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Chapter 7: Fall of the Wall

The Fall of the Wall

As the Kreeper climbed the wall in hordes, the machine guns fired at the vertical limit firing at ninety-degrees, killing hundreds and yet still they climbed.

Thousands fell, but thousands more climbed. The lower levels were breached and the Je’kells were flooding in.

“Generals,” Ne`kell said into his comm., “Begin evacuation of the lower levels, move as many as possible to the tunnels before they get all the way through.”

“Yes sir, but may I ask what are you going to do?” Amund called back.

“As I said before Amund. I’m going to sever the head of the Kreeper; the levels that are in danger of being breached have them move into the tunnels, have the gunners load up their machine guns and move them to the upper levels.” Ne`kell breathed heavily, “Amund, take them to Guidamar." At that he winked him off of his viewscreen and stared down at the horde below. He planted his foot before leaping off of the top.

He imagined the wind rushing past him, enclosing around him, and when he landed, he rose from his crouch, they departed around him as though he were the dividing of the sea. An indescribable moment of sheer terror struck the Kre’vator’ai as one who was not afraid--the Ruxin Kist--took his steps forward..

He walked forward slowly. Walking among the Kreeper was like grazing among the razorgrass, you never knew when you were going to be cut open. He ignored his personal daydream however and remembered his purpose.

Only a few dared to enter his circle. But when they came, they came to feast. Twelve, and then twenty stood before him as the others continued their slaughter of the ones within a wall. They stared him down with their eyeless faces of teeth and ooze. A moment is all it took, but these were the Zies’lin--the strongest and fiercest of their breed. Bred by Nien Jekyll himself. These ones feared no man, not even him.

In what started as a walk, turned into a sprint. The smaller Kreeper ran up to him to strike before letting out a violent hiss that splattered their virerussy across his chest before turning and bolting towards the wall. The smaller ones were always the carriers, even still they were not to be taken lightly, as the Vatheran inside the wall would immediately find out.

The Zies’lin came, they were as fast as horses yet strong as a bull. They encircled him in an instant half-expecting their prey to fall to it’s knees as the virerussy enters into the lungs but this did not occur, so before they could entrap him and force him to the ground, he rolled forward through the back legs slicing his sword Vrunder through the center mass of a Kreeper.

His nano CIX/9 sent an automatic response into nervous system causing him to duck as another Kreeper brought its claws to his back, it stabbed through the beast in front of him. He twisted himself in a wide circle, cutting off its head before kicking it backwards.

He threw his sword sidelong into a Kreeper’s chest before running towards it, the other Zies’lin reached in anger and violence for him as he charged up the creature’s chest, grabbing the hilt of his blade as he ran and jumped over. He dissolved his blade Vrunder instantaneously into metal particles, to create his claws on his arms.

As Ne`kell jumped off of the Kreeper’s chest and into the air, bringing his claws down into another, slicing through its skull and chest in one swipe. He twisted sideways as claws rushed past him slicing through the armor on his chest; he brought his claws about and sliced through its neck and lifted up, watching as its green blood splashed out in what seemed like gallons.

Ne`kell’s armor was tinted a whitish green from the blood of the Kreeper, the slits on his helmet glowed a bright maroon; his cape a dark maroon with a black V down the middle. As he moved and charged through the field ducking and cutting, running and nearly outpacing the Zies’lin bearing down on him, he pressed forward towards the Deathwatcher, the heart of the Kreeper army. He went deeper into the field and found that their fear was no longer present.

His eyes widened as a large Kreeper stood before his path, Ne`kell brought his claws around slicing through its arm, running up the length to the shoulder before ending its life with a sweep of its neck. Yet more on motor function than actual thought, it slammed its claws down towards him, so he met its arm with his claws, slicing his blades up the length of its ungainly arm removing it too at the shoulder. He twisted upwards onto its back gripping underneath the things armpit and gripped its leftover neck and thrust his other arm down with claws extended. Slicing up through the back of the sternum reaching upwards to sever the body into three parts. He then grabbed it by its slumped weight and heaved its five-hundred pounds as if it were a paperweight…

* * *

Rosh Anson, one of the five generals to Lord Ne`kell Norse, was shouting for once in his life as he slammed his axe down on a Kreeper’s face as it tried climbing in through the gun port of a Trogon.

The Kreeper had surrounded the wall, front and back. Rosh a master strategist had resorted to using his own weapons, something he had not done in years.

He turned violently, slamming his axe into the chest of another beast as it ripped a child out from his position behind a Trogon and threw its body out to the horde below.

Rosh flicked on his comm. “Trogon operators on level four switch to flame, all Vatheran below level four proceed upwards.” Rosh grunted, changing back to his emotionless manner looking back down the long hallway, watching the horde rip into the sheet panels of the facility trying to create new holes.

Down at the far end of the hall was one of the other generals, General Retuce, he fought nearly one hundred of the creatures by his lonesome, using their own size against them forcing only two to come at him at a time.

Rosh Anson took note of Retuce as well while he watched steadily as a few thousand of the crippled and maimed climbed towards the tunnels on either side of the wall. His eyes watched with a quiet deadened gaze unable to find any emotional response except for anger.

The ones that were left behind on the lower levels were left to fight to their end, anyone on Level Zero through Two were already dead, he could see in the top right of his helmet’s viewscreen as lifesigns winked out within two seconds of his transmission.

Rosh Anson called into his own comm. system again and spoke to William and Retuce, “VIIX/3, and VIIN…”

“Oy what’s up?” Called Retuce as he twisted underneath a Kreeper’s body before slicing it open at the throat and chest, “The traps are all set up in the tunnels if that’s what you’re asking Anson.”

“I’m here…” William replied, “What is it?”

“Scout out the rest of the tunnel see how far we can really go in this place.” Rosh said before grunting as a Kreeper grabbed his chest and began to headbutt him repeatedly even after its face had become bloodied. Rosh brought his fist in hard breaking its grip, he twisted and slammed his axe into its forehead.

The Vatheran behind Rosh held their own, though their numbers too were being dwindled, they had the position, but not the strength.

“I doubt we’re the only ones,” Retuce called back.

What you mean?” Rosh shouted in a heavy voice unable to form a full sentence as he tried to catch his breath.

“Even the Kreeper know by now that there’s a tunnel system beyond this wall, and my guess is that they’re halfway down the tunnel, I suggest probes…” Retuce’s face became solemn for once.

Rosh chewed it over in his mind briefly, when sudden cascading fire powered from the upper levels of the wall drenching everything in death.

“Anson, get your head on what’s happening, not what you want to happen, we’re in deep wliu, alright?” Retuce replied with a half smile.

Rosh stood quietly thinking, given a moment of reprieve as flame slammed down the sides of the walls, but even now he could hear the screams of men, women and children on the floor below as their life was brutally stripped away from them. “No more words, get it done.”

* * *

Ne`kell surged forward, breaking through the group ahead of himself.

A mouth filled with razors snatched onto his ankle biting down and into his bone, ripping away at his flesh. He swung his sword around his back, bringing it down violently into the forehead of the beast and screamed forward as another Kreeper charged, ramming its blades through his chest. Ne`kell shoved his hand forward gripping the things throat as it snapped its mandibles to try and rip through his faceplate and into his skull.

Blood filled his mouth, he coughed up violently as it kept pushing to bring him to his knees. He found himself having to lock his knees to press back with all of his might, his nano CIX/9 was screaming a war-cry as if he too was part of the fight. Ne`kell began to scream alongside CIX, regaining his power as he slammed forward. His hand claws ejecting outwards from his forearm, severing the thing’s head. He swung his sword around in a short circle, cutting its hands off at the wrists and in violence he continued.

Ripping the beast’s claws from his chest he stood. They were swarming like locusts around him, buzzing almost with anticipation for food, for blood, for death.

Off in the distance the Deathwatcher stood watch, taking in the smell of blood, of raw meat, but it did not move. Ne`kell slashed his sword forward, bringing it down across the body of a Kreeper as it moved forward to strike. He spun as it came crashing into the ashen ground in its last convulsions of death.

Ash had filled the air and the fog of war was high. The squads that had been placed on the field in the phalanxes were stretched thin, the ones that had not been overwhelmed fought violently, surpassing even his estimations of survival.

He felt the strength in his body return as his wounds healed over, his skin momentarily turning black as nano’s flooded his system to repair the damage done. Ne`kell continued forward, severing the legs and heads of Kreeper that tried in vain to run past him to the wall.

The blood of the creatures flooded the battlefield, reaching up to their ankles, and yet they did not stop. Their hunger overwhelmed their fear. Yet, they feared Ne`kell. It was something unseen, more on instinct they knew their death resided within the man. However, they did not stop, would not stop.

Ne`kell slammed his left arm forward breaking the skull of a Kreeper as it tried running past and within that same motion another Kreeper launched forward, clamping down on his fist, biting through his mesh armor like paper. He let out a yell as he brought his other fist into the beast’s temple, but it held fast.

Another came forward, a Zies’lin, taking his right arm and tearing him to the side. He flexed his muscles and pulled violently, using the Kreeper attached to his right arm to beat the one on his left to death in a violent manner. The crunch of bones filled the already cluttered air of war. Ne`kell twisted his left arm violently, breaking the jaws of the Kreeper attached to it. Ne`kell took the face of the one attached to his right arm and screamed into its face as he spread its jaws wide before snapping its face in two.

This is how it went, and this is how it would continue.

Ne`kell’s blood mixed with the blood of the Kreeper, turning the ground to a shade of purple and yet he still continued. Another beast jumped in front of him screaming for blood. It slashed its claws across his chest, rending his breastplate in half. In retaliation he swung his sword down full force into its skull, lodging his blade there. He growled lowly, a snarl touching his lips as he slammed his foot forward into the things chest bucking it off of his blade.

He whipped his blade in a circle, slamming it across three chests, before the blade finally snapped in two. The tip being lost in a Kreeper that continued onwards towards the wall. Without hesitation he brought his fists forward, slamming them across ribs, rending the massive beast’s to their knees before slamming his strength across their screeching skulls.

Their strikes were brief using numbers to slash at him as they passed. Wounds he would endure, and wounds he would ignore as if they were nothing but a scratch.

They swarmed his body piling onto him, one after the other, each weighing close to five-hundred pounds, clamping their jaws onto his flesh and ripping away, revealing the metal coated bones beneath the fleshy exterior.

He screamed in violence, he screamed in pain, but he continued.

Ripping his arm away from the jaws of a Kreeper he began to punch viciously with claws extended from his hand, stabbing them through the gut of one, then another before they gripped his wrist and began to pull, snapping his arm backwards dislocating it at the shoulder.

An eruption of gunfire exploded around him, ripping through the Kreeper. They fell away in bloody tatters and shreds of meat, bullets from the Trogon machine guns ripped through his body as well, sending him to his knees.

Ne`kell shivered violently as the gunfire dissipated. His body bleeding openly, full of holes, half-eaten and raw. His face nothing but a black skull and his dislocated arm held on by nothing except by bone and ligaments. The flesh was completely torn away from his body. A wind surged through the land sending sand against the raw nerves of his flesh.

CIX was no longer screaming, he was looking quietly at his Lord and slowly, very slowly Ne`kell stood. A black swarm of nano’s surged forth from his skull, reforming muscles and then skin ruptured forward. Metal covering over his skin as his armor flowed over his body.

The Ruxin Kist.

The Golden Lion

The smell, the screams and the sudden silence led from one thing to the next and more came, and more went. Death was a constant, not a mystery or a possibility, but a certainty on the Day of the Wall.

Men, women and children all died equally for there was no middle and there was no mercy on either side. The Trogons painted an explosion of green blood mists that burst into the sky with whips of hot blood that landed on the men.

Asune Li’onis, the guardian assigned to the son of Air’ious II Sonrisa--Ail’liaro Li’onis--was among those on the ground.

Asune was situated on the left flank of the crumbling Ravot Squad that was positioned by Rau’je and the Death Squad. Ravot continued to push and hold despite heavy losses. Their number began at one-hundred-twenty and now was broken into twenty-five, which included the remnants of the slaughtered Baron Squad that was situated to their left at the beginning of the battle.

The Olden Lion as some called Asune now held the left flank with Ail’liaro in place beside him, in those few moments a clamor arose up from some as Ne`kell’s presence became known to all. 

His presence being made known by the baptism of blood that erupted from the middle of the battlefield.

Asune breathed the air quietly, stern and ready. He could smell the fear, blood lust was lost with these men—they were not Norsemen who fed off of war, bred for war.

In this time that is what they needed. It made sense that the Dark Lord Xerxes made it a priority to extinguish them.

Ail’liaro buckled, overextending himself with a lunge from his spear, without a second thought Asune reached forward and pulled him back while swiping his blade down with his left hand into the skull of a Kreeper that lunged forward at Ail’liaro’s weakness.

In that moment however, the Olden Lion’s side was exposed without realizing what happened a Kreeper ran by slamming into him, sending him spinning before coming to a stop. It knocked the breath from out of his lungs and he stumbled, feeling a sudden burning across his belly.

He tried to stand but found his knees unable to lift, his eyes hazed almost instantly, looking down at the ground before him lay his intestines, ripped through by the Kreeper that ran past.

In his shock he slowly reached forward to pull his guts back inside, staring breathlessly at the sight, he was shocked at the small amount of blood--he was shocked that he was reaching for his intestines. Just before he could grip the length of them a Kreeper snapped forward biting down into the length of organs tearing them away before swallowing them down deep. It snarled in a vicious manner but Asune could do nothing, he could not scream either, he could not fight, and before he knew it he was falling backwards as the thing ate away at his lower half.

Ail’liaro screamed, jumping into the air and stabbing his spear down through the top of the Kreeper’s skull. Ail’liaro spoke in a mumbles, “Aue ’et uh.” ’Asune get up’ is what Ail’liaro spoke, but without his tongue the words did not form.

Asune did reply, his eyes had hazed over and he was looking off into the far distance, dreaming of a time before.

Ail’liaro grunted, seizing the older heavier man by the wrists and began dragging him back to Ravot squad. In a hushed undertone of a voice Asune spoke barely above a whisper, “We’re all going to die...”

Ail’liaro yelled in frustration as his wiry-frame tried to pull the loaded down Lion, gunfire erupted and a seizure of explosions ripped through the upper level of the Great Wall and in fiery crescendo it fell, shaking the ground around them.

Next Chapter: Chapter 2: Ne’kell of Norse