Chapter 13: Liberating Lon

The Brynyan super-heavy tank, the Titan, screeched slowly to a halt for well over the fiftieth time that night. Shouting, cursing, and all too eager to shoot something, the Titan's crew clambered out of the massive machine and hopped to the ground. Behind them, the entire column sighed collectively as word reached them concerning the state of the tank.

Soldiers glanced around nervously from their perches on tank hulls, the back of troop trucks, and the inside of half-tracks. The tall grasses of Termina's central fields rose up around them and stretched into the darkness as far as any of them could see. Stretching behind the column for hundreds of miles, the grass had been crushed and pushed down and out of the way by the Titan at the head of the column, to make a path for the rest of the vehicles.

The plan had seemed perfect at the time. As per the orders of General Dragmire, they had pulled out of their position in the prison camps and were making their way to Aborwatch and Ville d'horloge as fast as they could. They had figured if they cut through the fields, they could arrive days if not weeks earlier. What they hadn't considered, was that the grass had grown since they had first conquered Termina. Now, it was much taller and far thicker. Somehow, instead of simply being crushed by the heavy vehicles, it got snagged underneath them and, if left unchecked, crippled their movement.

Desperate, they had deployed the only Titan in their possession to the front of the column, figuring its superior weight would make it immune the grass's slowing effects, and it would push it down so much the vehicles behind it would be safe as well.

Unfortunately for them, even the Titan was not invulnerable, for it had been designed to be deployed in wide open spaces and to smash through city streets, not crawl slowly through thick plant life, due to the large amount of hanging machinery on its underbelly. As if it were alive and consciously attempting to impede their march, the almost impossibly thick grass had jammed the Titan countless times, getting snagged and caught up by the machinery of the tank's underbelly. Still, with the Titan in front the rest of the column was unhindered, and so they had pressed on anyway. Now though, it was getting worse and they were too deep into the fields to turn back and follow the road.

The imagination of the soldiers was slowly infecting the entire column, and every soldier was shivering, trying not to look at the dark, thick forest of grass which surrounded them. It was tall enough to easily hide a fully grown, massive man, and even the more level headed soldiers began to worry. Anyone with a mind to could ambush their column, and there was very little they could do with almost all of their war machines rendered useless and most of their soldiers exhausted from the strenuous journey so far. They weren't even sure where they were, their radios were malfunctioning or broken, and the possibility of becoming stranded indefinitely in Termina's enormous plains when their vehicles ran out of fuel was quickly becoming a likely scenario for them.

When, all of a sudden, the western skies ahead of them were lit up by scores of artillery flashes and their radios suddenly burst to life, the entire column cheered and breathed a sigh of relief. Just ahead were Brynyan held villages, and to the south was the Hyrulean held city of Carentan. With Carentan coming under heavy bombardment and a clear path to the villages only a few hours away, the column suddenly felt at ease. Their long journey through the fields was almost over, and other than being tired and frustrated, they were none the worse for wear.

Thrall-master Dietrich Gertracht, a man in his early fifties who had been with the Brynyan military his entire working life, was a resentful and wretched man. He hunched down in a corner of a troop truck, his long greasy hair hiding his face as he watched with annoyance the antics of the suddenly relieved and happy soldiers. Peering inside his large, thick coat, he ruffled around in its interior pockets.

He pulled out a thin stack of poorly developed photographs and sighed in relief as he looked through them. 

Licking his lips, he reveled in the glorious work he did. As an afterthought, he felt some of his instruments through his coat and grinned to himself.

He looked at the soldiers around him slowly, and wondered if they would be as much fun as the prisoners if he was given the chance to work on them. The prisoners had screamed and pleaded for mercy and even death, he remembered. Recalling the sounds and smells of his hideous research, and the pictures of it he held in his hands, he almost began to drool. It was such glorious work, and he did it all for his Emperor's vision for the future.

Lost in his thoughts, he was unable to register the explosions that suddenly erupted all around him. Soldiers cried out as they reached for their rifles and jumped to their feet, shouting incoherent things, something about 'Hyruleans'. They were cut down with amazing speed, their bodies twisting as they fell back and spasmed as they died on the back of the truck. More explosions, and the halftrack behind them erupted in a column of fire as the entire vehicle was flung away from the formation and into the fields.

He stood up, laughing as the last shred of sanity he had retained slipped away, almost believing the bloodshed around him was his doing, as if he was back in his lab at the prison. A bullet grazed his shoulder, and he was pulled out of his madness long enough to note the blood bubbling from the wound. Brushing it off, he laughed some more, and he fell to the truck bed when a bullet struck him in the temple, and passed through his skull and out the other side. Convulsing, his mouth was formed into a permanent and twisted smile as he died, his pictures scattered all over the truck bed.

The Brynyan column never stood a chance. The Hyruleans came upon them seemingly from nowhere, almost completely invisible in the grass, and completely invisible with the added cover of the darkness. Most of the Brynyan troops were asleep, and the frenzied Hyrulean draftees cut down thousands of well trained and veteran heavy infantry with ease. Most of the vehicles were burning, and they were given a wide berth as more than one of them spontaneously exploded, sending flaming debris and shrapnel in every direction and killing many Hyruleans in the process.

Hyrulean officers stood around the lead vehicle, one of the fearsome Titan tanks, and they couldn't help but smile. The one real flaw of the Titans, and most Brynyan tanks, was how low their hulls sat to the ground and the exposed machinery that was located underneath them. Anything could get caught up in it and cripple the tank's movement, even though the Brynyans went about like the Titans were invincible. The first one engaged by Hyrule's troops hadn't even been able to fire on them, as its crew was caught outside frantically trying to untangle the tank from the local plant life.

The members of squad 132B, of the Hyrulean 96th rifle corps, were walking down the column towards the head, searching for their Justicar in the chaotic mess. At the suggestion of the corporal, they stopped by a Brynyan troop truck and decided to let him find them.

"Its unnerving, you know," said Talo.

"What is?" said Rawne as he fished around in his pocket for a cigarette, a habit he had picked up in Carentan.

"How easy this was. We just attacked, shot at them, and five minutes later here we are. I'm not complaining, but it's got me on edge now that I think about it."

"An easy battle has you on edge? Are you stupid, Talo?" Malo said, giving his brother a light slap on the back of the head. "This was a damn miracle far as I'm concerned, after that shit on the beach and in Carentan."

Everyone chuckled and nodded. None of them could disagree with that. Talo remained unconvinced, however.

"That may be, but there's still something about this…maybe it's this truck or something, who knows, but 

something's got me spooked."

"Did you ever think that maybe you're just retarded?" asked Rawne with a grin as he tried to light his cigarette with a barely functioning lighter. "Why would this truck spook you?"

"Well whatever it is, it's got me too," Colin said with a shiver.

Everyone except Ralph and Link looked at him and laughed. "You're always scared anyway!" they chorused.

"All of you, shut up," snapped Ralph as he sat with his back against one of the truck's tires. "Link, climb up on this damn truck and see what's got these idiots so scared."

Link nodded, strapped his rifle over his shoulder, and climbed onto the truck bed slowly and pulled out a small flashlight. Looking around, all he saw were dead Brynyans and their guns, and their ammunition clips scattered all over. He noticed most of the Brynyans sported bullet holes in their foreheads, and he contemplated that whoever shot at them was either extremely lucky or a highly talented marksman.

Then, he noticed something strange. One of the dead men wasn't a soldier at all, and didn't even appear to be carrying any kind of firearm. He looked extremely dirty and almost slimy, but otherwise had been healthy enough. Given his pale complexion, he didn't seem to have seen the sun very often. The broken glasses lying next to him along with his other more intelligent features led Link to the assumption that he was some kind of researcher for the Brynyan Empire. The thing that really struck Link as strange was that the man had worn a long and thick trench coat on such a hot night.

"Find anything?" shouted Ralph.

"Maybe, hold on!" Link replied.

He smiled. Killing off a potential genius and asset to the enemy's long term war effort seemed all too sweet. Deciding to search the man for anything of interest, he attempted to push him over with his foot, causing one side of his long coat to fall open. He shined the flashlight on the open coat, revealing an array of vicious looking surgical equipment that shimmered in the light, marred by disturbing brownish stains that could have been blood. Link found himself recoiling at the sheer barbarity of the instruments. There almost seemed no point to some of them, other than to honestly inflict as much pain and suffering on an individual as was physically possible. Link was no surgeon, but almost none of them looked like they could enter someone's body and not kill them.

Preferring not to search his body after all, Link instead found the numerous pictures scattered around the man. They were all poorly developed, but something urged him to take them anyway. Not bothering to look at what they were of, he gathered them all up and hopped off the truck. Perhaps they'd turn out to be valuable intelligence, or something.

"What'd you find?" Ralph asked without looking at him.

Link wordlessly handed him the pictures and the flashlight. Looking through them, Ralph's face slowly twisted into an expression of complete and utter revulsion and uncontrollable anger.

"What the fuck is this shit…?" he hissed, the pictures shaking in his trembling hands.

"What is it?" asked Rawne, half interested as he grabbed several from Ralph's shaking hands. A long pause."…this is some fucked up shit," he gasped as he looked at one.

Their curiosity perked, soon every member of the squad was holding a picture, and they were all utterly disgusted. Colin gagged and threw his away, Talo nearly fainted, and Malo stared at it in shock. Link crumbled his up and threw it on the ground, clenching his teeth. He was about to crush it under his foot and ruin it against the ground when Tancred appeared behind him, and picked it up.

They all watched him silently as he flattened it out over his thigh and then stared long and hard at it. Wordlessly, he took the rest of the pictures and set them on fire with Rawne's lighter. He sighed heavily and shook his head.

"Where did you find those?"

Everyone pointed to the truck. Tancred shined his flashlight over the truck bed and clenched his fist.

"So…a thrall-master. They're doing it all over again…that explains the purpose of the Terminian camps."

"Doing what, sir?" asked Ralph.

"In the first Great War, Brynya used its captive civilians and soldiers as test subjects for all manner of experiments. It is said they were testing the human threshold for pain and suffering, as if they were trying to engineer a human beyond the normal, natural scope of ability. Whatever their purpose, these thrall-masters are an abomination. What they do to the prisoners in their care is nothing short of mutilation to a point beyond recognition. As the tales go, it's some kind of twisted game to create something bigger, faster, stronger." He spit on the ground and swore loudly. "All the more reason for us to win this war and burn that nation to the ground forever."

He turned off his flashlight and pocketed it, the distant flashes of the Brynyan artillery and flames of burning vehicles illuminated him in the dark eerily.

"But enough of that. Turn off your flashlights, all of you. We're moving out, and we can't afford to give our positions away, assuming wiping out this column didn't already do so. We're assaulting a heavily fortified position. It's not going to be like Carentan. They're done underestimating us, and this time we won't have any vehicle support, whereas the Brynyans will, and we'll be fighting across a lot of open ground without any cover at all. Our only chance is to attack without warning, and kill them all before they can coordinate a defense. If they know we're coming, then goddesses help us. I'll tell you when we're in position and when to attack. Other than that, try not to do anything…stupid." He cast a quick glance at Colin, aware of his actions at Carentan.

"Now let's move!"

Above them, the ceiling shook violently with each thundering clap of the guns. The sound, though muffled by the thick cellar doors, still rattled them to the bone. Bits of dirt dislodged from the ceiling and fell on their heads, covering them with soil. They groaned and whimpered as the thundering of the guns continued relentlessly. As the shaking grew more and more severe, some of them began to think the ground above them might just collapse completely and suffocate them under tons of soil.

Even if they weren't killed by their surroundings, then, they were sure, their captors would do away with them soon…

She watched, mesmerized, the cellar doors. They shook and rattled just like the ceiling and a sliver of light, too dim to be sunlight, shined through the crack between them on occasion. It was a good feeling to at least know for sure the relevant time of day. It was nighttime, and though everyone around her was panicked by the thundering above them, something about it reassured her. There was some feeling, in the back of her mind, that told her it was a good thing, that some miracle would be born from this terror that they now faced. Tears welled up in her eyes and she fell down to her knees, clasping her hands together and pleading desperately.

"Oh, goddesses, please listen! Please! I think this is our last chance… I fear we'll all be dead soon! Save us, please! None of us deserve to die like this!"

As she went on, her previous calm quickly deteriorated and she grew frantic, the fear of those around her infecting her mind. Soon, she was practically screaming her words, and most of the others joined her in kneeling and begging the goddesses for a miracle.

They approached the edge of the tall grasses and halted, the burning Brynyan column many miles behind them. Tens of thousands of men swarmed in the camouflage of the fields in a formation several miles long, peering through their cover at what was ahead of them.

It was a peculiar and unnerving sight. Several small villages, six upon counting them, dotted the land ahead of them, each several miles apart and connected by ill-maintained dirt roads. Farm buildings; silos, barns, stables, and other such structures were to the rear of them and much more widely spread. The pastures and fields around the villages were overgrown or barren, and there was presumably no livestock left, though perhaps the Brynyans had kept the animals alive to be used later.

Hastily built amongst the simple hamlets were many fortifications. Many fence lines, bunkers, a few towers along the fences, and defilades in the main roads throughout the villages. In each village square were the artillery batteries which continually shelled Carentan, though the Brynyans had no idea they were doing very little if any real damage at all to Hyrulean manpower. There were about three batteries in each village, and surrounding them each time was a circular trench dug into the squares. All the roads which led into the squares had machine guns trained on them, and defilades blocking off vehicle access as well. The largest village, Lon, had at least six batteries according to intelligence, and they were apparently more powerful than the rest. There was reason to believe then, that obviously Lon would be the toughest nut to crack.

Proving the Hyrulean speculations correct, in addition to the standard defenses of the other villages, Lon had many vehicles stationed throughout it. In the square, tanks were pulled into large sandbag emplacements connected with the trench line which protected them from most enemy retaliation, but gave them a full firing range over a given street with both their main cannons and some secondary guns.

All in all, it was surprising to see the extent of Brynya's hold on the villages. They were almost too small to even be worth any attention, and it was a wonder Brynya had even bothered to move in and take them in the first place, let alone hunker down and fortify them. Though that would help Brynya immensely now, beforehand there was absolutely nothing to be gained from holding the villages. Either Brynya's tacticians were absolute idiots, mused Hyrule's commanders, or they were military geniuses who could predict their enemies' future moves like no other. It seemed to be the former, because there was no indication whatsoever that Brynya even expected a night attack by Hyrule. There were only a precious few exhausted sentries sitting around in the towers, with the rest of the enemy forces presumably sleeping or getting drunk as Brynyan soldiers seemed wont to do.

It came as an immense surprise then, when the villages came to life in an instant. All the lights turned on and alarms began wailing, and the shouts of thousands of men awakening was all too audible. And the artillery had suddenly ceased.

Without a second thought, the Hyrulean forces were ordered to advance. Breaking cover, throwing out all necessity for subtlety, the army began the perilous charge across the dangerous open ground to the villages, the sanctuary of the fields and the tall grass disappearing behind them.

The Hyrulean 96th and fourteen other regiments were assigned the most grueling task of all, the village of Lon. It was only slightly larger than the others, but its defenses massively eclipsed the rest. General Gilbear had reviewed the performances of many of his regiments during the battles of Great Bay and Carentan, and sent only those that he felt had fought harder than all the rest to attack Lon.

Originally, the idea had been to simply swarm the villages before the Brynyans could get to their positions, 

but that plan had gone awry. Tipped off by some unknown factor, the Hyruleans and Brynyans were racing against each other in a race that would decide the fate of thousands of lives. At Lon at least, the Brynyans proved victorious and manned their defenses while the Hyruleans were still in the middle of the open ground.

Since the artillery had ceased firing, the only light had been from the villages, and Hyrule's forces had found it much more favorable in aiding their vision than the artillery flashes from earlier. Gilbear would be getting an earful later about not issuing every soldier with a personal flashlight before the battle.

Adding to the glow, streams of orange flashes lit up the vision of the Hyruleans. Bullets rained on them and cut hundreds down immediately, and the storm of lead only thickened with every second as more and more Brynyans added their guns to the onslaught.

Some Hyruleans took a knee and returned fire on the Brynyans. Their black uniforms were easily spotted amidst all the light against their backs, but the Hyruleans were even easier to spot. Shooting blindly into the dark, the Brynyans instantly tore apart any location where a muzzle flash suddenly presented them with a clear target. Those Hyruleans brave enough, or stupid enough, to return fire were killed almost instantly after they fired. They stood out like a sore thumb and scores died before the brave and stupid ones were all but weeded out by the Brynyans.

Nearing the gates of Lon, the widely spaced Hyrulean soldiers began to tread on the light-bathed sections of ground before the village, and searchlights darted about illuminating targets for the Brynyan soldiers. The ground was littered thickly with bodies in seconds, and it seemed the entire Hyrulean force would be broken right there, until one Brynyan soldier, scared witless and praying he would make it through the ordeal alive, stumbled onto one of the land mines.

The explosion ruined the vision of most of the Brynyan shooters, and Hyruleans were soon pouring through the gates, into the trenches, along the fence line. Several more mines were triggered, but they were spaced too far apart to truly pose much of a threat.

Dust from the mines blew over the Brynyans and completely blinded them, and before many realized it, their outer defenses were being overrun. Buildings and side alleys near the village gates were cleared immediately, and battle was joined on the main road leading to the square. The fighting vicious, Hyruleans and Brynyans alike broke off from the battle on the road and pushed through the town along other paths.

The fighting was absurdly cramped, the village much too small a battleground for so many troops. The Hyruleans had to gain ground fast or most of their men would die simply because they had nowhere to safely stand. The Brynyans knew this and crushed every Hyrulean advance on the main road brutally. There, the fighting was at a stalemate.

The fate of the battle would be decided along the smaller, back alleys between the original homes and the new buildings erected by the Brynyan invaders. The true scale of Brynyan's additions to the villages had been vastly underestimated, and each of them was proving a far larger battlefield than anyone could have guessed.

Everything rested on reaching the village square, crushing its defenses, and taking out the command station hidden behind everything else at the rear of the village.

Link leaned his back against the trench wall and breathed deeply, catching his breath. His heart hammered in his chest from the dash to the village; he felt like he might pass out. It was painfully warm that night, and, looking around for at least the tenth time, he realized he had no idea where his squad was. In the previous chaos however, it wouldn't have been hard for anyone to lose track of such a small, undermanned squad. He wondered why they hadn't had more men added to them, but decided it didn't really matter.

Looking to his right, he remembered that he wasn't all alone at least. Rawne, catching his breath too, looked dangerously close to falling asleep despite all the noise around him. Link punched him in the shoulder and he 

jumped up and looked around quickly, looking through the sights on his rifle. He noticed Link there and chuckled.

"This is quite the situation here, Linky-poo…" Link cringed at the nickname but still laughed weakly at Rawne's massive understatement.

"I don't know about you, but there is no way in hell I'm going up there on the main road," said Link quietly. "I've been taking peeks, and it'd be suicide. Besides, Tancred isn't here to make us do it and neither is Ralph."

"We'd be dead with lead in our faces by now if Tancred were here, that's for damn sure," laughed Rawne. "So what DO we do, huh? I like living as much as anyone but I'm not going to pussy out of a battle just because there isn't someone here to tell me to fight. You?"

Link sighed. He could have guessed Rawne would actually want to fight and risk his life. When Link considered that he would probably be summarily executed if he was caught avoiding combat purposely, he felt his hands unconsciously tighten around his rifle.

"Well let's go then," said Link. "I'm not gonna let you make me look like a coward, we'll go kick some ass together."

"That's what I like to hear!" shouted Rawne. "But, in the interest of possibly avoiding death and living to see the even greater battles that are to come in this war, let's not go on the main road, 'k?"

"Agreed. We can follow this trench and see where it leads, it probably weaves back into the village like a maze, or something," said Link, looking over his shoulder and down the trench.

Strangely enough, there were no other Hyruleans in the trench as they walked, just dead Brynyans. And more dead Brynyans. As they turned right around a corner to work their way into the village, there were even more. And more. Plus, the first dead Hyrulean. His face looked oddly familiar to both Rawne and Link, but neither said anything or even stopped to see if they could put a name to him. Both were too focused on what was ahead of them.

As they progressed, the sounds of battle echoed all around them, though they never actually saw anything more than smoke and sparks. Constantly their path was covered in bodies, almost always Brynyan. Someone had been this way already, and was a very powerful soldier, given the extremely imbalanced ratio between dead Brynyans and Hyruleans.

Ahead, the shallow trench dipped down, so that it was actually reasonably deep for a trench. After that, it ran into the side of one of the houses, apparently leading into the building seeing as how there was a gaping hole in the side of the house where the trench ended. It was there at the end of the trench, before the gaping hole, where the Hyrulean dead were heaped.

Link cursed and Rawne looked visibly shaken. They ran over to the corpses, counting at least twenty or more dead right there. From the look of things, they hadn't been moved either. Where they were, that's how the men had died. Link clenched his fist in anger, wondering what did this, as Rawne looked cautiously towards the hole. Taking a few steps towards it, he leaned down and angled his head so he could look up it.

The trench sloped up at the last minute to get level with the floor of the house, though it was very minor. Rawne noted the several dead Brynyans lying along the slope, especially noticing the gaping wounds on their chests and abdomens. He'd only seen that once before. On the beach.

There was only one weapon that could have inflicted those wounds, and he only knew of one person who carried one.

"Link!" he whispered, gesturing him over as he stepped through the hole slowly. "I think Tancred and the 

others have been through here." Link noticed the bodies and grinned weakly.

"Yea, only Tancred could do that…" His gaze wondered up into the house itself, and he pulled his rifle to a firing position instantly. "Rawne, look out!"

The house, relatively quiet given the raging battle not too far away, was suddenly alight with bullets. Brynyans throughout the room shrieked and fired at anything that moved. Taking out two that had been gaping at them in the hole for who knew how long, Link dropped to his stomach and, using the stinking Brynyan corpses to hide his head as he peeked out, surveyed the room.

Just as it had sounded, the Brynyans' nerves were shot for some reason. They were still shooting at anything that moved, at shadows on the wall and floor, at each other. Something had truly shaken them. Glancing around at the bodies obviously left in Tancred's wake, Link didn't have to think hard to know what had pushed them so far.

Carefully, he raised his rifle and picked them off, clearing the right side of the room while Rawne cleared the left. When the coast seemed clear, they jumped up and ran to opposite sides of the room, Link finding all his targets dead and Rawne firing several times at cowering and dying soldiers.

Link secured the door and windows, shutting blinds and locking everything, while Rawne cautiously walked up the stairs. He found nothing but a large open second floor, filled with beds. Any walls that had been there had been torn away to turn the floor into a barracks for soldiers. Even though they had all woken up already and were out fighting, Rawne felt the urge to check the beds.

As he was going through them Link came up the stairs and looked around.

"I wonder whose house this was…" he said absentmindedly.

"Eh?" Rawne asked, not turning around as he tore the sheets off another bed and looked through them.

"I was just thinking to myself… who used to live here, what they were like… Before all this, you know?"

"Strange thing to be thinking at a time like this, Linky-poo," said Rawne, admonishing him.

"Like your looting isn't uncalled for, huh?" countered Link.

Rawne threw off a mattress and grabbed something from the bed it had previously been on. He stood up and turned around, facing Link as he held the object up to his face.

"I'm simply looking for…" he opened what appeared to be a diary. "…enemy intelligence." He flipped through the pages.

"Can you read Brynyan?"

"Uh…" Rawne looked up and, seeing his mistake, threw the book over his shoulder. "I guess I shouldn't have let myself get sidetracked, it's too dangerous for that right now," he sighed. "So what's it looking like out there?"

"Well, good news is the village square is right outside," grinned Link. "But the bad news is, there's a tank with its gun pointed right in this direction. I can't tell if anyone heard that skirmish or not, but there's probably going to be Brynyans coming through here to use the trench soon anyway, and at that point we have a whole mess of problems…"

Rawne sat down on a bed and laughed. "Ya know, I can't help but think this might have been one of the dumbest things I've ever done."

"One of them dumbest?" asked Link, leaning against the stair railing.

"Oh, you don't know the half of it," chuckled Rawne. "But that's not important right now! What do we do about our predicament? It's only a matter of time before they find us like you said. Besides, Tancred was through clearly through here already so let's see if we can find the crazy bastard!"

"We could do that, or we could sit up here and try to ambush several whole Brynyan companies as they funnel into the trench. Whichever you prefer," laughed Link.

"Oh I don't know, I guess I'll choose life, what do you think? There's gotta be another way out of here," he muttered, standing up and running down the stairs.

Link followed him slowly, moving to stand by the door and look outside as Rawne ran around the house like a headless chicken, tearing the place apart. Link thanked the Goddessess he was at least keeping quiet, because he knew there was no chance he'd calm him down.

The tank outside groaned as its main gun was directed towards the house they currently occupied. Watching it through a crack in the door, Link felt all the color drain from his face and the entire world around him go silent. The noise of the battle on the main road, and all the smaller battles throughout the village seemed to instantly stop.

Link darted toward Rawne, who was about to kick a seemingly weak-looking spot in the wall. Before Rawne knew what was going on, Link tackled him to the ground, aiming for the staircase that would take them to a lower level.

The tank, a Sabre, fired, and the top right section of the house was completely obliterated.

A/N: Our humblest and deepest apologies for the agonizingly long time it's taken to update. This is mostly my (meaning xakattak's) fault. I've been dealing with some rough times lately which include a lack of motivation to get anything done at all, but things are starting to look up and therefore so is this story. We hope none of you have lost interest in this story, because things are about to get very exciting. Keep reading, and please review! Thank you!