November 14th, 1971

NVA Occupied Territory, Outside of Fidel-Castro-Kaserne, Alnus Gate

The sounds of heavy machinery working in the night overrode the sounds of the previous nights as machine guns, artillery, and anti-air guns sounded off through the night. Major Karl Laucke along with his squad kept watch over the horizon expecting more enemy forces to come, however much to the surprise of Karl and those under his command, no such attack came. Instead just silence, before the construction troops of the NVA started working to transform the encampment of the Warsaw Pact forces into a liveable area for long-term occupation. Tall grey walls forming a large square were put up first and foremost with guard towers, searchlights, and barbed wire.

As well as a minefield clearly marked so as to prevent friendly forces from accidentally drawing off the paved paths. On the furthest outward part of the perimeter a large trench was dug.. If it could be called that and not simply a ditch. While further beyond that, temporary border posts were erected, painted with the German tricolour and a plaque placed facing outwards reading "Border of the German Democratic Republic" in German and the local language. Along side these posts were signs reading "On approach please have hands in the air and await Border Guards.".

Karl believed that wouldn't see much of it's intended use, viewing it as almost a waste of resources. However he wouldn't say it outloud, he might have been a member of the STASI but he knew when to keep his mouth shut. Instead opting to record the events of this entire ordeal in a sort of journal he kept in his Assault Pack, as well as taking some minute notes of the thoughts of his squad. Sure they were his squad, sure they were supposed to be closer than normal family but he still had a job to do. His job was now to ensure no soldier in his squad was to fall to western propaganda or thoughts contrary to what the Party had wanted it's soldiers to believe. The first part was easy, they were fighting a medieval army that had kidnapped 45 people just a year earlier, most everyone who joined up in the year had done so because of that.

They didn't want to sit around and simply wait to be taken as slaves themselves, and perhaps they could in some remote sense have a chance to save those taken. Senior Sergeant Vogel himself had a niece taken in the first assault by the Imperials on East Berlin. He had a specially personal stake in this invasion and liberation of this new world, he had a niece to find. And someone who took her prisoner to kill. Karl didn't doubt his loyalty to the cause, however there were only a few he didn't doubt as well. However he'd still keep his eye on them. As per his duty. After he had finished writing, he closed his journal and put it in his assault pack before tilting his helmet forward to get some sleep... However that would be put on hold as Private Krüger returned, carrying the squad's rations in a large field container on his back.

"I'm back Genossen." Krüger said as he put the contain down along the edge of the squad's foxhole, and unbuttoned the top right pocket on his BDU tunic. Removing a piece of paper from the pocket, he handed to Major Laucke and Laucke took the paper, unfolding it he looked it over before crumpling it up then putting it in his pocket. "Right Genossen. The Grenztruppen will be taken over security for the border here now, meanwhile. We're put on to recon duty. Everyone get back to the barracks." Laucke gathered up his MPi-KM and climbed out the foxhole, meanwhile the rest of the squad did as well, leaning up in column formation infront of Laucke. "Right turn!" Laucke barked out and the squad turned to the right Laucke himself turned to the right. "Quick march!" Laucke barked out again and the squad started marching towards the base of which was still being established around the Gate.

Barracks as well as a general HQ had already been established for the most part, however everything was still being set up and paved, walls were being put up and barbed wire placed wherever it was needed. Laucke and his men and women marched through the main gate of the barracks, to the centre courtyard where his men stopped off to the side of a motor pool, there on the inside, T-62As, UAZ-469s, Ural-375s, BTR 60s, BTR-152s, and some other vehicles. "Squad, halt! ...Left turn!" Karl yelled and his troops stopped dead in their tracks, turning to the left on their heels. "Alright, fall out to the mess hall, I'll get you when I come back from Command." Karl said and his troops did exactly that, rushing to store their gear then to the mess hall.

Meanwhile, Karl went to the Command building, stepping inside he took his helmet off and held it at his side while he walked through the first floor corridor, then made a right to the command room where General Stoph. Karl stopped at the doorway and General Stoph looked up from his desk. "Ah, Genosse Laucke. I've been expecting you. Come in, shut the door behind you."

Karl entered the room and shut the door behind him, taking a look around he found that he and General Stoph were the only two in the room. "Genosse. Your unit has been selected to be our advance force in this... New world. You will be supplied a BTR-60, a T-55, a ZSU-23-4 SPAAG, a GAZ-69, a LKW G5... There are some concerns as to whether or not we'll run across one of these dragons that will spit fire, apparently. I think we've been mislead with older information from those childrens' stories, but regardless. With it being a major concern, all five have been fireproofed and will be waiting outside. It's up to your men to gather information on the people we're dealing with. No doubt likely enslaved to this... Empire. That charged into Berlin." Stoph said and Laucke smiled. So. He wasn't going to sit on his ass any longer?

"Yes, Genosse General. I'll preform the task given and report back." Karl saluted General Stoph and in turn received a salute, turning to leave there was one final bit of Stoph was going to give Karl. "I know who you report to. ...Your kind are easy to read, like an open book. ...The Stasi. I will keep your identity a secret... Though before I wouldn't have guessed the hero of the DDR... Was a Chekist." Stoph said while he went back to filing forms. Karl stopped at the door and turned back to the General. "I'd hope not. ...My mission is to be the sword and shield of the party. ...I will report what I must, however... I shall leave you knowing what you do, out of it. Genosse, General." Karl said before he continued out the door and left the HQ, to see his squad standing out at the main square with the previously mentioned vehicles.

"Hmm. ...I should be grateful I suppose... Usually someone would be quick to warn others of us..." Karl said to himself before he shook his head. "No... No. I must be careful. If he was privy to this information and able to read me so easily, then I need to be doubly careful of those under my command." Karl said under his breath as he continued onto his squad. "Alright Genossen! Get loaded up! We're going out on recon! Move it!" Karl yelled and his men quickly saluted before loading up into their vics, the GAZ-69 took the lead with the BTR-60, T-55, ZSU-23-4 following behind the GAZ and the LKW, leaving the base, two MPs saluted Karl and he began looking over a map of the area stored in the glove box as well as the issued language manual.

"Hmm. Alright... Just perfect." Karl said, he sat in the passenger seat GAZ while he began to look over the language manual. "Hmm..." I suppose we have our Romanian comrades to thank for all this. As well as some cooperation between Yugoslavia and the west when it came to getting us those Latin transcripts. ...And the Soviets for these fantastic machines." Karl said, finishing his sentence.

"Yeah... Though I still wonder what we'll encounter in this world. Doesn't it make you wonder? In the assault on East Berlin, we saw pigmen and other monstrosities thought to be but fiction, and now they're in some lab somewhere in the DDR or maybe in the Soviet Union." Senior Sergeant Vogel said as he drove. "Honestly? I'm halfway expecting just about anything now. As you said, we've seen dragons, pigmen, and the other countless monstrosities that came thought the gate, anything is possible apparently on this side of the Gate. Hell, I'll even believe in magic!" Karl said while he memorised the phrases in the language manual.

"Hmm... I just hope we don't find my niece here." Vogel said, his mind obviously setting to other things. "She couldn't have gotten across the wall, even in the confusion. ...Though maybe she ran and didn't stop running until she was halfway to Warsaw. I'd believe it. ...I hope so anyway." Karl said trying to be reassuring... And obviously failing at it. "Though if we do find her here. I'll let you beat whomever is holding her half to death, turn a blind eye to it entirely." Karl said and a smile donned on Vogel's face. "Thank you, Genosse Major." Vogel said while he looked ahead, driving. "No problem. ...Private Krüger! If you're not going to do anything but sit there in the back. Then read the directions on this map!" Karl said as he handed the map and a compass back to Private Krüger.

"Yes genosse major!" Private Krüger shouted while he took the map and studied it over with the compass in the other hand. The next half hour went surprisingly smooth despite Karl's own inner predictions that Krüger was more likely to lead the whole convoy into an ambush. Thankfully, everything was going smoothly. The convoy rolled to a stop at the "gate" if one could call it, to a village.

November 14th, 1971

Coda Village, 4:30 PM

Senior Sergeant Vogel turned off the engine of the GAZ-69 as Major Laucke got out, grabbing his MPi, slinging it over his shoulder. He switched out his helmet for his visor cap, dropped in a bag in the back of the GAZ while the rest of his unit piled out of their vehicles and got into formation just at the left side of the Gate. Looking in, the town seemed deserted except for a child who was being pulled into the house by her mother, her mother only stopped at the sight of the Major, briefly before he waved and went back to his business addressing his men. "Genosse! We are here to liberate, not to loot, act as savages and harm the people in the village. Or any other village. Unlike our foe, we are civilised! Remember that! I expect you all to act on your best behaviour here! Understood!?" Karl yelled to his men who all replied in unison. "Yes sir!" Before Karl entered the village first, it would be clear to anyone observing even though the cracks in the wood shutters of the village, he was in charge of the men and women coming into the village.

The whole village was quiet as the East Germans entered, looking around with their weapons slung over their shoulders. "Senior Sergeant Vogel?!" Karl yelled, Vogel came to Karl with a bullhorn. "I already know, Genosse Major." Vogel said, handing the bullhorn to Karl. "Thank you." Karl said before clearing his throat, then proceeding to hold the bullhorn up to his mouth, speaking in the local language. "Good afternoon! We are soldiers of the National People's Army of East Germany! We come in peace, I repeat, we come in peace, not as conquerors, but as liberators! Liberators from the oppressive government of the Empire! Please come out! We wish to speak to your village mayor or whomever is in charge! I repeat once more, we come in peace! No one has anything to fear from the National People's Army!" Karl said in the local language before slowly but surely, a few people came out of their houses, some more curious than others, eyeing up the Germans and their equipment. Never had such weapons been seen before.

It wasn't long before the village elder finally came out and met with Karl."Thank you for not killing us all." The village elder said, he took off his hat and bowed his head. "Comrade, you don't have to bow your head to me or anyone else. We come from East Germany, not the Empire, there's never a need to bow your head to anyone in our country. We're all equal, this will suffice." Karl said and took off his right wool glove and held his hand out for the village elder, offering a handshake to which the elder did take to gladly. "What is this East Germany you referred to? And what is your National People's Army?" The village elder asked.

Karl was quick to reply. "We're what one would call an Army of the people. We fight for no king, no emperor, and no rich men. We fight for the people, for freedom to live a prosperous life, without fear." Karl said, though the latter part of 'Without fear' wasn't entirely true. Many in East Germany did fear the Ministry of State Security, however this as far as he was concerned was a hearts' and minds' mission. "I see. Well I'm grateful then, we were taken over by you instead of bandits or even reprised against by the Empire." The village elder said, Karl smiled. "We're not taking over, this is just a liberation, you're the best one to run this village. However you should not worry about bandits or the Empire. We were quick to repay them for what they did to our capital, three times over. I assure you, you're safe under the protection of the National People's Army. And after this war is over, you'll just see what we call the People's Police. They shall keep the order for you and keep you safe from bandits." Karl said, the village elder nodded his head.

"Thank you, once again. If there's anything you need, please don't be afraid to ask." The village elder said, Karl knew this would be the chance to get some information. "Actually. If you wouldn't mind, we have a map of the area however, as I said. We're from the other side of the Gate. Would you kindly mark out any other villages or towns that would appear to be missing from this map? It's a copy we captured from the Imperial Army." Karl said, pulling his map case off his belt and opening it, taking out a pen and the map out of the protective cover. "Yes of course... What's this?"

The village elder took the pen as it was handed to him by Karl. "You'll probably be more familiar with quills or pencils, that is a pen. You don't have to dip it in ink to write, just ensure the pointed part isn't covered and it will usually work." Karl said, explaining the pen to the village elder while kids came out and stared in awe of the German troops, their uniforms were a strange green colour with odd brown stripes, they wore odd looking helmets with nets on them and tree branches, leaves, and grass sticking out from the nets while they carried strange looking weapons, one that interested the children the most were their RPG-7s, at least the tubes of them. A couple children went over and stared at the ZSU-23-4, a few others stared at the BTR-60 and the T-55.

However to the soldiers present it was just a reminder, their world was lucky, it advanced scientifically while this one seemed stuck on bows, arrows, swords, spears, and other medieval weapons. After the village elder had finished marking the villages not previously marked on the map, he handed it back to Karl. "Thank you." Karl said before he looked over the map. "Hmm. Might I ask what this one is? In the forest area just a bit away from here?" Karl asked as he showed the map back to the village elder. "Oh, yes. That. That's an elf village, they live in the trees there."

The village elder said and Karl was taken aback, not sure if he heard that correctly. Elves? In this world? ...Then again he did just an hour or so ago get finished with a discussion about fictional creatures existing in this world so he shouldn't entirely be surprised. "Alright. Well. Thank you, Genosse elder. I will have to keep my men moving, we shall go on and inform these elves of their liberation from the Empire."

Karl saluted the elder and turned, leaving, he whistled and his men withdrew back to the gate of the village, the children looking more disappointed than the adults, many of whom went and started speaking with the elder of whom would likely have to explain everything that Karl told him. A minute later Karl and the three other senior officers in the convoy gathered at the GAZ-69 with the map before them, his second, Senior Sergeant Vogel, Captain Schröder, and Lieutenant Scholz. "So we'll keep going, we should reach the village by dusk and in the morning we'll make our presence known to these... Elves." Karl said, leaning on the GAZ.

"Elves. Never thought those were real. Always thought they were just fake creatures in that old book... The hobbit I think it was?" Captain Schröder, thinking aloud. "Been reading books from the west? Genosse Captain?" Karl asked with an eyebrow raised. "No. In a previous life perhaps, just know about it from memory with my short time in America before the last war." Captain Schröder said, shrugging. "I see. Alright well you all know what to do. Everyone get loaded up and we'll move out."

Karl said as he folded up the map and put it back in his map case, the three others went back to their posts, Senior Sergeant Vogel went back to the driver seat of the GAZ-69, Captain Schröder returned to his T-55, and Lieutenant Scholz returned to his ZSU-23-4. "So. Elves then." Senior Sergeant Vogel said as the convoy got back onto the road following the map to the next village.

"Apparently." Karl said as the GAZ-69 continued on it's way leading the convoy to the nearest village, being the elven village.

One hour later...

"Scenery barely changes here, reminds me somewhat of home." Karl said before Vogel spoke up. "...I've been thinking, you know one of those landmarks we passed on the way to Coda Village?" Senior Sergeant Vogel said with an eyebrow raised. Karl looked over to Vogel. "Yes, what about it?" Karl said his hopes probably too high for a conversation. "Isn't there something in England that reminds you of that one landmark?" Vogel asked as he kept his eyes fixated forwards on the road. Karl thought for a moment and it hit him.

"We... We found this world's version of Stonehenge." Karl said in realisation. It took a moment to narrow down which landmark Vogel was talking about but he realised quickly enough. "Exactly." Vogel said as the convoy continued to barrel down the road towards the woods where an apparent Elven village lay, only to see black smoke. "Black smoke...?" Karl said before he reached behind his seat to grab a set of binoculars, taking them up in his hands he looked through them at the smoke. "Bring us up to the hill outside of the woods so we can get a better view."

Karl said before Vogel turned off the road and took the GAZ up the hill, Karl reached behind his seat grabbing the in-vehicle radio. "Attention, attention. Black smoke, direct front. Spread out, ZSU take to the heights, T-55, load AP rounds." Karl said before he got a response back on the radio acknowledging his orders. The GAZ came to a swift halt at the top of the hill with the ZSU following up behind while the troop transports started to unload and Karl's men secured the perimeter while Karl and Senior Sergeant Vogel oversaw the forest.

"One hell of a fire." Karl said as he looked through his binoculars. "Yeah..." Senior Sergeant Vogel said, agreeing with Karl before they heard a loud screech and the ZSU turned it's turret towards the sound of the screech while a squad of troops stormed up the hill to join their commanding officer, aiming their rifles and RPG-7 at the source, the source turned out to be a dragon which quickly flew off before anyone could get a chance to fire a shot at it. "It's probably for the best it flew off." Vogel said before Karl interrupted.

"Remember what's on the map, Sergeant..." Karl said at the realisation. "Oh my god." Vogel said his eyes widening in realisation. "We can't do anything but hope for survivors, wait until the fire dies and then we'll begin search and rescue!" Karl said, barking out his orders, his men nodded and yelled. "Understood" in unison. Tomorrow was going to be a long day...