique is the use of flares when live time communications are impossible. The four colors used are: green, red, yellow, and black. Green signifies the initial enemy contact, after which the first team that sees the flare will relay another green flare and so on. This is to ensue a relative pin-point on the location of enemies as well guiding the teams in the opposite direction from the color, effectively reducing the chances of running into organized enemy squadrons. In the case of confrontation, a red flare is issued by the encountering squad signifying such situation. This allows any nearby team to issue reinforcements while other teams relay yellow flares in the same purpose of the green ones. Black is reserved specially for the central command squad. It signifies the fall of organization and the impending news of failure in the case the general is incapacitated.

Samuel's men are located at the end right side of the formation, part of the supporting squads ready to assist in the event of any discrepancies as well further protecting the center. All of this emphasis on protecting the core is due to the fact the center contains central command, tasked with directing the whole operation. In any case they should fall, the whole mission risks failure and catastrophe. It is also in this place where the extraction support and demolition teams are situated, just in front of the brass.

As they fly towards their destination, through which they'll continue on armored all-terrain personal vehicles, the trio look down upon the commencing invasion of London as men from all the military arms rush down into the city while meeting extreme resistance. Because of the impending attack, it is feared the hostages may be taken to another location or executed entirely, therefore it is vital the special operations acts fast enough to intercept the fleeting rebels in a attempt to secure the lives of the politicians, and if the Angel and Smith are indeed present as informed, capture or kill them.

However, a frontal assault against the rebel stronghold is ill advised, as evident with the immense toll the allied forces are already taking on the ground as the enclosed streets encourage the guerrilla tactics being employed by the marauders supporting the separation of the UHA. The tall skyscrapers and enemy troops present at the roofs further hinder the complete advancing of aircraft, making it necessary the deployment of the anti-confrontation formation at the ground in the first place. That is not to mean the rebels aren't taking a heavy dent, as the tall buildings do not stop completely the airstrikes from appearing, making it possible for the special forces to advance a little bit further via air as well facilitating the slow advance of the foot soldiers.

Another advantage the rebels have is the fact the skyscrapers enable the easy establishment of anti-aircraft weaponry and jamming communications, effectually cutting off the little synchronization ground forces and airborne troops have amongst each other and themselves, making the relaying of news and orders nigh impossible.

As they safely arrive at the final checkpoint after a tumultuous ride, the four of them mount their vehicles and continue their advancement on the ground, when they soon notice not far ahead a red flare's smoke, easily judging that it is the demolitions squad tasked with effectually destroying those pesky jamming towers with designated RPGs. In the event there are no survivors, a looming possibility after contact, it is their job then to take over their duties and eliminate those supporting threats themselves.

"All right, the remains should be about three blocks from here to the east. Let's hurry!" Aziza captains the team as she points towards the general direction of the crashed down aircraft.

Coming into the remaining debris, Sam and the team notice in the distance several alliance soldiers disposing of some rebels as more reinforcements come. Hurrying it to their help, being identified by their armor and F.L.O.A.T jetpacks, the team supports the remains of the demolitions team. As the ensuing firefight ends, the men introduce themselves personally to their rescuers at their thanks.

"Hello! Thank goodness that you came, without you we would have been for sure dead. My name is Hiro Kazune, Major of Tokyo team. We were tasked with destroying those jam towers and managed to destroy one of them but where shot down in the process of arriving to the second. What is your name?"

Major Kazune has been on the military for over 20 years, having being raised on the outskirts of the Tokyo province in a house of middle class income and joining the military at the age of 23. Having since lived wherever he is deployed, which ranges from places all over the planet and Sol System, he hasn't been one to settle down and have a family.

"Aziza Mubarak, Cairo team, right support squad. How many survivors are with you?"

"7 in total. The two corpsmen and the first demolitions expert died in the crash. The three from Janeiro. My fellow director, Captain Daniel Hilliard, and the helmsman, Joel Fitzpatrick, are from Canada's Army. The assistant to command, Lt. Roman L. Lance is from the UNCC, and then come my three men: Hikari Nagata, Sarutobi Kojima, and Kenji Hirano, three of the finest Japanese alliance soldiers."

"Japanese. Can they be trusted?" Remarks aside Adam to Samuel given the recent displays of rebellion on the asian side of the world; Japan in particular has been divided in their own regional civil war state where the politicians, as well the people in general, argue whether aligning themselves with the rebels or the allied forces.

Another fact regarding Major Kazune is his incredible sense of hearing which enables him to detect the presumption Adam inquires about.

"I assure you. Me and my men are the most loyal Alliance soldiers you may find. We will give our lives for the United forces if necessary and with honor."

"More importantly, can he be trusted?" Remarks Rico while pointing indirectly at the UNCC lieutenant, to the man's apathy whom seldom continuing observing the surroundings while speaking with Fitzpatrick. Reporting directly to Ralec, he was posted to oversee the crucial task of the team.

Ignoring the question, both Aziza and Hiro lay the route to be taken in order to destroy the other two towers quickly, each 10 blocks apart in a ruined zone called No Man's Land. Taking the time to get to meet the newfound squad-mates, the trio go and meet the others as well establish a well needed bond in order to survive, keeping in mind Abasi's observation.

In a brief question, Samuel asks Vratski, "Do you think this whole operation will be successful rescuing Amanda Walker?"

"You mean the Minister's daughter? Her name is Miranda. Were you thinking again of Amanda?"

"Uh. I guess so. Anyway, do you think it'll be successful?"

"I hope so. That would mean we get out alive anyways."

Following his initial Marine training, Rico then observes the men and women with which he is stuck at the moment, judging them internally and addressing himself politely to the others in jargon.

Captain Daniel Hilliard is a Canadian soldier hailing from the Ottawa region. Having served under the renounced Ralec, he was chosen personally by the Green Eyes due to his straight approach at dire situations. His compatriot, the helmsman Joel Fitzpatrick, is a a affable 24 year old straight out from the academy after graduating with flying colors. Single child born to a single mother in the Manitoba region, he had to bloom his friendly demeanor since a young age in order to placate the relative loneliness in the home, his mother having to work extended hours in order to cover the costs of daily life.

Despite sharing similar suspicions about the Japanese team as his battle-brothers, Rico instead decides to assume the role of vanguard and give the asians a chance while trying to avoid petty superstition whilst in the middle of the mission.

Hikari Nagata, a black haired girl with a single pink strand in at the right side of her neck-long hair and around the age of early twenties, she stands out among the rest due to her short stature outside the Draco Armor special for the spec ops, but incredible agility. Being the team's infiltrator, she alone utilizes the F.L.O.A.T. jetpack and its speed, giving her a edge against slower machine gunners and heavy assaults besides extended durability in a firefight to her otherwise feeble build. Her job description of silent infiltrator reflects on her personality, being quite reserved when approached by others, but not soft spoken. She is quick to tell hidden truths about others, displaying a keen sense of being a quick judge of character.

Sarutobi Kojima, the strong brass of his team. Strong, calculating, and efficient, Saurtobi is the close combat expert of the squad. Heavy built but with quick feet, he makes for a formidable opponent when up close, carrying shotguns and a Passer to the field. Like a big brother to his people, he is the most charismatic of the group as well the most protective, always taking the build of the opposing fire to his direction. Albeit his friendly outlook, there is something in his eyes that suggest hardships in his past. Emotional scars that reflect on the irises when one looks close enough. Those are the kind of eyes that have seen evil in the face.

There is nothing amusing or intricate about Hirano. A simple fisher boy turned soldier out of a sense and quest for honor, he simply does his job un-outstandingly when compared to other legendary soldiers. Having enrolled when he was 19, he has spent 5 years in the military. It is purely out of merit that he is in the special operations, not because he was exceptional or difficult to order. In fact, it is presumed he was "persuaded" to join by the higher ups solely as a showcase of menial power over the renegade, liberal, and uncontrolled spec ops.

Continuing amassing information and opinions from the staff, Rico hears in the distance Tokyo team, more specifically Hikari, arguing with Adam who has let his degrading opinion of asians get the better of him while questioning their loyalty personally, as he would put it.

"I'll say it again, can you prove you are not traitors?" Adam says requiring one more time corroboration.

Coming to his team's defense, Sarutobi proceeds to intervene the fight between the two of them, "Listen pal! How many times do we have to say it? We are not traitors! Get it?!"

"If you are as loyal as you say, then why is Japan rebel territory?"

In a quick display of personality summarization, Hikari reveals her summation of Adam, "Leave him, it's clear he doesn't believe in words. Obviously it stems from having a abusive, alcoholic parent. People like that tend to backtrack on their word commonly. That also explains why he is the most retracted, quiet, and distant from his group, evident by his lack of trust and his weapon of choice, a cold and distant sniper riffle."

Leaving the rest of the men dumbfounded, and Adam infuriated beyond any levels seen before by Samuel and Rico, Hikari stands silent as she sees through Adam's long stern glare. Before he can step forward towards her, she says her fulminant observation, "Your father is a drunk who left you alone, and there is nothing you could have done about that, except reprimand him internally for the rest of your miserable life. You don't even have the guts to put him out of his desperate misery and depression because you lack any strength to stand against him, instead you left him and join this wretched military, just like he did before you."

With those final words, Adam is left motionless as Samuel and Rico finally realize the meaning of his previous statement when asked about why he joined the military. Looking at each other upon their realization, they empathize with their teammate as Aziza and Hiro begin to mobilizing the teams. With Daniel on the role of rocketeer, using a specialized RPG capable of launching three rockets at a time called Black Stars, the fellowship heads on into the first target virtually unopposed.

After the long journey, they finally arrive at their first destination, just beside the London Bridge. Uneventfully, they dispose of all enemies and launch the rockets into the jamming tower, destroying it and leaving in a quick strike.

As they continue their way, they notice in the left side's horizon a cloud of red-orange smoke. As they look upon each other's faces, wondering why so many teams used red flares in such a short amount of time, they hear inside their minds, You are but a whim against cosmic winds of fate, homunculus.

As the thought leaves their fumbling minds, they see a black flare rising, contrasting the bright blue sky irradiating light against their visors. Grabbing the yellow flare, Samuel prepares to launch it just before he gets his arm grabbed by Captain Hilliard, "Whatever is happening, there's something hunting us down, now's not the time to yell our position to anyone."

"But we need to signal the others..."

"Don't you see? Central Command is down! The whole mission is bust! They're using the flares to locate us and overwhelm our positions. There must be a full army of them coming from that direction. Priority just changed to survival. We must stay hidden, and pray."

Pointing at what was their previous objective, Kazane orders, "Hurry, let's get inside!" Once there, the three rookies as well the Japanese soldiers and Fitzpatrick are all wondering what in hell is happening.

"First off, we need to analyze the situation. So far, we need to assume everything and everyone in the left flank is down and we are being selectively hunted by a overwhelming amount of enemies. We need to lay low." Daniel clears off as everyone struggles to retain their senses. Alone and in the face of a immutable enemy, the chances of leaving alive seem nought.

"How can we be sure all is botched? Perhaps there are people still out there. And what about the others, we can't still leave them to die?" Rico vehemently adds.

"Didn't you see the black smoke. The mission is a failure and there is nothing we can do about it. Now our top priority is escaping against a unknown force that just took out Ralec and his team, which may I remind you consist of only the best fighters the UHA military has to offer. Nothing short of a battalion can take them down." Shaking his head in discontent, Rico stays quiet acknowledging the fact the current situation is beyond his capabilities. Continuing, Hilliard adds, "If we are going to survive, we need to communicate with any outside forces for a potential rescue attempt."

"So our objective stays the same? Take out the tower?" Lance reasons as the others again wonder. Receiving a nod, he and the others prepare to escalate into the roof and destroy the anti-comm satellite.

As they hurry through the steps to the roof as angels trying to ascend back to heaven after being forsaken by higher forces, they meet a single, beaten to a pulp, soldier in the brink of death laying against the wall covering up a slash from neck to leg with the surface, blood running into the floor is a puddle reaching his feet. Recognizing the man as one of Ralec's soldiers, Daniel comes to his hurry while trying to apply a first-aid emergency kit. Where's Ralec? What is going on? They unanimously ask at the same time but with different words each. Face visor broken and legs contorting in unnatural positions, he refuses the help being given and utters one thing to the group as he sees their visage, "Go! We came here to ask for help and now Ralec is dead. Torn apart from heart to bottom. It...expected us. Leave, now!" Finishing, a loud, booming, mechanical sound from beyond the hearing spectrum of humans resonates within each and everyone's head simultaneously, severely disorienting them as if a bomb went off just next to their location; feeling this, the man says while regaining the final strength in his body, "Run you fools! Run!"

Again, the sound of angelic nightmares resonates deeply inside each other as if it were reaching for something far beyond mundanity: the soul of each individual as it flees from the body abruptly, leaving it cold and senseless. Triggering a feral instinct of terror, they stand even more disturbed and state-locked, unable to move. Feeling the weigh of the armor suddenly become present on the pale body, their hearts beating faster by the second as the blood is felt running through the veins and circulating through the widening irises, the breath getting rapider while gasping for the fleeting soul to come back into the body and make it move again; they continue still, waiting... for nothing.

The wait is over when through a wall comes a man flying straight into the next, dead, following a bright gamma blue explosion burst through the rubble. As the dust disperses, a being from the machine introduces its visage in the eyes of grief stricken humans. Whatever shed of humanity it may have had as given through its humanoid appearance, it has unborn into a ghost trapped inside a metallic shell.

What can be described from the Eldritch-Human aberration begins with a skull-like metallic plate that covers the face through which its inferno-red irises peek through into the essence of the standing living beings it faces and casts them down into hell with a simple stare; the jaw is divided into two sections of plating while the ears, nose and facial muscle hide behind said platinum armored surface resembling a demonic knight's bust, only revealing a short shot of silver hair in the style of ancient romans. Having a black matte exoskeleton for skin and tubes for bones that come outside of the body as spines, everything of it has become a literal deus ex machina that embodies the nightmares of men into one composite being, for God -nor any of his creations- envisioned such evil into existence.

Calmly drawing two swords, it proceeds to position itself in a runner's start. "Goddanm it! Shoot!", says Kenji instigating the rest to empty incredible loads through their riffles at the figure, resulting in no dents to it. As it begins its charge, everyone continues pumping lead only for the bullets to end being dented themselves. Proceeding forward, Daniel fires the three rockets of the Black Stars straight at his face. Clearing the smoke, he lays decapitated in the floor, the monster now at the other side, stopping its momentum and beginning to slowly turn towards the team as they stand in the horror of their fallen Captain.

Within a split second, the cold blades reach Kazune, who is slain without impunity, his face turning to his back and ultimately destroying any cohesion between the soldiers . Coming next for Hikari, Sarutobi shoots at point-blank at it, the knock-back letting Lance grab Hikari for her to miraculously escape its deathly grasp, but not before the figure disarms Kojima of his weapon and slashes clean his throat with the other hand, another head rolling down. Successively, Fitzpatrick and Kenji get stabbed systematically in the heart as the others watch hopelessly while firing weapons in its general direction.

As rebel soldiers arrive, Lance calls for a retreat while bullets begin to fly in their direction. Grabbing Aziza by the hand, Rico and the others begin to run in the other direction, hoping their attacker gets distracted; instead, ignoring the rebels for the moment, the hellish demon lunges forward in a big boost capable of catching up with the fleeting allies.

As Rico and Adam shoot, the former with his side-arm, giving the others time to escape, he sees Aziza getting caught by its swords, slashing her sideways in the abdomen, bypassing armor, skin, and muscle and tearing through her in half reaching down to the spine and killing her instantly as her body hits the wall. Numb, Rico stops all action and gets grabbed by the figure, lifting him above ground, ready to execute him. But with a sudden surge of energy, Angel grabs his knife and stabs it in his left eye as more rebels come to their direction.

Grabbing its face, the figure falls back, screaming in agony as Rico begins to flee before noticing Adam laying on the floor injured by the enemy soldiers. Forced to flee from both threats, he leaves his friend to his fate as he activates his jetpack for a needed speed boost.

With a certain distance drawn, he peeks back into the screaming knight, expecting it to be dead or laying on the floor, instead it begins to give chase with a renewed eye as smoke evaporates from its socket.

"Shit!"

He continues running at the maximum speed that characterizes him; be it any other adversary, he would have long lost it, but this one is implacable, capable of tearing through any obstacle. Taking potshots in its direction, it does not sway, further leaving him out of options. Finally grabbing the only grenade he has with him, he turns back, still going forward via his jetpack's omnidirectional movement, and throws it straight at the demon, whom catches it mid-flight and throws it aside like a rag doll where it explodes, not harming it.

Having run out of tricks, Rico continues to elude the threat's attack by outmaneuvering it, finally coming into a hall with only one exit, a window. Without any other option and second thought, he jumps straight through it into a 5 floors tall fall, landing on the ground battered. Seeing upwards to determine whether the messenger will jump after him as well, he sees it finally leaving him all alone as more rebels are heard in the distance. By hiding in a dark alley as the enemy tank passes with the troops, he gets a rest while alone amidst No Man's Land.

Suddenly feeling a strange sensation unlike ever before, he hears inside not in his head but his soul, a shadow that speaks to him a ancient truth that has been commanded to reveal itself inside him, that of a eternal darkness that plagues men's existence ever before it evolved from apes and reached sentience, a name.

A revelation about the cosmos, a god, shattering his conception of reality. For a god is not a he nor a she but a it: a force. Even when incapable of changing itself, it continues to change the fabric of universe by simply existing. A force doesn't have to want to, or even be aware of doing so, all its existence is for is to dream of reality, for even dead gods can dream. Gods are absolute, for truth is the daughter of absoluteness. Falseness is finally displaced with horrible truths,

Vratski. Know that you exist because we allow, and you will end because we demand it. You are our instruments of eternal salvation through your destruction; you fight against cosmic forces humans cannot begin to comprehend and your purpose will be served as we lay ruin to your might. I am immortal, infinite, chaos. I am Nyarlathotep. RELEASING DIRECT CONTROL

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