Ch.1: The Fall of Mercury
Explosions of red, yellow, green, and blue rained down on the blood stained soil of the pale planet; some detonated while still in mid-air, letting the shards of fire pierce through Mercurie's warriors like blades. The ones that made it to the ground seemed less dangerous, but that was only because the explosion gulped up the warriors, and left no more of them. The sky was covered with rolling, black clouds, and lighting flashed through the carol sky; upon closer inspection, one could see that it was smoke and the enemies' attacks that gave light to the darkness. It was dark indeed, despite the fact that it was daytime; the sun, which is so immensely close, could not penetrate the artificial night. Aria, the commander of the Mercurian's military, stood strong against all the chaos, shouting out orders and directing the wounded the their crumbling medical centers. A frown tugged at her invisible lips, on her ebony skin; their resemblance to the Martians was uncanny, they would often be mistaken for their brothers and sisters. A sense of brother-ship does exist among the two races; a plea for assistance had been sent to the Martians earlier that week. All sense of time had faded away, though, every minute felt like hours. Nevertheless, the Martians did respond, stating that they would come to their aid. The only problem; it takes a considerable amount of time to reach Mercury from Mars; she had no idea how much time had passed since their response. Communication had slipped beyond their grasp some time ago, their transmissions simply could not reach them. Regardless, they only had to hold out a bit longer, but it was a push. She glanced around her, seeing all of her jaded and beat comrades; their cloths torn and tattered, stained with blood. Then she gave herself a fleeting glance, and saw that she appeared no better. Her lilac tank-top and the pants that matched were torn in varies places and stained red. Her gloves of the same color, which originally trailed up to her shoulders, were now much shorter, being torn away by the countless explosions. The darker purple bracelets that used to hug each wrist had shattered, nothing of them remained. The combat boots of the same dark purple were scuffed and dirty, the golden-yellow belt that held her Death Ray Gun was barely clinging to her hips. Her weapon was not cradled between the two, however, it was held tightly in her hand, ready to fire off the few remaining shots it held. Her simple helmet, with different shades of purple, wore gapping gashes, some large enough to produce wholes, which let her ebony hair fall out in tiny strands. Appearances hardly mattered to her now, though, a full scale war had erupted on her small planet.
She sent daggers at the black sky, with her eyes of deep violet. The enemy, the one that was defeating them, were supposed to be nothing more than cowards. She drew herself away from the battlefield for a moment, allowing herself to remember how this all happened. For many centuries, the Mercurians have maintained an alliance with the Martians; they would often scout out planets together, extracting its citizens and then taking complete control of it. Even though the conquered planets were always in the name of the Martians, they shared the territory equally. This current situation had started out as nothing more than a routine mission, on a far off planet, that would bring desirable possibilities to both races. Everything had gone by smoothly (for them anyway) the beings of the planet did not put forth any resistance, and quietly departed, rather than being killed. This was many years ago, and Aria had not yet become commander, but she was still present. They all seemed so harmless, and it appeared as if noone there had gone through any formal military training. Nevertheless, here they are now, years latter, delivering a bombardment, however their skills did leave something to be desired. They were simply casting down bombs, but earlier, they attempted a land based attack, which failed. The result of her nearly empty gun came from that attack, disposing of them had been simple. They did exhibit a little intelligence over their lack of strength and skill, however; they figured out when the Mercurians space crafts would be under maintenance, and chose that day to strike. She had pushed everyone to ready the ships, but their carriers were the first to be fired upon, not a single ship remained.
The deafening explosions did not bring her back from her thoughts, it was the voice of a comrade, "Commander!"
She turned on her heals to face the larger Mercurian, "If you have bad news, go away."
The long term soldier did not hesitate at her sarcastic remark, "We have not been able to establish communication with the Martians, Commander Aria."
Her fingers tapped thoughtfully on her gun, "Keep trying, have someone stationed at the communication desk at all time," she cast her gaze back up to the sky and pointed, "There, a moment ago, there was a break in the smoke, I could see part of the ship," she gave him a sideways glance, "aim for that, shoot it down," her voice had suddenly become sharp and dangerous.
He replied with a 'yes commander,' saluted, and went off. She stood there for only a moment longer before a missel zoomed through the smoggy air and vanished into the smoke. It was soon followed by a flash of light, that sparked dimly in the blackness, then an audible boom. Everyone ceased what they were doing momentarily to watch as the tail end of the enemy ship slashed through the black smoke, coming down in a hail of fire. It sent hot embers of metal down to the ground, some had to leap out of the way to avoid being hit. As the huge vessel came closer to the ground, its people made the mistake of jumping out of it, if the fall hadn't killed them, they were immediately captured. Realizing the loss of its sister ship, another came into view, emerging out of the torrent of smoke.
While it came, a soldier had approached her and whispered to her, her eyes lit up, "Excellent...this fight is about to end," the spaceship overhead opened fire, "and do tell me why that ship is still intact!"
The soldier caught the command and ran off toward the firing platforms without giving a responce. She broke out into a run, dodging the explosions as she went. She cursed at the damage they caused, the surface of Mercury felt the bombs full effects, since the planet has a lack off atmosphere, therefor having no means of slowing foreign projectiles. Even if the battle stopped right now, she knew the planet would still have irreversible damage.
xXx Marvin xXx
Commander X-2 sat in the bridge, tapping his fingers impatiently against the arm of his chair, "How much longer until our destination is reached?"
The nearest centurion spoke, "Five hours, thirty-eight minutes, and twenty seconds, sir."
"Can we not go faster, we have been delayed too much already, we must go faster if we are to reach Mercury in time!"
The centurion turned to the wall of computers behind it, "Increasing speed, sir," it was silent for a moment, "Estimated time of arrival now three hours, seven minutes and thirty seconds."
He leaned back in his chair, but continued to tap. Before their departure a group of Martians decided that they did not want to assist the Mercurians, they were keen on the idea of taking hold of the planet once they were gone. So he, as well as the majority, had wasted time debating about whether or not to go. Many others wanted to provide assistance, but few, very powerful political figures, did not wish to. The queen was indifferent, letting the problem work itself out; he couldn't help but feel a bit annoyed at that, if she gave the order to go, noone would question it. He felt a sense of bother-ship with the Mercurians; they had fought side by side for so long. He liked to think that the Mercurian Commander would feel the same way, if the roles were reversed. He had only met her a view times, none of them formally, on the battlefield, and it was time to meet her again. After much silence and anticipation, they finally reached Mercury. Five battle ships were in orbit around the planet, all sending down clusters of explosives. He gave order to open fire. The ships seemed to have not even noticed their arrival, they were completely caught off guard. He let out one of his small, trademark laughs, things were so much easier when the enemy was incompetent. After some time, all the ships were gone, clearing the way to the planet.
The Martian commander wasted no time, "Take us down, prepare to take the injured onboard! Use full force against any resistance!"
An echo of, 'yes, sir' rang through the bridge as his ship began its descent. Before even landing down, he stood and left the bridge, wanting to get on the battlefield as soon as possible. He passed many centurions on his way to the loading docks, which paused and saluted him, but he paid them no mind. When he arrived, the huge metallic door was in the process of opening, giving a small window of sight of the battlefield just ahead. As soon as it touch down, he rushed out, with a hoard of centurions behind him. He peered off into one of the craters, glad to see the towers that gave the centurions their energy still stood.
He spotted someone that appeared to have a high position and signaled him over, "We have taken care of the airships that were still in orbit around the planet, are there still troops on the land?"
He answered in a quick stammer, "I think there is one other ship floating around in the smoke, we haven't seen any land troops. We do have prisoners, though, but they've been attempting to terminate themselves. They aren't talking, they, as well as our own men, are fading quickly."
"The centurions are taking care of your injured, they shall deal with your captives as well," he gave a quick glance to his surroundings, "where is Commander Aria?"
His dark eyes became anxious, "...Aria- Commander Aria was informed that a aircraft had been found in the kings bunker. She disappeared soon after, I believe she intends to take down the ship that broke through the smoke. We have not seen her or the ship for... it seems like an hour."
Marvin's eyes shifted in confusion, "Do you not have a form of communication with her?"
"We did, but her end must have been damaged."
"That's not good, not good at all," he mumbled to himself, too low for the other to properly hear.
"Sir?" He gave him a curious look.
Marvin cleared his throat, "Nothing, I'll send out a team to..."The Mercurian's eyes were staring at something that must be behind himself, so he turned to see what was so interesting. At first he thought it was a meteor, but he could see the blackening metal beneath all the flames, "Is that the other airship you spoke of?"
He turned back to the wide-eyed Mercurian, "Y-yes... Commander Aria would have been the only one that could get onboard...the only one with a aircraft..."
He raised an invisible eyebrow, "It seems as if you have little faith in your commander."
His expression became startled, "Well I...I haven't been under her regiment for... I haven't been on missions with her, I've only heard the stories..."
Marvin cut off his frantic explanation, "Alright, alright, do calm down." He started to doubt that this one held a high position.
He looked back to the falling vessel, and saw something burst through the side of the ship, it continued to zip around it, the smoke parting behind it. It soon broke away from its zigzag pattern and made a nosedive to the ground. It vanished from view, disappearing into a crater. He, the centurions and the Mercurians made their way to the crater, Marvin was the first to arrive, and the first to see a dark form stumble out of the smoke.
Before he had a chance to recognize to person, the Mercurian from earlier called out, "Commander Aria!"
Marvin watched as the commander fell to the ground, uttering out a gasping laugh as she did so.
xXx Aria xXx
A bright light compelled her eyes to open, at first she was relieved, thinking that the sun had finally broken through the dense layer of smoke, but as her sight adjusted to the new illumination she discovered it was artificial. With a groan, she pushed herself up with her elbows, and inspected her surroundings more intently. She knew instantly that this was no Mercurian sickbay, while the lights were bright, the walls and floors were dark red. Since her thoughts were still muddled, it wasn't until she saw a few Martian symbols that she realized where she was. She sat there for a moment to gather her senses, and it wasn't until she decided to get up that someone entered the room. She stopped short, half leaning against the bed she was on. It took her only a moment longer to realize that the person in front of her was Commander X-2.
"Commander Aria." He quickly walked across the room to stand in front of her.
"What is the current situation?" She stood up completely, and felt a wave of dizziness come over her, she closed her eyes and pressed her hand against her forehead. Her eyes jerked back open when she felt a hand lightly grip one elbow and a shoulder.
Commander X-2 was staring down at her calmly, "Are you certain that you are well enough to stand?"
Her checks warmed slightly at the concern in his voice but she shook it off, "I'm fine, what about everything else?" She slowly pulled away from him, not wanting to cause offence by jerking away too quickly.
"We have most of your soldiers on our ship, as well as your prisoners. The centurions have started to gather up the civilians- the bunker your king was in, the passageways collapsed, and its too unstable for an attempt of rescue."
She gave a small nod and walked out of sickbay, and came to a stop once she reached a window. The planet looked black, the smoke still rolling across its surface, "I think it would be best to get as many people as we can off the planet," she turned, giving him a serious look, "a few days ago, we found indications that there were bombs planted in different places under the planets surface, they must have been placed there during their land attack. Unfortunately, soon after that discovery, all of our computing systems began malfunctioning. We have not been able to detect their whereabouts."
He moved closer to her once again, "Yes, we are having the same difficulties...Whatever you did to the enemy ship, it worked, noone survived. That was the last enemy ship, but everything is still malfunctioning. Whatever's causing it must be hidden on the planet as well, the centurions are searching for that. I shall inform them about the bomb threats as well."
"Thank you, Commander X-2." She gave a weak sigh and turned back to the window.
The universe, as if sensing her momentary relief, decided to make its move. The planet below them suddenly began to shake violently, disrupting the smoke, but it was soon replaced by new black clouds. Flashes of light flickered beneath the surface. Without giving it any thought, she prepared herself to go down, she didn't know to get there, but that didn't matter. As she turned on her heals to run off, something gripped her wrist; she looked down, seeing a white, gloved hand.
"You are to remain here, I will go." His stern features soften a bit, "Return back to sickbay, you are more injured than you believe yourself to be." He left her then, giving her no time to object.
As she made her way back to her temporary room, she felt sudden pain and dizziness wash over her. Apparently, Commander X-2 was right about her condition.
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