Kruger: Chapter 2

General Winatro stood stoic behind a window, his golden armour shining in the fluorescent light. It was the day of the test. The soldier gripped his sword tightly, his muscles tensed. The class of 5, who had already completed the test, stood to watch expectantly behind a window.

“Simulation start,” the PA system announced, and a machine gun turret materialised in front of the soldier. His knuckles turned white as he continued to grip the sword. The bullet came, flying out of the barrel of the machine gun with blinding speed. The soldier leant on his training, slicing his sword with lightning speed and pinpoint precision as he deflected the bullets. As more and more machine guns materialised, the soldier had trouble deflecting the bullets. Eventually, he bowed out at 3 machine guns, the speed of the bullets too fast for him.

General Winatro sighed as the soldier exited the simulation chamber.

“None of you passed. The minimum standard is 7, and the best you all can come up with is 5. Disappointing!” General Winatro roared, scaring the soldiers.

He continued, “Do you think just because you all are genetically modified that you can beat anyone? Do you think you being the best of the best of the Indonesian Army means anything? People in ARC, they are genetically modified too! And they are 2 to 3 times stronger than us! Don’t let your past achievements go to your head!”

“The next mission is against bandits. How strong can they be? ARC is still far away, we have time to train for that!” one of the soldiers piped up, frustrated by General Winatro’s scolding.

General Winatro gave him a stare that could kill. Finally, he said, “Come, you fight me now. Grab your sword.”

General Winatro exited his golden armour and stood in front of the class in his vest and slacks. The soldier went up gingerly, gripping his blade. He was the first to strike, swinging his blade with blinding speed. General Winatro matched his pace, steel scraping on steel.

“Mistake here, here and here.” General Winatro demonstrated, swinging his blade in 3 unexpected directions at the soldier. He jumped in fright, dropping his sword. “And you are dead in seconds.” General Winatro stated with a sigh.

He then gestured to his face, which bore a long, red scar. “This was caused by Kruger, one of the most powerful bandits in this area. I fought him, steel against steel, and he roundly beat me. What does this tell you? Do not underestimate the bandits. They have lived in the forests for so long. They have learnt from numerous engagements with enemies in the woodsdownload (2)download (2) while you were still in Jakarta, looking at your handphones. Dismissed.” General Winatro concluded, wearing his armour and leaving the class to reflect on his lesson.


Kruger: Prelude


It is the year 2100. Malthus was proven to be right. In 2050, the human population spiked to 10 billion. Fields became barren due to the massive strain put upon them. Animals were killed faster than they could reproduce, and conventional cattle like chickens and cows became extinct. Without sufficient food to sustain so many people, the population began its freefall. By 2060, in spite of advanced agriculture and chemically created foods, the population fell to 6 billion. In 2100, only 2 billion humans remain, struggling to obtain enough food for survival. That is where the wars started.

Advancements in force field technology have made bombs and nuclear weapons obsolete; combat has to be done hand-to-hand. Genetic modification technology allowed anyone with sufficient cash and resources to change their genetic coding. Previously used for frivolous means such as attractiveness and beauty, now it is used by the military to develop supersoldiers. These supersoldiers have lightning fast reflexes, require minimal rest, food and water and are capable of actions that are impossible for an average human. However, the high costs result in only about a hundred of them being created in each armed force.

Trump’s administration has made a significant mark on the United States political dynamics, and the Americans have a military alliance with them, calling themselves ART(the America-Russia Team). Recently, the addition of China to the team due to a dispute with other Asian nations resulted in the renaming of ART into ARC.  They are the largest armed force in the world and are well-armed. Hence, they have gained strength and threaten to conquer the whole world, reshaping it in their image.

The Middle East nations have banded together to form the Arab Coalition. They are the smallest armed forces in the world but possess an incredible amount of funds. They do not have a standing army. Instead, they hire mercenary supersoldiers from all around the world. Numerous attacks by ARC had been repelled by superior mercenary companies employed by the Coalition.

Asian countries, fearing for their safety, have banded together to form the Asian Powers. A dispute over trade routes forced China to leave the Powers. With the technology prowess of Japan, Korea and Singapore working together, they have the best modifications for their super soldiers. However, their army is small, depleted after numerous engagements with ARC forces and their equipment are bad, damaged by repeated confrontations.

The European nations naturally formed a coalition named the League of Nations. With economic powerhouses like Germany and Britain, the League of Nations has formed a large, well-equipped and united military. However, the European nations were slow to pick up genetic modification due to the fear of technology and so, their supersoldiers are only slighty better than those of The Plebs. Geographically and politically close to ARC, they are untouched by ARC’s sweep of power. But they wonder, are they next?

Finally, the poorest nations in the World located in Africa and South America have banded together for safety. They label themselves The Plebs, a symbol of their weakness. Technologically backward, they barely have any super soldiers in their midst. Even their ordinary soldiers have inferior equipment. The only advantage they have is numbers, which rival that of ARC. ARC has already taken control of the Pleb completely, and the soldiers remaining are all either forced to work long hours in the hot sun, growing crops, or are in hiding, planning a resistance against their masters. However, the opposition is dying off as more and more The Plebs soldiers are killed.

This story is about Kruger, a lone wolf in the tropical Indonesian forests, and how he changed the face of the world forever.

For rankings of the different factions in terms of wealth, army size, equipment quality and modification quality, take a look at the document below.


The Experience of A Lifetime

Experience of a lifetime Part 3

Thomas looked as the Rhapsodia passed through forests with weird trees, some purple with ivory-like structures sticking out of their branches. Others have fruits that look like bananas shaped like a tea cup. As curious as Thomas was about those trees, the unique species passed his line of vision so fast that it completely disappeared from his view when he looked back. The rhapsodia galloped its way through the thick forests until it reached what appeared to be a rock wall.

The guard quickly dismounted. Taking a brown horn strapped to the side of the Rhapsodia, he brew into it. All of a sudden, the rock wall split into two and a beautiful city appeared in sight.

“Welcome to the city of Akaroi, the royal city” Thomasia said.

Thomas nodded his head gratefully as the rhapsodia entered the city. A group of Akarian guards, seeing the appearance of Thomasia the crown princess, bowed their heads in respect.

The rhapsodia continued through the city until it stopped outside a magnificent palace, its exterior golden and filled with exotic crystals. The windows made of a bluish material that refracted light. The balcony perched above had two 5-cubit tall columns. The palace looked enormous, probably bigger than Versailles.

An Akarian guard came out to greet Thomasia and led them inside the palace.

The palace interior looked more majestic. Rooms abound and chandeliers hang on the walls. Akarian guards stand outside every room, maids and waitresses dressed in complex royal dresses await the decision to serve their royal patrons. The palace looked like one in a fairy tale, except this time it was real in Akaria.

Thomasia told Thomas to wait as she got dressed in a room with a green flower pasted on the door. Thomas was escorted to a massive room which presumably was the waiting room of the palace. A waitress served him a plate of weird looking tidbits. Thomas ate some of them. They tasted like strawberry cake. Just as he finished eating the tidbits, Thomasia came out wearing a Victorian-like royal dress with a sash and a royal tiara.

Thomasia and Thomas were escorted to the Supreme Emperor’s chamber. The chamber looked enormous, consisting of a throne for the Supreme Emperor and Empress, Thomasia’s father and mother. Thomas looked at the Supreme Emperor and Empress. They looked surprisingly young in their royal robes.

“Order the guards to close the door!” The Supreme Emperor commanded and the guards obeyed.

“Now who do we have here Thomasia? Who is this boy?” The Supreme Emperor asked.


Demons: Epilogue

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After the Da’in, no more demons arose from the ground. Orcs, elves, humans and dwarves lived together in harmony, and trade flourished throughout the kingdoms. Smiles could be seen on people’s faces as they played in the streets. Nights became a period of joy and happiness rather than fear and isolation.

Angel was revered as a hero. He was immediately anointed the position of General, replacing the retiring General Oliver. He spent his days training recruits of Asgard and inspiring them with snippets of his experiences in the numerous battles he faced. He led his troops around the plains, slaying raiders and punishing thieves. Order in Asgard rose to their highest levels in centuries.

As Angel grew old, he wondered how he could continue to serve the human kingdom more. The threat of demons has disappeared for the next ten thousand years. Yet he felt a sense of emptiness. To Angel, there was always more to accomplish. Was the remaining of his life to be spent killing mere raiders and enforcing order? Suddenly, his thoughts drifted to the last spell he had yet to learn.

“Yang, yang, yang?” He chanted, curious to see the spell’s effects.

At first, nothing seemed to happen. He cursed and went to bathe. As he glanced at the mirror, he stopped, the image shocking him. He looked again. He was 10 years younger. His wrinkles were gone. He felt more alive. His hands were no longer shaking. His muscles grew in size.

“Ha, looks like I will be in service for a little while longer,” Angel chuckled, and went about his daily routine.


Demons: The Duel

download (1)“I am Garm, the demon champion. Choose your hero and face me in one on one combat. Do it now, or the Da’in is forfeit!” the humanoid cried.

“General Oliver, disperse the Warband. I will take care of this demon.” Angel said, mounting Pearly and riding toward Garm. General Oliver complied, and the Warband disbanded, leaving behind Erica, Quo,kan, Maximus and General Oliver.

The leaders of the 4 factions stood to watch as Angel dismounted Pearly and squared off against Garm. Garm was very muscular, his frame barely fitting into his armour. He had empty sockets for eyes, leaving a hollow and empty feeling in his foes. He wore an intricately designed chest plate, with metal greaves and helmet. They were stained black, with Wards carefully carved into the armour pieces.

“Don’t think that demons can’t use Wards,” Garm smirked, registering Angel’s shock at a demon using his own weapons against him.

“Now, let’s see if you have been practising. Igni, igni, igni!” Garm screamed, hellfire flying towards Angel.

“Ven, voy, voy!” Angel countered, a gust of ice quenching the hellfire. Taking the initiative, Angel charged at Garm with his trusty sword.

“Ha, think you can beat me in close combat! Come!” Garm cried, drawing his sword. It was a horrific blade, cruelly crafted. It had spikes covering the non-cutting edge so when it impaled a victim, death was assured due to the pain of the spikes grinding flesh if it is pulled out. They clashed with violent force, trading blow for blow.  Garm was a very powerful demon, many times the strength of a human, but Angel had killed thousands of demons and eaten hundreds and has thus gained superhuman power. Every assault by Angel was parried by Garm and vice versa. This would be a fight for survival, with only one of them walking away.

As the fight progressed, Garm let down his guard, his ego getting the better of him. Angel found a weak spot and thrust his blade into Garm’s armour. It bounced off harmlessly, wards flaring.

“Ha, didn’t expect that did you!” Garm laughed, thrusting his blade into Angel’s flank. It made contact, scrapping Angel’s side. Blood gushed out as Angel staggered, letting out a curse.

“Time to end this!” Garm screamed, his blade swung up high. Garm’s armour was impenetrable, even with Attack Wards. All was lost. Suddenly, an idea occurred to Angel. “Igni, igni, igni.” He whispered, his hands heating up instantly.

He hugged Garm, forcing all the heat from the hellfire into Garm’s suit of armour. Angel figured that Garm would have Warded it to be resistant to physical damage, not physical conditions. He was right. Garm screamed as he was baked from inside out. The heat also scorched Angel, but he wore only a cloak, with his Wards on his body, so he was less affected.

Garm let out a final scream as his body exploded into flames. Angel staggered away, suffering numerous 2nd-degree burns and still bleeding profusely from his side. The leaders immediately rushed to his aid, bringing him back to the palace. The Da’in was won.


Demons: Revenge

download (1)Just the Warband thought it was over, the march of demons could be heard in the distance. General Oliver whipped out his binoculars and took a look. What he saw frightened him to the core. Rows upon rows of demons approached the hill. They were in the same formation as before but were over a hundred times the number. What was ten rock demons in the engagement before now became a thousand. The Warband was distraught. How were they supposed to defeat so many?

“It’s an endless horde!” General Oliver cried in desperation.

Cannons roared as the dwarves continued to pound the demons. However, the demons were smarter now. Having learnt from their previous engagement, they spread out to reduce damage taken, and before long, the demons reached the Orc defensive line.

When the demons reached the defensive line, it was complete chaos. The Orc matched the sand demons and wood demons in strength, and so, both ichor and blood sprayed. Dwarves and elves howled in pain as they were crushed by rocks thrown by the stone demons, while Orcs were mauled alive by the sand demons, or bashed to death by the wood demons. The elves assisted by shooting the demons with their arrows and the dwarves fired their pistols at the demons in close combat. However, it was insufficient as the demons continued to push into the defensive line.

“Well, it is time for me to join the fight. Calvary, with me!” Angel cried, charging from his hiding spot right into the demon horde. The demons cried as the impact of the warhorses sent them flying. Angel focussed on saving Orcs from being struck down by the demons. Just as Quo’kan was being knocked down by 3 sand demons, a swift thrust of Angel’s spear impaled all three and ichor spewed all over Quo’kan. He nodded his thanks and let out a loud war cry, rallying his Orcs. The Orcs fought bravely, and the demon numbers dwindled.

With Angel’s help, the battle turned in the Warband’s favour as the demons lost morale and started to run away. Cheers erupted from the Warband. Casualties were high, but the day was won.

Just as they thought it was over, a fireball struck the centre of the Warband. Dwarves and elves cried in pain as the hellfire scorched them. The Orcs distanced themselves in fear. What was happening?

That is when Angel saw it. It looked like a human, but Angel was sure it was not one. Angel sensed a very ominous presence from this humanoid. He was sure that this would be the hardest battle of his life.


Demons: Final Battle?

download (1)The time has come. Angel issued the decree for a Da’in with the demons. The soldiers gripped their weapons tightly as night fell. All the hatred and suspicions of the different factions were cast aside for this evening. Orc, elf, human or dwarf; it did not matter. Tonight, they were fighting for their lives.

The demons did not come through the ground. Instead, the beat of demon footsteps could be heard as they marched onto the open plains. For the first time, they had a formation, with the powerful sand demons being deployed as the vanguard of the demon forces. Wood demons were next, being the weakest and serving only to tire the enemy. They are flanked by the fire and water demons, which acted as an offensive flanking force. The rock demons were further away, being used for artillery means. Finally, air demons circled the air above the Warband, savouring the battle ahead.

“Archers, target the air demons! Dwarves, open fire at the rock demons! If they land one rock on us, we are dead!” General Oliver cried.

The battle began without further ado. Led by Maximus, the dwarves loaded their cannons with brutal efficiency, unleashing their own version of hell upon the stone demons. Ichor spilt freely as the rock demons reeled in pain. The air demons swooped down, determined to silence the cannons, but was met by a volley of elvish arrows. One by one they fell out of the sky, ichor pouring out of their wounds. Eager for vengeance, the sand and wood demons advanced quickly towards the hill. Well-placed traps by the dwarves paid off as the sand demons fell into pits of Warded spikes while wood demons fell prey to mines filled with hellfire.

The Warband cheered as the demons fell even before reaching the Orc defensive line. There were smiles all around as the Warband rejoiced over the defeat of the demons. Angel remained stoic. The demons would not be defeated so easily.


Demons: Prep for Final Battle

download (1)When Angel stepped into the palace he was raised in from young, he no longer felt as invited as before. The guards muttered under their breath, remarking at his tattoos. They had reason to be suspicious. The number of humans dying due to demon attack has been on the rise, and General Oliver was desperate for a solution.

“YOU! You are back!” General Oliver screamed, leaping off his throne with open arms.

Angel hugged General Oliver like they were old friends reunited at last. Angel quickly ran through the situation with General Oliver.

“Attack Wards?? Master Hik will see that they are used on all weapons. I think it is appropriate to call everyone to the open plains to fight. That way, fewer civilians will be harmed. The small hill in the middle of the plains would be ideal to have a height advantage.” General Oliver reasoned.

“Alright. I will set up the beacon.” Angel said, turning around and striding out of the palace.

The first to come were the Orcs, clothed in simple chainmail armour and wielding their Warded weapons with glee. Quo,Kan nodded at Angel with respect, his hands gripping a Warded Warhammer. The next were the elves, with shining silver armour and Warded Steel bows and arrows. The Warders, including Erica, begun working on improving the Wards, as well as setting up a preliminary Ward Shield. Finally, the dwarves arrived, with Maximus heading the rows upon rows of cannons, as well as personal handguns and axes.

By sundown, everyone had reached the camp. Even some civilians joined in the Warband, and their numbers swelled to the hundreds of thousands. However, there was much to be done. The inexperienced must be trained in the art of combat, and the dwarven weapons have not been Warded yet.

The next months were bustling with activity. The elves worked on the dwarven weapons, carving intricate Attack Wards on them. The dwarves set up creative traps in the earth itself, digging tunnels for demons to fall into and spikes for demons to land on, with elves assisting them with Warding issues. Angel busied himself with his own war preparations, memorising the Words of Power: Igni, Ven and Voy. He also held daily training on the use of weapons, with the orc commanders as his practice buddies.

“Note that you cannot fight the demons directly. They are robust and vicious. They will win in a face to face confrontation. So, instead of fighting them head-on, use your head. Feint and dodge whenever you can and when you see an opening, go for it.” Angel instructed, demonstrating this on Quo,Kan. The civilians nodded, grabbing their Warded hoes and sickles in fear. Angel sighed. The real army was half that of the civilian mob. The crowd of civilians is needed to add numbers to prevent an immediate rout. However, they were inexperienced and would most likely perish in combat.

Half a year has passed, and they were ready.”Angel, come. We have to talk tactics.” General Oliver called.

“Angel, come. We have to talk tactics.” General Oliver called.

Angel proceeded into the commander’s tent. General Oliver was seated with the various kings and queens of the different factions.

“During a Da’in, the defensive Wards will be useless, so we need to think carefully about the placement of our troops. The orcs are the strongest and so, they will form the defensive line around the peak of the hill. Behind them will be the elves and their archers. Then, the dwarves with their artillery. They will be pounding the demons hard. Hopefully, the traps will work and some of the demons will die.” General Oliver reasoned, to the agreement of the other lords.

“Sir, what about us?” Angel inquired.

“We are an interesting bunch. Not as strong as orcs, but not as good a shot as dwarves or elves. I am advocating for a mobile cavalry unit, led by you. Of course, the civilians will be at the back of the phalanx of orcs, giving pushing power whenever needed. I will lead the civilians.” General Oliver surmised.

“Alright. my cavalry unit will provide help where the fighting is the hardest. I will send the Da’in now.” Angel agreed, bowing and exitting the tent. The battle has begun.


Demons: Convincing the Dwarves

download (1)As Angel approached the Great Mountains, in which lie Dovan, Home of the Dwarves, he felt uneasy and tried to brush off the fact that he could be killed by cannon fire at any moment. The keep was nestled in the face of a cliff, the only path to it being a treacherous climb up the purely vertical slopes of the cliff. The black smoke of industry and buildings of silver and gold characterised Dovan; Dwarves only cared about guns and money. Dwarves, with their short legs, could not hope to scale the cliff. However, they had the advantage of superior technology and could burrow through the mountains. Angel sighed as he dismounted from his horse and begun the climb.

Even with his superhuman strength, the climb proved tortuous, and when he was done, he was a heaving pile on the floor.

“What’s a human doing here? You are far from Asgard, friend,” the dwarf guards noted, helping Angel up.

“I … need to see … Maximus now,” Angel heaved, catching his breath.

The guards looked at each other, baffled at that suggestion.

” Well, we could let you see Maximus, but he told us that anyone that wants to see him has to pass through a few trials to determine their worth. First, a generous donation of 1000 gold coins. Second, a marksmanship test. Lastly, a brawl with 10 guards. Most people die by then. You wanna give it a try?” The guard inquired.

Angel sighed. He did not have any cash on hand. Suddenly, a brilliant idea came to mind. He threw his old sword, as well as a flask of ichor to the dwarf. The dwarf gingerly catches the items, unsure what they were for.

“The sword is worth 200 gold coins. The ichor blood is a rare commodity, worth well more than 1000 gold coins. I think that should cover my costs.” Angel declared, and the dwarf guards nodded, happy with the tribute.

“As for marksmanship…” Angel quickly drew the dwarven guard’s gun and shot into the air. Instantaneously, a bird fly about a kilometre away felt to its death. Impressed, the guards clapped their hands in a thunderous applause.

10 guards surrounded Angel. This would be an easy fight. With his supernatural speed and strength, fighting these dwarves were like fighting children in the playground. He deftly dodges their swings, sending them flying with a single punch. Before long, 10 guards had to be sent to the infirmary for severe injuries.

As Angel stepped into the golden-plated palace, he bowed his head in respect. He quickly explained the situation to Maximus, a grumpy old dwarf with over a hundred years of war experience.

“Angel, you know we don’t Ward. We prefer our technology to all these hocus-pocus. I mean, I can help you in your fight, but don’t expect us to draw those so-called Attack Wards on our weapons.” Maximus replied, measuring his words carefully.

Angel sighed and replied, “Fine. We can have some of the Elves help you Ward your ammunitions and weapons. Just be there when the fight comes.”

With that, all the factions are united. Angel mounted onto Pearly’s back and rode with all haste towards Asgard.


Demons: Convincing the Elves

download (1)After successfully convincing the Orcs, Angel desired a change of scenery and made his way to the elven city of Acadia. He followed the sound of gushing water and was easily able to locate Acadia, nestled below the Great Waterfall. There were no walls to this city, with Wards adorning the outer buildings, extending towards the underbelly of the city. This formed a sphere of defence that was rumoured to be unpenetrable in spite of it being only one layer, with the next being the Wards of the Elvish homes inside the city.

As he stepped foot into the city, he noticed hundreds of Elven bows trained on him, threatening to fire upon the slightest infraction. He could not see them but knew that elves had the ability to camouflage well in any environment. Angel knew of the deep distrust between Elves and Humans, which rivalled that between Humans and Orcs and so, immediately raised his hands as a sign of peace.

“I wish to speak to Erica,” Angel announced boldly.

This aroused a series of high-pitched laughter amongst the soldiers.

“No humans sees Erica,” one of them screamed, her bow still trained upon Angel.

“What if I say I can Ward faster than your best Warder?”

Again, another series of laughter engulfed the elvish soldiers, amazed that a human would want to challenge an elf in Warding. However, they were quickly silenced by the arrival of Erica, the Queen herself.

“I accept your challenge. I am the Queen of the Elves, Erica. I also hold the position of Master Warder. Do you think you can beat me?” Erica taunted, eager to see Angel’s response.

“Yes,” Angel said plainly, hungry for a challenge.

The rules were set. A panel of 3 judges, all the best Warders in Acadia, would determine the integrity of the Ward Shield, which was to be drawn in 30 seconds.

“On your marks, get set, GO!!”

Angel speedily scribbled the Wards, his drawings crisp and accurate. The Queen was quick too, but not as fast as Angel and had to play catch-up from the get-go. After the 30 seconds had run out, Angel’s Ward Shield was up while the Queen had only a single Ward remaining.

The 3 Warders looked at each other in dismay, struggling to find loopholes in Angel’s Wards. After a full 15 minutes of inspection, Angel grew frustrated. He swung his flask of ichor blood onto the Ward Shield. The blood exploded from the vessel, and the Warders recoiled in terror. The blood drenched the Ward Shield, exposing no weaknesses.

“Well, it seems that you have won. Come, tell me what you want.” Erica sighed, dismayed at being defeated by a mere human.

Angel drew the Attack Wards on the broken flask and explained the situation to the Queen. Erica gasped in shock upon the knowledge that the Attack Wards were rediscovered.

“For the Da’in, you will have my full support. Just say the word, and my warriors will come. My warders will analyse and implement these Wards, and we will provide ranged support through our bows and arrows, as well Warding assistance in case of emergency. Thank you for giving us this chance to rid of this menace forever,” Erica bowed in deference.

Angel nodded in respect. After saying a brief goodbye, he mounted his horse and rode away. Two factions down, one more to go.