APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 2 March, 2000


The Tales of the Jolly Rogers

Mission Three: The Legend of the Desert Vikings
Chapter Seven: The Twilight of the Gods, Part 1

Bernard David

Previously in the Tales of the Jolly Rogers...

Bernard David has written quite a lot about the Jolly Rogers. Below is an index that links to the previous material. Check them out!

  1. Mission One: Shiver My Guns!
  2. Mission Two: Nuke 'Em Till They Glow and Shoot 'Em in the Dark!
  3. Mission Three: The Legend of the Desert Vikings
    1. Chapters 1 - 5
    2. Capter 6: The Wolf
    3. Chapter 7: The Twilight of the Gods, Part 1

Mission One includes an overview of Bernard's Jolly Rogers mercenaries. Be sure to take a look!

Charge of the Rhinoceros Brigade

" All units, this is Brigadier General Zugs! Stand by to breach the enemy's stronghold!"

" General Zugs, my tactical officer reports that the enemy is training a battery of guns on the Wolf." Captain Lanzdhorf said.

" Fire the guns and all you have got at the enemy's fortification. Immediately." Zugs ordered.

" Yes, Sir! Tactical, fire the missiles together in unison with the main guns."

" Roger, Captain."

As the Wolf's awesome array of weapons trained on the Valhallan Keep, the defending Keep was not at all helpless to the incoming onslaught. Slits on the faces of Thor's twin opened up to reveal an equally devastating battery of heavy autocannon emplacements. Both sides fired almost at the same time. Strings of tracer fire laced the dark skies with a phosphorous green while bursts of artillery fire flashed across like lightning in an angry storm.

The Wolf opened up her missile hatches and let loose a volley of seemingly enthusiastic arrows of destruction. Instantaneously, the Keep's point defense systems flickered into life as they followed the telemetry of the missiles. Once in range, they spat out an endless supply of lead in an attempt to stop them. Many were cut down in mid-flight but a few lucky ones got through. Plunging themselves into the slots of the autocannon emplacements, they exploded inside, destroying the cannon from within. But as the each of the emplacements were self-contained. The explosion did little other than silence that particular weapon.

" Hey! Hey! Hey! Boys! It's show time!" Lips exclaimed with gleeful smile.

He had taken the fierce exchange of fire as sign of approval. The sign of approval to go ahead of attack.

" Okay, Rogers. We are gonna lead the way and take that fortress by hook or by crook. Questions?"

No sooner, he finished those words. The Jolly Rogers quickly charged in the fray with their weapons blazing.

" Lips! Looks like the enemy was prepared to fight a war. Look! Bunkers and Pill boxes up ahead coupled with network of trenches!" Pierre warned.

" Yes, I saw that. Gear-sized trenches, I might add in." Lips said.

Ivy just dropped two Vikings Gears with two quick snap shots in the head before a barrage of cannon fire forced her to prone her Snakeeye Mamba. She returned fire with a string of wild laser blasts. The opposing fire was just simply too strong for her Gear to handle.

" Guys! I am being pinned down by trenchers!" She cried.

Siegfried having done away a Grizzly Heavy Gear by emptying his entire autocannon on it, heard Ivy's call. He swiftly reloaded the weapon, pushed his Razorback's throttle at top speed. The Heavy Gear switched to tracked mode and charged straight into the trench. Once in the trench, he drew his vibroblade, slashed at the surprised Viking Gears across the chest. The hapless Gear went limp.

As the first Gear fell, Siegfried blasted the second with a three seconds burst. Swinging around, he elbowed the one behind him, plunging the blade into it at the same time. " Trench clear, Ivy!" He yelled.

The rest of the Jolly Rogers had formed a tight circle around Lip's Fire Dragon strider. They had driven themselves into the heart of fighting and were causing havoc amongst the frenzied enemies.

A pillbox was pouring out a withering hail of cannon fire, its two neighboring trenches occupied by Cheetah Heavy Gears were giving it fire support.

" Sir, we need something heavy to take out those!" an officer of the Rhinos remarked to Lips.

" Sure, no problem at all. Alexis, get me the snub cannon."

The sighting of the 106mm gun lit up in front of Lips' display. He twiddled with the gun sight's joystick till it centered with the target. With a wicked smile, he fired the cannon. The pillbox was blown apart instantly. Ray Vahn seized the moment to release a couple of rifle launched grenades into the trenches. The grenade explosion mangled the Cheetah like rage dolls.

The vigorous assault combined with the might of the land ship had weaken the Vahallan Keep's defenses. Tykane who had watch the entire attack gnashed his teeth in anger as his defending Heavy Gears force was reduced to small pockets of resistance. " All units, retreat back to the Keep. Establish a defensive perimeter around the area."

" Acknowledged, Colonel Tykane." A mechanical voice answered.

Break time in the War

"Ah. Finally a lull in the fighting. The right time for beer, right Ivy?" asked Siegfried.

" Please, I am trying to get some sleep."

Ignoring her grumbles, Siegfried popped a can of beer and sipped the contents.

Both of them had settled in an empty trench just meters away from no man's land.

" Say Lips, do you think we just beaten the stuffing out of Tykane's goons. Maybe we had hurt them so much that they decided whatever time they got left. They better make out the terms of surrender."

Lips and the Rogers giggled at his "joke".

" I wish." John sighed.

" Tykane won't surrender with a fight. Or die without one. He probably formulating something right now."

" I wonder why did the land ship stopped pounding the Keep? Gunther, why the cease fire?" Lips enquired.

" Because if we continue to pound the Keep, we reduced it to shambles and destroy any chances of retrieving any lost documents or artifacts intact. Anyway, we have reduced the defenses to almost nothing."

Pierre asked Ray Vahn. " You know, I don't think Tykane is going to sit around and go down in blaze of glory. I say he's something up his sleeves. He's trying to stall for time. Knowing the value of the Keep, he will probably use it to the fullest as a bargaining chip."

" What are you suggesting? Sneak into the keep and find out?"

" Why, yes! Are you up to it?"

" I'd be coward to say no. Yes, I am up to this challenge."

" See that wrecked bunker in front of us? I bet it has a passageway that leads back to the Keep. What do you say?"

" Sounds good to me. But better inform Lips about our little escapade."

John opened his Gear's cockpit. The acrid smell of explosive and cordite was in the air coupled with crackling of flames everywhere made him remind of his past. It was like this after the siege of Gumstein. Gumstein during the war of the alliance was a minor outpost in the Badlands. The part that it played was nothing significant other than a simple supply base. Yet it was subjected to fury of the CEF advance just because it was in its path of advance. John's company was there for to escort a supply convoy back to his unit's position in the frontlines. But they were at the wrong place and at the wrong time.

For next 2 hours, the CEF thrashed the outpost with a barrage of heavy laser fire. Then an entire mob of GRELs advanced like army skags, threatened to overrun Gumstein in matter of minutes. John and what's left of his company came out of their hiding places to fire at the GRELs. But these supersoldiers knew no fear, for nothing known on Terra Nova could stop their relentless advance once an objective has been made known to them.

John in his then Hunter Heavy Gear swept his auto cannon left and right, firing at the resilient GRELs till it was empty. As he reloaded a fresh magazine in and took aim. The auto cannon suddenly exploded in a shower of flash.

" Ugh!" John cried out in shock as a bang from a nearby wreck snapped him out of his memory recall.

" Still living in past huh? Johnny?" Anna asked. " No, just recalling the past. All this is too familiar for me. You know, I was so busy fighting the war that....that...I cannot deal with human relationships anymore. I can never be whole again. I was spending nearly all my life inside a Heavy Gear. And wherever I look myself in the mirror, it was not John Ogilvy but killing machine that simply gives more orders to do more killings."

" John....Johnny, your term in the North is already over.You are whole as man again. Use the time now to make up the time lost."

" No! I won't allow you to do it!" Lips vehemently disapproved. " Why not? We can sneak in and find whatever Tykane's doing. And who knows.....we can stop him if we are lucky!"

" Don't crazy, you two. We are venturing into unknown territory. Forget it. I don't even know what lies in next hundred meters in front of me!"

" Great! Okay, it's back to the drawing broad!" Pierre signed.

Tykane studied the forces arrayed against him in the command bunker nestled deep in the underground. Surrounded by his staff officers who followed turned renegade with him cycles back.

" Tell me, Major Sentree. How are we going to break this siege?"

Sentree, a grizzled veteran of many wars knitted his brows. " I say we can hold out as long as we have ammo and vital supplies. And of course we have all. We practically self-sufficient here. Less than one hundred living crew and a few hundred of robots doing the fighting for us. The Northerners have limited ammo. We can provoke them into expending unnecessary ammunitions. When they are out of ammo, we will strike them down!"

" A very, very cowardly plan but sound. But the presence of a landship unnerves me a lot. Already we have as lost a quarter of the defense batteries to the firepower of that landship."

" Sir, I will volunteer my company to destroy that landship. The arrival of the Northern forces will give us a severe setback to carry out Operation Twilight "

Tykane stared hard at the officer, Major Kros.

" I am aware of that. Somehow we must disable that landship. Otherwise we cannot carry out the operation as planned."

" Then let me go and destroy that landship, Col. Tykane!" Kros demanded.

" Go then. I expect no less than the news of your success."

Kros saluted to Tykane promptly before dashing out of the command bunker.

" Incoming transmission from Valeria, Col. Tykane. It's from.....C.A.B.A.L." Major Sentree said. He choked briefly as if that word was stuck in his throat like a bone. "I will put it through the main display."

A dark, sinister figure appeared in the huge display screen.

" Greetings, my faithful servants. I knew that you are being besieged by elements of the Northern Guard." The voice that spoke to them was like flowing water, many voices speaking together at the same time. Yet all in unison.

" My lord, we will try to lift the siege so as to carry out your plan uninterrupted. The two missiles are in process of charging their power capacitors. We still have two and a half hours more before they can be launched." Tykane explained.

" It is imperative the missiles are launched on time. The annual gathering of prime political figures in Valeria will commence soon. The C.A.B.A.L must wipe them out in one fell swoop. Of course, the city will be destroyed in the process. That is an acceptable loss considering that the whole of the Northern polar states will be ours to inherit."

" The C.A.B.A.L will regconize your men and your effort for making this possible no doubt. We will honor you. We must go now. Go and carry out your mission."

Next Time

Who or What is C.A.B.A.L ? Will the Jolly Rogers and their Northern Allies know what behold them in the Valhallan Keep? To be continued in the Twilight of the Gods, Part 2!

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APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 2 March, 2000