“42 SECONDS UNTIL PRIMARY CONTACT. ALL INFANTRY UNITS, PREPARE TO MOVE IN.”
Torrents of long range missiles rained on the enemy stronghold, hitting each target with surgical precision as the Kai warriors raced towards The Citadel of Hades. Glimmers of illumination shone blazed gradients from each direct hit under the impenetrable nightfall, much like a well orchestrated fireworks show.
Commander Sol, the Alpha Grandmaster of HALCYON’s Elite Military Force, smiled arrogantly while conducting this symphony of destruction. He hovered above the squadron in his cosmic Kai mech suit ready to deliver a decisive blow. An unstoppable force of pure calculated determination glimmered in his eyes.
“But Commander! If we get too close to their particle cannon without confirmation, we’ll be wiped out!” A lower level infantry Kai named Private Raj shouted, fearing for his life as he watched the opposing faction charge their main gun. The directed energy activation noise alone was enough to strike fear into any soldier, reinvigorating memories of the Wars of Extermination following the Spark.
“That is why we cannot allow this affront to the Restoration! This weapon must be destroyed and General Hades must be taken out now! TEN SECONDS SOLDIER.”
Adrenaline and fearlessness permeated Halcyon’s warriors as they heard their commander’s war cry. All units moved at supersonic speed with no hesitation, ready to complete the mission or die trying.
The cannon’s quiet buzz escalated into a piercing electrical surge throughout the battlefield as it entered the main charging phase. Each second passed felt like an eternity as the enemy faction rushed to ensure the cannon was fired. Knowing they could wipe out the entire Halcyon Kai DAN invigorated their valor, even in the face of taking massive casualties.
“We’re out, Sir! All missile payloads have been expended!” The Kai squadron leader blurted on the comms as the particle cannon lowered its shields, ready to wipe out all life within two kilometers of its vanguard.
No time to evade, the moment of truth was upon them. The die had been cast. Will the clever Commander Sol defeat his enemies and end this latest round of faction skirmishes or will General Hades, commander of the Degens of Old Hell faction deal the final blow to Halcyon’s last remaining Kai warriors?
Somewhere, whether on the battlefield or in the Metaverse, the participants in this theater of war heard what sounded like a glass crystal shatter, opening shards in the early morning sky.
“NOW!” Commander Sol howled in the wildfire of eternity in this second.
Bzztcshh. [Loud Pyrotechnic Explosion]
The Kais immediately took evasive action.
Silence spread across the expanse as an inferno billowed from the site of the particle cannon.
No one initially knew what happened.
“…Did we get ‘em?” Private Raj asked hesitantly, knocking on his mech in jocular disbelief. He celebrated briefly, only to be interrupted by a supersonic blast from below.
A close combat Kai ascended from the smoldering ashes of the particle cannon at full speed, like an action hero from a Hollywood movie in the Old World. His burst gradient mech shined with excellence against the backdrop of the now rising sun. It was none other than Katzuki, a warrior of such elegance and courage during battle, that he earned the rank of Ace of Halcyon.
“You guys see that shit? We crushed those Degens!” Katzuki declared, soaring vertically into formation with his fellow Kais.
“All units, prepare to withdraw in formation X-69. Defensive Kai Squadron cover the rear, shields deployed. Our mission here is complete! Great work. Anyone that pissed their pants is to report to the brig for immediate punishment. Great job, this went exactly as predicted once again.” Commander Sol took the lead ahead of the Kais, smirking all the way.
“Wait, where the hell did you come from Katzuki? What’s going on? I thoughtyou were still back in Halcyon with Doctor Ibeleev??” Raj exclaimed, still in disbelief. “How the hell did we win that one? The cannon…just about to…go off…”
“I was, until the good doctor completed the upgrades to my Kai. Yessir, Thrust vector boosters worked perfectly. Although they can only be used a few times with the current energy supply we use.” Katzuki flaunted his beautiful mech, showing off the state of the art thruster systems and beckoned to Commander Sol “I assume I will be receiving another medal, Commander?”
“You performed another miracle, Katzuki. You are to be commended for your valor. As such, dinner is on you. And no cheap stuff. Ah…the spoils of war.”
“Oh, Commander! That’s not fair, they should be buying me…”
“WAIT A MINUTE! Why the hell did we all risk our lives charging at a freakin particle cannon when you could’ve just swooped in and destroyed it like you just did! And why did the sky break? What the hell was that?” Raj was furious, and his cowardice did not go unnoticed by the other Kais.
“Isn’t it obvious Raj? We had to coordinate an exact maneuver to wipe out all of the Citadel’s flank forces simultaneously, forcing them to activate the particle cannon as a last resort. The cannon was shielded by an energy defense field, and, while it protected the cannon, it also meant they couldn’t fire. Thus, we charged in, making it appear that we would take them head on, allowing the enemy to become overly confident of their victory. However, they could not fire until the last second when our munitions were expended. In the heat of the moment, I rushed in with the thrust boosters and sliced that cannon to little bitty pieces, crushing the last remaining soldiers of the Old Hell faction. Commander Sol predicted all of this. As for the sky breaking, you would have to consult an Elder or Metaverse Oracle.”
“But…the…well shit…that’s pretty awesome. Commander is the freakin GOAT!”
“Hell ya he is! Let’s go back to base and celebrate. I’m starving, and the fact that we wiped out the last Degen stronghold in the East means we are going to get a lot of fair maidens. If ya know what I mean!!”
The Kais of Halcyon flew back in all their glory, knowing they had achieved a major win. The high tech metropolis was now in full control of the majority of the Eastern Bloc after generations of war between the Kais, degens and political holdouts of the Old World. Defeating the Degens of Old Hell, despite their technological advances, was the key to bringing stability in their quest for Restoration. Only small adversarial DAOs and minor kingdoms remained in the Western blocs. These included the factions of Iron Fire, Great Beast Society, Solmech, SMB, Wild Dragonz and a few dozen other smaller city states/DAOs. They too had incredibly powerful Kais handed down by the creators of the project. But with some political maneuvering, the military prowess of Commander Sol and the recent breakthroughs in resource extraction, Kai schematic upgrades by Doctor Ibeleev, their path to peace actually seemed like a reality.
Finally…free reign to collect resources and continue to build up the new world order with a focus on peace, stability and sustainable technology.
After so many skirmishes, large scale battles and bloodshed, they thought the Flippening was upon them. The Flippening was prophesied to be the final stage of the Restoration. The oracle spoke of 1000 years of peace that would sustain civilization using advanced Green technology, decentralized currencies, DAO’s and the pride of self governance.
Commander Sol overheard this conversation and could not help but laugh maniacally for a moment.
He radioed into Halcyon’s central command, “Sol to HQ. Good news HQ, target has been eliminated. The East is secure. I repeat, the target has been eliminated. Send in a squadron to scout the area for stragglers and a resource extraction team to dig up anything useful. We did it HQ.”
And ominous radio noise, then silence. Perhaps the explosion of the particle cannon interfered with the communications systems.
In any case…high fives and celebrations all around when they get back!
Or so they thought…
The Kais landed in Halcyon Tower, a monolith designed for Kai soldiers to oversee the city. The warriors, still in a joyous mood over their victory, began to unload their Kai mechs, stained with ash and debris from the battlefield.
The energy was off.
It felt like there was no movement anywhere. No parade for their return.
The lights flickered inconsistently above, and the smell of burnt rubble permeated throughout. Confusion set in and the Kais began to freak.
They rushed to the edge of the tower to see the city one by one, and froze paralyzed in disbelief. Any feelings of joy and hope were extinguished in this one moment.
Their arrival was greeted, not by the joyous faces of their people, but by a bloodbath and the ruins of one of the last remaining bastions of freedom…
Halcyon had been attacked. Savagely. The sight was unbearable.
“Commander…” Katzuki whimpered, looking back and forth to the commander, the Kais and the smoldering destruction of their city.
This is where the story begins.