It was dawn when they heard it - a deep, ominious rumbling that shook the ground and drove fear into their hearts.
"Tanks!" Alec yelled, struggling to be heard over the din, "Over here!"
She got down and crawled over to the steep embankment overlooking a nearby field. It had once been used for planting corn, but was now a battered, pot-marked piece of land. War had passed over it once and ebbed away. It appeared it would do so again.
From their vantage point Ceri saw a plume of dust rising in the east, moving very quickly towards them.
"Alec," yelled Ross. "You do realize we're headed for Freeport?"
"Duh!" Sabriye shouted back, "You need a better brain or something?!"
"Then," Ross ignored her, "You do realize those tanks are also headed for Freeport - they're in White Sun land!"
Nobody spoke for awhile as each of the mulled this over. Ceri realized that this meant war - an irrevocal breach of the treaty
"Ross," Alec said, choosing her words carefully as the rumble of tanks grew louder, "When you accessed the mainframe yesterday, did you see anything connected to the millitary? Any plans at all?"
Ross scrunched up his face, then shook his head. "Just the usual - transport and contigency lines."
"Do you realize what this means?" Jason said, eyes closed.
Ross looked stupid, so Sabriye filled in the blanks for him.
"We sparked off the war! Our bloody little rescue mission broke the treaty clear and through! They were just looking for an excuse to send everything they have over - and we're IT!"
The roar of engines was nearly unbearable now - it drowned out Sabriye's stream of expletives and drew their attention to the oncoming vehicles.
It was the Black Moon's calvary division, no doubt. Hues of green and brown adorned the tanks as they cruised along the field, looking every bit as menacing as the veteran soldiers described.
And then Ceri noticed the magic runes painted on the barrel and sides of the tanks. They provided strength and limited invisibility when activated by a magister, who also allowed the tank to fire mana-enhanced shells.
In the middle of the entire formation was the magister's APC - a sleek black armoured beast that ran completely on magic - sheilds, shell and all. And further back still Ceri saw the glistening chutes of artillery pieces adn anti-air units.
Ross grabbed him and gestured - they had to leave. Nodding, Ceri followed the rest to the depths of the forest - shaken, tired and slightly scared.
"What?" asked one of the magisters, crossed. He had been reading a novel in the cooped up storage area. There were only five magisters per APC, but even then everything was too small for luxury.
"There was a group of twelve youths watching our approach, not far from here." the first gargoyle said.
"Four of them were the rescued prisoners from the Internal massacre." the other added.
"Pursue and kill?" both asked eagerly.
The magister thought for awhile. "No." he said, "Just keep up your recon duty."
As both gargoyles vanished, dissapointed, the magister took up a phone and speed dialed the Nobu assasination division.
And agent picked up after the second ring.
Ceri's blog extract
There it goes. Any thoughts of growing up, marrying and having kids flies straight out the window. Peace? Hah. As i watched the tanks, i wodnered why such a word was ever invented.
Kyioshi's blog extract
About time its started. Gillian was getting almost impatient.