Grimdark Magazine Battle-Off: Inquisition by William Diaz
Inquisition by William Diaz
This is an excerpt provided by the author for the Grimdark Magazine Battle-Off Competition
Field General Farooq Tissier studied the map laid out on his war table. So far the Infidel Wars with Premia had been fierce; he won a dozen battles but at the cost of some of his best. Nonetheless, one of his divisions was positioned to take a company of Premian riflemen trapped near the Amber Forest.
The General was no ordinary soldier. Though only five feet seven inches tall, his two hundred pounds of solid muscle frame and slick bald head was an intimidating sight. At first his fellow officers pulled every dirty trick in their book to keep Farooq Tissier from climbing the ranks; but Field General Tissier showed that what he lacked in height he made up in courage, insanity and sheer intelligence; impressing the Messalinian military brass time and time again.
He had seen his fair share of bloodshed and lost many comrades in his time, including this war with Premia. The men serving under the General loved him just as much as they hated him. But above all else, they were fiercely loyal to him; having been taken to the depths of the Abyss and brought back in barely one piece.
On this early morning the General was in a war council with his high ranking officers discussing the next steps in their campaign when a private rushed into Tissier’s tent. “What is it?” snapped General Tissier.
“I apologize for the interruption, General Sir! Something has happened in the outer perimeters of camp--”
“Like what?! Goddamnit it spit out your words!”
“Two of our squadrons have been s-slaughtered. Lieutenant Graham of the Eleventh Squadron and Lieutenant Matthews of the Eighth.”
The slaughter of two entire squadrons was unheard of. After a few seconds Tissier composed himself, “How long ago!?”
“No more than half an hour ago sir, messengers say the bodies are still warm. It’s still unknown who is responsible,” answered the private, taking a nervous gulp.
General Tissier’s face flushed red with anger, “Let me get this straight: two of our squadrons have been wiped off the fucking planet, and all you could say is that you don’t know who took them out?! Don’t answer that question private!” Tissier turned to his commanders, “Assemble your strike teams; I want them locked and loaded in fifteen minutes. I’ll be coming along to personally survey the damage. Private, you’re coming along as well!”
Twenty minutes later, five squads of ten heavily armed Messalinian warriors, their commanding officers, the private who made his report and General Tissier himself arrived at the outer perimeters. The slain men and women of the Eighth and Eleventh Squadrons lay motionless; it was the worst carnage ever seen this close to their camps. The General and his commanders took note of the massacre around them while the strike teams swept the area, hunting for the culprits. Even the most hardened veterans were shaken up by what they saw; their brothers in arms cut down in ways they never seen in all of their years of combat.
“Gods, I just can’t believe that this could happen to the best of our soldiers and this close to our camp,” muttered the General.
“General, what do we do now?” asked Major Howell.
“What do we do?? We find whoever did this and we crucify the bastards!” he said, not able to take his eyes off the killing field.
They were about to continue when they heard gunfire five kilometres east from their current positions and ran towards the fight over some hills in dense bush. As they neared the bush, the sounds of fighting turned out to be sounds of flesh being torn apart, accompanied by ear piercing screams of terror. General Tissier and his team entered the foliage and planned to sneak up on the savages when they heard deep growls coming from all around them. Before anybody could react, a pack of wild- eyed, gruesome looking beings with pale blue scaly skin pounced on the heavily armed team of soldiers.
The men and women of the Ninth Squadron fought bravely, but their bullets proved useless against the seemingly invincible beasts. One by one the Messalinian soldiers were literally torn to pieces. Field General Farooq Tissier’s mind was racing: the unthinkable was happening before his eyes as his strike team were being slaughtered and dismembered. No doubt the rest of his army would soon follow.
As the last of his men lay dead, the beasts with bloodlust in their dead red eyes slowly turned their attention to the ever defiant General, taunting him.
The beasts were truly hideous but Tissier, bloodied and wounded would not go down without a fight and so he faced his soon-to-be executioners with nothing but a short sword, having spent all of his ammunition.
Tissier took a step forward, “DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE FUCKING WITH!?”
A guttural, horrifying sound came from one of the beasts, “We...are...Shiidon!”
The last thing Field General Farooq Tissier remembered before dying was the rush of savage-looking Shiidon faces coming at him; he too was being torn and ripped to pieces, his blood and entrails staining the lush green grass. The General did however manage to kill one of the Shiidon by opening its throat with his short sword before they overwhelmed him.
After wiping out General Tissier and his team, the Shiidon followed the path taken by the General back to Messalina’s camp. The guards on patrol were the first to die. The other soldiers, realizing that something was wrong grabbed their assault rifles to defend their post; they were not prepared for the horror that would eventually fall upon them.
The Royal Messalinian Army of King Ambrose Lanarth fought hard, but the much stronger Shiidon began to slowly exterminate their prey. When the Messalinian soldiers saw that all was lost they decided it was time to retreat, but the Shiidon ran down the Thirteenth Legion, killing them in cold blood.