The Adventures of Tam Denehy Chapter 4

The Adventures of Tam Denehy Chapter 4 The Adventures of Tam Denehy Chapter 4

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction


Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Adventure Coninues

Author Chapter Note

The Adventure Continues

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 30, 2017

Reads: 787

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 30, 2017





Chapter 4:


Thane and his colleagues' first task was to assist with the treatment and counselling of the three rescued patients. They were scheduled to be taken to a hospital on Nouthesia, one that was sympathetic towards the Sylvan, to receive further treatment in order to rehabilitate them. But for the time being, they would remain under the care of the staff at Camp Lymen.


The first patient they met was the young male. His name was Garalon. He was only fifteen years old, and although he longed, as do all youths of that age, to experience the joys of sex, he had never embarked on that journey. This made the tragedy of what he had endured even more poignant. Without the proper treatment, the psychological scars left by his ordeal would remain with him, and perhaps cause him to fear any form of intimacy. Thus something that is supposed to be beautiful and wholesome would be for him a fearful, and perhaps even dreaded experience.


Physically, he was healing well under the professional care of the other staff at the makeshift medical centre, better equipped for the traumas of battle than such delicate cases as these three. His attackers had beaten him up a bit, but there were little more than a few bruises as a result, and some lacerations from where he had struggled to free himself from the ropes that they had used to bind him. The most difficult part of his recovery was the withdrawal symptoms from the drug his attackers had fed him before he was sodomised. These affected him mostly at night. He would wake up to find that he had ejaculated while he was sleeping, but instead of being a release of sexual tension, it left him in excruciating pain as if the semen had been forced out of him. More than once, he found that his linen was stained with blood as well.


Up until that time, he had never spoken about what happened to him. Every time he tried, he would break down and weep, his speech becoming all the more incoherent as time went by.


Garalon's sister was named Glynn, and was the second patient. She had been severely beaten by her assailants, and apart from scars all the way down her back from the splinters, she had a fractured cheek bone, and three of her front teeth had been knocked out. Her body was covered in bruises, lacerations - and even bite marks - some of which were so deep that they required stitches. Some time after the incident, Glynn and her friend had undergone pregnancy tests. Luckily, neither had turned out to be positive.


Glynn was a year older than her brother. She had a boyfriend, but had never been intimate with him. She dreaded having to tell him that her virginity had been stolen from her, not taken at the hand of another lover, but torn from her by a brute who had almost killed her with his bare hands before raping her. She had told the medical staff that she felt defiled and polluted, and no longer worthy of love. That was why she had attempted suicide, not once but twice. She would not let anyone come near her, especially if it was male, and even had difficulty in controlling her fear when the staff tried to treat her injuries. More than once, they had to restrain her to prevent her from doing further hurt to herself.


Like her brother, she never spoke of her ordeal, and would clam up when anyone tried to bring the subject up. Immediately she would assume the foetal position, and bury her face in her arms. Even when she was left alone, she would stare into nothingness, a vacant expression on her face, and those who were treating her were afraid that she had reached an almost catatonic state, or at least one in which all emotions had been shut down, a condition known as an-emotionalism. It would take more advanced medical treatment than they could offer her in a field hospital. The problem was that the longer it took for her to receive this, the worse her condition was likely to become.

Physically, Glynn's friend, who was called Enedes, had come off considerably lighter than her two companions. Although her ordeal was no less horrific, her attacker left few scars or marks on her body, apart from a bruise on her one cheek from where he knocked her to the ground before he raped her. Psychologically, however, she too was going to need advanced medical treatment before she began to recover. As is the case with many victims, she was having problems sleeping. Almost every night, she would wake up screaming as the spectre of her ordeal haunted her. Even though she had been placed under sedation, it was still not enough to stop the nightmares.


She spoke a little more freely about what she went through, although doing so was extremely painful. As much as she could, she offered support for her two comrades, and was one of the few people who could get close to Glynn. Even though Glynn would often pull away, she allowed her friend to hold her and offer her some comfort.


One of the most memorable, but horrific moments during the interaction between Thane, his colleagues and the three patients was resolved thanks to Spikes. She was the only one among the medical staff with whom Glynn felt comfortable. One night, Thane and Spikes were on duty together when Glynn began to scream, tossing around in her sleep. Spikes was the first one at her bedside. She cradled the patient’s head in her arms, and spoke to her in a quiet voice, assuring her that it was just a nightmare.


Slowly Glynn began to calm down. In a shaky voice, she started to recount her dream, and soon it became apparent that it was a re-enactment of the actual ordeal, albeit more than a little exaggerated. She said in a shaky voice: “I can still see the four of them standing around me, just before the bastard between my legs shoved himself into me. But now they are no longer mere men! They look like demons, their faces all distorted, and their bodies much bigger, all gnarled and twisted. As the one pushes his massive cock inside me, I scream in pain and terror, like it's going to rip me in half. And that's when I wake up in a cold sweat.”


Spikes tried to console her by responding: “Sometimes our minds play tricks on us. Maybe the nightmare is your perception of the actual incident. We often speak of such people as 'monsters' and even 'demonic', so it is possible that your subconscious is reflecting what you really think about those who attacked you. And you know what? That's what they are. They don't deserve to be called animals, let alone humans!”


“How do you know these things?” Glynn asked.


“Because I've lived through the hell of being a victim myself.” Came the astounding reply, “I was in my last year at school. I had been invited to a party at one of the students' homes. When I arrived, I discovered that I was the party. There were four of them, and I knew that they were going to gang-rape me. I fled, and jumped over the next door neighbour's wall. I hid in their tool shed. I could hear the guys looking for me, and even trying to get into the shed. Luckily they made so much noise that the owner of the house, along with his two sons, came rushing out. The four thugs escaped back over the wall into their own yard.”


“My God!” Exclaimed Glynn, a shocked expression on her face, “So what did you do?”


“I waited for a while.” Spikes replied, “Once I was certain that my attackers were all gone, I crept out and knocked on the owner of the house's front door. I asked them if I could contact my mom, and get her to pick me up from their home. Although - unlike you - I was saved, the nightmares afterwards were horrifying, and the more I dwelt on the incident, the worse they became. When I finally related the whole story to my parents, and later to a counsellor, they slowly went away.”


That evening, Glynn plucked up the courage to tell Spikes what had happened to her in full detail. It took much longer than normal because she broke down in tears more than once, and had to be consoled. Spikes was extremely patient with her, and even insisted that Glynn carry on when she wanted to quit. Eventually, in the early hours of the morning, the whole story had been told. Glynn's condition began to improve slowly after that night. Soon she was taken out of high-care and the twenty-four hour watch was called off, because it was decided that the threat of her committing suicide was considerably less likely. For her efforts, Spikes was given a commendation from the doctor in charge of the facility.


The following week, when the transport came to collect the three patients and transfer them back to Nouthesia, all three had already showed signs of recovery, both physically and psychologically. Nonetheless, it was clear that they still had a long way to go before they were out of the woods. Having spent so much time with them, Thane and his team almost felt sad to say good-bye to them.


Soon, however, something would happen, that although inevitable under the circumstances, was even more devastating. Thane, Spikes and Zen had worked together since they had left the armed forces, even though they had not trained at the same boot-camp. The fourth member of the original team, Arlen Lawson, stayed with the company after the other three had left. One afternoon, just after Glynn and the other two patients had left, the three comrades were called to the command tent.


Vet, Lanky and Snow were already there. Raedan Eredil ushered the other three inside, and then informed them: “Firstly, I would like to thank all three of you for the way you dealt with our trio of civilian patients. But I'm afraid I have some bad news. Thane - you and Zen have been reassigned to Ceti Group with immediate effect. Spikes, you will join Beta Group, and will be working with a senior medic by the name of Asmara. She is very experienced, and being Sylvan, has been involved in this conflict since it began.


I am sorry I cannot keep you together, but we can only afford to assign two medics to each battle group. As I told you before, people with your skills are in short supply. There is some good news though. Vet, Snow and Lanky will be joining you. I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do. That will be all.”


Somewhat saddened at the thought of having to say good-bye to one of his companions, Thane made his way back to his quarters to pack up his kit and take it to his new accommodation. It did not take long. He then went to the tent where Spikes was staying to bid her farewell, and returned to his own room, picked up his kit-bag, and left. As he was walking, he was joined by Zen, who seemed to be in a much better frame of mind.


Thane enquired: “Why are you so happy?”


“Well, firstly because at last we're doing what we came here for.” Zen explained, “And secondly, I've heard that the C O of Ceti Company is quite an amazing woman, both physically and as far as her record goes. She's a real combat veteran! The only soldier here who has more experience is our friend Vet. And to top that, she is really hot! I for one can't wait to meet her.”


Thane smiled, slapped his comrade playfully on the shoulder, and responded: “You old romantic! Do you think you stand a chance against a battle-hardened officer? Forget it!”


“Well, I stand a better chance than you do, shorty.” Zen joked, raising himself to full height.


“Yeah.” Thane retorted, “But I'm not looking to hook up just yet.”


They both laughed, and headed for their knew quarters. Being medics, their tent was separate to the rest of the Company. After unpacking their belongings into the bins at the foot of each bed, they decided to introduce themselves to their new comrades.


They were heading towards the second tent, when a deep female voice shouted from behind them. “And who might you be?”


The pair spun round, and immediately came to attention. Approaching them was a tall woman wearing a beret. Her blonde hair was tucked underneath it, or rather it had been to start off with, but now the fringe hung slightly below it, and part of the longer part fell onto her shoulder on one side. She wore a white T-Shirt that fitted somewhat snugly over her muscular body and firm breasts. Her shoulders were broad, and the top of her arms seemed thicker than Thane's thigh. She also had a pair of combat pants on, and field boots, the former being tight enough to show that the lower part of her was every bit as impressive as the top.


“Excuse me Lieutenant.” Stammered Thane, “I am Medical Orderly Thane, and this is my partner Zen. We were just introducing ourselves to the rest of your Company.”


Her voice softened slightly. She replied, “I am Diranthye Tana Navera. I am glad you have been assigned to my Company. We have been somewhat crippled because we have no way of treating our wounded in the field. So - you medics are most welcome. Come - I am on my way to give orders to my troops. I will introduce you myself.”


Thane noticed that it took Zen quite some time to follow him. He gathered that he was still trying to steady himself. Diranthye Navera was indeed a whole lot more impressive than he had originally described!


At dawn, a few days after their official introduction, Diranthye Navera called her troops to the command tent to give them new orders. She stated: “We've been given information that there is a Nouthesian camp near one of the old villages. Our orders are to find out more about it. We're not to engage with the forces that are there just yet, only to report its details, and get the hell out of there. Once we know what we're up against, the heavy guns will go in and take the enemy down. You have three hours. Get your shit together, and fall in at parade ground three.”


Usually, a Battle Group was made up of twenty soldiers and three officers. In this case Diranthye Navera was the highest ranking officer, and Saranthye Thaldol and Daeron were under her direct command. They were sub-divided into 'Sticks' of five individuals led by a Non-Commissioned Officer, or Turanthye - the Sylvan equivalent of a Corporal. If two Sticks operated together, this was known as a Section, in which case it was joined by a Sergeant, or Saranthye.


Ceti Group formed up into their respective Sticks, Thane and Zen standing just behind the two Saranthye. As the Commanding Officer arrived, the Group was called to attention.


Diranthye Navera ordered: “At ease! As you have been told, we have been given a mission. Our scouts informed us that there is a base somewhere near the ruined village of Hothborn, a day and a half's drive from here. What they could not tell us is the extent of said camp. Our objective, therefore, is to find the camp, and merely observe its activity so as to ascertain the possible threat to our position here at Lymen.





In order to do this, we will travel in vehicles until within twenty miles of the camp. Then First and Second Sticks will head North East from the drop-off point until they reach the forest on the left flank of the target. Once you have travelled approximately five miles, you will have to disembark, and cover the rest of the way on foot. There is a small outcrop near the camp. Once you have reached there, you will hunker down under cover, and record your findings. Third and Fourth Sticks will do the same to the North West, thus on the right flank. Here the only cover is a large thicket of trees, so be extra careful.


It seems that the main route to and from the camp is straight toward the drop-off point, where the road runs that used to be the access to the old village. It has become overgrown, and thus our rendezvous point is out of sight. Once the mission is complete, make your way back to the rendezvous, where you will be met by the vehicles, and brought back to camp - that is if everything goes according to plan.


Get off that road as soon as possible. We do not want to get involved in a fire fight as this will jeopardise the mission. Only if it becomes unavoidable are you to engage the enemy in any way. This is a reconnaissance mission only. I have yet to decide which of the groups I will be joining, but I will be there - in the trenches, as it were - fighting alongside you. I will go through hell for you, but endanger my life unnecessarily, and you will be coughing up shit for the rest of your days. Got that?”


“Yes ma'am!” The Group responded. It became obvious that these troops were extremely loyal to their Commander, and if she was indeed as dedicated as she had said she was, it was obvious why. She dismissed the small parade, telling them to relax until the vehicles arrive. Then she headed back to the H Q.


“I hope she joins us.” Muttered Zen as he watched her go, “I surely hope she joins us.”


He expected a scolding from the Sergeant that stood in front of him. Instead, the N C O turned around with a smile, and replied: “Don't we all buddy. Don't we all!”


Turanthye Connak, who was in charge of Ceti Stick - part of the Section to which Zen was assigned - was a giant of a man. He stood head and shoulders above his troops, and he seemed to be as broad as he was tall. If a large person was described as being 'built like a brick shit-house', Turanthye Connak would have been big enough to fit two of them! Corporal Verren, Connak's counterpart in Delta Stick, was less than half his size, but - being Sylvan - was an experienced campaigner.


Later, Thane and Zen would discover that both the Lieutenant and Corporal Connak were from Eudia, more specifically from a province called Goskald. Traditionally, it was believed that the local inhabitants of Goskald were a race of small giants. The average height of these people was between two and two and a half metres tall, six foot five to eight feet in height! This was evidence enough that they were exceptionally large and robust, and unlike the Sylvan from the same region, they were also of very strong, muscular build. In actual fact, Diranthye Navera would have been considered 'light' by the standards of her own race. It was the accidental bombing of one of their villages by Nouthesian ships that had brought them into this conflict on the side of the Sylvan.


Thane's C O was an average height for her race. She was from Nouthesia, and had been involved in the fighting since it started. She might have once been very attractive, but the trauma of prolonged war had etched lines on her face that made her appear sullen, not to mention somewhat gaunt. Under her direct command were Turanthye Toleth and Kinu. His comrades in Alpha Stick were: Modeyess, Andir, Barger, and Veyo. Two of the three with which they had travelled to Parethia – Vet and Snow – were assigned to Ceti Two, while Lanky had joined Spikes in Beta Group.

The squad had only just settled down when the Salysye - or vehicles - arrived. Each Salys had a driver and a gunner, who operated a medium calibre gun mounted at the back of the vehicle. Behind the driver were five seats, two on one side, three on the other, and with their backs to one another. This was in order that the passengers were looking outwards rather than at each other. Normally only four sat on the back. The Non-Commission Officer sat in front, next to the driver, so that he or she could give directions. There was also a com-link in the dashboard. There was a small bucket seat next to the gunner for any extra personnel.


The Salysye were open topped, only offering cover to the lower part of the person sitting in them. At the start of the war, they were not even armour plated, as they were not originally designed as military vehicles. They were initially used to transport workers to and from the docks at the various ports around Nouthesia. Without the means to transport large armoured vehicles without raising too many suspicions, these were the only vehicles those that supported the plight of the Parethian Sylvan could supply.


To Zen's delight, Diranthye Navera sat on the back with them, squashing her way behind the gunner, and resting against the rear panel of the vehicle. Zen was even more overjoyed that the Officer would be sitting next to him. Soon the small convoy was on its way. Without wheels, and running on an anti-gravity field, the Salysye did not need roads on which to travel, and it did not take long before they reached the rendezvous point. The vehicle with the Lieutenant on it headed in one direction, followed by the one carrying Delta Stick. Thane's headed toward the village with Beta Stick following at a safe distance.


That was when things began to go wrong! They had only just passed the old ruined village when they heard a roaring sound behind them. Suddenly the unmistakable shape of a Thalyel could be seen just above the tree-line. What their plans had not accounted for was that one of these Nouthesian transports would be bringing supplies to the camp. In times of conflict, these would be accompanied by a 'Carn'. Similar to a helicopter or gun-ship, these were armed with machine guns and rocket launchers on either side, and could reek havoc on any vehicle or unit not quick enough to get out of its way.


The Carn appeared seemingly from nowhere, and it was all the driver could do to prevent taking a direct hit. She slowed just enough so that the other occupants could de-bus and run for cover in the old village. As the seven of them leapt from the Salys - the frightened Thane included - one of the rebels was hit in the small of his back and the top of his thigh.


The Salys carrying Beta Stick had not reached the clearing where the incident had taken place. It stopped, still out of plain sight, and the gunner at the rear opened fire. Smoke began to billow from the side of the Carn, and it whirled out of control. Within seconds it had hit the ground and exploded.


The supply transport continued on its way, having long flown out of the gunner's range. The problem was that there was no longer any chance of surprise, either for them or the troops on the other flank. As soon as the Thalyel reached its destination, the crew would immediately alert the camp command, and troops would begin searching the area, either killing whoever they found or taking them captive. The mission had failed!


The Salys was severely damaged, but luckily the com-link was still in order. Once the fighting was over, Thane rushed to the aid of his wounded comrade. It was then that he discovered that it was Andir. Although both of his injuries would be considered serious, the one in his back posed an immediate threat as it was close to the spinal column.


The round had gone straight through his body armour, carving a path of destruction that endangered several of his vital lower organs, including the one kidney and the lower intestine. The radius of impact meant that any number of other organs had also been compromised.


The bullet was a large hard-point. Normally, being hard metal, it would have passed through with limited damage, but its size was what made it dangerous. It was probably a twenty-five millimetre round, and thus had punctured a large area of the man's lower abdomen. Although the other injury was comparatively less serious, it too would require advanced medical attention as it was bleeding profusely.


Thane worked quickly to replace the fluids the patient was losing. Having run an intravenous line into his arm, he then placed an oxygen mask onto his face, and took a set of vitals. His blood pressure was low, and he presented with a tachycardia. His breathing was shallow and rapid. This made it obvious to Thane that there was little he could do in the field. The patient needed far more advanced treatment! He had placed a pressure dressing over the leg injury, and did his best to do the same with the other with limited success. He placed him on a board, and strapped him in, readying him for transportation. His comrade's survival depended heavily upon the speed with which they could get him back to camp.


“Ceti Stick. Ceti Stick - This is Alpha Stick!” The driver radioed.


“Send - over.” Came the reply.


“We've hit contact at our position.” He reported, “One critical injury. Surprise no longer possible. Need to return to base rato! One vehicle damaged. Cannot repair in the field. Over.”


“Rodger that.” Ceti Stick responded, “Will be at your location as quickly as we can. Ceti Stick out.”


While the unit was waiting, Saranthye Daeron posted Modeyess as a guard on the top of one of the structures from the old village. She was armed with a high-calibre sniper's rifle with sufficient fire power to take down any other aircraft that headed their way. Turanthye Toleth and the other three took up positions in the bush surrounding the site, while Thane remained with the patient, the Sergeant standing guard over him. Meanwhile, the other vehicle drew up alongside the wounded soldier. The occupants completed the circle of protection, taking their positions in the trees on the opposite side of the trail.


Fortunately it was not long before the members of Ceti Stick and Delta arrived. Zen and Thane loaded the wounded soldier, now barely conscious, onto the vehicle. The Commander ordered the Salysye to drive back to Lymen immediately with the one carrying the wounded soldier in the middle. The two medics would accompany him. She stated: “The rest of us will follow on foot once we're ready. Good luck!” She then turned to the rest of her troops.


“So - what the fuck just happened here?” The Officer demanded. Saranthye Daeron went over the sequence of events as they occurred, and the Lieutenant listened intently before responding: “Okay - As much as it kind of screws everything up, I don't think we could have avoided this. How the hell were we to know, that at the exact moment that we were on the move, a fucking supply transport - with an escort - would fly overhead? We'd just better hope that we don't get picked up like that on our way back to camp. My suggestion is that we get moving rato! So let's move out, and keep them peeled for bogeys, I don't want any more fucking surprises.”




Back at Camp Lymen, the field surgeons - with the help of Thane, Zen, and some of the other medical staff - were hard at work trying to save the now unconscious Andir. By the time the vehicle arrived, the dressing around his lower abdomen was drenched with blood. Thane had already run four haemacell drips through him to try and counter the massive blood loss, but it seemed as if he was fighting a losing battle.


In the makeshift theatre of the field hospital, all hell had broken loose. The monitors indicated that the patient was crashing, and there was a sudden gush of red from his lower abdomen. It now became clear that the bullet had nicked the lower Aorta. At that moment it ruptured, and there was nothing anyone could do to prevent Andir from bleeding to death. Later, the rather shattered Thane said: “It all happened so quickly! I mean, one moment we thought we had him sorted, and the next he was just gone!”


What followed was a real eye-opener to those who were not accustomed to Sylvan traditions. All the inhabitants of Camp Lymen gathered on the banks of the small lake, that formed the South Eastern border. Some of them had built a raft of dry wood, on top of which Andir's body was laid out. He was lying on his back, his unloaded weapon on his chest. His blood stained clothes had been replaced with clean ones, and his body was washed so that there was no blood showing. More wood, along with piles of pine needles as kindling, was placed alongside him until only his face and torso could be seen. A number of large fire crackers were pushed into the pile. These had a short fuse, and were set to go off twenty seconds after they were lit.


Having completed this task, four small boats were used to push the raft into the centre of the lake, and one of those driving them set the raft alight. The boats quickly headed back to the shore. No sooner had they arrived when the crackers exploded. They sounded like cannon fire. It did not take long before the whole pyre was ablaze. The crowd cheered, and bade 'Namarye' to their fallen comrade. One of them turned to Thane, and said: “It is better to celebrate a life than to mourn a death. Now we must pray that Andir's passing was not in vain.”


Soon after the ceremony, Diranthye Navera called her troops together. Even through the tough exterior, those near her could see that the death of one of her troops had affected her deeply.


She tried to sound as business-like as she could: “In the interests of the Battle Group, I have found a replacement for Trooper Andir. She is originally from Nouthesia, but half Sylvan as well. She is also a trained sharpshooter. Please welcome - Sleeper.”


The person of which she was speaking stood quietly next to the Officer. Her hair was ash blonde, slightly darker than Snow's, and her eyes were icy blue. She was dressed in the same uniform as the one that Thane and the other Nouthesian rebels wore, rather than the dark green of the Sylvan. She carried a heavy calibre rifle, much the same as the one that Modeyess used, and the rest of her kit lay on the ground next to her. As soon as the Group was dismissed, a number of its male members, Zen included, rushed to offer to help her carry her luggage to the tent. The female troops watched, shaking their heads and laughing at their counterparts' enthusiasm.


Thane was in the canteen with Spikes, having a few drinks. There was a large vid-screen against the far wall, upon which the local broadcasting station, Y B C, was reporting on an incident in the North of Ytheon. When Thane saw the face of the journalist who was doing the report, it nearly took his breath away. It was Talia!


Spikes was looking at him, a puzzled expression on her face. Thane had told no-one about his contact with the she-elf. Spikes enquired: “What's up? You look like you just saw a ghost.”


“I'll tell you later,” Thane replied, “Maybe back at the medic's tent, where there are less people. It's kind of confidential.”


“Okay.” The half-elf agreed.


As promised, Thane told Spikes the whole tale of how he met Talia as a child, right up to the time that he saw her at the space-port before she left for Parethia. “... and now I know that she's here, in Ytheon! This is too much to be mere coincidence, or maybe I'm just losing my stuff! But it seems that, wherever I go, I eventually either meet up with her again, or know where she is. It's like I'm always in touch with her one way or another. But, like I said, maybe I'm just going up the creek!”


“I doubt it.” Spikes responded, “But now that you know she's here, maybe you should make an effort to get in touch with her again. Maybe arrange to meet up with her when you have some R N R.”


“But how do I reach her?” Thane asked.


“There's always the Net.” Came the reply, “If you contact the broadcaster, I'm sure they will put you in touch with her.”


Thane went to the communications tent. Apart from being the control centre for the military com-links, which were operated by the regiment itself, it also included a place where individuals could maintain contact, on a secure line, to family and loved-ones both on Parethia and Nouthesia by means of their own private com-links. There were a number of computer terminals by which people could access the Net. Thane logged on, using the personal password he had been given when he signed up. He searched for the contact address of Y B C, and once he had found it, he entered the number. Soon a voice answered, not a human voice, but an automated system. Even though it was somewhat robotic, the female voice was quite pleasant.


“Welcome to the Y B C Network. How can we help you?” The voice said. From passed experience, Thane knew that he had to be very specific, as the system had only limited A I. Thus he replied: “I am looking for miss Talia Emmett.”


“Searching.” The voice responded. There was a bit of a delay, and Thane thought that he had failed. But eventually the voice returned, saying: “Talia Emmett confirmed. Her com-link code is Alpha, Alpha, six, nine, zero. I repeat Alpha, Alpha, six, nine, zero. Thank you for your support. Good-bye.” And the line went dead.


Com-links could be linked with the computers. This would allow people to video call one another, as long as both parties were online at the same time. Thane dialled the code that he had been given. There was a buzzing sound at the other end of the line, and eventually someone answered. “Heya - Talia speaking.”


For a brief moment, Thane's blood went cold. He nearly ended the call, but plucked up the courage to continue. He stammered: “Hello Talia. It's Tanyl - I saw you on the vid-screen, and I knew I had to contact you.”


“Tam!” The she-elf exclaimed, “My God! Where are you?”


“I'm here in Ytheon.” Replied Thane, “I can't tell you where, but I'm here.”



“I can't believe it!” Talia cried, a hint of tears in her voice, “This is too good to be true! We need to meet somewhere. There is so much to tell you, and I'm sure it's the same with you.”


“I will have to get back to you on that.” Thane responded, “I don't know when I will get a free moment, but as soon as I do, then we can arrange to meet.”


“I get it.” She stated, “I think I can guess why you're here. That's fine, just let me know when you have some free time - okay?”


“That's fine.” Thane answered.


“I'm so glad to hear your voice.” She continued, “After all this time! I'm sorry, but it is really late, and I have a hectic day tomorrow. We will speak soon, I promise.”


Thane reacted: “That's okay. I understand - It was a bit of a surprise call after all.”


“That's an understatement!” Came the response.


“So I'll say Namarye for now, and we'll catch up again soon.” He concluded.


“I am looking forward to it. Namarye.” She said, her voice soft and gentle. That ended the call. Thane stared at the com-link almost as if he did not quite believe what had just happened. He knew that Spikes would already be asleep, so he would have to wait until the following morning to tell her all about the conversation. He returned to his tent, half in a daze, and lay on his bunk. That night he struggled to get to sleep.


The following morning, there was a 'Good Morning' message on his private com-link. It was from Talia. She added: “Keep your head down, and your chin up.” By this he knew that she was aware of his situation as this was the line commonly used by the families and friends of those involved in the rebellion.


Commodore Rutha was replaced by an even more determined, not to mention corrupt, military leader by the name of Admiral Tyzar. He was in charge of the notorious Nouthesian Commandos, a fighting force equipped with all the latest weapons and armour. Even at that point, the Nouthesian Authorities denied any direct involvement in the conflict, but seemed equally incapable, or perhaps unwilling, to do anything to stop it. Thus it became obvious that they would turn a blind eye to what was going on, until the Sylvan had been driven off Parethia completely, along with any of their local allies.


Although the Commodore had left, his own troops remained, and made up the bulk of the forces on Parethia. These were relatively easy for the rebels to deal with, but the new commandos were a different story. Despite the failed recon of the camp near Lymen, it was still decided that it was worth the risk to launch an attack on the stronghold before it grew any larger. Camp Lymen was home to five Battle Groups - 'Alpha' through to 'Edda'. In addition, Raedan Eredil requested that a further five Groups be sent to Lymen in order to increase their chances of victory.


It was extremely risky. Two hundred and thirty troops against an enemy force whose strengths were as yet unknown, but it was a chance that had to be taken. Camp Lymen was the second largest of five strategic rebel bases, the others being Kinara, Dalyor, Shallendra and Imra. Kinara was the biggest, and was also the first fortified town in which the rebel broadcasting agency, Y B C, was based. Lymen was also the only camp near the lake, and thus almost in the centre of Ytheon. Kinara was in the Northern mountains, Dalyor and Imra were on the East and West coast respectively, and Shallendra was in the South. Thus, if Lymen were to fall, the rebels would be driven out of the central region.


The reinforcements arrived within a week of the Commander's request, and soon the combined forces were ready to advance. The new Battle Groups were accompanied by eight 'Volai'. These resembled tanks, but instead of running on tracks or wheels, they used a form of anti-gravity technology that allowed them to hover just above the ground. They had a high velocity cannon, called a 'Repeater', mounted on the left hand side, and a turret containing a machine gun on the right. Beneath these was the cockpit where the driver of the vehicle sat. Because it was positioned higher than the machine gun, the Repeater had a three hundred and sixty degree arc of fire laterally, and a one hundred and eighty degree vertical arc. This meant that it could handle any attack, either from the ground or from above. They were deployed equally among the troops.


The plan was similar to that of the original recon. One Battle Group would launch their attack on the Western flank, while the other would come from the East, hopefully forcing the enemy to fight on two fronts. Since the incident with the Carn, only a single spotter plane had been seen flying high overhead, which meant that there was a good chance the enemy knew the whereabouts of Camp Lymen, another reason why this operation was necessary.


Before the sun came up on the fourth day after the reinforcements had arrived, the troops set out, followed by the Volai. At the old rendezvous point, they split up into two, and headed in the direction of the enemy camp. Riding just above the ground meant that the vehicles made very little noise, and sensor jammers made any form of tracking via radar almost impossible. Also it did not matter what the terrain was like. They could cover it with equal ease. Soon the two groups were in position, and the troops disembarked.


From the one flank, the four Volai fired high-explosive rounds simultaneously. They targeted the centre of the camp, as intelligence given to them by scouts that had spied on the base below after the first mission, informed them that the main operations building would be situated there. The tanks on the opposite side fire just afterwards, firstly to ensure that maximum damage was scored on the command centre, and secondly to advertise the fact that there were two forces launching the attack. The second volley was a coup-de-grace, as the first had flattened the target. This meant that the enemy had no chance to call for reinforcements, as communications had been knocked out.


As the ground forces advanced, the roar of engines could be heard overhead as two Tasadaes, having taken off from the camp, flew overhead with their guns blazing. One of the Salysye was set aflame before the other artillery could open fire. Soon the two enemy fighters were sent hurtling to the ground in a heap of flames. But - alas - not before they had carved a line of destruction among the rebel lines. Nonetheless, the warriors advanced. Once the two aircraft had been dealt with, the vehicles followed - the Salysye first, and then the Volai.


Zen, and another medic from the other Group, elected to stay behind and treat those wounded from the air attack. This meant that Thane and some of his comrades had to remain on the vehicles which accompanied the forces on the ground.


Soon the battle was on! The strike on the operational centre had been even more effective than was at first anticipated. Not only had it knocked out communications, but had also destroyed three of the four fixed gun turrets that had been adjacent to it. This meant that the only heavy weapons were those installed in the guard bunkers on the camp's outer perimeter. Once these had been dealt with, there was nothing to stop the troops from engaging the enemy one-on-one.



As was to be expected, the regular troops were relatively easy to deal with, without suffering too many losses. The commando units were an entirely different story, however. Fortunately the attackers were accompanied by armoured vehicles, but these battle-hardened soldiers, with their heavy armour and weapons, were almost more than a match for the Sylvan. Even despite their deadly accuracy, enough to kill an average foe with a single shot, it took all they had to take these fighters down. Firstly their armour was virtually impervious to the Sylvan weapons, and it took many rounds just to punch through its hard outer shell. And secondly, the weapons they carried fired explosive rounds, killing and maiming anyone within a five metre radius of the blast.


The Volai, as well as the gunners atop the Salysye were more effective, but it was only when one of the troops found a weakness in the commandos' armour that any chance of victory was gained.


Exploiting this discovery to the utmost, the Sylvan were at last victorious. But not without a terrible price. Of the two hundred and thirty troops that were involved in the fighting, only one hundred and forty survived. Ninety of them had lost their lives. A further thirty five were injured. Thirteen of these were in a critical condition, and could have no further role to play in the conflict. But, as they examined the result of their effort, it became clear that, even with such terrible odds, the rebel forces had slain more than twice their number. Thus began the slogan: 'For every Sylvan life, we will claim two from our foes!' Later on in the war, that number would be changed to 'three'.


In the field, before they returned to base, triage had to be done to ascertain which patients would be treated first. These had been marked with a red label, while those who were serious, but without life threatening injuries were given a yellow tab. The 'walking wounded' were labelled blue. The most difficult ones to deal with were those who were certain not to make the journey back alive. Some of them still showed signs of life, but their bodies were too broken for them to survive for much longer without advanced medical treatment, far too advanced to be available on the battlefield, and some of them even for the facilities back at base. These were marked with black markers, and had blankets placed over their faces. These too were loaded onto stretchers, and carried back to base so that they could be buried.


As soon as the army had arrived back at Camp Lymen, the work at the camp's hospital began in earnest. All personnel were called in to deal with the wounded, including those who accompanied them on the mission. They were divided into groups, and given an area of the hospital to deal with. Thane found himself in charge of one of these units, along with Spikes and one of the orderlies from the other group.


Their first patient was unconscious, having slipped away on route. His mouth was closed, and it seemed that his jaws had clamped shut. No matter how they tried, the medics could not open his mouth in order to secure his airway, so they called one of the doctors to examine him, and were informed that this was a condition known as 'Thrismus', an indication that the patient was suffering from severe head trauma. He called one of the senior staff over, and instructed Thane and the other two to find another patient.


It took the better part of two days to deal with all the injured from the battle. All but one of those treated survived, and the operation was deemed a great success. Thane plodded his way back to his quarters, having taken a long hot shower. He was exhausted! The only time he woke up was when his stomach started complaining. He realised that he was terribly hungry, and that it was seven o'clock the following morning. When he returned to his tent, he saw that there was a message on his com-link. It was from Talia, and expressed her relief that he was still okay. She said she wanted to speak to him as soon as he was able to talk.


Thane smiled, and replied to the call, saying: “I'll call you when I wake up - T.”

© Copyright 2021 Tristan Biggs. All rights reserved.


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