Highlord Wolnir here, pumped out another chapter for all who's reading. Honestly didn't think I'd get this far in typing, with college classes and hitting the Xbox. But goes to show this might be a worthwhile hobby. All mentioned series belong to their respective owners (please keep in mind, this is an Alternate Universe). Don't forget to drop a review for feedback, now onto the story!

Chapter 2: All Quiet on the Gate front…

Two weeks. Two weeks is all it took to fortify the other side of what is now dubbed the 'Hades gate', with the help of information gathered from the captured invaders who were so kind in spilling out details (after extensive neuro processing and 'other' means). Such as the name of the land they stood on, Falmart, a landmass inhabited by a number of different factions with the main one being a Roman Empire knockoff, dubbed The Saderan Empire, is the major contender when it comes to power amongst the nations. Mythological creatures exist as well with Elves, Dwarves, Ogres, Dragons, and even pigmen (Simon wondered if they can extract bacon from them?). Specifically in Falmart, the Helios Defence Task Force or HDTK, Were situated in the Tycho Swamplands.

The Tycho being densely dominated by luscious green vegetation and nocturnal species. It also houses underneath summary deposits of methane gas. Methane generators were brought in and tapped right into the source, allowing energy for lights, heaters, holographic screens, many other amenities for the HDTK. Due to the lack of solid land besides the island of hardened stone that the gate is situated on, the HDTK set up multiple platforms similar to Stellar Bay. This allowed the building of barracks for troops and residential areas for scientists or civilians, as well as the creation of military headquarters and landing pads for airborne vehicles.

Walls were situated after the deforestation for construction purposes, reaching ten meters in height and with three encircling with farthest spanning 5 kilometers in radius and the smallest spanning 1.5 kilometers. More platforms were set up as well as the process of removing swamp water to dry up certain areas for farming purposes. Most of this was performed with the help of Morgan's engineer operators (with the occasional crew from Talos 2 or HDTK helping out) and the occasional harvesters gathering materials with their built in recycler tech.

Guard towers were established and automated turrets were set up, reminiscent of the Eradicator turrets found on Talos 1 and 2. Patrols of guards were listed on routine perimeter sweeps around the main wall, checkpoints were set up around the gate entrances that lead through each district.

Overall, operations were running quite smoothly for the men and women from Halcyon. Inside one of the many food establishments set up, Simon and his crew were lounging about and relaxing. The only one missing was Morgan, due to overseeing experiments on board Talos 2.

"I'm telling you, those damn pansies were shitting themselves after we came in with those battle walkers. Fuckers didn't stand a chance against .50 caliber tungsten rounds." Simon said, enjoying a plate of Roasted cyst pig casserole.

"That and possibly due to Lily bisecting a good portion of their soldiers. That Vertibird sword surely doesn't discriminate against armored or non armored troops." Spoke Sam, twirling a spoon in a bowl filled with Sugar bombs.

"Ha yeah, that sure was something. Granny Lily sure puts some terror behind those swings. Doesn't really hold back with those punches either…" Simon recalled, his mind drifting back to the initial offensive.

*Flashback*

Reaching through what seemed to be the end of the never ending void of the tunnel, all personnel arrived through an open clearing of stone and hard rock foundation. APCs organized themselves to release their compliments of troop passengers, the battle walkers taking the front with the pilots scanning for threats, troops taking positions and setting up portable barricades and sandbags. Tiger and Nekomata tanks lined in position, cannons ready to lay down heavy fire.

Soldiers lay prone, eyes scanning the edges of the growing vegetation, scopes and laser sights tracing for any signs of movement. Mechanicals hovering and crawling in formation, awaiting further instructions from their organic masters, plasma modules, ammo belts, and ion batteries primed in their respective weapon systems. Unfortunately, aerial vehicles would have to wait until the all clear sign was given. Simon and companions having regrouped, positioned themselves behind a hastily set up sandbag wall. Simon scanning through the scope of All American, with Nicholas joining in with his own rifle. ED-E was playing old western tunes through his speaker on minimum volume, Sam and Haiden chattering on bets for who will get the most kills. Lily kept Leo in both her hands, gently rubbing a cloth along the blade.

A call was given from a soldier with binoculars, pointing towards the edge of the green, vast blockage, "Movement directly ahead of us, armored hostiles with mounts ahead!"

Surely enough, more of the same warriors approached from the shrubbery and trees, horse mounts along with beasts reminiscent of triceratops. Groups forming shield formations, expecting barrages of arrows to rain down, Spears jutting out of the crevices to maim foe through their defenses. Archers taking position behind the formations or even on some of the lower branches of small trees.

Overall, a bloodbath was about to ensue.

"Let's give them a bit of a display of modern weaponry, all tanks! Give them a round of canister shells!" General Victor ordered on his communication piece, keeping his sights on the marching enemy forces.

Within seconds, each tank fired a shot from their barrels. Tungsten balls spread out at a wide spread, causing multiple to miss while others found their mark, tearing through shields and armor. The enemy was left surprised from the sound of the shots going off, along with their men falling over dead or seriously bleeding.

"Weapons free troopers! Unleash hell on these bastards!"

With that command given, all hell broke loose. Shots rang out, each trooper lining up their sights and giving off a quick burst of 7.62mm with each pull of the trigger. Shell cases littered the ground, shredded body armor and weapons lay wasted by the dead as blood seeped into the swamp leaving a murky brownish tint. The charging opposition yelled out battle cries, ever determined to breach through the wall of guns that stood.

Simon peered through his scope, catching targets by the head and with each pull of a trigger they fell. Nicholas punched through the center of enemy torsos with his sniper, leaving fist sized holes. Sam and the rest stayed back, content with guarding Incase if the enemy did push through, with the exception of Haiden who provided assistance with a portable plasma mortar.

Soon enough the enemy's number lessened leaving only a handful of 53 soldiers. The General relayed an order back to the troops.

"All units cease fire, let the melee fanatics have a go at them!"

With that command, all troops carrying a blade or blunt weapon climbed over their covers. Lily vaulted over the barriers, bringing up her huge blade, ready to bisect any adversary on the field. The remaining enemy forces, noticing the defenders making their way to them charged. Sentry Sabres and plasma cutters clashed against iron swords, mostly the plasma cutters just cleaned through the metal and allowing the plasma inducted blade to cause cauterizing wounds on individuals. Vortex maces and impact hammers smashing through flimsy armor and cracking bones with an audible crunch. The occasional mechanical guardian picking up one of the savages with a clawed gauntlet and breaking their backs.

One of the warriors tried getting a surprise strike on one of the HDTF soldiers, only scraping against the armor before the warrior was bisected by a swing of Lily's blade. Armor was no use against the might of her blade, only serving to allow kinetic force to kill off the unfortunate most of the time.

Soon the battle ended with the swampy wanted gaining a brownish-crimson tint, predatory or scavenger wildlife offering their primal services in cleaning unwanted remains. The all clear was given as more HDTF soldiers poured out from the gate, construction crews getting started on base fortifications, gun nests set up for further defense.

*Flashback End*

Simon's thought process was cut short as his personal communication device notified him of a message, the message detailed the success of implanting small hidden outpost within certain settlements and locations. Simon and the General discussed the importance of spreading influence and intel gathering through small shops hosted by company brand names, such as Spacer's Choice and Monarch Stellar Industries, both promised a large cut if they support the hosting of small squads of guards consisting of the recently hired Iconoclast mercenaries. The Iconoclast group were initially paid in land ownership a few kilometers away from the base hub, providing them with small shipments of medical, engineering and food supplies. In exchange, the environmentally toughened people provided a number of 50 elite troops valued for their use of guerilla warfare and traps, along with their custom scavenged mining armor.

The recent outposts consist inside of the red light district/slums of Sadera, the capital of the Saderan Empire, And finally Italica, a small trading town that served as a line of marketing and suppliers towards the Saderan soldiers making their way to Arnus Hill. The location is considered holy to the people, with there being another gate on top of the hill. With how the barbarians came through, it wasn't hard to guess that the Roman wannabes were trying the same avenue of conquest. The outposts were ordered to keep watch on any further actions of the Saderan army.

Putting away his device, Simon stood up and made his way out of the establishment, "I'll see you guys later! Gonna go request some goodies from the quartermaster" Simon briefly said.

"Try not to get chewed up by him if you make a ridiculous request order" Haiden replied, sampling another bite of raptidon stir fry.

"Heh, no promises!" Simon chuckled out, exiting the establishment and walking to the armory. 'Wonder if my order from Sanjar came in yet, those stealth modules would be pretty cool to have on missions', Simon strode down the refurbished street. Taking a wide intake of the scenery, with fabricated buildings and tents dominated the quickly built base. Patrol squads making daily walks around the base with an assistant mechanical sentry as backup, drones and operators hovered off to specified areas for task assignments.

After what seemed like a long time of walking, Simon spotted the armory. Walking through it's reinforced doors, he was greeted with the sight of weapons benches and the smell of oil and machinery. Boxes of scrap and electronics lay on each bench, messily taking up room. In the far back was a concession stand with a somewhat old man repairing a Dead-Eye Assault/Marksman rifle, tinkering with its scope and oiling pieces with a graceful hand.

The quartermaster, noticing the presence of someone, carefully set down his project and took notice of the current individual. "Simon, I see you are expecting that MSI shipment? Don't worry I have it here in the booth, just need your signature". He pulled out a metal cargo box with the MSI logo gleaming in the light, an electronic signature board near it.

"Very nice! Glad to see Sanjar still delivers on time. Though that's not all I'm here for." Replied Simon, signing the board before pulling out All-American. "I need an upgrade for my rifle, wondering if you can give it a railgun module?"

Handing the rifle to the quartermaster, the old man inspected the frame of the rifle. Carefully inspecting each piece and the layout on where things fit. After a couple of minutes, he laid the gun on the table, "yup, I can make do with this. Though you'll have a meaner bite with each shot, it'll have a slower rate of fire" The quartermaster said.

"Yeah that's fine, when can you get it finished?" Simon Replied.

"I can get it done in ten minutes, just sit down somewhere and I'll have it done in no problem." And with that, the quartermaster went to work with his new project. Simon taking the opportunity to rest his feet and take the time to reflect on his next mission.

With his newly calibrated railgun rifle and shipment, Simon made it to the designated crew quarters for his crew. Setting down the shipment, he received a message on his device.

Playing Message: "Hey kid, thought you would want some action outside the base. Got intel that the Saderan Empire we've been keeping tabs on, has accessed the other "gate" and had their asses kicked hard. Our boys at the Italica outpost raided a returning convoy from across the other side of the 2nd gate. Turned out to be a slave pen with the occasional stolen items, but the real kicker is who these slaves were. Japanese citizens, honest to god Japanese from Earth, but with the help from one of the mercs who is half Japanese. We learned it's an alternative Earth where the Great War didn't happen. I'm allowing you to have the chance to recon this situation, you'll be limited to three vehicles from the military auto shop. A squad of enforcers will join you, General Victor out"

And with that, Simon instantly pulled out two of his companion's contacts and messaged them to meet him at the auto shop. With this out of the way, Simon hauled ass with a grin on his face, three stealth modules and customized rifle in tow.

Well folks that concludes this chapter, will start after chapter 3 of Horde Effect. Thank you for your patience and feedback. This is HighLord Wolnir signing off.