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Beruta, the Curious: Chapter Ten

“Build Up to War”

Yomie began to make her journey across the Suminiatini Desert. There was sand as far as the eye could see. With her suit she was able to journey across the land as easily as if she was walking on solid ground, though it did cross her mind that unnecessary power was being used for such a simple task.

“This is the scene of the carnage created by Lt. Beruta during the event under examination. Mind you that each of the individuals present are citizens of the Suminiatini Federation. Lt. Beruta took no time to confirm their identities, and ignored the rules of engagement, which under Article 37 of the Uniform Code of Military Conduct for an Officer of the Suminiatini Federation, Lt. Beruta must abide by.” The Presenting Member of the Accusing Party spoke to everyone present for the hearing.

They all silently watched Beruta make her way through the building. Beruta was efficient, and cold when she was taking down each person she came across.

The scene ended. The Presenting Member spoke again. “As you see, it wasn’t until Major Tulet cornered Lt. Beruta to stop. Without their intervention, it is very likely that Lt. Beruta would have continued their murderous actions.”

The Judiciary Committee Members looked at Beruta, gesturing that she had the chance to defend herself.

“As you all may know, in Sang Ru City, the QRF for our Division encountered a disaster which eliminated all members of my unit except for me. I eliminated that threat, and requested to have my contract with the Suminiatini Military voided as is my right as a Sole Survivor. Following which I moved to Marian South and became a bodyguard for a Political VIP. The VIP was attacked and I was well within justification to eliminate that threat. So truly what you all must determine is whether I fell under being a Military Officer, in which case I should have been informed of this operation because I would have a need to know, or if I fall under being a Private Citizen, in which case what I did would be justified considering what my occupation was.” Beruta presented her defense. She then sat quietly.

Those present now had the information they needed to make a Primary Decision. Whether Beruta should have a Guilty Trial, an Innocence Trial, or an immediate sentencing.

“Submit your votes now.” A member of the Judiciary Committee announced.

Beruta waited and watched everyone present submit their votes.

“Hopefully I got at least one person to side with me.” Beruta thought to herself.

All the votes were then casted. And the Overseer of the Trial grabbed the package. They reached their hand into it and pulled out a sheet of paper.

“The results of the Primary Hearing, as determined from the votes of those present during it. We have 41 votes for a Guilty Sentence, and 4 votes for an innocence Sentence. Thus in 3 days, Lt. Beruta will have a Guilty Hearing.” The Overseer announced.

Beruta cheered silently to herself.

“Attention!” The Judiciary Committee Members announced.

Everyone stood up.

“You will return to this building at 0500 in three days unless given orders from a higher ranked body. Uniform will be Formal.” A Member of the Judiciary Committee commanded. “Fall Out!” 

The crowd inside the building all started to go in their own directions. Beruta sat still waiting until someone moved her.

Beruta was grabbed and picked up. They transported her to her holding cell. Beruta sat within the barren room. Some time passed. Beruta then heard knocking on her cell door.

“Greetings Lt. Beruta, my name is Major Yasmine in the Legal Department for the Division. I am here to coordinate your defense for your Guilty Hearing in 3 days. You may request me to look for information to defend you, and contact individuals to show up for your defense.” Major Yasmine said to Beruta.

“Oh yes! I have someone I want you to contact!” Beruta said quickly, finally seeing that someone was on her side.

“Who may that be?” Major Yasmine asked.

“Their name is Yomie, a Border Officer for Marian South.” Beruta responded.

“And what do you want me to say to them?” Major Yasmine asked.

“Wait, I can’t speak with them?” Beruta asked, feeling a little cheated.

“If you were given an innocence hearing, you would have been given that opportunity, but because you are suspected of being guilty, we can not risk you giving information to parties which could seek to destroy evidence.” Major Yasmine informed Beruta.

“Well that changes things.” Beruta thought to herself. “Still call her, and are you allowed to tell her to bring documents of my employment to Camp Principal?” Beruta asked.

“No, your party is not allowed to know the location you are being held.” Major Yasmine informed Beruta.

“In that case, can you just tell her that I will be going through a guilty hearing in 3 days for suspected war crimes?” Beruta asked.

“That is allowed, though that information would not move you forward towards an innocent sentence.” Major Yasmine said to Beruta. Seeing that Beruta was only informing her party of her condition but not trying to acquire documents towards innocence. 

Beruta thought for a short moment. “That’s fine. Just contact them.” Beruta said to Major Yasmine.

Major Yasmine then walked away from Beruta’s cell and contacted Yomie.

Yomie received a communication from an unknown contact. Yomie answered the notification.

“This is a correspondence from inmate Lt. Beruta to Yomie. If you are Yomie of Marian South respond to this correspondence else end the communication.” The notification said to Yomie.

“Beruta?!” Yomie called out.

“Hello Yomie, I am Major Yasmine, from the Suminiatini Federation Military Legal Department, I am representing Lt. Beruta. I am informing you that Lt. Beruta wanted you to know that they will be going through a Guilty Hearing in 3 days. No other information is required to be passed along to you. Good Bye.” Major Yasmine said then ended communication with Yomie.

“Wait! I want to speak to Beruta!” Yomie shouted but Major Yasmine already ended the communication. “Dang it!” Yomie said before stopping. “Well at least I know that Beruta is alive…” Yomie thought to herself.

Yomie then started communication with Yaooan.

“Yomie! Where have you been?! I was just about to communicate with you. What is this video you sent? What happened?” Yaooan asked.

“I followed some Ponicon members into Camp Paradise. Then from there it seems that they were Officers within the Research Departments. Then they attacked me thinking I was Vaneluresa, and I barely escaped.” Yomie explained.

“So they had every intention of attacking Vaneluresa? That’s not good since the only security I have for my lifestyle is Vaneluresa’s protection. So because you posed as Vaneluresa, they now think they are stronger… ah oh.” Yaooan started to realize.

“What is it?” Yomie asked.

“I’m probably going to be in danger soon. I am sending this to the Doctor.” Yaooan responded to Yomie.

“Oh, you’re right! Should I return to you?” Yomie asked.

“How close are you?” Yaooan responded to Yomie’s question with another.

“I’m in the middle of the Suminiatini Desert.” Yomie said, looking around at the vastness of the sand.

“In the Suminiatini Federation! Sounds like you are going to be in more danger than I am. But whenever you can return, please do, and with your friend of course.” Yaooan told Beruta.

“About that. I have confirmation that Beruta is alive and is being held in a Suminiatini Facility. So it’s likely that the ones who attacked us were from Suminiatini and not Ponicon.” Yomie informed Yaooan.

“Well that’s not reassuring.” Yaooan said softly.

“Could you do something to help free Beruta?” Yomie asked Yaooan.

“I will contact the Doctor with the video, and the information you gave me. I will get back to you soon.” Yaooan said before ending communication.

Yomie then continued her journey through the desert.

Yaooan sat in the Capitol Building of the Lady. She sent the Doctor the video and the request to have Beruta released from Suminiatini captivity.

Shortly after Yaooan got Communication from the Doctor. 

“Lady Yaooan, where did you get this information from?” The Doctor asked.

“I got it from one of my close friends. They were investigating Ponicon and recorded that video documenting their findings. Oh and the other part is me requesting for you to have another friend of mine released from the Suminiatini Federation, she was kidnapped while she was guarding me, then I guess went through a trial there.” Yaooan explained to the Doctor.

“We will go through the video you sent, and I will make a phone call to the Leader of the Suminiatini Federation for your friend’s release.” The Doctor told Yaooan.

“Thank you so much!” Yaooan responded.

“Can you bring Captain Fei here?” Yaooan asked one of the Guards.

“Of course, Lady Yaooan.” They responded and left immediately. In nearly no time Captain Fei showed up in front of Yaooan.

“Yes, my Lady.” Fei politely referred to Yaooan.

“Do you have any one who could rescue Beruta from a Suminiatini Facility?” Yaooan inquired.

“We have intelligence there of course, but mounting a rescue operation would be difficult.” Fei informed Yaooan.

“What is the most they could do without it being too difficult?” Yaooan asked.

Captain Fei thought for a second. “They could probably narrow down the location that Beruta is being held. However, even that requires an officer of much higher rank to issue those orders.” Captain Fei told Yaooan.

“This is getting a bit annoying.” Yaooan said under her breath. “Does Major Rictor have the authority to issue those orders?” 

Fei then thought for an instant. “To my understanding, Major Rictor does have command over your Intelligence Officers in the region, but that’s only a small platoon.” Fei informed Yaooan.

“Then have them narrow down the location and send it to Yomie.” Yaooan commanded Fei.

“To Yomie? May I ask the reason for that?” Captain Fei inquired about Yomie.

“Yomie is currently in the Suminiatini Federation, I’m not sure exactly how, but she is already present. I am hoping that with that information Yomie might be able to do something about Beruta, just in case.” Yaooan told Captain Fei.

“I will handle your orders, Lady Yaooan.” Captain Fei said before leaving to find Major Rictor.

In the meantime, the Doctor of Marian South called the Group Public Safety Head about Beruta.

“I understand that you have a person named Beruta in your Captivity, I am requesting that they be transported back to Marian South.” The Doctor said to the Group Head.

The Group Head looked through the records of all in captivity persons within the Country.

“Yes, Beruta, just recently was placed in our captivity. I see that she is a citizen of my Country, what business do you have in requesting she be sent there?” The Group Head asked the Doctor.

“She was kidnapped from Marian South while performing Legal Duties. I have reason to believe that you all were performing unlawful operations within my National Borders.” The Doctor responded.

“We will hand Beruta over to you in exchange for Vaneluresa.” The Group Head offered a deal.

“Vaneluresa?! Even if we did have her here, why would we make such an uneven deal?” The Doctor responded.

“There’s a reason you want Beruta. And looking at her information, if she is found guilty at her next trial, she is due for execution.” The Group Head told the Doctor.

“We can trade another person, we are unable to complete the terms of your first deal.” The Doctor said to the Group Head.

“That’s the only deal we will entertain.” The Group Head responded.

“We can offer you the Metal Barron, Hutar for Beruta. If you remember Hutar had valuable information on which sectors of the Suminiatini Government requested what kinds of metals. If they are in our captivity any longer, we may be able to reverse engineer your military equipment.” The Doctor offered a counter deal.

“We will accept no one other than Vaneluresa. Beruta is responsible for the murder of several Suminiatini Citizens and Military Officers. If you suggest another deal, then we will assume that you support her actions, and will be forced to see it as a sign of aggression.” The Group Head said to the Doctor.

“Allow me some time to speak with my advisors.” The Doctor said before ending communication.

Yaooan then received a request for Communication.

“This is the Doctor. It seems that coming to an agreement for your friend Beruta was fruitless. The Suminiatini Federation has no interest in returning her without trading in Lady Vaneluresa.” The Doctor told Yaooan.

“But I can’t get in contact with Vaneluresa.” Yaooan told the Doctor.

“Well, then you will have to prepare for regrettable news.” The Doctor said before ending communication.

Yaooan then looked down. “Okay, then that’s that. We are going forward with rescuing Beruta my way.” Yaooan thought to herself.

The Intelligence Officers within the Suminiatini Federation went into the Suminiatini Desert. They were looking to see if they could find a clue to lead them to Beruta.

“If Beruta is awaiting a Guilty hearing in 3 days, then by Suminiatini Military law that would mean that she was just captured yesterday.” Captain Wue said over covert communication to their Squad.

“Then we only need to look for tracks that have wear that is greater than fresh, but less than a day.” Captain Tums responded.

The group was riding along the desert, and scanned the area.

“I think I may have found something, it’s extremely large and deep tracks that stretch for kilometers.” Captain Yor said, looking at their device.

“I found something interesting too, there’s a person moving through the desert at high speed… by foot.” Captain Readers added.

Captain Yor investigated the tracks to see where they lead as Captain Readers followed after the person that came up on their scanners.

The person Captain Readers followed noticed them and began to speed up.

“Whoa, this person is fast! I can hardly keep up on the bike!” Captain Readers said over communication.

The person dove into the sand and began to travel within it as if they were under water.

“Guys, you aren’t going to believe what I just saw. The person dove under the sand, and traveled just as fast as they did above ground.” Captain Readers said following the bumps that the person was creating above ground.

“Stop following me!” Yomie thought to herself feeling the presence of the person above her keeping up.

Yomie continued to swim beneath the ground. But she needed to get air before she drowned via sand. Yomie popped out above the ground.

“There they are, they poked their heads out. They are definitely Ren Shaole.” Captain Readers said over communication.

Yomie then braced to grab their vehicle.

Captain Readers quickly slowed down trying to not hurt the Person.

Captain Readers swerved and fell off of their bike. Yomie quickly ran towards it.

“Wait! Hold up! I’m not trying to hurt you!” Captain Readers said to Yomie.

Yomie looked over at them. “Then why were you chasing me!?” Yomie asked Captain Readers.

“Because you were moving across the desert as if there was no sand, of course I would be curious.” Captain Readers explained.

“Well, you see me. Now you can go.” Yomie told them.

Both had a suspicion of each other’s allegiance, but did not want to try and confirm it just in case they were wrong.

“I can take you to where you are trying to go. Where would that be?” Captain Readers asked.

Yomie focused in. She knew what Captain Readers was attempting to do. “It’s fine, as you can see, I have no problem traveling across the desert. Were you looking for something out here, I can help you look for it.” Yomie asked Captain Readers.

“No, I was simply having a daytime ride through the desert.” Captain Readers responded. “How are you able to travel so fast?” 

“It’s just something I picked up not too long ago.” Yomie responded.

“I’m not getting anywhere.” Captain Readers thought.

Yomie then received communication from Yaooan. “I’m sorry Yomie, we weren’t able to get Beruta via a trade, so we might need you to break her out.” Yaooan said to Yomie.

“Wait, you are Yomie?” Captain Readers asked Yomie.

“Who’s asking?” Yomie responded.

“I am Captain Readers, part of the Intelligence Platoon under the Umbrella of Lady Yaooan’s Guards. We were to report to you the location of Beruta once we have discovered it.” Captain Readers told Yomie.

“Oh yeah, I was about to tell you that too. I sent out people to help find where Beruta is, they won’t be able to help you rescue her, but I’m sure you will have no issue doing that yourself.” Yaooan said to Yomie.

“Thank you Yaooan, I had no idea where to even start looking.” Yomie responded.

“Well, you’re all caught up, I will keep trying to do things on my end.” Yaooan said to Yomie before ending communication.

“No cause for fear guys, the person out in the desert was Yomie.” Captain Readers informed the Squad.

“Hey! Yomie!” The rest of the Squad said over communication.

“I think this is a definite path. It leads directly from the Marian South border to Camp Principal.” Captain Yor responded.

“Camp Principal? How far is that from here?” Yomie asked Captain Readers. 

“It is approximately 230 Kilometers South of here, I will mark it for you on your knowledge network. We can travel there first to confirm if Beruta is there.” Captain Readers told Yomie.

“How close can you take me?” Yomie asked Captain Readers.

“I am comfortable taking you about 50 Kilometers out from it. Within that distance their detectors would begin to notice vehicles of this size.” Captain Readers told Yomie.

“That’s good enough, can you take me there?” Yomie asked.

“Certainly. It’ll take about an hour.” Captain Readers told Yomie.

“That’ll have to do.” Yomie responded by climbing onto the back of Captain Readers’ bike.

They both then traveled toward Camp Principal.

Back with Yaooan in the Capitol Building of the Lady, she looked outside her window and noticed that a few Military Vehicles drove up to the main Capitol Building. A little over half a dozen individuals exited the vehicles. They all were wearing Formal Military Attire and seemed highly decorated.

“Looks like the Doctor is having an audience with those people in Yomie’s video.” Yaooan thought to herself. She began to grow worried. She expected them to be confronted but not so immediately.

Yaooan began to start packing her things just in case she needed to escape quickly.

“Lady Yaooan?” One of the guards in the room addressed Yaooan. “Is something the matter?” 

“No, nothing is wrong. I am just… organizing things. Yeah, that’s what I am doing.” Yaooan said placing another top into a case.

“Do you need any assistance?” The guard asked.

“No, I am good. I’m good.” Yaooan said trying to keep her nervousness hidden. “What if I end up homeless? Or in prison, or.” Then a shock went through Yaooan’s head. She grabbed it and fell over.

“Lady Yaooan!” The guard in the room immediately went to nurture Yaooan.

Yaooan had a vague memory of being chased out of her home, and having to run through a forest. The memory was traumatic to the point that she was unsure if it was actually a memory or an imagination.

“The Flying Goddesses!” Yaooan called out.

She had finally regained consciousness, there were several guards around her. They were trying to make sure her body stayed at a healthy temperature.

“Wait, how long was I out?” Yaooan asked.

“For the lesser half of Five minutes.” The original guard in the room responded.

“I need to get back to what I was doing.” Yaooan said trying to stand back up. She then sat back down.

“You need to rest. You seem to be stressed about something.” Another Guard said to Yaooan.

“If the Military came in and kicked me out of this building, what would you all do?” Yaooan asked.

They then stood up and saluted. “We were given orders from the Doctor to Protect Lady Yaooan. We would protect you against all foes Foreign or Domestic.” They said to reassure Yaooan of their loyalty.

“And what if the Doctor said to stop protecting me?” Yaooan asked another question.

They were silent with this question. One of them then spoke up. “In the new Constitution, it is written to protect you, so I don’t see how the Doctor would have any authority to make that command. So I guess we would still protect you?” That guard then looked around at the others to make sure that they were off.

Yaooan didn’t feel confident in their answer, but couldn’t do much with that.

In the Meeting Room with the Doctor Generals and the Doctor President.

“So Ponicon, the organization that attacked Political Entities, was a front for the Research and Development Division of the Military? Who gave you the authority to create such a group?” The Doctor President Hashta said to Colonel Rashya, General Anyadan, General Banda, Colonel Rusen, and Colonel Yayua. 

General Anyadan stood up. “My duty is to uphold the sovereignty of this Country, and that sovereignty was threatened once the individual known as Vaneluresa crossed into our borders, broke through every security measure we had, then proceeded to force us into an agreement. It is my duty to take measures to ensure that this does not happen again.” General Anyadan said to President Hashta.

“The only way to deliver that message to Vaneluresa is to force her into the open, then confront her with the same amount or greater to let her know that Marian South is not some playground she could enter and leave whenever she felt it was convenient.” General Banda said, sitting down.

“But why not inform the executive branch? I have a duty to the people of this nation, I am where all decisions stop. If I am not informed, then how could I lead?!” President Hashta shouted.

“Forgive my rudeness, but your position is only temporary, another Doctor would replace you in the upcoming elections, having this private information in the mind of a citizen is pointless at best.” General Anyadan responded to the President.

“You are one wrong statement from being removed from your Position, General Anyadan.” President Hashta said to the General.

“So you called us down here just to scold us. I would say that wasting the valuable time of Officers in our Positions to this extent would be considered a form of treason.” General Anyadan responded back to the President with the same threat level.

“Doctor President, if you watch the video that was sent to you, you would notice that Vaneluresa was pushed back to such a corner that she was forced to run away. With this information surely there is no reason to hold any anger towards us. We have successfully produced a measure to protect our Country’s interests and People.” Colonel Rashya said to the President.

“With this information now, I would say that a President who has the best interest of the Country at heart, we should expand Northward to secure more resources.” General Anyadan suggested.

“This is too sudden, if we handle that improperly it would lead to another Civil War.” The President said to Anyadan.

“It is not a civil war, since we are a separate Country Doctor President.” General Anyadan said.

General Anyadan then raised their hands, and everyone else in the room stood up. General Anyadan then placed a few documents on the table in front of President Hashta.

“I suggest you read through that for our next movements, considering you don’t like to be left in the dark.” General Anyadan said before leaving the room.

The other top brass then left the room. The Main Guards could not do anything and had to watch as the President was being disrespected.

Doctor President Hashta watched them return to their vehicles, as they squeezed the documents in their hands.

Yaooan watched as the Military Officers returned to their vehicles.

“Okay… doesn’t look like that had anything to do with me.” Yaooan thought to herself feeling relieved.

In the Suminiatini Federation, Yomie and Captain Readers made it to their drop off point.

“Thank you for the ride, Readers.” Yomie said to the Captain.

“No issue. Now all you need to do is continue in that direction and you will hit Camp Principal. I inserted data about the configuration of the base to you. Good luck and stay safe.” Captain Readers said to Yomie.

“I got it.” Yomie said, gesturing a farewell. Captain Readers then drove off in the opposite direction, and soon was out of sight.

Yomie looked in the direction of the Camp. “Okay Beruta, here I come.” Yomie thought to herself as she sprinted towards the base.

Camp Principal then received a breach notice.

“All Renders, all Renders. This is not a drill, get to Defense Positions!  I repeat, get to defense positions!” An alarm blared. Then a siren followed.

Staff Sergeant Shata ran to her position, and positioned her weapon in the direction of the incoming threat. The sirens rang out more loudly as Yomie approached closer and closer.

“Begin firing!” A First Sergeant yelled out.

The warriors lining the base then began to shoot at Yomie.

Yomie after having the first bullet brush her skin went into a zone of ultra concentration, it seemed as if time was moving more slowly for her.

“Guess I have to just crash through the base this time. There’s no way I could sneak in.” Yomie thought as she sped up her movement.

Staff Sergeant Shata had Yomie in her sights. She started to unload. But Yomie ignored the shots and closed the distance between the two of them. Then suddenly Yomie ran through her position causing it to collapse.

Yomie had now breached the Camp Principal.

The Sirens then became black and more warriors came out to confront Yomie. The renders had to switch their weapons as to not have friendly fire.

The Warriors that were on their posts before Yomie ran through were now buried under debris, including Staff Sergeant Shata. But because they were Renders, no one came to pull them out.

Yomie looked around to see if she could find the location of the holding cells.

More shots were being fired behind Yomie. Yomie moved through.

“Sir, what we can only assume is a Demigod has breached the Camp!” A Major said to General Shaai.

“Quickly escorted Lt. Beruta into this building!” General Shaai ordered suspecting that the person who breached the camp was Iota.

Yomie was having trouble orienting herself in the base. The buildings all looked quite similar to one another, and they all had a sandy brown colour with red stripes along them.

After each corner Yomie turned, she was soon followed by more Warriors. They would always begin firing immediately.

“Dang it. All this noise is really making it hard for me to pinpoint specific locations.” Yomie thought to herself. She then started to realize that the threat level of this base was nowhere close to the one at Camp Paradise.

Yomie pulled up her knowledge network again, then located where the holding cells were. “So that’s the direction I need to go.” Yomie said before crashing through more buildings.

Beruta was pulled up forcibly by a Render, who had the rank of a Corporal. 

“What is it? I’m not supposed to move for another two days.” Beruta said to the Corporal.

“I have orders to transport you to the Headquarters Building. The base is being attacked, and we are securing all inmates.” The Corporal said.

Beruta looked around and realized that she was the only one being transported. “It is just a Render after all, they aren’t known for seeing the full picture.” Beruta thought to herself.

Now that Beruta was out of her cell she heard the noise of the sirens, and of the crashing overhead.

“I must be getting rescued, this has to be Iota!” Beruta’s face lit up.

The Corporal pulled their weapon out at the ready. Then an individual burst through the doors. The Corporal then began firing but the bullets did absolutely nothing.

The individual then jumped forward and tossed the Corporal 20 meters back. Then they emerged from the smoke.

“I knew you would come for me Iota!” Beruta called out, excitedly.

Then Yomie pulled down her mask and smiled at Beruta.

“Yomie!” Beruta was shocked.

“Yep, it’s me. I could not have you suffer here. I continued to look for you every chance I had.” Yomie said to Beruta.

“But, how are you doing this? What happened? I don’t…” Beruta was completely flabbergasted. 

“First, let me get you out of here, and then I will explain.” Yomie said as broke Beruta out of her bounds, and picked her up. “Hold on tight.” Yomie said before she started running out of the Holding Cell’s Main Building.

Yomie sprinted forward towards a gate and jumped over it. She was now in the open desert.

“Chase after her!” A First Sergeant yelled out.

Several Vehicles then drove out of the base in pursuit of Yomie. Yomie continued her speed keeping distance away from the desert vehicles.

“Are you planning to run across the border?” Beruta asked Yomie.

“What would you suggest?” Yomie asked Beruta.

“I say that you stopped abruptly, destroyed these vehicles, then continued in another direction. As long as they have you in their sights we won’t be able to escape.” Beruta suggested.

Yomie stopped her feet into the sand, slowly down nearly instantly. She then stuck out her foot and one of the vehicles collided and crumpled into it. The momentum of that vehicle then carried on and crashed into another.

One of the sand vehicles tried to turn around but flipped over for being too top heavy. Yomie jumped to another Vehicle, she got in front of it, and lifted it from the ground. The vehicle went airborne then crashed.

The vehicles were now disabled and Yomie turned around and ran forward once more.

“Okay, we are moving full speed ahead to Marian South.” Yomie said to Beruta.

Back at Camp Principal. The threat sirens ended. General Shaai then received news that Beruta had escaped.

General Shaai had a displeased look on their face. They then immediately called up the Group Head.

“Beruta has been forcibly removed from Camp Principal, the Camp has suffered numerous damage and casualties.” General Shaai told the Group Head.

“This is as good enough justification for war as there will ever be.” The Group Head said to the other Group Members. 

“Begin Operation Shock and Awe.” Another Group Member said to the Group. They all then agreed.

“General Shaai, you are to lead the command for Operation Shock and Awe. Your co Commander will be General Raia for Aerial Assault.” The Group Head commanded.

“As you order.” General Shaai responded. General Shaai then contacted Major Tulet. “Begin Order Poisoned Food.” 

“Aye aye, Sir.” Major Tulet said. Major Tulet was still within Marian South. Major Tulet then activated the explosions the Followers of Iota planted across Asso’an.

The citizens of Asso’an walked about the city going about their usual day. Then as quickly as one could blink explosions roared through the city.

Large Buildings began to collapse, and smoke covered the roads below. Vehicles were blown off the overhead streets into the pedestrian areas. The city was filled with screams. Some individuals who had lived through the Marian Civil War were brought back to those days.

The explosions were spread evenly throughout an area of 100 kilometers squared. The number of explosions was easily in the thousands.

Major Tulet then checked their time. “I’ll activate the second volley of explosions in a few minutes. I want to get the emergency response forces.” Major Tulet thought.

Yomie and Beruta continued to run through the desert. They had been running for a little less than half an hour. Yomie spotted Flying Vehicles approaching them.

Yomie dove down covering Beruta. Yomie had suspected that the Vehicles were there to drop bombardments on them. But the vehicles continued to travel north.

Beruta looked up from under Yomie. “Those are CE150s, also known as City Enders. They have high yield explosive capabilities.” Beruta informed Yomie.

“I guess they didn’t see us?” Yomie suggested to Beruta.

“I doubt it, but with what I witness you do, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are unable to be picked up by their detectors.” Beruta said to Yomie with a smile.

The Aerial Vehicles continued North completely flying through Air Space checks.

“You are in restricted airspace, I repeat, you are in restricted airspace!” A voice communicated to the pilots within the Suminiatini Aerial vehicles. They ignored it, then proceeded to drop their payload onto cities that surrounded Asso’an. 

Marian South aerial vehicles then responded by chasing after them.

The sounds of sonic booms overhead were heard constantly.

“Doctor President, we have more reports. Granga City, New Tum City, Dranda City and Forei were also attacked. We have confirmed that the weapons used and the vehicles responsible belonged to the Suminiatini Federation.” A data collector said to President Hashta.

President Hashta then immediately got on call with General Anyadan. “What are you waiting for! Defend this country!” President Hashta commanded.

Machines were then launched out from Camp Paradise, and went to follow the Aerial Vehicles. The vehicles of the Suminiatini Federation were quickly taken care of, however another wave began to come from over the horizon.

Major Tulet watched as the video of the confrontation was being streamed. “Ah, there they are.” Major Tulet thought before igniting the next round of explosions.

These explosions were meant to ignite fires throughout the city. The fires were to make it difficult for the Marian South vehicles to process the continuously changing updrafts from the flames. The city of Asso’an was now being consumed from the inside out.

The guards within the Capitol Building of the Lady grabbed Yaooan. “We need to get you deeper inside the building, it is not safe near the window.” A guard said to Yaooan.

Major Rictor ran into the room looking for Yaooan. “Have we been breached?” Major Rictor asked.

“No we haven’t, the building remains untouched.” Another guard responded.

“Escort Lady Yaooan into the basement.” Major Rictor commanded.

The noise of the explosions outside began to trigger Yaooan’s memories. Captain Fei then grabbed Yaooan’s hands.

“It’s going to be okay, we all know how this feels. We need you to remain strong and follow us.” Captain Fei said to Yaooan. Yaooan nodded and followed behind.

The ground below them felt as if continuous small earthquakes were happening. There were thumping sounds every few seconds.

“What is happening outside?” Yaooan asked.

“We are being attacked by the Suminiatini Federation.” Captain Fei responded to Yaooan.

“Oh, this must be my fault.” Yaooan said feeling like the blame was on her for trying to rescue Beruta.

“Honestly, the Suminiatini Federation was looking for any excuse to invade Marian South. So this was practically inevitable.” Captain Fei said to Yaooan, reassuring that this situation was not because of Yaooan.

Major Tulet then rested on another set of explosions. They patiently waited, clearly anticipating another indicator point.

“Follower Tulet.” A follower of Iota addressed Tulet.

“What is it?” Major Tulet responded.

“We want in on the action above. It is our duty as the Followers of Iota to prove our worth to her through a display of strength!” The follower said to Major Tulet.

“Sure, whatever. Just put on your Ticket to Immortality, and grab a weapon. And just go at it. The people outside are all followers of Vaneluresa, so show no remorse.” Major Tulet said feeling practically apathetic to their request.

The followers then put on their Ticket to Immortality, which were just explosive vests, and grabbed a weapon. They stormed out of the tunnel and began to shoot people who were running away from the disasters.

“A bunch of idiots.” Tulet thought.

Yomie and Beruta made it to the Border Gates, but it was completely closed. The area had been evacuated.

“That’s odd, what happened to my coworkers?” Yomie said softly.

They both then saw more aerial vehicles flying overhead.

“What are they doing?! They are in Marian South airspace!” Yomie called out.

“More CE150s.” Beruta thought to herself. The aerial vehicles then continued in the distance.

Beruta and Yomie looked in that direction and saw giant clouds of smoke coming from the horizon.

“Those are tall clouds, isn’t Asso’an several kilometers away?” Beruta asked Yomie.

Yomie then quickly looked at her knowledge network. “The Suminiatini Federation has declared War on Marian South!” The Headline read.

“This is bad!” Yomie called out. Beruta then quickly looked. 

“Wait! Is this because of us?” Beruta asked Yomie.

Yomie covered her mouth, she seemed close to bursting into tears. Beruta read more on the story.

“Asso’an City was completely destroyed by overhead Bombardments and subterrain explosives. Camp Paradise is slow to respond to disaster. An estimated 120 thousand casualties in the first 10 minutes.” The article read.

“Damn it!” Beruta yelled. “We were probably better off being destroyed by those Monsters!” 

Beruta hit the ground. Yomie had rolled into a ball trying to hold back her feelings of regret.

“We need to check if Yaooan is okay!” Beruta said to Yomie. Yomie did not answer.

“Yomie?” Beruta said, walking closer to Yomie.

“My home, my friends… they are being killed and it’s because of me.” Yomie said to herself over and over.

“No, it’s my fault. If I never came up North, none of this would have happened.” Beruta said, trying to alleviate some of the pressure from Yomie.

Yomie then stopped rocking. “You’re right.” Yomie responded to Beruta. She then stood up. Beruta watched as Yomie got back to her feet.

“It’s your fault!” Yomie yelled at Beruta.

“Wait, hold on!” Beruta said before Yomie smacked Beruta into the air. Beruta then landed bruising her arm.

“If it wasn’t for you coming over and trying to get close to Vaneluresa, none of this would have happened!” Yomie yelled at Beruta.

“Now you stop yelling before you make me mad!” Beruta yelled back.

“I don’t care, get mad! You can’t do anything against me!” Yomie said kicking sand at Beruta knocking her over. Beruta quickly got up from the ground.

“There was no way I could have known that this was going to happen! I came because I wanted to find my teacher! And you suggested that I go and seek Yaooan!” Beruta yelled out at Yomie.

Yomie jumped forward and tried to punch Beruta, but Beruta dove out of the way. Yomie then quickly sprinted at Beruta and grabbed her neck.

Beruta was now being choked. “The ones who attacked us on that bridge, they were part of the Suminiatini Military, and were sent to extract you out of Marian South, that is why you volunteered to search the building then disappeared!” Yomie accused Beruta while holding her neck tightly.

Beruta looked down at Yomie’s chest and saw that she had a Crystal within it. Beruta fought while in Yomie’s grip. 

“What will killing me do for you?” Beruta tried saying.

“At the very least it will stop more disasters from being formulated!” Yomie said, squeezing harder.

Beruta began to start passing out. Beruta then did one last kick and it knocked the Crystal out from the casing of the suit.

Yomie and Beruta both dropped to the ground like stones. The Shard was now several meters from both of them.

The sand made it hard for Yomie to crawl to the Shard, and Beruta was still recovering her breath. “I need my Shard!” Yomie yelled out.

Beruta continued to try and recover. Yomie was in the background crying out.

“I need my Shard! I need to end you!” Yomie yelled.

Beruta had gotten enough air in her body and she sat up. She watched Yomie try to crawl to the Shard.

Beruta stood up and walked over to it slowly. Yomie watched Beruta casually walking over. “No! Stop! Get away from it!” Yomie yelled out feeling defeated.

Beruta walked over and picked up the Shard.

“These things… This is where it all started.” Beruta said softly. Yomie then stopped crawling and started crying.

“Why did you do it, Beruta? Why? I thought we were friends.” Yomie said with her face in the sand.

“We are friends. And I didn’t do anything.” Beruta said, looking at Yomie. Yomie continued to yell out into the sand.

“A Shard, the secret to the power of the Demigods.” Beruta said to herself with a cathartic voice.

“Just go.” Yomie said softly.

“No, I can’t just leave you here.” Beruta said to Yomie.

“Take this suit off of me, and just go. I can’t stand to see you.” Yomie said to Beruta.

“But I don’t want to leave you.” Beruta said to Yomie.

“Give me some time! Just hurry and take this off so that I can move again!” Yomie yelled out.

Beruta then peeled the suit off of Yomie.

Yomie stood up. And she began to immediately walk towards Marian South.

“Stay where you belong, Beruta. And keep the suit as my parting gift to you. I don’t want to see you…” Yomie said taking more steps. “At least, not for a while.” Yomie said before shutting the door as she entered the abandoned facility.

Beruta stood quietly watching as her first actual friend walked into a nation at war. Beruta was unsure of what would happen to Yomie.

Beruta fell down to her knees and tearfully cried. She had once again lost everything and all she was left with was a Shard.

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