Announcements: Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newbies » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Impending Pursuit Q&A » Eudaimonia » Loot! » Natural Kinds » I have a funny idea » Life in the 21st century. » Song of the Runes » Plato’s Beard » Clues » Nihilism » Strange Tales From Hadean » Art Gulag [ Come get this Commish! ] » Visibility of Private Universes & Profile Customisation » Presuppositionalism » Aphantasia » Skill Trees - Good, Bad & Ugly » In-Game Gods & Gameplay Impact » Cunningham's Law » The Tribalism of Religion » Lost Library »

Players Wanted: Looking For A New Partner » Hellboy characters » 18+ Writing Partner [Fantasy, Romance, Etc.] » 18+, Multi-Para to Novella Writers please! » Looking for roleplayers » Fun tale full of angels, demons, and humans » Looking for roleplayers » A Fairytale World in Need of Heroes & Villains! » Are You a Crime Addict? » Wuxia RP » Looking for roleplayers » New Realistic Roleplay - Small World Life ٩( ´・ш・)و » Mentors Wanted » MV Recruiting Drive: sci-fi players wanted! » Veilbrand: The Revolution » Gonna do this anyway. » Looking for Kamen Rider Players » Elysium » Looking for roleplayers for a dystopian past! » Revamping Fantasy Adventure RPG, need new players »

0
followers
follow

Masaharu Hama

Commanding general of the 1st Imperial Taiyou Army's Home Force

1.7320508075689 · 168 views · located in Oor Cavern

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by barney_fife

Description

A cunning tactician from Niihama, General Hama rose to prominence during the Terran Conflict, and is versed in asymmetrical warfare, and known throughout the Taiyou Empire for his preference in using chemical, and biological weapons against his opponents.

So begins...

Masaharu Hama's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

Masaharu Hama came down through the elevator shaft that led up to the Ten-Shi Zaibatsu mining compound. He only briefly walked towards the Iron door that separated his world, from that of the cavern. He had been personally tasked by Generals Mikawa, and Kuribayashi to lead the invasion of this new world. A grin briefly crossed his lips as he surveyed the darkness in front of him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

Roughly a dozen Taiyou soldiers had assembled on the Niihama side of the gate, they were all conscripts, wielding their Arisaka type 99 rifles, along with their specially made Tanegashima Type 01 rifles. The mission briefing was fairly clear concerning what lay on the other side. High technology wouldn't work, so simplicity was key in this particular situation.

Sergeant Hakage watched with anticipation as the men readied the earthworks, tossing sandbags down onto the muddy ground below them, his eyes moved briefly over to Hama, whom had moved over towards a large table, and was going over a map.

Hakage moved towards a formation of six conscripts, they were carrying a large metal cylinder of Phosgene gas. Gingerly, they moved the gas over towards a wheeled cart, and lowered it carefully into the cart.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

Six more Taiyou soldiers came down, one of them was holding a pressurized gasoline lantern, which exuded a brilliant white light, illuminating the darkness beyond.

It was an air of tension, but the order would inevitably be made to cross the threshold. Hama gave a subtle nod, and keys were inserted into tumblers. The Iron gate swung open with a loud screech.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

Now that the gate was open, General Hama made his way over towards Lieutenant General Yoshio Kozuki, whom was charged with assisting General Hama in planning the invasion of Iskjerne.

A large map was splayed out over a table, illuminated by bright fluorescent lights that flickered, and buzzed incessantly.

"Much of our technology will not work on the other side." Kozuki commented. "We'll be severely limited in how we can handle this approach."

"I've gone over the initial plan with our staff, and we've come to agreement." Kozuki said as he moved his fingers across the map. "We'll take the caverns, and the surrounding area. There we can establish a forward base of operations. These escarpments here, in the Weargtooth mountains would be an excellent place to set up artillery."

"I've taken the liberty of sending in forward reconnaissance elements through the gate ahead of our invasion." Kozuki said, straightening his back.

Hama quietly thumbed his chin in thought, as he considered the map in front of him.

"Conscripts could take these hills here, and here... they can dig in quickly." He commented, his finger sliding across the map. "We can move fifth, and sixth recon into these positions to scout the settlement, and provide firing solutions for artillery."

Hama paused in thought for just a moment. "We'll be using classical tactics, sheer overwhelming numbers, bayonet tactics, and volley fire."

"Command has redeployed the thirty first infantry conscript garrison, five hundred thousand conscripts are being moved here for the initial attack. Second, and third Infantry, and sixth Niihama Mechanized will follow, along with the thirtieth Archer Maiden corps.

"We'll bring everything we have, but we'll be prepared for none of it to work." Kozuki added, moving to let his hand rest on the belt of his officer uniform.

Hama furrowed his brow, and then cast his gaze over towards Kozuki. "Send them with Type 99s, and Type 64s. It'll be a blessing if the 64s work, but if it really boils down to it, they'll fight with bayonets, and use the rifles like clubs."

The ground quaked slightly, the sound of a Yunboro filled the chasm in the distance, it's engines churning to life.

"We need to seize the settlement, and force their defeat before the Navy arrives. If we fail, the Navy will blow everything to hell, anyway." Hama added.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Hoargraskr Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

They would find the ground increasingly hard to cut through. It was a harder road in the frozen mountains sucked dry of life. The caves weren't quite as large as the aliens had initially thought.

As it so happened a strange chill came about the place. It wasn't cold, though it did send a shimmer of glory down their spines. There was a whisper in the aether of the cavern, whirling about in the shadows, breathing unto their hearts glory; despite the task ahead.Invisible to the naked eye it swam.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuriko 'Omega' Matsui Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Hoargraskr Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

General Hama felt a shiver down his spine, it was an odd sensation. He stopped for a moment to look up from the map, only to see Kozuki offer a shrug.

He was about to go back to the map when he caught the sight of a young woman off to the side, the sound of her feet on the muddy ground not lost on him.

"Yuriko?" Hama said, looking up and to the woman as she walked past him.

"I'm going to save Seno." She said, as psionic energy welled up around her, causing the ground to shudder.

She slowly began to levitate, and move towards the Iron gate, stopping just short of the threshold.

"We're supposed to wait until we get a report from our agents on the other side!" Hama called out, but it was no use, Yuriko was going to do her own thing.

She slipped through the gate, fists clenched, and faded into the darkness on the other side.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hoargraskr Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

Some time Later...

In the time since the first incident with the Iskjerne Vikings, the orders finally came down to reinforce the breach point with the gate that lead into Gaia. One thousand and three hundred Taiyou soldiers were working to pour concrete, reinforce the cavern walls, and install a thick, reinforced carbon nanosteel door in place of the iron gate.

In the days that followed, Taiyou construction personnel, and the handy Yunboros worked to install the door, sparks flew, and the sound of arc welders filled the cavern, as General Hama quietly oversaw the construction.

"We need to make sure to install failsafes here, and here." The General instructed, as he placed his hand on the map of the cavern. "We have a two tier design, we'll build a concrete redoubt in the middle chamber of the cavern, so if the initial doorway is breached from the other end, the failsafe will go off, and flood the chamber with nerve agents." Hama said, gesturing to the designs, while glancing over to a group of Taiyou Engineers who were pouring reinforced concrete on the far side of the chamber, while another group were installing duct-work for the gas.

Hama brought his gaze to the reinforced door, there was an audible, metallic thud as iron slugs engaged locks, and the door sealed shut, a handful of welds being applied, the lead engineer returning to the General.

"The door has been installed, sir!"

The setting changes from Oor Cavern to Niihama

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Navy Character Portrait: Kendra Shaw Character Portrait: Einar Falls Character Portrait: Daisuke Aramaki Character Portrait: Linde Redwing Character Portrait: Kurt Bannon Character Portrait: Varden Character Portrait: Kazundo Gōda Character Portrait: Kaggen Character Portrait: Jakira Fixess Character Portrait: Joe Mailrath Character Portrait: Laura Roslin Character Portrait: Molly Lightning Character Portrait: Rosemary(Rosie) Ana Carson Character Portrait: Rottenführer Heinrich Ritter Character Portrait: Masako Suzuki Character Portrait: Sharon Fixess Character Portrait: Assassin Kai Character Portrait: Nenad Drulović Character Portrait: William Dorsun Character Portrait: Average Joe Schmuck Character Portrait: Jacob Farris Character Portrait: Jimmy Maudal Character Portrait: Richard Thomson Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama Character Portrait: Fyn Niro Character Portrait: Kiru Okomato Character Portrait: Felix Holt
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

The Global Self-Defense Army and Niihama's Skywatch had been tracking the object ever since it entered Niihama's solar system. Every trajectory had been carefully plotted into hundreds of supercomputers, and the course analyzed, it was projected to crash far outside any major urban zones, what few existed on the planet. Was this deliberate? Skywatch was concerned, so the decision was made to redeploy the fleet, and move ground forces towards the mountainous region south of the Yukikaze megacity, one of the few untouched regions left on the planet.

Whatever it was, no chances could be taken, so the Army deployed, and set up fortifications all around the small crater, powerful resonance barriers kept the radiation contained within the local area, and a combination of machinegun emplacements, sandbags, and hastily poured concrete redoubts marked the first line of defense, as hundreds of Taiyou soldiers took position surrounding the crater.

Each one was in a fully hermetically sealed combat suit, which offered a second layer of protection from the radiation, their weapons consisted of the Seburo C26A Assault rifle, a 5.45x45mm box fed high velocity assault rifle that fired high-powered armor piercing rounds.

The Area had also been closed off to the public, but the surrounding area began to fill with news crews, reporting the affair all across the Empire.

Two wasp-like Jigabachi AV attack helicopters were circling the crater as well, their rotors thundering through the still, thick air, thirty-millimetre rotary cannons mounted on their tails crooked forward, like a wasp about to sting it's prey.

Four Armor Shrikes, and two HAW206 multiped tanks rounded out the ground response, their main weapons trained on the small object below, was it a simple meteor?

The Director of Public Security, and the General of the Imperial Ground Self Defense Forces were both standing on the back of a large troop transport, under the camouflage canvas cover that was flapping in the wind, With most of the government pre-occupied with other things, both had been placed in charge of the response here.

"Director Miyagi is on his way from Niihama City." Aramaki said, turning to the General. Whom turned back to Aramaki. "I was redeployed from the gate to this location, fortunately the situation with the Vikings has yielded little in the way of events." Hama said, taking a pair of binoculars to gaze into the crater.

"We'll wait for Director Miyagi before we approach the object." Hama added.

The setting changes from Niihama to Ten-Shi Zaibatsu Tunnels

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Navy Character Portrait: Sigurd Hring Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Erling Snake Character Portrait: The Svinfylking Character Portrait: The Berserkers Character Portrait: Uhtred the Godless Character Portrait: Dainn Character Portrait: Bjorn Ironside Character Portrait: Harald Fairhair Character Portrait: Lagertha Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Berserkers Character Portrait: Aslaug Sigurdsdottir Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hestahar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Kattrfylking Character Portrait: Dvalinn Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hornuglar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Iskjerne Hrafnfylking Character Portrait: Iskjerne Svinfylking Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

It was quiet inside the massive Ten-shi Zaibatsu complex, only the sound of dripping water on concrete filled the empty void of silence as the massive gear shaped nanosteel, and tungsten door remained shut, cutting off access between the worlds of Gaia, and Niihama. Since the first incursion at the hands of the Harii warriors years past, the Taiyou Empire spared no expense in ensuring the area was secure, and now housed an expansive military command and control facility that controlled access between the two worlds. Two Taiyou soldiers stood in silence on the other side of the door, one of them was looking up at the massive gear shaped door that loomed over them, he marveled at the engineering, two solid meters of nanosteel plating, which protected a solid titanium-tungsten composite, and was filled with lead. Naoto Kojima, one of the soldiers guarding the door knocked on it twice, and the door gave him a solid, and reassuring sound.

"It's meant to withstand a hit from a nuclear bomb." Corporal Fujiwa said while giving Kurasawa a sidelong glance. "Nothing's getting through unless we let them." He said, hefting his Seburo C30 assault rifle across his chest, letting it rest from it's sling across his back while Naoto checked his watch.

"Aren't the Argosians supposed to be checking in by now?" He asked, and Fujiwa shrugged, looking towards the indicator on the door. The door itself was recessed back away from the portal far enough, that the technology would work, and there was a single CCTV Camera wired through the plascrete, to allow the Taiyou authorities to see who was on the other side, and so far nothing was illuminated by the brilliant high pressure sodium floodlight that illuminated through the portal, and into the Rikkisopi cave system, the only source of light within. Silently, Naoto looked up to the control room, and the officer within shook his head, signalling that there was nothing on the other end. They were overdue for check in and it was time to relay that information back to General Hama. So the officer picked up the telephone, while looking down into the main portal room through two inches of ballistic glass, and he nodded to the soldiers below.

Naoto cast his gaze around the large rectangular chamber, there were two reinforced nanosteel blast doors on either side, and two heavy MGs positioned against the doorway, where soldiers could take position and defend a potentially breached doorway. Naoto then cast his gaze to two levels of bullet proof glass, the operations center, where they could see and administer the facility.

Beyond the pair of blast doors were large cooridors, that went to the rest of the facility, the breach into Niihama's sewers had been fixed with reinforced concrete, and the entire facility only had one way in, and out to the surface, and that was a large central elevator which was controlled by keycard access.

Overall, the entire facility was tightly secured against invasion, and General Hama wouldn't have it any other way.

So in the silence, Naoto checked his weapon one last time, and stepped down from the steel grated ramp that led away from the large gear shaped door, slowly he made his way, step by step towards the blast door on the left, before he stopped, and turned around to rest against one of the heavy machineguns, and cast his gaze upon the brightly lit, seven meter tall doorway to the other world.

Inside the operations center, General Hama was going over battle plans, since it had been some time since the Legion checked in, and they were drawing on roughly six hours overdue.

"Our men lack the technology, and the training to go in and perform an extraction." Lieutenant Colonel Shiro Makino commented, as he looked down towards the large map of Iskjerne Bay, along with small models of all of it's fortifications. "Our weapons don't work past the gate, and they have us both outnumbered, and outmatched unless we completely retool our loadout." He explained, bringing his hardened gaze up to Hama.

"We could send in the Umibozu, they've got hand to hand, and training with a variety of traditional weapons." Colonel Sanada remarked. "We could send in a squad, and have the entire situation assessed by sundown."

"No." Hama objected, splaying his hands out across the map. "We cannot have anyone with any cyberization, their prosthetics would shut down, killing them."

Hama frowned, and then moved over towards a console, picking up a telephone, and dialing a number.

The setting changes from Ten-Shi Zaibatsu Tunnels to Oor Cavern

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hoargraskr Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama Character Portrait: Oleg the Seer Character Portrait: Prince Rurik
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

#, as written by Sigurd
Halfdan Ragnarsson, better known as Hvitserk, the son of Aslaug the Seeress, being also the brother of Ivar the Boneless and half-brother of Bjorn Ironside and Ubbe Ragnarsson, entered the Rikkisopi Caves after aiding his brothers, and helping King Harald Fairhair to extinguish the Norman Ellarian heretics from Iskjerne Bay, reclaiming the northern territory beyond the mountains and restoring it to the natives. Hvitserk never really had a relationship with his father, but he wanted to make his brothers proud by walking in their footsteps. He led a small group of 100 warriors into the cave tunnels, when all of a sudden he began experiencing visions or hallucinations. Being the product of incest and the son of a powerful seeress, Hvitserk had inherited certain distinct qualities which messed with his mind and sometimes drove him nuts. He began to see visions of the future, as though through intuition, and peered forward in time to the events leading to his own death. Retaliating against the Taiyou emperor Shimizu Takayama by invading Niihama sounded like total suicide, and Hvitserk envisioned many other atrocities and bright daylight mares and horrors, witnessing glimpses of mass murder and bloodshed right before his very eyes.

Hvitserk stumbled and leaned against the nearest cave wall, pressing his forehead against the hard cold stoney surface while cringing. Just then, his brother Ubbe Ragnarsson walked up behind him from out of the barely lit fork in the narrow black caverns and labyrinth of winding tunnels. Ubbe had ordered his leidang to retrieve the weapons of the fallen praetorians and bring them along, so that Ubbe was now dressed in the Argosian Praetorian uniform and armor that he had taken from the elite soldiers his Vikings had killed in Iskjerne Bay, with a specialized sword and shield which could withstand the force of a 50-cal sniper rifle. Ubbe placed his hand on Hvitserk's shoulder to comfort him, having no idea that Hvitserk had just experienced a series of premonitions and terrifying visions. Hvitserk nodded when Ubbe asked if he was okay, and followed Ubbe deeper into the narrow passages and into the first open cavern when Ubbe took the lead. Ubbe had an additional group of about 50 warriors with him, seven of which were also now dressed like Argosians, wearing praetorian armor, while Ubbe himself wore the uniform of the Decanus whom he had decapitated.

"Wait," his younger brother said as his visions became more clear. Hvitserk could see through his mind's eye what dangers lie ahead, waiting for them around the corner. "What is it Hvitserk?" Ubbe asked. Hvitserk paused for a moment, placing his hand on the cave wall. He could sense that something about the Oor Cavern had changed. Something was eerily different about the gateway to the other side. "We can't just walk in there like this. If we do, we will all die. Something's different about this place my brother. Very different. It's not like before," Hvitserk said, urging him to re-think his strategy. Ubbe stopped to consider his brother's warning, nodding quietly as he turned around to gaze at the army of 150 vikingr warriors who had followed them into the caves. Ubbe Ragnarsson was planning on just storming the gateway like the Iskjerne Vikings had done in the past. He had brought a larger force with him this time, his only regret being that he didn't have more warriors to spare. He would have brought even more if he could, but the Vikings no longer had strength in numbers and would have to be much more tactful now if they were going to stand a chance against their enemies. Ubbe started to formulate a plan.

He ordered the eight Vikings in Praetorian armor to step forward and asked if any of them knew how to speak the language of the foreigners. A few of the older Varangians had been privy enough to travel abroad in times past and had picked up a little bit of Latin on their adventures, but not very much. Takao had taught Sigurd Hring how to read and write in Taiyou, but that was generations ago and there were few Vikings in their time who could recall the old ways. Of all the 150 people in his army, only one of them spoke enough broken Latin and Taiyou to carry any meaningful conversation, a Rus viking named Rulav who could easily pass as one of the Argosians with his clean shaven face, auburn hair color and pale blue eyes. "Trade me your armor," Ubbe said, exchanging the Decanus' uniform with Rulav, and putting on the armor of one of the other lesser ranked praetorians. Ubbe then told some of the other Vikings to remove their shirts and armor and hand over their weapons. Using a long chain with shackles on it, Ubbe linked them all together as one, and told them to look as filthy and weary as possible as they began covering their bodies in ash and soot. Some of the mock prisoners even cut themselves intentionally, on their arms and chests, and above their eyebrows, doing their best to look as though they had been beaten and demoralized.

It was a ballsy move, but Ubbe and his Vikings were about to try a very old and simple tactic. It was a sort of Trojan Horse tactic. They were going to walk right into Oor Cavern, and pretend to be captured with hopes that the Taiyou would fall for it and let them pass right through without a fight. Rulav, Ubbe, Hvitserk and five other Vikings in Argosian Praetorian armor would escort a chain gang of 20 other Vikings dressed as captives, while the other 122 vikings stayed back in the darkness of Nyrman Pass and waited for the signal to advance. It was a shot in the dark and a very sensitive, extremely risky operation that required full community and cooperation among all of them as a whole. It was also going to require a lot of luck, even on top of all of their coercion and planning. One slip up, and every single one of them was sure to die before they ever reached the surface. Ubbe took the swords and axes handed over by the Vikings and wrapped them up in a wool blanket, handing it over to one of the servants. He left the shackles and cufflinks loose enough around their wrists and ankles to allow some freedom of mobility, so that the strongest ones among them could still break free if they had to. But without their weapons and armor, the large metal chain would be the only thing the Vikings had for which to defend themselves, and they would have to work together as one unit in order to use it effectively.

Ubbe Ragnarsson went over the plans with his army again, making sure that everyone involved knew exactly what they were supposed to do. Rulav went over some of the basic gestures and terminology that he felt the Argosians might use to communicate with their allies, but warned all of them never to make eye contact or to speak unless spoken to. "I'll be their leader, so you let me do all the talking. You just nod your heads and obey. If I give you an order, just raise your fists to your heart like so, and bow your head. Don't say anything. We only got one shot at this, so don't screw it up. Let's get in there and make our ancestors proud of us, alright?" Rulav looked over to Ubbe and nodded. Ubbe looked at Halfdan and Rulav before nodding back. "Alright, let's do this." Rulav said before going to the front of the line. With that, he looked over to the flag bearer who was holding the Argosian banner and gave him the signal. The flag bearer raised the horn trumpet and blew into it, loud enough so that the Taiyou could hear their approach coming from around the corner. The sound echoed throughout the cave system, and suddenly the high-security motion sensored cameras picked up on their movements as the Vikings began marching into Oor Cavern, approaching the bomb-sheltor or vault-styled Taiyou Gate which had been completely sealed off and reinforced to prevent anyone from getting through the portal.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Hoargraskr Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama Character Portrait: Oleg the Seer Character Portrait: Prince Rurik
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

Inside the cavern where the portal itself resided, the massive gear shaped door stood imposing, just immediately on the other side of the portal itself which was imperceptible, appearing only as a small doorway into a second, larger cavern where a concrete wall, and massive gear shaped blast door resided. This was all constructed on the Taiyou side of the portal, since the proximity interfered with Technology. The door itself was fourteen feet, and ten inches across, shaped like a massive gear inset into smooth reinforced concrete wall. There was a single light that illuminated the door, and cast a soft orange glow inside the cavern itself.

Ubbe, Rulav, and his group of warriors would happen across this large door, which stood imposing inside the cavern, bearing some unusual symbols on the door facing. There was a silence coming from it, aside from the buzz of the high pressure sodium light bulb, there was an oppressive silence, with every wall of the cavern lined with reinforced concrete, or massive stone boulders.

Inside the facility, the sounds did not go unnoticed, as dozens of Technicians poured over the video feeds, seeing them round the corner. One of them tapped his monitor, and leaned forward, before he called his sergeant over.

"Karera wa modotte kimashita!" He called out, waving the older man over, whom which quickly focused his attention on the monitor, hunching over the young technician.

General Hama stood behind a large bullet proof glass window overlooking the main reception hall, while dozens of Taiyou soldiers filed in behind concrete redoubts, where 12.7mm HMGs were positioned, and focused on the door, each of them racked their weapons, checked, and lubricated them with a spritz of CLP, before focusing on the large gear shaped door in front of them.

General Hama quietly lit a cigar, focusing his attention on the door. So the Praetorians had returned. He rolled the thick cigar in his mouth, savoring the taste of it, while focusing on the vault door before them. A dozen men kept their weapons pointed forward, as a loud buzzer klaxxoned, yellow lights flashed all through the room, and the men narrowed their eyes.

Back in the Command room, a lieutenant approached General Hama, and offered him a brisk salute.

"Karera wa modotte kite, shūjin ga imasu."

Hama offered a nod, they could interrogate the prisoners, and learn about the other side. This would provide a unique opportunity. Hama nodded, and looked out as the alarms continued to blare.

Metal on metal screeched throughout both caverns, the audible clunk of locks disengaging, latches retracting, and the mechanical clicks of disarming countermeasures echoed throughout both chambers, while sweat accumulated on the brows of each heavily dug in soldier, who was instructed to open fire the moment something was amiss.



With the grating of metal on metal, the gear shaped door retracted, and then moved off to the side with a series of audible clunks, echoing, and reverberating through the interior of the caverns before the door rested to the side with a massive clunk, exposing the Taiyou within, who stood with their weapons ready, while General Hama waited, and watched closely.

A small platform extended across the doorway, while a Taiyou soldier tightened his grip on his Sumitomo HMG. Each one was clad head to toe in thick clothing, armor, and a gas mask so that not even an inch of skin was exposed, and they kept their weapons, mostly Seburop C30 Assault rifles, chambered in the 5.56x45mm Caliber, utilizing High Velocity ammunition, which hit like a train, and was an excellent all around close combat munition.



Quietly they waited, to see what the "Argosians" were going to do next, they had all heard from the scout ship about the fires, so perhaps the Argosian soldiers had emerged victorious, and taken prisoners? Only the next few moments would tell.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

#, as written by Sigurd
As the gear-shaped door opened, the eight Iskjerne Vikings disguised in Argosian Praetorian armor marched up to the opening gateway and stepped on to the extending platform. Four of the officers stood in front, while the other four praetorians stood at the rear behind their gang of twenty shirtless captives, who were all bound to a single chain. The flag bearer stood at the front of the line behind the decanus as he shouted the command to halt.

"Subsisto!" Rulav shouted as they entered the ramp and came to a sudden stop on top of the platform.

As the Vikings boarded the platform, they waited patiently for it to move again as it brought them deeper into the Taiyou chamber where dozens of heavy machine guns were focused in on their direction. This was a crucial moment, as it left the Vikings completely exposed and helpless, bunched together on top of the narrow platform with nowhere to go. But they kept their resolve quietly and stayed in character, waiting patiently for the platform to carry their small group over to the other side where it docked again before letting them off.

Once the platform came to a stop and the small metal guard rail opened, Rulav pushed the small gate aside with one hand and motioned with his other hand for the troops to follow as he stepped off the ramp and continued marching. The praetorians made sure that everyone got off of the platform as the last officer at the very end proceeded to close the guard rail before stepping back into formation. Rulav ordered them all to turn left face and then marched them up to the next set of doors where he ordered them to halt.

Everyone did exactly as they were told without saying anything, or even diverting their focus on the scenery around them. Most of it was technology that they wouldn't have understood anyway, and Rulav had warned all of them not to let their eyes wander around too much as they entered the Taiyou chamber. This they did, and as Rulav's contubernia came to a sudden stop in the middle of the welcoming committee, he swallowed deeply and waited for somebody to approach him or start barking commands, not entirely sure what if anything they were supposed to do next.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama Character Portrait: Oleg the Seer Character Portrait: Prince Rurik
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.50 INK

as the Viking party made it's way deeper into the chamber, eyes continued to stare at them intensely, as dozens of fully armed, and armored Taiyou soldiers watched from behind the sights of their weapons. They murmured among themselves briefly before a sergeant silenced them, and they quietly allowed the group to pass over the platform. After a few moments there was a deafening buzz, an alarm began to sound, a shrill buzzing tone. Behind the Viking party, a massive apparatus moved forward towards the door, and latched into it, with a series of shrill screeches, and mechanical clunks, the massive gear shaped door was rolled back into position behind them, and then slid into it's final position with an audible metallic clang, followed by a slight hissing sound. The doorway had been closed behind them, sealed shut once more.

Immediately to their left, a yunboro with a 20mm autocannon swiveled to the right, and slowly trundled off in the opposite direction, as a massive steel door began to retract into the ceiling with an audible buzzing sound, a second steel door immediately behind it also slid open, a pair of Taiyou soldiers stepping through the threshold, grasping their Seburo C30 Assault rifles closely, but there was a man who was different from the others, where the soldiers wore combat gear, and clenched their weapons closely, this man was different, middle aged, but clean cut, with neatly cropped hair, and a neatly trimmed moustache. His hands were clasped behind his back as he stepped into the room, and he stared at Rulav, the one dressed as the Decanus coldly.

"Anata wa okurete imasu." He said, his words carefully chosen, and accusatory almost.

"Watashi no fune wa machi de nani ga okotta no ka o hōkoku shimashita, watashi wa kanzen'na hōkoku o shitaidesu, anata no regato~usu wa shinryaku no tame ni guntai o atsumeru tame ni Arugosu ni mukete settei shimashita."

He swiftly turned on his heel, and continued to speak, almost expecting them to understanding him, afterall, Taiyou was second nature to Argosians.

"Watashi wa anata o Arugosu ni tsureteiku junbi ga dekite iru paddo no ue ni fune o motte imasu."

Slowly he led them through large concrete cooridors, where there were more soldiers, armed to the teeth, along with thick steel doors, that opened only when one of the nearby soldiers swiped a keycard.

Ultimately, the man in green led the Vikings to a large blast door that opened up to reveal a large cargo elevator, flanked on either side by Taiyou soldiers. Slowly, the man in green stepped onto the platform.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Halfdan Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Iskjerne Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama Character Portrait: Oleg the Seer Character Portrait: Prince Rurik
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Sigurd
The plan of the Iskjerne Vikings seemed to be working as the Taiyou welcoming party fell for their disguise. But as Rulav the Rus and his comrades in Argosian uniform led their mock captives into the Oor Cavern chamber, suddenly the portal gate closed and sealed behind them, cutting Ubbe and Hvitserk off from their 122 reinforcements on the other side. In just seconds, Ubbe Ragnarsson had lost 2/3rds of his army. He contemplated silently as the 8 Vikings disguised as Praetorians continued to march in disguise, unsure of the dangers which lie before them in Niihama's underground tunnels. Ubbe was planning a full-on assault against the Taiyou soldiers in front of him. But now he was outnumbered and outgunned, as 2/3rds of his remaining forces were virtually unarmed. Victory in the Oor Cavern was beginning to look dim, and although none of the Vikings broke their disguise, they knew that their plan had been foiled.

The next few minutes seemed like an eternity as 36 or more Taiyou soldiers armed with heavy machine guns and standard issued Seburo C30 assault rifles kept their weapons drawn and pointed at the small assembly. They seemed more focused on the chain gang of shirtless Viking prisoners than on the eight Praetorian soldiers who were bringing them in. Rulav, Rurik, Ubbe and Hvitserk stood at the front of the line, as four more Vikings in Argosian attire stood at the rear, walking in behind the gang of prisoners with nanosteel spears pointed at their backs, pretending to poke at them from behind. Ubbe glanced at the yunboro and its 20mm autocannon as it turned and pointed at him before slowly trailing off and swiveling away from him, apparently fooled by his disguise. It was a close call, but Ubbe kept his composure and pressed forward, looking at the middle aged man in the green uniform. He nudged Rulav quietly without breaking formation. Rulav kept his head straight and his eyes gazing forward, yelling at his contubernia to halt.

Rulav brought his right fist up to the central left side of his chest and bowed his head to the man in front of him, peering at him from behind the visor of his helmet. "Anata wa okurete imasu," the man said with a cold tone, his hands folded behind his back. Rulav hadn't the faintest idea what the man was saying, but he gathered by the man's tone and body language that he was being scrutinized for taking so long. Of course, the real reason for the Praetorian's tardiness was because they were all dead. The real Argosians had never reported back, their frozen corpses still decorating the fields of Iskjerne Bay as the real Decanus lay headless in the snow. Rulav's disguise appeared to be working as the middle aged man with the mustache spoke to him directly, mistaking him for the actual leader of their party.

"Watashi no fune wa machi de nani ga okotta no ka o hōkoku shimashita, watashi wa kanzen'na hōkoku o shitaidesu, anata no regato~usu wa shinryaku no tame ni guntai o atsumeru tame ni Arugosu ni mukete settei shimashita." the man said quickly, turning on his heel as he spoke. Rulav swallowed quietly. Not one word the man spoke was familiar to him, or any of the Vikings in Argosian uniform as they stood at attention, pretending to understand. To Ubbe and his crew, it all sounded like senseless jibberish, but the man just kept talking as if expecting them all to understand him. They were all dressed as Argosians after all.

"Watashi wa anata o Arugosu ni tsureteiku junbi ga dekite iru paddo no ue ni fune o motte imasu." the man continued. At that moment, Ubbe and his men gripped their bulletproof shields tightly, maintaining their positions. Rurik slowly reached down to grasp the hilt of the gladius he had sheathed behind his shield. It seemed that the Vikings had gotten themselves into a heap of trouble, and the lack of understanding was beginning to make them tense. But just as it seemed they were about to fight, Rulav spoke, answering the man in what little Taiyou he could understand.

"Hai," Rulav said, nodding his head.

The middle aged man then turned to lead them through the large concrete corridors. Rulav glanced to Ubbe and Hvitserk for a brief second before leading his contubernia forward. It was clear from their expressions that the Vikings were nervous, but that was to be expected. They had showed up rather late to check-in, but fortunately the battle at Iskjerne Bay had provided them with a fairly decent excuse, and the 20 prisoners they had brought with them had made up for their lack of responsibility. For now. Rulav and his praetorians marched diligently into the corridors, where more Taiyou soldiers were waiting with guns. They watched as one of the soldiers used a keycard to open a steel door, then followed as the man with the mustache led them into the next hall.

Ubbe and Hvitserk took a mental note of everything they observed and witnessed as they continued down the hallway, following General Hama to the large cargo elevator. There they encountered even more Taiyou soldiers and armed guards as General Hama opened the shaft and stepped on to the platform. They were getting closer now to the surface, but it was already too late to go back. In just a few minutes, King Harald Fairhair was about to pull the remaining Vikings out of the caves and blow up the entire cave entrance. Ubbe and his men knew at that very moment that there was no going home. At least not back the same way that they had came. They were committed now, and would have to make due with what little support they had as Rulav stepped in behind General Hama, leading his guerilla warriors on to the platform as they stepped inside the elevator shaft.

But just when it seemed that the Vikings couldn't get more screwed, something else happened. The elevator platform wasn't big enough for all of them to enter at one time. To their dismay, the Vikings, already severely divided, were about to become even more divided as Rulav had no choice but to divide their forces in half. They were going to have to make two trips to the surface. Half of them were going to have to wait below with the Taiyou guards while the other half accompanied General Hama to the helipad. With a few, very quickly spoken commands, Rulav ordered half of the praetorians and Viking prisoners to stay behind and wait for the next elevator. Hvitserk grabbed the skeleton key from his belt and started unlocking the chains as Ubbe and Rurik forcefully began grabbing some of the prisoners by their arms and pushing them on to the platform, occasionally spitting on them or hurling insults, threatening to kill them if they didn't comply. Rulav, Rurik, Ubbe and Hvitserk then accompanied General Hama along with 10 of their prisoners, while the remaining four Praetorians guarded the other 10 prisoners down below, where they remained always under the watchful eye of the Taiyou armed soldiers while waiting for the next elevator ride up to the surface.

The setting changes from Oor Cavern to Niihama City: Sector Five

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Umibozu Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

1.00 INK

The elevator ride to the surface for the strange men dressed as Praetorians. There was an overwhelming silence among the group of Taiyou Soldiers, and General Hama as the slow hum of the Elevator rapidly sped them to the rooftop helipads within the facility.

There were about four Taiyou Soldiers surrounding the group, each of them clutching their weapons tightly, and staring at them from behind their masks, the hiss of the respirators evident over the hum of the elevator.

Eventually the elevator came to a stop with an audible clang, and the large doors opened up, to reveal a second set of armored doors that too slowly began to open up, letting cool air, and the acrid smell of pollution pour into the chamber. The sound of thunder followed, a brief flash of lightning. Rain began to pour in through the armored doors, and was pouring heavily outside, the occasional flash of lightning evident in the distance.

Hama took the first step, and crossed the threshold to the outside, where there were about two dozen men in ominous, expressionless masks. They too were clutching unusual looking weapons. There was some kind of mechanical whir that circled the platform, two Jigabachi attack helicopters, menacing wasp shaped vehicles that sported a thirty millimeter rotary cannon on it's tail. Immediately across the pad was a second unusual construct, a Botanachi DRHC Tilt Rotor, which was idling on the helipad.

With the first step Ubbe and his men would take, the Niihama City skyline would envelope them, perhaps inspiring awe, or something else. Though to Hama, it was something he was used to seeing.



The City's spires towered over them, and the lights provided a dazzling spectacle, but something was amiss as General Hama stepped forward. He paused for a moment. After a split second Hama narrowed his eyes at the figure in front of him. His eyes briefly flitted to the pair of Armor Shrikes that flanked the landed tilt rotor helicopter, and then they fell on the imposing, moustached man in a faded tan overcoat. General Hama knew exactly who he was, He was General Hazama, the acting commander of the Umibozu, and he recognized the trademark uniforms of the Umibozu surrounding him.

"Rikushō." General Hama said aloud, offering a brief salute by bringing his flattened hand to his forehead. The man returned the salute, and frowned slightly, the body language of them both was intense.

"Shizuru-maru wa, ko Puraetoriani ni tsuite hōkoku shimashita." The opposing man said aloud, his Taiyou words cutting through the rain like daggers.

Hama gestured to Ubbe and his Praetorians. "Karera wa watashi to tomoni koko ni imasu." He said, gesturing to them once more. He gestured to Rulav, and then to the prisoners. "Karera ni wa shūjin ga imasu, watashi wa karera o arugosu ni tsurete ikimasu" Hama added, taking two steps forward, but the other man's watchful eye did not leave the men behind them.

"Īe, arugosu hito wa shinde imasu, korera no dansei wa sagi-shidesu."

Hama scowled, and took two rather large, and hearty steps away from Rulav, and his other Praetorians, of course, if they managed to follow, the Taiyou surrounding them would point their guns at them.

The moustached man in the great coat brought a loudspeaker to his mouth, cleared his throat, and spoke loudly.

"Við höfum engar deilur við fólkið þitt!" He called out. "Leggðu niður vopnin þín og gefðu upp." The Man paused for a moment, and then continued. "Gerðu þetta og við munum leyfa þér að lifa. Ef þú mótmælir munum við beita valdi."

"Valið er þitt, skoraðu á okkur á þína ábyrgð." The man called out, and then took a step aside, affording them a clear path to the landed tilt rotor. Hama was somewhat perturbed, though it was luck that the report from the Shizuru Maru came in, of course, if these were truly Praetorians, they would have no comprehension of the moustached man's words, and he was watching closely for subtle body reactions, while the Taiyou Soldiers kept their weapons carefully trained, and prepared.

All eyes were on Rulav, and his Prisoners, a final test before they could return home.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Umibozu Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Imperial Taiyou Army Character Portrait: Ubbe Ragnarsson Character Portrait: Masaharu Hama
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Sigurd
Prologue: Introduction.
A Prelude to Current Events...


Emperor Nobuo Takayama of the legendary Taiyou Empire was sick. Shimizu Takayama, his third child and first son, assumed the responsibility of taking care of him. But the medicine he gave him however was poison, and slowly killed Nobuo over time. Shimizu Takayama seized the throne and became the next emperor in line. Shimizu was a cruel and ruthless, ambitious warlord who sought to control the galaxy. He made enemies far and wide, including the Gardenites of the space-faring Exogarden Forces, including the "Untamed" remnants of a Scandi people known as the Otamannir, the Scandi-influenced Jovians, and the more primitive land-bound Iskjerne Vikings of Iskjerne Bay on planet Gaia, whom he tried to conquer but failed. The leader of the Vikings at that time was King Sigurd Hring, who died shortly after, committing suicide along with his army rather than facing the vengeful wrath of the defeated Taiyou emperor whom he had maimed in battle. Sigurd Hring was succeeded by his sons Hrollaug the Walker and Ragnar Lothbrok, both Vikings, neither of which having the same ambitions as their father.

Hrollaug (Rollo) had fought beside his father in Iskjerne Bay, but had went raiding overseas on Gaia following their victory. Ragnar Lothbrok was on Earth at that time and went raiding west into England after the birth of his sons. Rollo married Princess Gisela and became Christian, giving rise to the Empyrean Normans on Gaia who were not well accepted by the Norse pagan Iskjerne Vikings, while Ragnar Lothbrok was captured in England by King Aella who had him tortured, crucified and thrown into a pit of poisonous vipers. Ragnar's prayer to Odin and his ancestors caught the attention of Sigurd Hring who teleported him to Iskjerne Bay, where he was rescued by Livia Caesarius the Argosian and taken to Niihama for medical treatment. In the meantime, Ragnar's sons arrived in Iskjerne Bay after hearing about the death of their grandfather and sought vengeance against Shimizu Takayama, accompanied by their mothers.

Meanwhile, Ragnar's son Ivar the Boneless had claimed the throne of Iskjerne Bay, killing his own brother Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and ruling the country with an iron fist. Ivar waged a military campaign against several armies across the Multiverse which brought bad luck upon the Iskjerne Vikings and ultimately ended with his untimely death. This coincided with the rise of the equally ambitious King Harald Finehair who used the opportunity to seize the throne. At the same time, Ragnar's first wife Lagertha murdered Ragnar's second wife Aslaug Kraka and presuming Ragnar to be dead, remarried to King Harald Fairhair and became Iskjerne Bay's queen. Ragnar soon recovered and joined the space-faring Argosian Navy, becoming a citizen and changed his name to Reginarus, being appointed as a centurion in Livia the Legata's legion. The realm of Iskjerne Bay was plunged into the Dark Ages, and with history being lost, Ragnar's remaining sons were raised in confusion with comparative languages and mythologies surrounding their own origins.

Nobuo Takayama's consciousness was downloaded into a perfectly cloned body using M'tkee science and technology. Awakened from his own death, Nobuo now seeks vengeance against his son Shimizu, who is currently on Langara, but was disposed in Niihama by Nobuo's daughter Princess Yukiko, while Ragnar's sons Ubbe and Hvitserk (Halfdan the White) have been commissioned by King Harald Fairhair to purge Iskjerne Bay of all foreign influences on Norse pagan culture, and have been sent to Niihama City to slay Shimizu, who they now believe is the "mighty dragon" that killed their grandfather. Little do they know however that they stem from a far more primitive culture, and that their own beliefs are really a mixture of fact and fiction. Teaming up with some of the Rus Vikings, namely Rorik and Rulav, the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok have seized Argosian weapons and armor and have entered blindly into Taiyou territory using the Trojan Horse tactic, which has been successful.


Until now...

Niihama City... Sector Five.
Second generation after King Sigurd Hring's death.
The 4th year of Emperor Shimizu Takayama's reign.
Above the Surface...


Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Clink. The elevator shaft hummed as the crowd within stood quietly, awaiting their arrival to the facility's helipad. Ubbe Ragnarsson, also known as Ubba or Ubbi, dressed in Argosian armor and disguised as one of the Praetorian Guards, stood silently next to one of the Taiyou Soldiers inside the elevator, contemplating his next move behind the guise of a Praetorian masked helmet, concealing the awkward feeling he experienced from the G-Force of the upward moving elevator, something that neither him or his comrades had ever felt before. Ubbe's half-brother Hvitserk stood near him, dressed similarly in Argosian Praetorian attire. Hvitserk was the son of Aslaug the Seeress, a witch or völva who had passed on certain special abilities to her sons before she died. Hvitserk had inherited the gift of foresight, yet it was also a curse, something he could not control at will and which sometimes gave him horrible migraines.

Ubbe and Hvitserk were the leaders of their band. But they were dressed as lesser ranked Praetorians, while their allies the Rus Vikings, more educated in the Argosian language, were disguised as higher ranking soldiers. Rulav the Varangian was a native Rus Viking along with his brother Rorik (Rurik), but Rulav was disguised as the Argosian Decanus or commander of their troop, being the most linguistic of all the Iskjerne Vikings under Ubbe's command. General Masaharu Hama of the First Imperial Army stood in front of him facing the elevator door, within a sword's reach as Rulav stood behind him. At that moment, the Vikings easily could have taken the general and his men by surprise. Rulav made eye contact with Ubbe for a moment, but with his hands at his side, Ubbe discreetly motioned for his decanus to stand by and wait for further instructions. The other ten Vikings they had brought with them, disguised as captives, stood there silently with their heads down, looking demoralized and defeated as Rorik held the rolled up blanket containing their weapons, gazing at them as if watching them cautiously.

General Hama and his four Taiyou soldiers were outnumbered, and completely oblivious to the circumstances at that moment as the elevator slowly stopped at Niihama's surface. The large doors opened, followed by a second pair of armored doors as they reached Sector Five, letting in an acrid smell of polluted air brought upon by the cool breeze. The Vikings were already used to the smell, having grown up in a much harsher environment, and did not seem phased at all by the cooler air which to them seemed like hot air. It was raining at the time, and the sound of low rumbling thunder could be heard as the platform reached the surface. Lightning crackled and flashed as the elevator doors opened to reveal the rooftop of a large building like nothing Ubbe or his indirect kinfolk had ever seen before. To the general and his Taiyou soldiers, it was the land of the rising sun, but to the Vikings in Praetorian armor, it seemed like an enormous metropolis or megacity, something of a dark awe-inspiring nature akin to the realm of the Jotnar and their Nordic pagan deities.

General Masaharu Hama was the first to step out of the elevator, followed by Rulav, Ubbe and two of the Taiyou soldiers. The captives were pushed from behind by Hvitserk and Rorik as Rulav ordered them to exit the shaft, accompanied by the other two Taiyou soldiers. On the rooftop, Ubbe Ragnarsson noticed twelve other Taiyou soldiers in foreign masks and the Jigabachi attack helicopters with their spotlights shining upon their location. None of the Vikings had ever seen helicopters before, and in their own minds they began to question what these strange entities might have been with their whirling propellers and metal frameworks. Were these the spirits or wind gods that Ubbe's father Ragnar Lothbrok and their ancestors once told fanciful tales about? Each man began to ponder, making up their own perceptions based on personal beliefs which differed from person to person, yet nobody spoke aloud, keeping all of their thoughts to themselves. The presence of the Botanachi DRHC Tilt Rotor only added to the mystery as the Praetorian imposters reformed in a mannerly way, doing their best to keep in character and maintain their disguise.

Just then, General Hama paused, causing Rulav and the others to pause as well. Ubbe looked up at the large Armored Shrikes in front of him. These strange machines looked remarkably similar to the Jotnar or devouring cannibalistic ancestors his father had once spoke of, leading Ubbe and Hvitserk to believe that they had arrived in Jotunheim, the fabled realm of the giants. But they weren't perplexed, for that was to be expected, a fitting place for such a menacing enormous monster as Shimizu, whom they had come to hunt and slay with their newly acquired weapons. Jotunheim was a land of illusions after all, and the Jotnar were masters of strangely foreign magic, capable of shape-shifting and performing all sorts of fantastical feats. Perhaps even the general and his men were Jotnar in disguise, Ubbe thought, recalling the story of Thor the Thunderer and his journey to Utgard, when nothing was as it seemed. But as the Vikings caught sight of General Hazama and noticed the men in Umibozu uniforms along with General Hama's reaction, their gut instincts warned them that something was amiss.


Meanwhile...
Below the Surface in Oor Cavern...


The elevator platform was too small to accommodate everyone all at once. While Ubbe and his team took half of their crew to the surface, the other half had stayed behind, waiting for the next ride up. Four Praetorian imposters stood watch, guarding the other ten mock prisoners under the surveillance of a few Taiyou soldiers armed with Seburo C30 assault rifles. At first everything seemed okay, but as the minutes ticked by, the tension began to take hold. This was not part of the original plan, and the Vikings were beginning to get nervous. The elevator was slow moving, and nobody knew what to expect. What had they gotten themselves into? With Ubbe, Hvitserk, Rorik and Rulav no longer there to guide them, the remaining Vikings were left to their own thoughts. But idle hands are the devils playthings, so it is said, and soon the tensions became too much for them.

Suddenly, and without warning, one of the Viking captives placed his hand over his chest and started groaning. He fell over out of line, faking a heart attack and causing the others to become aroused. The imposters in Praetorian armor raised their shields and drew their nanosteel spathas, playing along as they pretended to try and calm the other nine prisoners, yelling over the heightened crowd and adding to the chaos and confusion that was baffling to the Taiyou soldiers, who raised their own rifles and pointed them at the captives, unsure what to make of the situation. But this was all a ruse, as the raised shields and clustered wall of prisoners actually blocked their view from the other Praetorian who had started to arm the captives with their own Viking weapons and armor. The Praetorian at the front of the crowd kept shouting for everyone to stand back and fall in line when suddenly, the second Praetorian turned and attacked one of the soldiers, thrusting his sword into the Taiyou guard's abdomen.

Before anyone knew what was happening, the Vikings turned on the Taiyou and began attacking them. Shots were fired, and a couple of the captives fell from the gunshots. But it was too late. The corridor doors were sealed shut. They were thick and heavy, muffling the sound of the gunshots as the Vikings, now enraged, started to overwhelm the Taiyou security. Within seconds, the remaining Vikings would kill the armed guards and seize their rifles, taking total control of a small corridor within the Taiyou underground facility. Their fate was fixed, and soon the rest of the captives began putting on their own armor and preparing themselves for battle. Their actions would not go unnoticed, however, as the security cameras in the corner of the closed off room would catch the whole thing on live feed. It would take a minute for the other Taiyou guards to see what was happening on their screens, but soon it was apparent that their security had been jeopardized. The Iskjerne Vikings had once again infiltrated their compound, this time in greater numbers than before.


Sector Five...
Back on the Surface of Niihama...


"Rikushō." General Hama said aloud, offering a brief salute by bringing his flattened hand to his forehead. General Hazama returned the salute, and frowned slightly, the body language of both generals being rather intense. Ubbe and his crew had noticed the change in the atmosphere surrounding them, but were unprepared for what was about to come next as General Hama began making gestures towards himself and Rulav, speaking in a language that none of them could understand. Rulav tried to put the words together, but Hama spoke too quickly and Rulav's understanding was too limited.

General Hama scowled and stepped away from them at that point. Unsure what to do, Rulav and his Praetorians started to follow him, but just then the dozen Taiyou soldiers surrounding them raised their assault rifles and pointed them directly at the imposters, causing them to stop. Ubbe and his crew stood still, silently for a moment, baffled and confused. That's when their whole world changed instantly. General Hazama spoke out to them through his loudspeaker. Only this time he wasn't speaking in Taiyou, but in a very familiar language that all of them could understand. Sigurd Hring's friend Takao Eguchi had taught the general how to speak the language of the Iskjerne Vikings, and the Taiyou general had become rather fluent in reading their native tongue.

"We have no quarrels with your people!" He shouted. "Put down your weapons and give up... Do this and we will allow you to live." the stand-in general commanded. "If you protest, we will use force... The choice is yours, challenge us at your own risk" Hazama warned, before lowering his loudspeaker. General Hama watched the Praetorians carefully to see how they would respond as a path was cleared for them to the rotor. He was testing Rulav and his team, and suddenly the Ragnarsson brothers felt their own hearts sink into their chests. Ubbe and Hvitserk looked at one another quietly before looking to Rulav and Rorik, all of whom were now staring at Ubbe Ragnarsson and waiting for his response. Ubbe swallowed his tongue nervously, and the tension grew rapidly as he turned and looked at the ten shirtless, unarmed mock prisoners it now seemed he had led to their doom.

"BAH-BOOM!!!"

Lightning struck a tall radio tower in the distance, followed by a cackling of loud thunder shortly afterwards. Combined with the falling rain hitting the rooftop, this was the only sound that would break through the overall silence of everyone near the helipad, who looked around quietly without saying anything. Milliseconds turned into a few seconds, which turned into almost half a minute of awkward silence. But to Ubbe and his crew, it seemed like an eternity, as if time itself had stopped completely. A million thoughts ran through his mind as he tried to contemplate every possible scenario and outcome within that brief moment of nervousness, looking around at all of the many different weapons pointed in his direction. Ubbe and Hvitserk had resolved to hunting and slaying the mighty iron-toothed fire breathing dragon that had supposedly killed their grandfather Sigurd, hoping to continue their family's legacy by walking in the footsteps of their father Ragnar Lothbrok, but now, they had failed both of them and each other as well.

The Vikings fixed their eyes on Ubbe, waiting for his command. They were half-expecting him to make a scene and do something extraordinary, perhaps raising his sword into the air and commanding them to charge forward against General Hazama and the Taiyou soldiers in some sort of daring heroic last stand. But instead, perhaps unexpectedly, he dropped his shield on the concrete rooftop with a loud clang and removed his helmet, revealing his face before also dropping the helmet as well. Upon seeing this, the other Vikings followed suit, removing their helmets and dropping their shields. Rulav and Rorik revealed their faces, along with Hvitserk, all of them looking baffled and fearful as they began disarming themselves, raising their hands into the air with open palms. To General Hama's surprise, the Umibozu's speech had actually worked. The Vikings, now exposed, had surrendered to their will, and gave up their disguise.