The Roar of War





Rain pours over the battlefield, the roar of water on dirt only broken by the occasional crack of artillery ripping through the air. The Sergeant withdraws a cigarette from his jacket, attempting to light it in the downpour with little success. He would rather be on the front, helping to drive the spike into the throats of the Nazis, but instead, he and his squad are stuck out here protecting a couple of eggheads while they conduct some sort of excavation in the middle of nowhere. Why the boys upstairs give two shits about some rocks in the ground he's not sure. Still, he's not paid to ask questions, he's paid to protect his men, and so that's what he does.

A pair of mustangs rip past overhead, electing loud cheers from some of the greenies in his squad. He shakes his head at them, primarily due to their disregard for the fact that this is a stealth operation, but also for their unjustified celebration of military strength. Two jets are not going to change the course of the war, and cheering over them — when thousands more are tearing each other apart not two miles away — is pointless. A single glare is all it takes to quiet his team which is evidently still fresh out of basic.

He stashes the cigarette and glances over his men, what few he can see anyways as the rest work away in the excavation site. One of his soldiers sits under a small tarp, thumbing through some comic book; a drawing of a man dressed in red, white, and blue tights and holding a shield is plastered on its front. He's a corporal, a combat medic to be more specific, and a good man, but easily one of the most naive boys that the Sergeant has seen in this hellscape. Another one of his men, a young private, digs away at the ground, the large brute making quick work of the foxhole before moving on and digging another. In the short time the Sergeant has had to get to know him, he's found that the private has a good heart, but a simple mind. Another man works away at the optics of his M3 Garand: a specialist, he's been the squad's designated marksman for a while now. He's a damn fine shot, a shame he would rather mess around than put some actual work in.

"Sergeant!" It seems as though the eggheads don't quite understand stealth either. The Sergeant stands looking from his crouched position, making his way to the vast pit in which combat engineers and eggheads work together, attempting to excavate whatever it is buried without floodlights or loud equipment. Making his way to the edge of the gaping maw in the ground that now glows an unearthly purple hue, originally dug up by a kraut bomb, a hole which is now glowing — he gets ready to lay into the good doctor for turning on floodlights and shouting — but any protest he has dies in his throat as he looks at exactly what it is that's glowing in the hole.

Standing in the center is an obelisk, forged of sleek black metal with strange symbols lining its sides. It shimmers and glows as the Sergeant stares, stupefied. He searches for something- anything to say but no words come. A strange spell falls over him, he wants to- no he needs to touch it. Before the Sergeant knows what he's doing he's already stumbling and falling into the pit below. Yet it's not the Sergeant that touches it first, but some young private, captured by the same siren song. A scream of pain followed by a wave of blue force rips through the area, passing over first the dig site, then out farther, ripping out over the city nearby, shutting down everything in the area and out farther still, jeeps dying, planes simply crashing into the fields below, tanks stalling, a stratofortress passing overhead simply dropping out the sky.

For a brief moment, there is silence as the rain begins to die out suddenly. The Sergeant blinks the spots out of his eyes as he looks towards the Obelisk. The crumpled remains of the young private sit melted against the black metal. The Sergeant's reminded of the remains of Soviet forces cooked by napalm as he looks over the poor kid. Something nags at him as he's evaluating the situation, checking to make sure the rest of his men are okay. He frowns at how dark it is, even without floodlights there should still be some light provided by the heavens above. He glances up first in confusion and then with growing horror, his men follow his gaze, some collapsing to the ground in shock, others screaming in terror, and others, the sergeant among them stares in silence. The moon, the stars, the sky, it's all gone, all that's left is darkness.

Experimentations with RPC-003-01 instances show they are capable of activating thaumaturgic objects. TO-1298's effects as a limited EMP seem to extend to RPC-003-01s equipment, though its secondary effect of killing all organic life within a certain radius instead is only limited to the object's activator. TO-1298s "mental lure" also seems to also affect RPC-003-01 instances but at a vastly reduced radius. Evaluating RPC-003 as a potential vector for dealing with Thaumaturgic objects remains ongoing but shows a great deal of promise. Test-003-198-B which is scheduled for 6/17/20 will determine RPC-003s capability of harnessing thaumaturgic powers.
Strangely enough it seems RPC-003-01 Instances have reacted to the fact that TO-1298 knocked out the lights and sky projector. All experiments prior to this point have suggested that RPC-003-01 instances are not sapient, but it's possible in our testing we missed something.
-Dr. Fisher

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