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Operation Isekai Liberation (OIL)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by John_Oakman, Aug 30, 2022.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue
    John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Full title is: Operation Isekai Liberation (OIL): Tales of the US intervention & nation building of a generic fantasy kingdom. As it turns out I can't actually fit all of it lmao.

    Story synopsis: When Fortunate son goes Пыль глотаю. Direct sequel to St. Truck-kun be with us protags! So yes, it might help to read the previous one first though not strictly necessary, as this was originally a stand alone idea.

    Edit: yes cover art is here:
    [​IMG]

    ------------------

    Peace was not to come for that unhappy land, for while the vile armies of the evil empire had scuttled back to their hideous domains, a much greater force of evil appeared. It was the bodies raised from another world that held the tide, yet it was also them who set forth the catastrophic chain of events that will destroy the world as they knew it…

    ------
    It was an unnecessary conflict, completely unavoidable too. All they had to do was to shrug it off, not trying their best, saying it was all a fever dream, made up nonsense. It would have been the easy way out… but the wrong way. They have a duty to the truth, to humanity, to do what’s right.

    And through that duty lies pain and suffering. Glory and fame is for the history books, far enough from the bloody spectacle of the actions themselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2022
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  2. shakeval

    shakeval Versed in the lewd.

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    Oh boy. . . .who are we bringing freedom to this time?
     
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  3. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Does it matter? Because most of us can't point it out on a map regardless. :p
     
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  4. shakeval

    shakeval Versed in the lewd.

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    I did some of my education overseas... . .I'd give myself a fair chance of being fairly close 9/10 times.
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 1: Murican’ adventuring party
    John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Good news: There's now a cover art. Yes the Among Us crewmate in the cockpit is the artist's creative liberty.
    Bad news: I'm about to go on a hiatus of sorts for the rest of the year due to RL reasons.
    -----------------------------​
    Chapter 1: Murican’ adventuring party​

    Bick was in rather mixed spirits when he pulled up at the parking lot of the otherwise nondescript office complex. There wasn’t even a physical guard at the gatehouse, the whole thing was automated. Badly automated, shit didn’t even work half the time, which then forced him to get out of the car and open the damn door manually. Luckily today was not one such day, and he managed to make it through with minimum problems.

    Really sums up the whole place: cheap ass shit that’s always on the edge of falling apart. While he was no stranger to ‘government’, even ‘military’ grade equipment, it’s still annoying all the same.

    However, none of that has anything to do with his mood today. Rather, it was being summoned to this location in the first place. If all goes as expected, it would be the end of this particular assignment. On the one hand, he was looking forward to that since the beginning when he was handed this joke of an assignment, of which he felt it being more fitting for a prank show than something real, an insult to his dignity and professionalism as an employee in the CIA. Or even just a government employee in general for that matter.

    Yet on the other hand he was getting rather used to the assignment, it was skate as hell, and oversight was pretty much nonexistent. Even the per diem was awesome, heck, he was basically making bank off of that at times.

    Of course there’s the whole helping those who have suffered a world of pain and suffering, yet all that felt petty and meaningless even in comparison to his mere personal issues. Perhaps it was the voice in the back of his mind telling him of the futility of it all. After all, in a way, all this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

    He walked in the front entrance, swiped his CAC at the relevant terminal, and continued forth his meandering through the labyrinth of hallways to a certain conference room. His internal dialogue had not yet reached its conclusion when he walked in the last set of doors.

    As far as conference rooms go, it was pretty mid, nothing really noticeable so far as the furnishings and décor are concerned. Most of the faces were also expected: the other agents assigned to the current assignment, his supervisor, some other randos who handle a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, and…

    … and a marine corps major. The weird part isn’t that there’s an officer from one of the branches of the armed forces. Military liaison for operations such as these is par the course even if most of the time nothing further comes of those. However, usually it’s from one of the branches who aren’t broke as shit on the regular, like the army, airforce, navy, coast guard, whatever.

    There’s always a first time for everything though. Especially stupid shit.

    “Good to see everyone again,” Director Locke began the meeting as everyone settled into their seats, “Without further ado…”

    The first part of the meeting went about as expected: a series of death by powerpoint as the analysts showed off all the compiled and aggregated data from his and other field agents’ hard work, and completely misinteripting and twisted them. Sweet comforting lies to the relevant higher ups who have already made up their minds.

    After what felt like an eternity the senseless droning finally came to an end, and Locke dismissed them for the day… all but the major, him, and another agent, some scrawny looking Asian. As the last of the others exited the conference room and the door locked behind them the director got up from his chair and began speaking.

    “All of you take me for a fool- no, not necessarily a fool. Just another out of touch fossil incapable of believing the impossible.” He nodded, more to himself, or perhaps mere theatrics. “Give the old man here some credit. I was around when men stared at goats and LSD was the way to unlock superpowers.” He shrugged. “And over the decades, well, we have found a few… unusual things. Come.” He gestured to the others as he shuffled towards the doors.

    The rest of them looked at each other, shrugged, and got up to follow the seemingly senile director. Theatrics or no, all of them are keenly aware of the sheer amount of outright fantastical shit that the government kept under wraps, if for nothing else because the lie is more believable than the truth. All of them have taken part in some of those lies.

    Meandering through yet another series of seemingly aimless hallways and staircases the little mismatched group gradually made their way deep underground. If anything, Bick was pretty sure that they’re not even in the building proper, as the impression he got from the parking lot was that while large, the building complex wasn’t that large.

    At length, they finally reach a large set of shutters. Locke punched a series of numbers in a nearby pad, and the shutters slowly began to creak up, sounding as if remaining anyone around that somebody had been skipping maintenance.

    “You know the drill, top secret and all that.” Locke said, almost as an afterthought. Everyone present has already been checked time and time again, a few endlessly repeated words weren’t going to change things one way or the other.

    The sight revealed was… rather mid. It’s obvious that it’s a massive experimental something or another being conducted, but since it’s being done on a government budget rather than a Hollywood one, it shows: the computers strewn about being cheap HP or Dell from at least a decade ago, with the software to match, the bored agents who looked like 10lb bags of shit stuffed in 5lb bags, random power cables snaking all over the place haphazardly, the vending machine with its selection of energy drinks and sodas, probably out since he couldn’t possibly imagine any random civilian to be allowed in.

    Then they saw it: The massive outworldly ring-like structure so different from everything around, its surfaces faintly glowing in the rather underlit lighting, a shimmering water like surface suspended within, faintly moving as if running on its own rules of physics.


    “What the f- You telling me that Stargate is real?” Muller blurted out. Locke merely tilted his head slightly.

    “No, the TV show is still fiction, and please don’t mention that again as we don’t have the copyright to that.” Locke replied with good humor. “Think more ancient aliens.”

    “That’s basically the same thing.” Bick noted sardonically. Locke shrugged.

    “Details, details.” He brushed off the quip. “You know, this used to be under the possession of Saddam Hussein, or rather, son of Nebuchadnezzar.”

    “Wait, we seriously went to war for that?” Bick asked in disbelief, putting two and two together… and not getting four. Things are only making less sense as more is revealed.

    “Yes, and it was worth the effort.” Locke said, with a simplicity that dissuaded further discussion on that front. “Certainly came in handy, given the recent turn of events.”

    “How-” Muller began to ask, but then thought better of it as he caught himself. There’s no point in asking for the nitty gritty details. It’s not really important or relevant. If necessary the relevant files will be accessible in due time, only limited by the byzantine snail’s pace of the S-shops.

    “So that means…” The Asian spoke up for the first time. Locke nodded, a rather unsettling sight.

    “Yes Koi, it’s time to return the favor.” the director replied with a determined and sinister grin. “That’s what-” He pointed at the two agents, “-you two are for.”

    It finally dawned on Bick that, far from being over, the assignment has just entered a new phase. “Why us?” He asked. Another shrug from Locke.

    “Because someone at least took their job seriously, even in the face of nonsense and absurdity.” He simply said, weariness seeping into his voice for the first time. “Maybe this is all nonsense, and that we’re all fools.” He paused, more to catch his breath than for any dramatic effect. “If so, then might as well embrace that.”

    Those words unsettled everyone else, even Muller. Locke might have gone senile, but that’s precisely the problem: someone in power going senile, whose decisions will affect everyone else but himself.

    ------​

    As it turns out, embracing that meant that the two hapless agents gearing up and going to the other side of the portal themselves, although gearing up was overstating it a bit. For something as monumental as literally crossing into another world, the gear provided was… rather mid: A small mountain of military surplus equipment and weapons sat in the back of a large pickup truck. The gear smell faintly of warehouses and bad maintenance, and the still remaining stickers on the truck a testimony of the amount of times the bank has repossessed it from its previous, presumably financially illiterate and overall not all that there, owners. The damn license plates are still from North Carolina.

    “Well fuck me, I thought I would never have to wear this shit again.” Bick muttered as he strapped on the coyote brown body armor vest to get the fit. Koi merely nodded in acknowledgement as he did a functions check on a M4A1 rifle. It has been a week since the revelation of Saddam's alien portal and during much of that time they had been prepping for the upcoming mission.

    The guy barely uttered a handful of words the entire time. Not that weird though, he met plenty of Asians before, and they tend to be the quiet ones, at least initially. It takes some time for them to open up, and after that it’s uncharted territory like any other people.

    "Hmm… there isn't much in the way of clothing to fit in with the natives." Bick idlily remarked as he took off the body armor and checked out some of the rest of the gear.

    "They saw people like us already." Koi finally spoke, in a flat tone of stating the obvious. Bick let out a snort in acknowledgment. Guy's right. It's so easy to forget the original purpose for the entire operation, despite them cleaning up a lot of the consequences that managed to seep back here to earth. So compartmentalized are their jobs that it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

    The silence soon reasserted itself as the two agents continued their PMCS, and after a long ass enough time, they finally got it done, and the two crawled into the truck.

    “Here goes nothing.” Bick muttered as he started the vehicle, and slowly drove forward, into the shimmering moving surface. Despite plenty of reassurances from the scientists that there’s nothing to be worried about, that there were already a number of probes and drones that made the journey, he still closed his eyes as the vehicle met the surface.

    And suddenly, then they’re there. In another world. The dimly lit cavern was replaced in an instant with the bright sunlight of the outside, the humdrum of machinery and computers replaced with the chirping and buzzing of birds and insects… and the smells of industrial civilization replaced with the stench of unfiltered nature.

    “Cheerful looking place.” Bick observed after opening his eyes and looked around. Koi merely shrugged.

    “More like post-apocalyptic.” He stated, seemingly out of the blue. Bick looked at him in confusion.

    “Excuse me but what the fuck?” He asked. Koi simply shrugged again.

    “North America, post Columbian exchange, spread of smallpox amongst native civilizations. End of the Mississippi mound builders. Nature retaking previously cultivated land giving illusion to always untamed wilderness.” He stated. The words and sentences coming out rather disjointed, even before his heavy accent making things even less comprehensible.

    “And you see evidence of that here?” Bick continued the train of conversation. Feeling weirded out, not just that apparently Koi could tell such subtle signs, but also that something of this magnitude wasn’t even brought up in the previous discussions.

    “No.” Koi admitted in a flat voice without a sign of defense. “But how else? Native civilization here has been around for long time, therefore vast tracts of untamed wilderness is out of place.”

    ‘Whoa whoa, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” Bick countered, finally seeing some major flaw in Koi’s train of logic. “It’s a whole new world out here, and we haven’t gone anywhere yet.” With that he gunned the engine, and the truck rumbled forward, its lifted and reinforced suspension and excessively large wheels easily crushing the seemingly endless underbrush, finally doing what the original owner who shelled out the tens of thousands of bucks on it intended but probably never did.

    Of course, neither of them were particularly vindicated, for although they traveled for hours through seemingly untouched forests, the same lack of infrastructure of any kind also meant that their progress was rather less than anticipated.

    Eventually, after finally realizing that they weren’t getting anywhere, a drone was sent up, and a footpath of sorts was quickly found. Somehow, it didn’t occur to either of them to use that first. By the time they actually got to the trail it was nearing sundown, and the two agents quickly made camp.

    The night went by without incident, although the sounds of nature, of a world of a thousand slight differences meant both men slept fitfully.

    ……​

    A gorgeous dawn upon a cloudless sky greeted the CIA adventuring party, and the two men dragged themselves out of their sleeping systems. As they chased the cobwebs of weariness away with instant coffee and energy drinks they packed up their little camp, leaving little trace behind only due to their prior training. After tha, it was back to the truck and hit the road.

    Progress on the trail, and that’s stretching the definition of a trail, was not that much better. The little ribbon of mud, who had only felt the weight of feet of men and draft beasts, simply disintegrated under the weight of the truck, and for most of it the rubber wheels were biting deeply into the grass and underbrush.

    But as all good things came to an end, the forests weren’t endless, and after a number of hours they broke out from the trees, to seemingly endless meadows. A drone was sent up again, and a village was rapidly found. Not that far either, as befitting a land without much in the way of advanced infrastructure.

    “A good place as any.” Bick remarked as drove the truck while skimming the videofeed, meanwhile Koi stared at the images with furrowed eyebrows, as if in deep analysis.

    “It doesn’t look all that safe.” He finally said after a while.

    “Why?” Bick asked. Not that he had any intentions to change their course, it wasn’t as if they’re flushed with options. “It’s probably a dirt poor farming community without modern conveniences such as wifi and McDonalds.”

    “Not that.” Koi replied evenly, the humor seemingly flew right over his head. “Place’s a death trap. One fire and the whole place will be lit ablaze, and the building layout will funnel its inhabitants straight to their death in a concentrated format.”

    “Um, thank you for that shockingly dark update.” Bick said, not really sure how to process that analysis. “Well, we don’t really have a choice in the matter.” He reiterated the finality of the decision.

    “Acknowledged.” Koi nodded, seemingly at peace with the decision, dangers be damned. Then again, so far the supposed chances of danger and death were mostly in the abstract… but that’s every mission before things start to go wrong.

    As the saying goes, all young men are immortal, until they aren’t.

    ……​

    If anything, the drone footage vastly understated just how terrible the conditions are in the village, for while the fields and forests all around were filled with the bounties of life and prosperity, only poverty and suffering was to be found as they near the settlement itself. Everywhere they looked they saw sunken eyes and listless bodies. The air filled with the stench of despair along with regular filth. Bick swore that even the skies themselves darkened, though when he looked up there was nary a cloud to be seen.

    There were only two spots that were the exception: the large and ostentatious manor house, of presumably the local lord, and a large platform in the middle of the town square. As they dismounted their vehicle and walked towards it, the purpose of the structure became abundantly clear, with the numerous collared humans in chains.

    “Slave market.” Koi remarked, as he racked back his M4. Bick shrugged.

    “Figures.” He muttered, not terribly surprised. His weeb friends had long complained about the overused cliche of slavery in isekai fics, and his studies of undeveloped countries often tells of similar undesirable aspects of human nature. However, the difference is that the latter makes some sort of twisted sense, at least according to the economists. The sight in front of them, does not. If anything, it makes the opposite of sense.

    Who even have money to buy slaves around these parts? Certainly not the sea of poverty they have so far witnessed.

    As the two walked up to the slave market, a richly dressed fat bastard waddled up towards them, a couple of presumably his personal slaves in tow. He was the first person to do that, for everyone else up to that point had done their best to avoid any and all aspects of them, from their gaze to the ground in front of their path. That they don’t recognize the details was irrelevant: heavily armed and dressed strangers are never good news, be they friend or foe. Especially the supposed friends.

    Not this slaver, no, not him.

    “Greetings strange travelers.” He greeted the two with a smug grin. “Can I entice you adventurers to sample some of the wares?” the aura of smugness increased, if that was even possible.

    Out of the corner of his eye Bick saw Koi was about to lift up his rifle, and he quickly gestured to his colleague to stand down. As satisfying as it would be to dispense American justice right then and there, it’s not their job to do so. The mission comes first, and if they succeed, then plenty of others will do that.

    But they have to succeed first, and that means not going on murder hobo rampages.

    “Of course.” Bick replied through gritted teeth, forcing even a strained smile on his face.

    “In fact, we’re interested in making some purchases.” Koi spoke up, the words leaving his mouth as strained as those of Bick’s. He might have gotten the memo, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.

    “Oh, is that so?” The slaver chuckled. “Well, you’re in luck, for the wares are bountiful this time of the year. You know how things are, these shiftless bums-” he waved a hand at the village around them, “-they’ll do anything to pay or avoid their taxes. Selling their firstborns even.”

    “I see.” Bick said, really resisting the urge to also make a condition 1 with his rifle like Koi did earlier. It’s almost as if the slaver’s intentionally trying to rile them up, even though he knew that on an intellectual level that it’s probably just how they talk.

    “How much?” Koi asked, getting down to business, trying to quicken the ordeal as quickly as possible.

    “Oh, not even a sampling first?” the slaver asked. Both agents shook their heads.

    “We’re kinda in a hurry.” Bick said smoothly. It’s not even necessarily a lie either.

    “In that case it’s going to be, shall I say, a bit pricey.” The grin on the slaver widened.

    “Fine.” Koi said as he took out a heavily laden bag, before throwing it towards the slaver, who promptly caught it in midair. As he opened it his eyes widened, matching his disgusting grin.

    “Ah, just the right amount.” He said as he threw a ring of keys, which Koi caught in midair as well. As he looked at Bick the latter nodded, and he began making his way towards the slave cages.

    ……​

    “May I have your attention please.” Bick said to the crowd of emasculated individuals before him, they all immediately dropped the MREs they were gorging on and focused on him. A most unnerving sight, even more unnerving than the sight of them tearing into the spinach fettuccine MRE.

    It was late in the afternoon, and the two agents as well as their latest acquisitions were in a clearing in the forest a few clicks away from the village, just far enough to be away from any potential prying eyes and ears.

    “Now I tell you this, you are free, as our laws and morals forbid slavery. However, we would really appreciate it if any of you could assist us with the lay of the land.” Bick continued. It wasn’t his greatest speech by any means, but that’s not important. The important part has already been accomplished.

    “For what reason?” A thin woman asked, who normally looked as if she was on the verge of death at any moment. However there was a fire in her eyes, and neither Bick nor Koi has any idea as to the source of those metaphorical flames.

    “I see that you have some deep emotions residing within you, if you wouldn’t mind, could you tell us?” Bick asked, fishing for more information before revealing his hand, or if necessary, make some lie on the spot.

    “My husband fought and died in a meaningless war, for a cause he did not understand, loyal to those who betrayed him, and my in-laws sold me to pay for their debts.” She said in a monotone voice, of a rage that burned for so long that it seared into her very essences.

    Bick nodded, the little spiel from her just made the mission that much easier.

    “Then you are in good luck, and in good company.” He replied, before turning to the rest of the crowd. “For we are the agents of justice, and the vanguard of a great force of liberation. I promise on my very life that none of you shall ever be enslaved again.” Out of his peripheral vision he saw Koi roll his eyes, and privately he agreed. It’s the most cringey thing he said outside of discord. It just felt appropriate though.

    To the surprise of both of them the crowd of freed slaves gave a cheer. A really ragged one, but sincere nevertheless.

    He looked at the time on his phone, they were really ahead of schedule, and if what they saw so far was any indication, so will the actual operation to follow…

    ----------------------------

    Author's note: Saddam's stargate was an actual thing... not a real thing, but more than just something I made up (because it's shit that other people made up lmao).
     
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  6. Kaldya

    Kaldya Making the rounds.

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    Is she the wife of that one reincarnated noble in previous series?
     
  7. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Yes, though such situations were far from uncommon in that world...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 2.1: Touch grass ribbon get!
    John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Chapter 2.1: Touch grass ribbon get!​

    Here we go again. Lcpl Grey thought to himself as he and the rest of the platoon fumbled their way out of the back of the armadillo 7 ton truck, clambering over their main packs and other randomass gear that they had somehow cramped into the truck along with themselves. It has been hours since their last stop, having to endure another seemingly endless rough and bumpy ride over nonexistent dirt tracks, heading off to who knows where. Technically where they're heading to, and what they'll be doing, all had been told to them through a mountain of briefs and announcements prior, but as always it's in one ear and out the other. About the only thing he remembered is that they're liberating some 3rd world country that's been doing some fucked up shit and that they are absolutely going to get at least a couple of ribbons out of this deployment.

    Not sure if it's worth the effort though. He thought to himself as he stepped off the last rung of the ladder and yet still hit the ground hard. A string of foul language exiting his mouth as he stumbled a few steps to give space for the guy behind him to do the same. So far this supposed deployment felt more like an over glorified FEX. Heck, he didn't even recall ever boarding onto a plane or ship, just into the trucks and off they went.

    There's no way that they're driving their way into a 3rd world country right? That's like, more than 20 miles, which is like all the distances before something goes wrong.

    And yet they have been going at it for days, and of course things have gone wrong. Many things in fact, which is part of the reason they're even making a stop in what appeared to be another unremarkable clearing in the seemingly endless forests.

    "Alright, let's get this over with." Sgt Kingston, the platoon sergeant half mumbled and half slurred the words in exhaustion as the platoon shuffled into what passes for a formation. The light outside implies its morning but his internal clock is all but screaming midnight. "Rifles, RCOs, PECs…" he carried on with the check, receiving a chorus of confirmation in return as the marines held out the various pieces of gear to show that they actually have them.

    No one bat an eye when a string of loud angry curses emanated from one of the neighboring platoons as someone there had apparently lost something or another. That has been happening quite a bit even before they stepped off from base, and only seemed to have increased in frequency since then. So still pretty much par the course for a FEX. A few groans came out though, as many already anticipate what's to come: A police call of the surrounding area, as futile and pointless such an activity is. Either that stuff's just misplaced somewhere among their main packs and other packings, or lost miles back.

    However they do have the time, because the convoy of trucks, Humvees, ATV's, and even the odd JLTV has made the stop more for necessity than anything else, for the engine hunger endlessly for the sweet, sweet nectar of JP-8. And while the vehicles await for their feeding the marines they carry need to be kept busy, for idle hands are the devil's workshop, the ones from jarhead especially so.

    Thus Lcpl Gray and the rest of the platoon soon found themselves shuffling amongst the trees, their glazed out eyes not really looking at the ground in front of them as they waste the time right back at command- a pointless and unnoticeable gesture, but one made on the regular nevertheless.

    Thus when an arrow whistled past them it took the platoon by surprise. However after the initial moment of being caught off guard the troops quickly snapped into action as long dormant skills were put to use. Magazines quickly inserted, charging handles racked, selectors clicked, and soon short bursts of fire spewed forth from the barrels of over a dozen M4 and M16A4 rifles as they snapped off rounds at what appeared to be sinister shadows among the trees all around.

    Round after round they sent forth until they clicked upon empty chambers, as they changed mags the sgt finally gave the order to cease fire, and recollect his platoon from their frenzy of action. At his signal they patrolled forth, eyes much more alert for a very different police call of sorts.

    After a handful of minutes that at the time seemed to have lasted far longer they finally stumbled upon them: a group of corpses, so fresh that the blood was still oozing from the various bullet wounds. A few among the platoon quickly took out their personal smartphones and began taking pictures, some of which would carry grave repercussions for them down the line. For the moment though, the undercurrent was one of accomplishment: guys who went on deployments flexed over those who didn't, and ditto with those who saw action over their less lucky counterparts. The fact that the bodies seem to be particularly malnourished and emaciated was not noticed by most…

    "Wonder what they are, what they're thinking really?" Lcpl Gray asked, to no one in particular, dancing around the real questions he wanted to ask but simultaneously afraid to know the answers to. Sgt Kingston nodded, almost immediately picking up some of the subtext.

    "Probably bandits, or something like that." Sgt Kingston replied, partly to assure everyone the righteousness of their actions, and partly to save his own hide if it comes down to it, but mostly to sooth his own conscience. For all the bravado and bragging of committing war crimes, none of them have actually done that, or really wanted to if given the opportunity to do so. It’s one thing to joke about buttstroking orphans, quite another to do something of that nature in the flesh…

    … and they might just have done that. Sure, they are fully in the right to fire back, being shot at first and all, but all those technicalities and legalities feel hollow to the conscience of the heart. The collections of skin and bones barely worthy to be dignified as bodies, the rags they wore, the other brokens pieces of trash and pieces that might have been the entirety of their worldly possessions… he shook his head to clear those pointless speculations.

    “Yep, definitely bandits.” He repeated, before turning back to the platoon again, most of them were still gaffing off and technically committing what the media would consider war crimes. “Alright guys, get your shit together, and remember to hydrate. There might be more of them scumbags out there.”

    The last bit quickly sobered everyone up, and in a handful of seconds the platoon returned to their task at hand. Belatedly Sgt Kingston realized that the rush of combat and the idle musing after he had forgotten to report in this turn of events. He quickly pressed the PTT mollied at his flak…

    ……​

    “... 6 hostiles neutralized. 12 mags expended. No casualties. Fireteams will continue to seek and destroy hostiles. Over.” The voice of Sgt Kingston cracked over the radio.

    “Acknowledged Funko 1. You may proceed. Over and out.” SSgt Juan replied as he tapped on his own PTT. He, and the rest of the leadership of the company were standing outside of the lead JLTV, trying to unfuck at least the most critical of the seemingly endless issues that need dire attention right at that moment in time, and the flow of information was only increasing, threatening to overwhelm them where the enemy’s physical weapons had failed to do so.

    “That’s the third platoon that’s come into contact with hostiles.” 1st Lt. Cameron quipped, looking up from the tablet he’s using, worry lined his aged face despite his actual age. “How many more have we simply driven past for the last couple of days then?” He asked out loud to no one in particular, not sure if he wanted to know the answer. If there is one.

    “Unknown, but if I were to guess, a shit load.” Gunny Haddox said bluntly, with grimness in his voice. “We better give 4th Co and COC the heads up.” He noted as he turned around, looking for a comms guy to get the warning out.

    “Please do.” Lt. Cameron said half absentmindedly as his attention by then had gravitated towards something else. “What the flying fuck-”

    From a distance of around 100 yards and trotting towards them at a stately pace was a group of mounted knights, as if straight out of one of them old picture books, of what people imagined what those medieval warriors were idealized. Majestic steeds, flurrying banners, plate armor of the Greenwich style… not that any of the marines would know the specifics of that last bit. It’s fancy shit so far as they’re concerned. The clattering of their horses only became audible in those handful of moments over the sound of the idling engines of the vehicles… and apparently none of the perimeter guards have stopped them so far. The last part being less of a surprise than it should have been. After all, they are the 6th MLG, aka POG central, the only gun most of them touch on the regular being the one between their legs.

    Fancy shit, and really out of place. It’s one thing to listen to some junior enlisted from S-2 regurgitating shit from some CIA spook that none of them really understood or cared, quite another to see the nonsense in the flesh. It finally dawned on them the significance of what it means to be in another world.

    Ssgt Juan was the first to react, as he turned and slowly walked towards the group of knights, holding his M4 rifle up at the ready stance. “Halt!” He barked, with the smoothness of someone who has done that plenty of times, both in practice and actual experience.

    However, those were not some civilians in some random 3rd world country being stopped at a checkpoint, and as if in reaction to the Ssgt’s order though in hindsight more due to the closing distance, the knights lowered their lances and the trot of their horses quickly rose to that of a roaring gallop. Shouts of ‘death to the demon hellspawn!’ were heard, oddly in understandable English despite the weird accents, making their intentions rather clear to their opponents.

    The reaction from the marines was immediate: The bark of 5.56mm and 9mm rounds from the M4 rifles and M18 pistols, quickly followed the buzzing of 7.62mm and 12.7mm from the machineguns, and finally joining in the fray the thuds of the 40 mike mikes of the Mk.19 grenade launchers. The group of knights promptly disappeared in a maelstrom of fire and smoke, almost as if they were smite by the forces of demons…

    After the orgy of fire that in all likelihood lasted no more than a handful of seconds the firing stopped almost, with the various weapons dropping out one after another as the cease fire order was finally heard over the din of the weapons, though in a few cases the gunners were physically tapped on the shoulders to get them to stop. The smoke quickly cleared to reveal a grisly sight: for on top of the now blackened dirt lies little that could be identified as man or beast. Rather, chunks of flesh and metal were strewn about, all heavily scorched and marred. The stench of burned flesh and gore slowly made their way even over the smell of smokeless powder that still hung in the air. Barring the rumbling of the idling engines of the vehicles nary a sound could be heard, not from the people, or their guns. Not even from the wild beasts of the forest, who had since long fled the scene. Not even the buzzards, not even a crow in the skies. It was as if the world was stunned at what had just transpired.

    The moment was only broken as a couple fireteams of marines gingerly moved forward towards the spot where the knights had been, pointing their rifles as if expecting some sort of devious licks or magic tricks to suddenly pop out, the notional triggers of training scenarios still weighing heavily as they fall back on the familiar in the face of the unknown and uncertain reality. After a few long moments and no signs of potential ambushes or booby traps they relaxed their posture, and began rummaging through what bits and pieces were lying about, pocketing just about anything and everything. Lt Cameron was about to put a stop to the blatant looting, but noticed that the SNCOs didn’t even bat an eye, and thus decided to let it slide for the time being.

    They’ll have plenty of time to deal with that shit, time that they only have because of supply fuckups forcing all these unplanned stops…

    Which reminds him that he still has a shit ton of paperwork to deal with. With a sigh he took out his tablet again, trying to make a dent into all that trash, hoping that at least the other units are having a smoother time…
     
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  9. Kaldya

    Kaldya Making the rounds.

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    These guys seem to be rather new as a soldier, suddenly shooting anything in the forest from a one measly arrow attack
     
  10. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Most junior enlisted are in their 1st 4 year contract, add in the fact that they're POGs, which after boot camp and MCT means they might touch their rifles 2 to 4 weeks out of the year. That being said they still have the mentality to fire their weapons. After all, no one wants to be seen as a pussy for not firing back after being shot at... Also even before 2021 the number of troops with any crumb of combat experience (or just experience in general) were already pretty damn rare.

    As for why a bunch of POGs being sent instead of real infantry or special forces, the theory goes that given the general disparity involved (as noted by intel) it'll be more of a humanitarian mission rather than a regular invasion, and the local population, oppressed as they are, will quickly cooperate or at least roll over... and this line of thought will totally not bite them back in the ass or anything...
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2022
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  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 2.2: When the grass touches back…
    John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Chapter 2.2: When the grass touches back…​

    “Jesus christ…” Cpl Gearing muttered in horror as he watched the masses of half melted people stumbling towards him and the rest of the personnel decontamination line, thankful for the fact that his words had been drowned out by the screams of the damned. Turning back to the decon team he began to bark out orders. “Alright guys, it’s game time. We got casualties to clean!”

    After a moment of freezing, the decon team leaped into action, barking out simple and clear instructions towards the shocked and probably not at all there victims, after all, chem attacks aren’t exactly known for being painless, and those injuries certainly have the hallmarks of chemical burns. The silent screams of some of the more wounded also seem to point towards that direction.

    Just like the- No, not like the prac apps. No amount of scenarios and make believe back in the rear could steel these 5711s of the horrors of reality: the pleads for relief, the cries for help, the raw screams of pain. All the while time itself seemed to go into turbo mode, as if to mock their pitiful preparations and now seemingly useless thoughts of contingencies.

    The JCADs and other detectors were quickly put aside as nothing popped despite the clear visual and audio signs in front of them, and those originally tasked with scanning for contaminants were quickly shuffled with their rest of the cleaning personnel as the line quickly became overwhelmed by hundreds of the wounded and the soon to be walking dead. GPD, RSDL, M100, .5% bleach in water solution, all were quickly thrown, sprayed, and rubbed onto the melting flesh and metal of men and gear. In the span of a handful of minutes, hours of set up, months of preparations, and years of training were put to the test. All the while the screams of the wounded and dying continued unabated, them suffering pains that cut through even the hardest of wills and most ironclad of discipline.

    As the minutes wore on the human noises began to subside, many from the relief of those who passed through the line into the capable hands of the corpsmen and navy medical, but a rather disturbing number from the simple expiration of those who waited until their bodies failed for the last time. Beneath the seemingly calm and cold efficiency runs an undercurrent of shock.

    They weren't even supposed to be there in the first place. Not for the intentions of their primary MOS anyways. While the CIA and the S-2 bubbas might mumble about some unsubstantiated rumors of unknown and incomprehensible horrors not meant to be witnessed by mere mortals, the reality is that they couldn’t be really necessary. Production and deployment of NBC weapons simply isn’t viable on any meaningful scale by pre industrial civilizations, for a number of obvious and less so reasons. Yet somehow, not only they got swept along for the ride, but also their entire DRSKO and other necessary equipment. Rumor has it the real reason was because the whole thing is funded by funding pilfered from money originally earmarked for CBRN prep for Europe before the CIA diverted, and they’re tacked on for appearance purposes…

    All of which suddenly became something of the utmost of importance when scattered reports came in of hostile slimes like things. Reports that soon became a flood of panicked babble over the comms as numerous groups all began to succumb to the newly contacted threat. Just in time too, as the moment they finished setting up their decon lines was when the first of the wounded stumbled out of the forests into the clearing.

    It was somewhat expected, as like everything else most of the training and confidence tests were more notional, if they were even done outside of the signed paperwork.

    The personnel deck was still in full swing when the tidal wave of slime began oozing out of the depths of the forest…

    ......​

    "What the fuck is that shit?!" Lcpl Randoff shouted as he pointed off in the distance, the vantage point on the bed of the 7 ton he's on in between the M26 power washer and other seemingly random equipment piled on it, a hose snaking from the M26 down to a water buffalo hitched to the truck. A very much jerry rigged imitation of a firetruck, but at least it’s nominally mobile, though mobile for what purpose was never answered nor even asked by anyone.

    “Alright everyone, get the lines away from the contamination. Start moving!” Cpl Gilbert barked out the orders nearby as he began uprooting engineering stakes that were used to mark the decon lines. Theory promptly crashed into reality the decon line fell into chaos, for while relocating decon lines might have been heavily rehearsed and practiced, usually in anticipation of changes in wind and other factors, rarely was the factor of all the casualties considered.

    Of course, upon seeing the same horror at the very monstrosities that so mauled them already, and at what apparently being the panicked actions of the very subject matter experts, many of the still walking wounded became less than helpful. A few attempted to stagger away, trying to find their rifles that were being cleaned elsewhere despite having already seen the ineffectiveness of them. Many simply sat down on the grass, the bits of despair normally in the back of their minds being temporarily amplified by shock and exhaustion.

    “Fuck it, why the fuck not?” Lcpl (3rd award) Stuart muttered as he pointed the hose of his backpack sprayer towards the encroaching wave of slime even as those around him were going the other direction, and started pumping out the GPD solution. His eyes gone glassy as the last fuck he had left to give has gone a long time ago. Not too surprisingly, the GPD solution begins to dissolve the slime as soon as it comes into contact. The surprising thing though, was that the slime continued, as if it’s a force of nature itself rather than any thinking creature.

    For that mistake cost him his life, as through the GPD the slime surged forth, and soon swallowed up the hapless Lcpl, his last screams slowly sputtered out as his flesh, organs, and bones literally burned and melted as the slime enveloped him wholesale. For all that, he brought the others perhaps a handful of seconds.

    The important thing, however, was the knowledge that they do have something that could counter those… things. Quickly, some of the rest of the decon personnel turned their hoses, pumping as fast as they could. The thin streams of solution are akin to pebbles in the river for all the good they’re doing.

    But the additional handful of seconds were brought with that, enough for the jerry rigged fire truck to close in the distance, pumping out an order of magnitude more solution than the backpack sprayers.

    It was a surreal sight, as if straight out of a fever dream or t-shirt design: nerdy POGs in their full body suits fighting the visual manifestation of their normally invisible threats. The moment soon passed, and as the last of the solution existed the water buffalo (that wont be used for its natural purpose for quite some time) those who remained were forced to withdraw. Still, a withdrawal in relatively good order, with the knowledge that a countermeasure is on hand.

    Still an L in the books though.

    ------​

    "CASREP?" Capt Austin asked wearily, his voice making it clear he really does not want to hear the facts, but knew that he had too. For while he cannot save the already dead and gone, his decision might prevent more from following the already departed. Regardless, his career in the corps is at an end, for the corps do not suffer fools, or even the merely unlucky. Yet imminent doom is not an excuse to flinch away from his current duties, of what he needs to do.

    "8 dead, 11 critically injured, 25 lightly injured." Gysgt Blaine ratted out the numbers, his voice betraying the barest hint of emotions.

    In theory, doctrine states that 30% survival rate is within acceptable parameters to continue the mission, and their casualties were at a few percent, if even that. There were training accidents with higher body counts. However, the reality of the matter is that most were not experienced with loss and setback, notional experiences in training exercises being far from sufficient to steel one’s mind for the blood encrusted reality.

    "At least the hostile has been neutralized." Austin sighed as he tilted his head back, seeking a refuge within his mind from all the hundreds of things that needed to get done since yesterday. If only for a moment…

    It was at that moment he noticed the rather large winged reptilian creature lazily circling the sky, its spector framed against the setting sun, whatever sounds it's making all but being drowned out by the roars of engines of the vehicles and chatter of marines down below. Before he could alert anyone else though, a stream of tracer fire flew upwards into the sky and the distinct sounds of at least a couple of 50 cal cracked over the rumbles of the idling engines. Hundreds of man hours of S-shop paperwork also flashed through the captain’s head as he watched a few of the tracers slammed into the creature, causing it to make a rather unscheduled crash landing nearby one of the 7 tons, by a miracle only crashing on a number of mainpacks who’s owners had quickly vacated the premise moments ago, burying them under its carcass and ruining them beyond ever being accepted back by CIF again. A great shout rose among the crowd, who had apparently formed up a while beforehand.

    They saw, they knew, and they knew better than to notify their chain of command to wait for the prim and proper way of handling things. He couldn’t really blame them. After all, he would have done the exact same thing when he was a butterbar all those years ago.

    “Looks like tonight’s chow’s gonna be local.” Blaine quipped sarcastically as he turned around and made his way towards the scene, which was already crowded with people, phones out taking pictures, taking bits and pieces from the carcass. “Hey! Get the fuck back, and stop touching that shit, who knows what the fucks’s in that mess.” He barked out commands, reigning in the situation from spiraling into chaos. “And someone grab some docs and gas monkeys to clean up this mess.” He added, pointing at a nearby hapless junior enlisted, now entrusted to round up the necessary personnel for the coming working party.

    As the commotion sorted itself out Austin returned his attention back to the admin work at hand, a weary and humorless grin appeared on his face as he jotted down how the event will be reported in the AAR and storyboards. Finally, someone actually slew a dragon like those cheesy commercials back in the 90s, and it’s everything they could have asked for, at least for the moment.

    But the ads never mentioned the stench of death…
     
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  12. Kaldya

    Kaldya Making the rounds.

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    Slimes 1
    CIA 0
    Better use grenades next time
     
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  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 2.3: The last of the losers
    John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Chapter 2.3: The last of the losers​

    “This should be easy enough.” Gysgt Haddox muttered grimly as he surveyed the view through the RCO of his M4 rifle. The little command group has parked their JLTV at the top of a small mound, behind them the no longer so dense forests, in front of them vast fields of amber grains…

    … and a few blocks of old-timey pike wielding infantry, the banners of the country and lord they serve under fluttering in the wind, banners of gods who have long forsaken them, and then there’s the oddly out of place banners bearing the image of the front of a Suzuki truck. The last obstacle between them and their final objective… and the goal of one of their side objectives.

    “Just like a table 5 shoot…” 1st Lt. Cameron agreed without conviction as he put down the pair of binoculars. “... actually, more like conducting a mass execution,” he muttered under his breath.

    It wasn’t the physical part of the upcoming battle he’s worried about, as by this point almost everybody in the company, and the entire battalion for that matter, has fired their weapons in anger. What they had shot at was rather varied, as were the targets of their sometimes less than reputable activities. After a few unfortunate incidents in the beginning higher ups have rerouted them far away from any settlement of note, never mind that one of their main goals is to make their presence known and it doubles their estimated travel times.

    As to who to handle all those and when are questions not answered, and way beyond their pay grade to even think about.

    “Wait a fucking minute.” Ssgt Juan interjected. “Weren’t all those, um, penal- isekai battalions disbanded when they were sold out to the slavers of the evil empire? According to the spooks anyways.” He hastily added the last part as long forgotten briefing information suddenly resurfaced.

    “So the intel missed a spot, shocking I know.” Haddox replied absentmindedly. “Well that does complicate matters a bit.” Not the upcoming battle, which will inevitably end in an orgy of automatic weapon fire- like all the skirmishes so far. The centuries gap in technology allows no other outcome, even before factoring in the oddly convenient incompetency of the hostiles…

    The problem is what comes after. The incidents of looting for souvenirs, the taking of pictures and videos for keepsake, and after a while; the setting in of the realization of what they have done, and the cocktail of emotions arising from that.

    It’s not that they are particularly worse in terms of discipline and morals compared to generations past. Heck, plenty of hoodrat shit was done by a lot of bubbas in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the decades the US has mucked around those unhappy countries. But that was basically a lifetime ago, as far as the difference that the proliferation of social media has brought upon. For while most of the folks back home so far seemed far too easily accepting the fact that their country has decided to go off on yet another foreign adventure in some place that they can’t point out on a map or pronounce the name of, tolerance for the more gritty aspects of war or even the seedier aspects of military culture is at an all time low.

    “Maybe not.” Cameron said softly, as if coming to a conclusion to another conversation entirely. The SNCOs looked at him.

    “Sir?” Juan asked, though also discreetly trying to guide the discussion back on topic if need be.

    “Maybe they can be persuaded to lay down their arms.” Cameron explained. “Surrender.” He paused a moment, to give the others time to let the words of the seemingly nonsensical idea sink in. “We can offer them a ride home, although we’re supposed to do that anyway.” It was actually a surprisingly necessary reminder, as the supposed ‘missing dead persons’ had slipped from their collective consciousness almost as soon as they had stepped off all those weeks ago.

    “Will they take the offer though?” Juan asked, narrowing his eyes in skepticism. “Our briefings mentioned that these, um, sh- shit- shtra- penal battalions being some of the most fanatical units in the known worlds, ones that makes even suicide bombers look self preserving in comparsion.”

    “Ssgt got a point.” Haddox admitted through gritted teeth, looking not too happy on agreeing with anything intel has given them, especially something that he was already predisposed to believe. “A lot of these folks might be broken beyond saving. The ones the CIA picked up back at Earth were literally punted back by malevolent forces unknown, and a lot of them still needed a lot of mental healthcare to be deprogrammed.”

    “Still worth a shot though,” Cameron said, making his decision even in the face of evidence of its likely failure. He then lowered his voice, almost as if trying to convince himself. “For them, and for us…” That latter alluded to hangs in the air as everyone’s minds flinched away from, the hardening of their hearts and souls, something which they despised every step of the process.

    Both Haddox and Juan nodded curtly in acknowledgement. The time for discussion has come to an end, and the time for action has begun.

    ……​

    To the mild surprise of everyone in the JLTV besides the Cpl driving, who don’t know any better, their singular presence forward under a flag of truce (hastily created with a tarp and a lot of white engineering tape scrounged somewhere best left unanswered) was not met with even scattered undisciplined enemy gunfire, or even much of any response. The only sound being the engine of the vehicle, drowning out the fluttering of the banners, and whatever other random noises still remained. More surprising still was a group from the enemy who stumbled forward, and yes, stumbled. For it was a group of emaciated skeleton-like human creatures carrying a massive ornate chair, on top of which sat a thing that’s less of a human and more of a melted stick of lard wrapped in extravagant robes of a priesthood, like the kind of religion that drives people mad enough to nail thesis onto doors of churches.

    It really reminded the marines of that one scene in the movie 300, though none of them in the JLTV looked anywhere close to the Spartans in the movie in terms of physique.

    The JLTV rolled to a stop, and even as the marines were exiting the vehicle the obese priest was already screeching at them in a high pitched nasal voice, that the force of righteousness will smite the demons and their unholy constructs.

    The delusional rambling continued unabated for what seemed like hours but probably no more than a handful of minutes before the sudden bark of a pistol interrupted the scene.

    “What the fuck?!” Cameron shouted, looking around for the source of the shot even before the heap of lard slid onto the ground with a dull thud, before realizing that it was Haddox who fired.

    “Sir.” The gunny said as he reholsted his pistol. “We'll never get anywhere with that stubborn fool yapping away.”

    “Point taken.” Cameron sighed, knowing that Haddox is probably right about that, before turning back to the opposing party, who had by that point finally set the now empty chair down. “I am First Lieutenant Cameron of the United States Marine Corps Sixth Marine Logistic Group.”

    “Richer Fisher. Forsaken by gods and men. Atoning for the sins known only to Truck-Kun.” One of the men in the group replied.

    “We are here to rescue you. Lay down your arms, and we will soon reunite you with your families.” Cameron made the offer as bluntly as possible, as the group of starved men in front of them doesn’t strike him as the sort to care much for small talk of little consequences.

    After a long moment of silence ensued, during which many of those walking skeletons looked at each other with listless yet seemingly knowing looks, before one of them finally replied.

    “That- That we cannot do.” Fisher whispered, drawing all his strength to get those words out.

    “Why not?” Cameron asked, frowning. This should have been simple, and obvious. Like freeing the black slaves or liberating the concentration camps. Yet here they are, ready to die pointlessly for a foreign country that clearly hates their guts and very essence.

    “Because, because the turncoat- is more hated than the fanatical villain.” The words stumbled out of the Fisher’s mouth as if malnourished themselves. Yet it’s clear to all the conviction behind them. More worryingly are the nods from the rest of the group.

    “What?” Cameron asked, partially genuinely confused, and partially stalling for something, anything, to still salvage what appears to be a rapidly deteriorating situation.

    “I ask, how are the Italians remembered in World War Two?” Fisher Simply asked in response. “All those who died to throw off the shackles of tyranny- finally waking up from the lies they have been fed..”

    Silence greeted his question, as the marines pondered on the at first seemingly cryptic question. Ssgt Juan was the first to come to the realization.

    “Motherfucker.” He finally muttered. “Bastard's got a point. The only thing pop culture remembers of the Italians is a disgraceful change of teams mid game.”

    “Well, fuck.” Haddox spat out the words in mild annoyance. It’s so easily forgettable that many of the isekaied ones were reasonably well educated in their previous lives, or at least well aware of pop culture. Heck, chances are that they’re probably more educated than the average junior enlisted in the MLG. “Death in a futile and pointless cause is probably preferable to surrender for them.” Privately he somewhat understands the mentality, as it’s eerily similar to the one drilled into him and the rest at boot camp.

    It’s just rather inconvenient when it’s the opponents who are being so unreasonable like that.

    “Is there any way, any assurance that I can give, to change your minds?” Cameron asked, not about to give up his little clever idea so easily. “It is a rather extreme take to die a meaningless and pointless death. All for notions that mean nothing compared to life itself.”

    “In the absence of all, only duty remains. To give up that would be a death beyond comprehension.” Fisher replied, the response as maddening as ever. Both Haddox and Juan gritted their teeth, though did not make any moves towards drawing their pistols. Unlike the fat ass native bastard, there’s still a slim, very slim, chance of defusing the situation with the isekais, not to mention the isekai has a point through it all.

    Cameron sighed as he shook his head, trying to think of something. Anything really. He wasn’t going to lose any sleep over killing a few thousand enemy combatants who are too stubborn to die, it would be the easiest thing in the world… easy to do anyways. Just give the order, and the whole thing could be wrapped up in a handful of minutes with an orgy of automatic fire.

    … but something within told him to continue, to figure something the fuck out. Maybe it was the urge to save lives, or perhaps selfishly angling for a future promotion or medal. Regardless, his mind thought mightily… and then something did appear.

    A somewhat rather risky idea of questionable chance of success, and even if everything goes as supposed to, quite a few of the luckless isekais will probably still die. Not to mention regardless of success it will be seen as a war crime, technicalities being meaningless next to optics.

    But it would be better than a straight up massacre.

    "Well then, it is what it is." He said as he signaled the others to get back in the JLTV. "Prepare yourselves to become POWs." He threw the last line out as he slammed the door shut, with a bravado and spite that he doesn't feel.

    ……​

    "Everything ready?" Cameron asked, his flat voice hiding a nervousness that he doesn't want to display.

    "Yes sir." Replied Juan, a single nod of the head.

    "Then began the fire and movement." The 1st Lt said, giving the order.

    "Aye sir." Came the chorus of acknowledgements.

    The orders were quickly sent out through comms and within a quarter of an hour the first of the grenade launchers fired, discharging smoke grenades into the isekai formation.

    That the entire ad hoc plan had been implemented within the span of a couple of hours was less remarkable in that much of the equipment was already in the inventory, if only by mistaken notions of doctrine. That those weapons originally meant for crowd dispersion now being instead used to in essence disarm enemy combatants will be mainly a difference of paperwork long after the fact.

    Soon after, as the clouds of CS smoke began to envelop the blocks of isekai troops when a few noticed that something was off.

    "Jesus christ, they're still holding." Haddox muttered in astonishment as he watched the scene through the RCO of his M4.

    Despite being on the receiving end of enough CS gas that would be considered hazing even for marines during annual training, not a man of the isekai regiment broke and ran. Even as the minutes went by, those who succumbed to the checking effects of the gas simply collapsed where they stood, fulfilling their duty to beyond the breaking point of their bodies as they spasm and scrim on the fields.

    "Well, fuck." Cameron spat out the words as he watched his hare brain scheme falling apart at the very first step. Normally a few canisters would suffice to disperse a crowd, and he had naively thought that a few dozen of those would break what amounts to a pre modern military formation completely lacking in PPE.

    However, it appears that it'll take more than that to knock out those who have already died before, and willing to die again, for notions that only those who have absolutely nothing left would understand.

    “Well shit, keep on firing. Maybe we can get them all choking.” Cameron gave the order, doubling down in the forlorn hope to get some semblance of the plan back on track.

    “Aye sir.” Came the acknowledgements of the order, almost equally in shock at the scene before them and running by rote, taking refuge in their training and the military structure.

    Thus more canisters shot forth, spewing their foul choking smoke. Soon the entirety of the isekai formation was swallowed up by the thick smoke, and the cacophony of coughs and screams could be heard over the din of the idling engines of the marine’s vehicles.

    Still the marines stood by as the minutes passed, waiting for the signal to go in. Finally Cameron gave the order.

    “Alright, initiate the next movement.” He simply, while looking at the SNCOs, gauged their expressions as to his call. Although they had hashed out the specifics of the plan beforehand, balancing the needs of minimizing death of both the marines and the isekais, the situation had played out with enough differences that he wanted to check again.

    Just to be sure, to sooth his own nerves.

    Both Haddox and Juan simply looked back with unreadable expressions, for all their experiences the present situation was also something they haven’t really seen before.

    “Roger that.” Came the response from the SNCOs as they began to relay the orders for the next movement.

    From their positions the marines cautiously advanced on foot, their rifles held at the ready, a few even with bayonets scrounged up from somewhere. As they came closer the sounds of misery and suffering rose of a sickening crescendo, piercing through the dissipating but still dense smoke.

    As the smoke cleared the scene that presented itself was close to what had been briefed to them, yet the sight of thousands of coughing and struggling men still shocked many. More disturbing still were the suspicious numbers of unmoving bodies.

    The moment passed quickly however, and soon the marines began the grim task of cuffing the now effectively disarmed opponents. Flex Cuffs soon were slapped onto barely resisting wrists as the long and tedious task of processing POWs proceeded, far different from the practice scenarios during the pre deployment training, but to their credit they quickly adapted to the unplanned situation.

    And thus the Battle of Bakersfield ended, in a result that in most other situations would have been considered to be a near flawless victory…

    ……​

    "It could have been a lot worse sir.” Juan said. Cameron nodded absentmindedly. The senior leadership were huddled in a group with the side of the dirt track, watching the lines of captives being filed, processed, and loaded onto the 7 tonnes to be sent back, first to the nearest base, and soon enough back to the other side of the portal. The sheer amount of isekais found meant that all of their vehicles had been commandeered for the task of transporting them back, which meant that they’re forced to a halt for a bit, although most simply breathed a sigh of relief at hearing that.

    They need the rest, in more than one sense of the term.

    “Yes.” He sighed, just wanting to have some time by himself to stew his thoughts. Of course, that’s not an option. Not now, nor probably anytime soon. “Still not good enough.” He finally muttered, his eyes gazing upon the bodies being carried off on stretchers.

    At the end of the day, not a single casualty was recorded on the marine’s side, and only a few dozens of those isekais had died, mainly from the complications from their existing malnourished and abused conditions. According to HM1 Adams, a few more dozens of these isekais are likely to die before even reaching the forward base despite their best aid, such are their physical state.

    “Nothing’s ever good enough.” Haddox shrugged. “It’s just something you’ll get used to.” The platitude came from years of experience, not only from the conflicts of the battlefield, but also the ones fought from the desks of the S-shops.

    All those deaths were so avoidable, so within their grasp. Yet also all but impossible, simply because of made up nonsense, held dearly by those who had everything else ripped away from them. Beaten into them by those who have so far escaped all sorts of karma.

    And now so many families will be informed that their sons had died a second time, in a way even more meaningless than the last, killed at the hands of those who were supposed to rescue them. It was decided early on by people with way more ranks that there would be no hiding of any discovered isekais from their relatives, regardless of what state they were found in. A lesson learned from the MIA/POWs of the Vietnam war era.

    “We’ll get them.” Cameron muttered, more to himself though both Haddox and Juan heard the words clear enough. “We’ll get all of them motherfuckers.”

    The day of reckoning will come when they find those bastards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022 at 6:57 PM
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  14. Kaldya

    Kaldya Making the rounds.

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    Wait, aren't those isekai victim supposed to be sent back home after the empire won their war?
     
  15. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    That's the question that the troops on the ground are asking, some might even figure it out after it's far too late.

    Thing is, both the CIA and the previously returned isekais assumed that the kingdom is a normal nation state with a single axis of hierarchy, which is all they ever known back on earth outside of some history books they probably already forgot. However, the kingdom is far more decentralized than that, in which within it there are a number of other entities that are basically semi independent de facto if not de jure. The church (of the true faith) is one of them, hence the fat bastard priest commanding those particular regiments.
     
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  16. Kaldya

    Kaldya Making the rounds.

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    So, basically HRE but with magic, increased asshattery, and slavery ?
    Tough world.
    At least with this tragedy Cameron and co. will truly know what is at stake, compared to their somewhat happy-go-lucky approach before
     
  17. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    It's actually an order of magnitude worse, made only possible by magic (because in an actual medieval world tech limitations would put a check on certain monstrosities of humanity, checks that are being bypassed here).

    How much of that will be elaborated upon at some point, probably...
     
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