It took almost two weeks of hard travel to reach what Kelly termed 'Central Headquarters'. Which was nothing less than a burnt out Kanid border fortress, standing along the line separating the Tigris territories and the Imperium. As the massive stone structure loomed into sight before them, Longspear gasped in recognition.
"That's Bel Lorimir!" she exclaimed, looking wide-eyed over at van Joss. "According to our intelligence, it was the first Kanid fortification that fell before the elves' initial onslaught, which came nearly a year after they were awakened." Her brown eyes turned back onto the bulk they were moving towards. "And it was by far one of the Imperium's most powerful, with a garrison of well over five thousand troops. It was said the Kanid built it in the early years of the Imperium, shortly after the Consolidation of the Packs, and is well over two hundred and fifty years old."
"Impressive," van Joss rasped dryly. Unfortunately the more he heard about the fighting prowess of these 'elves', the more unsettled he was becoming. It bode poorly for Gideon if these creatures decided it was in their best interest to take care of the descendants of their original makers once and for all! With that thought firmly entrenched in his mind, he too turned his eyes to studying the huge fortification that grew like an artificial mountain out of the low hills they were riding into.
"I just hope it doesn't end up being our graveyard!"
As they rode closer, the four once more in the back of one of many wagons that were churning relentlessly towards the fortification, van Joss began noticing signs of the hard fighting that eventually won the elves the fortress. Walls were battered and chipped and many of the towers had pieces visibly missing. He nodded in appreciation though when he saw elvish work crews laboring to repair that damage and restore the fortress to maximum efficiency. 'If these creatures are anything, they're efficient,' he noted as they rode down a final approach and past a heavy guard to move through the broad, open gates into a large courtyard outside of the fortress's primary keep.
Here their guards directed them to quit the wagons and Kelly led them into the keep itself where, traveling through a veritable labyrinth of hallways and staircases, he guided them towards the heart of Bel Lorimir: the offices of the elves' supreme commander, General Thompson. Van Joss was quick to note that as they passed through the midst of the elven fortification, that the big creatures were everywhere. Even here, in the heart of their territory, they were heavily armed and vigilant. It looked increasingly grim for any chance of escape, if Thompson wasn't as receptive to the Primiad situation as Kelly had turned out to be.
Finally, after climbing what seemed to be endless stairs, the elven captain pushed through a heavy, iron-strapped oaken door into a small room on top of one of the keep's towers. Here the general's office was located, where she could not only work, but enjoy an excellent view of not only the fortress but the surrounding countryside as well from the office's vantage point.
As soon as Kelly stepped into the room, he snapped into a sharp salute.
"General Thompson, sir," he began smartly. "Captain Kelly reporting as ordered with the standard human and Primiad prisoners we took at Jekan Grim, in Tigris territory."
"At ease, captain," replied the elven officer sitting behind the rough made desk. She wasn't that much different from Kelly, short hair and all, other than the fact that she had breasts. Out of all the elves they had seen so far, this was the first that wasn't wearing her body armor. Yet van Joss could see it sitting beside the desk and within easy reach, along with a sheathed sword. He had no doubt that the general was just as proficient with the blade as Kelly was.
General Thompson stood and made her way out from behind the desk, which was heaped high with reports, maps and notes with calculations and scribbles in a strong hand. All the while she stared hard at van Joss and Longspear. The Primiads she barely gave a glance, obviously familiar with their near human appearance.
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Hand Over FistScience Fiction
Like a phoenix, they arose. From the ashes of a world burnt by massive nuclear holocaust and frozen by a millennia of nuclear winter. They are the Fisted Races and they struggle against the tattered remnant of Humanity for what little resources ar...