Chapter 5, The Battle of Arthamore Part 1
The room had suddenly fell silent. All personal present within the command center stared up at the forefront monitor. The reality that the Leviathan was here in mountains near Arthamore was enough to scare everyone in the room into submission. Even Lukas and the other knights were terrified of the most powerful ship in Salem's armada. Messua came up from behind Lukas and Zak. She turned to them.
"The Leviathan is here?!" she exclaimed.
"It makes sense," Zak insisted, glancing back to the others.
"Salem must not know who the Prodigy is. An assassination would have taken too long and would have been discovered too soon. A direct assault is the only way to ensure no survivors."
He looked back up at the screen.
"The Leviathan has the carrying capacity to transport an entire Grimm army. Enough to completely overrun Arthamore."
Qrow nodded his head in agreement.
"He's right," He insisted.
"Salem would never take any risks. Especially if there's the slightest chance the Knights could return."
"And knowing that we're here, she's also got a chance to strike a killing blow to Beacon." Flint added.
"How long do we have?" Lukas asked, glancing down at the officer below.
"Estimated time of arrival, one hour and fifteen minutes." The officer reported.
Zak turned to Arthamore's commanding officer.
"Commander, how many troops are stationed in Arthamore?" Zak asked, curiously.
"Over twenty five hundred, sir." The Commanding officer said.
Zak pondered. He shook his head. That nowhere near enough to repel a Grimm assault of this measure.
"What about the people?" Messua reminded.
Zak, Qrow, Flint and the officer turned to her.
"We have to get them to safety."
Zak narrowed his head, thinking of how they would be able to. With the forces they had, the best they would be able to do is hold them off while they escape. But there was no telling how long they would be able to. Or how many they would be able to save. A single Grimm alone was skilled and strong enough to take on a single squad of troopers.
He then turned to Lukas.
"Lukas?" He said.
Lukas was standing at the top of the stairway. He was staring up at the Leviathan's signal over the radar, horrified and in awe. Contemplating the danger his daughter was in. And with no way to call for help or withstand such an assault, he found himself faced with what he feared would come from this.
Lukas was then snapped back to the present. He glanced back at Zak and the others, who were looking to him in this now dark time.
"What do we do?" The Officer asked, curiously.
Lukas turned to faced them. Now was not the time to let his fears cloud his judgement. For the sake of his friends and his family, he knew they had to act.
He walked over to the holo-table and pressed the one of the button over the control panel. A hologram map of Arthamore came over the light blue surface of the table.
"Alright, listen up," he said, as everyone gathered around the table.
"Our main priority is the safety of our people. Their trajectory has them coming out of the valley here at airfield."
Lukas pointed at the airfield as the map zoomed in on that location.
"If we can keep them here long enough, we should be able to give the people enough time to evacuation."
"But how are we going to get everyone to safety?" Zak asked, curiously.
"Could we use the Phoenix?" Messua suggested.
Flint shook his head.
"No way," he said.
"By the time we get everyone aboard, the Leviathan would have already be over us. It'll be a open target. Besides, we need it here."
"I'm afraid Flints right," Lukas agreed.
"The Phoenix has all the fire power we'll need to keep the Grimm at bay."
"What about the Gunships?" Zak suggested.
"They have enough fuel to get all the way to Beacon. And they'll be fast enough to take off and get out of the mountains."
"That's a start, we don't have enough to get everyone out of Arthamore," Flint insisted.
"And it's a day's travel to Beacon. They'll never get back in time."
"We could also use the cargo transports I saw in the hanger," Zak suggested.
"They have enough carrying capacity to transport months of supplies. They'll able to transport the rest. "
Lukas nodded his head.
"It's settled then," He said.
Lukas turned turned to Messua.
"Messua, you and your team escort all civilians to the plaza," He ordered.
"Zak will meet you there with the gunships."
Messua nodded her head.
"Yes, General," she said as made her way to the doorway.
He then turned to Flint and Zak.
"Flint, ready our troops," He instructed.
"I want all Squads at airfield."
"On it." Flint said.
Lukas then turned to Zak.
"Zak, I need you to get to the Phoenix," he instructed.
"Inform Captain Willard of the evacuation plan. We need the Phoenix at the airfield as soon as possible. Then meet up with Messua and help with the evacuation."
"Sure thing," he said as he turned and raced out the door.
As the others left the room, Lukas turned back to the holo-table. Qrow came up next to him.
"You know we're not going to get everyone out in time." he said, glancing to him.
Lukas narrowed his head, knowing he was right. But there was another matter that concerned him more.
"Qrow," he said before glancing to him.
"I know who the Prodigy is."
Pyrrha and Jaune were looking out the window in the dinning room. Lukas had been gone an awful long time. They heard the bases alarms go off in the distance. She wondered if something was wrong. There were only a few times they ever heard those Alarms.
Amara came up behind the two.
"Pyrrha, Jaune, come away from there," she said.
The two looked back at her.
"Mama, what were those sounds?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"It's nothing, honey," Amara insisted.
"It was just a drill. The Base needs to test the troops in case there's an emergency. Now come, I made you both some warm milk."
Pyrrha and Jaune turned and walked into the living room. The two climbed up over the couch and sat down. Amara walked in with a tray of three mugs of warm milk. She handed them each a mug before taking the last one and placing the tray down over the table. She sat down in her chair.
Jaune turned to Amara.
"Was it the Grimm?" He asked, curiously.
Amara smiled and shook her head. The war was far from the mountains. The Grimm haven't been spotted near Arthamore in years.
"No, hun," she insisted.
"There's no Grimm in these mountains. We're perfectly safe here."
"We're not afraid." Pyrrha stated.
Amara smiled at the two.
"Oh, really?" she asked, curiously.
Pyrrha nodded her head.
"Me and Jaune are going on a quest one day." Pyrrha declared.
"After when we become knighted, we're going to free the realms from the Grimm. A knight's Promise."
"Yeah," Jaune said, nodding his head in agreement.
Amara smiled, chuckling.
The two's determination was something to admire. It seemed like she had taken after her father. Pyrrha had Amara's heart for sure. But she also had her father's determination.
"A knight's promise?" she said, remembering someone saying that very term to her.
It was long ago when they were just kids. Lukas had always dreamed of being a knight like his father. Of one day bringing peace to all the realms. They both along with Zak used to play together in the forest out near the village they grew up. They each made a knight's promise that they would become knights of Beacon. And that one day they would go on a quest through the realms. Though they were never able to fulfill that promise.
At least, not the way they imagined it.
"What's it like?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"Hmm?" Amara said.
"A quest?" Pyrrha insisted.
Amara narrowed her head. To say they were like the stories would be an understatement. However as exciting as they sounded, it was something else entirely to venture into untold peril. Both of them were too young to understand. She hoped it would not be something they would ever have to go through.
She looked up at the two.
"Well..." She said.
There was loud sound coming from outside. It sound like the bases alarms. But these sounded close by. Which could only mean...
Amara glanced back as she then stood up from her seat. Those were Arthamore's emergency alarms. But those were only ever activated whenever there was Grimm. There was then a voice over the intercom.
"All civilians of Arthamore, please proceed to Town Square. This is not a drill!"
Amara glanced back to Pyrrha and Jaune.
"Come on," she said as she came up to them.
"We have to go!"
Pyrrha glanced up at her mother.
"Why, what's going on?" she asked, curiously.
Amara took her daughter's hand as she and Jaune stood off the couch. The three of then hurried to the front door. They came outside over he porch. She saw several people and their families running up the streets. Pyrrha glanced back to her mother.
"Mother, what's going on?" she asked.
"Where is everyone going?"
Amara closed the door and turned to her and Jaune.
"It's gonna be alright," she insisted to her.
She then took her hand and ran down the patio steps to the front gate.
Squads of troops were gathered at the bases airfield. Four gunships flew in from over head. They then came around and landed near the bunkers. The troops inside then stormed out from each side. All while, several tank-like vehicles drove in from the base. Flint was walking along the run away along with one of the present commanders.
"Set up turrets along here," he said, pointing along one of the runways.
"Use the supply crates and tanks as cover."
"Yes sir." The commander said, nodding his head.
The Faunas turned and saw Lukas walking up. Flint turned and stood at attention to the General.
"General." he said.
"How go the preparations?" Lukas asked, curiously.
"All troops are accounted for," He reported.
"We got all base defenses online. Should prevent any aircraft from getting into the city during the evacuation."
Lukas nodded his head.
"Good." He said, appreciating his efforts.
"Where's Zak?" Fint asked.
"Shouldn't he have been back by now with the Phoenix?"
Captain Willard shook his head.
"Commander Ark, I'm not sure I understand?" He said.
"Captain, please, we need the Phoenix in the airfield as soon as possible." Zak insisted on the order.
"I'm afraid it's out of the question," Willard stated.
"The Phoenix is still refueling. We are in no position to go anywhere."
Zak shook his head.
"Captain please," he insisted.
"We need the ship there as soon as possible. The Leviathan is headed this way."
The mere mention of the Grimm's flag ship brought silence. The captain and his officers stared in awe and disbelief. There was no way a ship that size would have made it into the realm without detection. They had a blockade of ships guarding the only portal into Beacon.
"The Leviathan?" Captain Willard said.
"But that's impossible. The Leviathan couldn't have gotten through the blockade without detection."
"There's no time to argue," Zake insisted.
"We have to-"
"Captain!" One of the crew members called.
The two of them looked back at one of the lieutenants standing at the view port.
"Yes, Lieutenant?" Captain Willard said, turning to him.
Willard and Zak came up to the lieutenant. They turned and peered out the view port. And then they froze.
"By the Gods." he whispered to himself.
Amara, Pyrrha and Jaune were running up the street through the crowd of people. They came into a four way intersection before she heard a nearby voice.
Amara stopped. She turned to her left and saw Tessa and Jaune's seven sisters making their way over to them.
"Tessa!" Amara said.
"Mom!" Jaune called to her.
Tessa grabbed the hand of her eldest daughter. They rushed across the street through the crowds of people passing by. Jaunes sisters held each other's hands as they followed their mother. They came up to Amara, Pyrrha and Jaune.
"What's going on?" Tessa asked, curiously.
Amara shook her head.
"I don't know," she answered.
"We have to head for Town square."
Suddenly people started to slow down and then stop. They were all peering ahead at something. Pyrrha glanced ahead through the crowd of people. She peered ahead at the base and gasped.
"Mama!" she said, tugging on her hand.
Amara glanced down at Pyrrha.
"Not now, Pyrrha." she said.
"Mama, look!" Pyrrha said, pointing ahead.
Amara looked up to where she was pointing. She the gasped, her eyes widened in shock. For far in the horizon, beyond the southern wall, the Leviathan emerged from the valley.
Lukas and Flint gazed up at the leviathan.
"Ah, shit!" Flint cursed, glancing up at the Grimm Flag ship.
The Leviathan cruised over the wall, it's shadow looming across the base. Several troops stepped back, gazing up in awe. The massive size of the flag ship intimidating by it's sight alone. Though Lukas refused to let the fear of it's presence, let alone how many Grimm it carried deter him.
He stared, sternly up at the ship.
He then turned back to Flint and the othe, let along hownr commanders.
"Take positions!" he ordered.
The troops then moved forward as they got into position.
"So this is Arthamore." Cinder said, peering down over the city below.
"What a cheerful little city."
The Admiral glanced over the city wall. He peered down at the airfield below and saw Beacon troopers lined up along the airfield.
"It would seem they have been expecting us." He said, tuned back to Cinder.
Cinder grinned. How pitiful of them really. For the fools to think they would have a chance against them. It was no matter. They will destroy them and the prodigy as well.
"So much the better." she said.
"Shall I deploy our forces?" The Admiral asked, curiously
"Yes, Admiral," she ordered.
"Let us play their little game."
A small hanger door opened along each side of the Leviathan. Several Grimm gunships launched from the hanger as they turned and flew down toward the airfield. The troopers each took cover behind several crates along the airfields, holding their basters at the ready. Several tanks pulled along next to them. Raising their doubled barrel canons, they opened fire.
Canons acting as the bases defenses aimed up and fired up at the incoming aircraft. Hitting only a few gunships.
Lukas and Flint came up and took cover behind several of the supply stacks.
"Here they come!" Flint said, drawing two double pistols from his side.
Lukas glanced to his sword as it then transformed into a blaster riffle. Flint smirked. The two then glanced up as they saw several Grimm gunships landing over the runway. The side door parted open as several white masked Grimm soldiers were then revealed inside. They stormed out of the gunships and charged forward.
Lukas stood up from behind the crate.
"Open fire!" He declared, firing his blaster.
The other troopers then opened fire at the Grimm. Flint stood up and fired his two pistols. Several Grimm were struck down from their plasma bolts. Only for others returned fire. Red laser bolts struck the crate, hitting only a few troops who were behind cover or standing out in the open. One of the tanks fired over the runway, the blast sending several Grimm flying.
Lukas fired his baster riffle at a Grimm, hitting it in in the chest. He then turned and fire at another. By then, several gunships flew down and landed, dropping off more Grimm. By then their numbers were starting to increase. Most of them hard started to use some of the crash gunships as cover. But they couldn't give up now.
He turned back to the other troopers.
"Keep up the fire!" he ordered.
Lukas glanced up. He saw several Grimm fighters overhead. Many of them opening fire along their lines, causing him and Flint to duck in cover. All while others flew on ahead. Took quick for any of the anti- air turrets to target.
Several Grimm fighters flew passed the bridge of the Phoenix. Being so close, it caused Zak and the Captain to leap back. He then turned, seeing the direction they were headed. They were heading straight for town square. They had to get the Phoenix in the air now.
Zak turned back to Willard.
"Captain, we need the Phoenix in the air now!" He exclaimed.
Captain Willard nodded his head. He turned to his crew.
"All hands, to your stations!" he ordered.
The crew hurried to their stations as the ships alarms went off.
"But sir, we're still fueling!" His Lieutenant reminded.
"Tell them to disconnect the fuel lines." Willard ordered.
Willard glanced to his Lieutenant.
"But sir, communications are still down!" His right hand reminded.
Zak came up to them.
"Don't worry," He reassured them.
"I'll handle it. You just focus on getting the ship in the air."
The captain nodded his head to Zak.
"Yes commander!" Willard said.
Several gunships had just landed in the Town Square. Citizens were poring in from each street connecting into the square. Many of them held back by Beacon soldiers. Messua and her team were aiding citizens aboard them. Many of which were woman and children.
She was standing in the middle of the square, directing the people to each ship.
"This way!" she called out to the people.
One of the gunships was just about ready to take off as the last person boarded. When suddenly there was a sudden sound of jet engines in the distance. Messua paused, glancing back. It was getting louder. And suddenly, there was a massive explosion from one of the nearby houses.
Several Grimm fighters flew overhead, firing down at the Town Square. Messua looked back at the incoming craft. She turned to the Gunship.
"Go, Go!" She called up to the pilot, gesturing for him to take off.
The pilot nodded from the cockpit of the gunship. The engines started up and the side doors closed. It then lifted up into the air as it's duel engines turned. It then took off toward the mountains ahead.
"Messua!" One of her team mates called out.
Messua turned to her and saw that she was pointing up at something. She looked up and saw three Grimm Gunships flying overhead in the distance. She turned back to her teammate.
"Take Kamala and hold them off," She instructed.
"Give us more time for the evacuation!"
He teammate nodded
The citizens ran as a Grimm Gunship flew over them. Amara and Tessa looked back at the ships as they turned, hovering over the street. The side doors the slid opened as the Grimm leaped down and landed over the street below. They then stood up and unveiled their blasters, opening fire on the people.
"Run!" Amara said, grabbing Pyrrha's hand.
Tessa and her family ran head into the crowd as Amara and Pyrrha followed after. Pyrrha glanced back, seeing the Grimm firing becoming far behind them. She then turned forward, struggling to keep up with her mother. She was running too fast. She could hardly keep up with her.
"Mama!" she said.
She was beginning to feel her hand slipping out from her mother's.
"Mother!" She called again.
But still Amara said nothing and just continued to run. Suddenly, Pyrrha lost balance and fell foward, her hand slipped out from her mothers grip. She tumbled to the ground as people continued to run past her. Pyrrha leaned off the ground, hearing her mother calling her.
Pyrrha looked up. She saw her mother, trying to go back for her. But was being carried away by the crowds.
"Mama!" She cried.
Pyrrha quickly got back up and ran ahead. She could hear her mother calling for her. Sounding more and more distance before the screaming and yelling. There was then an explosion close behind, destroying one of the houses along the way. Pyrrha screamed. She then turned and came into an ally, her back pressed against the side of a house.
She panted, trying to catch her breath. She glanced around the corner and saw the Grimm coming up the street, firing. She gasped, hiding back around the corner. She glanced off to her right and saw the direction was clear. She then turned and ran down the ally.
Unannounced to her that a Crow was perched over the roof top of the house across the street, watching as she ran down the alley. It then spread it's wings and flew after her.