Here is a long chapter for you guys. I suck at editing so let me know if anything weird is in there. Cheers!
I stared at my screen for a moment, contemplating if I wanted to drag my companions into this mess or not. On the one hand, I really didn’t want to see them hurt. I know that if they fell here, they would live, but it would still tear me apart. On the other, they need combat experience. The only thing I had to be careful about was Chloe. I didn’t want to reveal one of my trump cards just yet, and she is fiercely protective of me.
I would have to keep her on a short leash for the time being. At least on the field of battle, I could pass it off as a mutation or something, but in a sim like this, it would be tough to cover it up. Rationality won on this one, and I clicked the teleport function and waited as they began to teleport in.
All the other Administrators with me were pulling their commanders in as well, as we prepared to fight an overwhelming foe. The first one to teleport in was Chloe. The Ancient One teleported in and immediately assumed an aggressive form, which I had to shut down. ‘Friends,’ I sent through our link, and she relaxed and took a position next to me, watching over the area. The next to appear was Inovia, who gave me a curt bow. “You called Kairos?”
“Yes. We are preparing for a war game. I need your expertise on the matter, though the odds are not in our favor.” She nodded her head and pulled her red hair back into a tight bun.
“My blade is yours, Kairos.” I nodded my head and pointed towards my previously empty seat.
“Take a seat while I wait for the others.”
She shook her head and instead walked over to the city map. “No. I’m going to look over this map real quick and get a bearing of our location.” Well, I was trying to be polite, but I forget that Inovia is all work and no play. But at least she enjoys it. A pixilated light appeared in the corner of my vision, and I saw Steve appear with two of his chosen.
“Hello, father!” Steve’s boisterous voice tore through the air. If I could flash a smile in this form, I would have.
“Steve, welcome. I need your skills for this upcoming war game. Though I must warn you that this foe is far stronger than anything we have ever faced, is that a challenge that you want to take part in?”
Even though his mask obscured his face, I could see the massive grin through his eyes. “Oh, that sounds fantastic. What would you need me to do?”
“Once our opponents invade the city, I need you and your chosen to harass them from behind and stack up as many casualties as you can. Just be careful not to get hurt.” I made so to enunciate my last sentence to clarify that there was no negotiating with me.
“No promises! Is there any equipment for us to use?” I shot a glance towards the city map and saw that it was finished updating. In the center marked all the resources that we could use for this upcoming fight.
“In the center. Take whatever you need to use. If it’s past our technology level, ensure that your chosen do not take it for themselves. I doubt that they can even keep it once the simulation is over, but I don’t want to take the risk.” Steve nodded his head once.
“I understand. I’m going to move ahead and start laying traps and get into position. We will be close by, so if anything happens, we can get to you quickly. “ He rolled his head and cracked his knuckles.
“Alright, you can go. Just stay safe, please, and take care of your mortals.” As soon as the last words escaped my mouth, the three vanished, not in a burst of light but a burst of speed. They quickly covered the ground and disappeared into the concrete and steel jungle of the city. The Dark Elfs were nimble; I’ll give them that; I kind of wanted to see how his cadre of followers operated as a team once we got back to Ouradia.
In fact, I wonder how my planet will do once we hit the space age. I intended to stay out of the mortal's affairs, but I may have to play my hand and unite them under a single banner. I have too many species to leave divided, and there was no telling what I would have to deal with in the future. But that will be a problem I will deal with once I get there. Now, I needed to deal with this.
“Hello, Father.” Ah, there was the last one.
“Hello, Quinn. I have brought you here for a training exercise. Though I won’t lie to you, more than likely, we may fail.” I turned from the city map and looked at him. He was still shirtless, revealing his perfectly sculpted abs. His long flowing hair caught the wind, and his eyes were the color of an infinite pool of freshly spilled blood. I almost hated how good he looked. Almost.
“I don’t care about that. Will there be food? I am starving.” However, he seemed like he was a slave to his hunger.
“Of course. All you can eat.” His lips pulled back into a wicked grin, revealing his long fangs.
“Good. Though I smell blood now. Where is it?” I glanced over at the young blood elf. Maybe I should send him over in Lyxanders direction. He is a blood mage and should be able to help you.” He nodded his head and walked over to the elf. Now that everyone is here, we can start planning more.
“Alright, all my elites are here. Is everyone else ready?” I called out to the others. I was eager to get this going. A part of me wanted to get it over with, while the other wanted the challenge. Though both sides were equally frightened at the prospect of the foe, we will be fighting.
A murmur of agreement radiated from the crowd of beings. A few blood elves surrounded Lyxander, along with Quinn. Next to Melanore was a group of humanoid spiders that looked like a combination of human and spider, with the spider part being the dominant future. Yorak was alone and didn’t have anybody, and I was curious why, though I wouldn’t ask.
“Alright, so. Let's get the biggest part out of the way. Does anyone have any elites that specialize in war? I brought my goddess of war and strategy. If we can get them all together, we should have a solid battle plan hammered out.” I made a motion towards Inovia, who was still busy analyzing the city.
“It’s not a deity, but an elite I got from the General’s path of power,” Lyxander spoke up and motioned toward a tall blood elf clad in golden body armor with red trim with burgundy dress clothing underneath. He had long strawberry blonde hair tied up in a loose ponytail and a sleek pistol strapped to his hip.
“My name is Avel. A pleasure to make your acquaintance.” He gave us a quick bow, and I made a motion towards Inovia.
“Pleasure to meet you as well. Please, come up here and meet up with my goddess. Get a battle plan rolled out and let us know what you decided on.” Once I finished my statement, I turned my attention back towards Yorak. “Alright, since you seem to have a more intimate understanding of who we are fighting, can we get your input on the best way to fight back?”
“It's really questionable what we might fight. We have three space-age administrators for them to deal with, so we will most definitely have to deal with an Assault Corps detachment. Though we may have to deal with a mechanized detachment as well.” He stood up and walked over to the city map. “We have a densely packed urban area, so I’m willing to bet Cassius may deploy an urban mechanized unit to reinforce the ground units.”
“Yorak, how do you know all of this?” Inovia spoke up and turned from the city map, focusing her piercing gaze on the Administrator.
“I’ve fought a few campaigns alongside Eden’s military and have led a few battles. So I have a rough idea of how they operate.” His reply was calm and filled with undeniable confidence.
“I understand. We will need your knowledge to prepare. We will tally up the resources and begin moving troops appropriately.” Yorak nodded his head and began speaking with the two generals; I mostly toned them out since I did not know how to position the troops. I would leave that to the professionals.
From what I have gathered from how Cassius was talking and the overall guild objectives looked, Administrators usually sat on the backline and fought only when they needed to. But that seemed strange. We are powerful beings, so why should I sit in the back? I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll sit on the front line with mortals. I could do a lot more for them there. I shifted back into my host form and was grateful to see that I kept my clothing last time. It would be extremely embarrassing to be nude in front of all these people. I adjusted my blade sheathes, made sure that my armor still fit, and looked over to Chloe.
‘Please don’t devour anybody, or let them know what you. At most, just kill whatever gets close to me and learn what you can from this fight.’ I told her through our link as I looked out across the city.
‘As you wish, all father.’ We had everything we needed now. All we had to do is fight.
A few hours later
“So Melanore, tell me about the Arachne.” I leaned against a railing in one of the largest skyscrapers. I could see hundreds of troops milling about under us like ants, shifting heavy weaponry around.
“They are a combination of the arachnoid race and humans created a while ago as an experiment. We get the best of both worlds, though we are an uncommon race.” She stared at a few of her elites as they set up lengths of silk across the rooftops, trying to cut off access to parts of the city. A few smaller spiders ran across the web, reinforcing it and adding a few burrows for them. Two of the more human ones were messing with an unknown device and talking amongst themselves.
“They are beautiful, though they also seem to be a bit terrifying.” I mused to myself as I thought over her words.
“That they are. It’s a shame that we are so few.”
“Is your species going extinct? It seems to be a reoccurring theme here.” I gripped the railing and shifted my focus over, and saw some troops setting up some anti-air guns.
“Yeah, the High Elfs are on the rise again, and most of them are extremely xenophobic. In their eyes, if you aren't a High Elf, you deserve to die. So a lot of the smaller, newer races have been getting killed off quickly. We are okay for now, but for how much longer, I’m not sure.” She gazed out across the rooftops and let out a sad sigh.
“I’ve heard stories about the High Elfs, are they really that bad?”
“Oh yeah. At one point, this galaxy used to be bustling with various lives. Though Elfs still dominated it, many of the High Elf Administrators banded together and started a purge. In a few galactic rotations, they wiped out much of the various Elf Species, tear down the Angels and Demons, and were close to claiming the position of Galactic Administrator as their own.” Listening to her speak made me wonder just how old she was, though I was a new Administrator on the block, so everyone was older than me.
“Why didn’t they get it?”
“They did get it, but they didn’t hold on to it for long. From what I understand Malek, and Alpha fought tooth and nail to take the spot from them, not to mention that at that point, humanity was born and lead the charge. The High Elves lost a lot that day and fell into obscurity for a while, but they are on the rise again, and that in its self is terrifying for many of us.” I nodded my head and listened along as I pieced together more of the galaxy’s history. It was a scary place and one on the verge of tearing its self apart.
“That sucks. When I first got this job, the splendor was overwhelming and exciting. Now, it just feels cold.” I clenched the railing, pondering if I could hold back the coming storm or not.
“Yeah, some of the oldest ones talk about the golden days and how they could sit around at their leisure and do as they please. Now, it’s just a fight for survival every day. One misstep and your worlds could plunge into anarchy and lose everything.” She frowned, and for a moment, she looked far older. Her beautiful face relaxed, and I could see the scars of time that were etched onto her flesh.
We quietly watched the soldiers work for a while before she broke the silence. “So, can I still interest you in good time?” The Melanore that I knew before quickly replaced her solemn demeanor.
“No, I have my eyes on someone, and I don’t want to risk that.” It partially tempted me if I was going; being honest, Melanore was a beauty.
She pouted at my words and threw her head in my direction. “Fine, if you won’t budge on that, can we at least go out sometime? No sex or anything, but just to talk. It’s been a while, and I want to get away from all of this. Spend some time on Sangilla, and just relax.”
That didn’t seem so bad. It wasn’t like we were dating, and it would be nice to get away from everything. “That doesn’t sound so bad. It’s something to consider, I suppose.”
“Thank you so much. Though, I am sure I can give you something to sway your choice on the matter.” What could she possibly give me?
|Administrator Melanore is gifting you the Arachne Template. Do you accept it?|
“No, Melanore, I can’t accept this. This is too much.” Apart of me wanted just to confirm it. I mean, a free template is a free template, after all.
“No, it's alright. I see it as if something happens to me; my race will still exist. We are guild members, and I don’t mind it. Though, it's not for free. You accept it; you go on vacation with me. As you have already made it clear, I won’t attempt to seduce you, but I still want to go out. It's a fairly generous offer, no? A free race and all you have to do is spend some time with me.” She pouted at me as she talked, and I was floored.
This woman was dangerous. She is willing to give up her race template just to get me to go on a date with her. Though, I can’t help but feel like she manipulated into this choice. It was honestly really hard; after all, it wasn’t like Aphelia and I were a thing. But it still felt wrong. “How long do you want me to spend time with you, and what do you want to do?”
“Two standard rotations on Sangilla. I can show you around the planet. Who knows, maybe you can make a few connections there with some of the oldies. I hear there are even vendors that sell items you can’t buy online.” She batted her eyelashes at me innocently as she spoke. Damn, she was good.
“If I accept it and stand you up?” I would never do that; I was just curious.
“Then I will burn your world down.” She gave me a sickly sweet smile, and I balanced the pros and cons in my head. I get a free race, meet some of the older admins, and access some exclusive items I couldn’t get elsewhere. Simply based on her tone, I had a feeling I could only get to them through her. Damn, she got me.
“Fine. I’ll accept. On the condition that you will stop trying to seduce me.”
“Yay! Thank you so much, Kairos. I’ll add you as a friend. I’ll give you two standard cycles to get to me before I get angry.” I accepted the template with a heavy heart, and words I once heard echoed in my ear. ‘All administrators have secrets.'‘ It’s for the greater good of my mortals. Besides, what my underlings don’t know won’t hurt them. All I have to do is not tell a single soul.
|Administrator Melanore has added you as a friend; would you like to add her back?|
I added her back, and she beamed at me. “Anyways, I’m going to go down there and get my troops organized. I’ll see you around.” She flashed me a quick wink before she jumped off the edge of the building into the webbing below. Leaving me alone on the rooftop with Chloe thinking about the choice I just made. I shot a glance towards her. "Not a word to anyone about this." She replied with a small nod, though I wasn't sure if she understood or not.
|The invasion will start soon. Please make sure all of your preparations are completed.|
I tore my gaze from the notification and glanced at the clock. I lost track of time and saw that a few hours have passed since Melanore left. I cleared my throat and looked around to see what has happened. Many of the Anti-air cannons have been set up, and they completed many defensive structures. I cleared my throat and buried the sense of anxiety that was building up in my chest. This was my first invasion, and it terrified me. "Think you can keep up?" I asked as I looked at the Ancient One who accompanied me.
She vigorously nodded her head and spoke, "Of course, All-Father. I won't let you leave my sight."
"Good." I glanced down towards the ground as I got ready to jump. I wanted to grab a gun real quick. Since the swords won’t do me any good unless I was in close combat, it would also benefit me since I would be on the mortals' front lines. I had nothing to protect other than the city, and it would give me experience. I stepped up onto the railing and into the harsh wind for a moment before I threw myself off. I fell through the air for a few seconds before I activated my gravity magic. My free fall slowed to a manageable level, and I gently floated down to the ground. God, I love having magic.
I glanced behind me and saw that Chloe was on my heels. How she managed to get down before me, I don't know. But at least she could keep up. I quickly made my way over towards the center of the city and towards the resource depot. Silken webs covered a lot of the rooftops, and troops stood at the ready at various intersections. Some were even in the buildings overlooking the roads. Each held various armaments in hand and were various species. Some were clearly Human and wore body armor that resembled that of Earth. Others were Blood Elf and wore a much more scaled-back version of the armor that Ave wore. They equipped many with a sleek rifle that looked like it was predominantly elvish in origin. Orange light lined the barrel and went straight to a rectangular piece near the rifle grip. The barrel itself was long, and instead of being circular, it was rectangular, with the end being a horizontal slit.
A few of them saluted me as I passed by, though I didn’t stop to pay them any mind. I just wanted a gun before shit hit the fan. I activated fleeting reality and quickly made my way through the city.
“Kairos, welcome. We are about ready for the invasion. We are just adding in the last touches now.” Inovia placed her hand over her chest and gave me a small bow.
“Good, good. I was just here to retrieve a weapon before the fighting starts. Any rifles left?” I adjusted my hair and then my armor once I stopped moving.
“Yes, though we ended up running short on some gear, I kept a Blood Elf rifle tucked away along with a few power packs for it.” She reached under the table and pulled out one of those strange guns I saw the soldiers had and a few small rectangular pieces.
I took the rifle and picked it up, and marveled at how light it was. I kept my finger away from the trigger and pulled it up to my shoulder. As soon as the stock touched me, a sight flipped up. It was a holographic sight with three beams of light that acted as a crosshair of sort. Damn, this was far nicer than anything I used back on Earth.
“You ready, Kairos?” I pointed the barrel towards the ground and took in my daughter. She wore a set of golden body armor and had her hair up. On the front were a few pockets for ammo and a pistol in a holster ready to be drawn. Her sword was still strapped to her hip, ready to go.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I looked the rifle over and found a small button near the stock. Upon pressing it, a metal click resounded, and a hidden slot opened up on the rifle, and a long piece of cloth-like material came out the side. Sweet, at least I could hold it without having to keep it in my hands. I slid the material over my head, nestled the rifle against me, and slid the small rectangular pieces into the belt’s slots.
“Here are the communication pieces so that we can talk to each other.” She pulled out a small earbud-like item and tossed it over to me. As soon as I caught it, I slid it into my ear.
“Good luck out there, Kairos.” I shot a glance towards Inovia, who looked as confident as ever.
“Stay safe, Inovia.” I stopped in the doorway of the command outpost and cast her one last look as I began my journey through the city once more, struggling with the anxiety building in my chest. My heartbeat was getting heavier as my hands slowly became more sweaty. I can do this. I won’t die here. I tried to pep myself up a bit and drive away from the anxiety. It worked mostly until I saw the notification.
The invasion has begun. Good luck, Administrators.
As soon as I saw the notification appear, angry red lines appeared in the sky. First, it was a few; then it was dozens, then hundreds. They cut a swathe through the sky as they descended like an angry god. Then just behind came small metallic specks that grew in size.
“Fire at will!” Ave’s voice tore through my communications pieces, and the city exploded with sound. The sounds of anti-air cannons filled the air, sending up streams of bullets. Then, a split second later, small orange balls of mana followed. Hundreds of emplacements lit up at once, vibrating the buildings and the earth.
The skyscrapers shook as the cannons roared. One by one, the individual lines vanished. Then dozens as a time. For a moment, it seemed like the anti-air would keep them at bay. I held my breath as I watched the sky fill up with various lights and explosions. Metal debris fell from the sky in doves; yet, those metal specs behind them only grew closer.
“Fire teams shift fire, shift fire! Those are diversion drones. Focus on the transports behind them!” An unfamiliar voice yelled in my ear. The cannons kept roaring as they shifted towards the metal specs. I fully expected the aircraft to get shot down by the torrent of firepower coming its way, but they wove through the various streams of fire with inhuman precision.
What made it scary was there I could only see four aircraft coming our way. Though they were far enough away that I couldn’t make out their features. But the question was, what did they hope to accomplish with only four transports?
The aircraft wove through the various arcs of bullets and magic flawlessly as it got closer. They intercepted each stray bullet that hit it with a glowing blue shield that encased it like a cacoon. But yet very few scratched its surface. Hundreds of more drones fell from the sky and flew into the bullets' path in front of the ships soaking up much of the cannon's barrage.
When the first aircraft got through the kill zone without an issue, and for once, I could clearly see it. The tip of it was slim and shaped like the aircraft they used on earth. The underbelly was cylindrical and had two wings that stretched out from it. The center of each wing was a large circular hole that emanated a blue power encapsulated in a thin metal ring. The ring shifting in direction caused a change in direction, and each turn was quick and precise. As soon as they cleared the Kill zone, the underbelly opened up, and ten soldiers fell from it and plummeted towards the ground.
"You ready, Chloe?" I asked as I gripped the handle of the rifle. Her face shifted from the cute little drow she was into a monster worthy of a nightmare, and her hands changed into sythes.
'For the All-Father." Came an all too cute voice from an all too real monster.