Part 1: Mission 1: EscapeMy name is Alexander. Captain John Alexander of the Slovakian Ground Forces, to be more specific.
We were as stunned as anyone else when the gates appeared. When those creatures started pouring out, endless ranks of them, marching forward, killing everyone and destroying everything in their path. Winged demons, great hulking brutes hefting gigantic axes, strange cloaked figures hurling deadly lightning bolts with impossible range and accuracy. The sheer speed and surprise of their attack gave them time to cause drastic damage before we could fight back. Soldiers burned alive in their barracks. Dozens of our best fighters and bombers were smashed to pieces in their hangars. Earth rallied quickly, though. Within hours, armed forces all over the world were fighting back with bullets and bombs, and within days, most of the Earth's armed forces were united under the banner of the World Alliance.
Three months of brutal fighting later, Slovakia still hadn't committed to the newly formed World Alliance. Don't get me wrong - we knew which side we were on, but we weren't ready. Our little country was in no way prepared for a conflict on this scale. We needed more soldiers, more weapons, more vehicles. Our contribution wouldn't amount to much compared to powerhouses like Russia, China, and America, or even France and the United Kingdom.
But in the end, we didn't need to go to war. War came to us.
I was on my way back to Bratislava, from a training exercise with my unit near Senica, when the Forces of Darkness stormed across our border. An attack on our convoy had left the vehicles overturned and our escort dead. We managed to fight them off long enough to slip away and retreat to the south.
Our enemy's magic had some strange secondary effects. Among them were an aggravating tendency for radio signals to get scrambled or blocked, so we were left without a way to contact HQ and figure out what the situation was. We were lucky, then, to run into a rifle company.
They were among the forces tasked to defend this part of the country, but it was pretty obvious they'd been put in way over their heads. These guys were barely out of training, suddenly surrounded by the legions of Hell who were picking off our overwhelmed forces one by one. They did have important information, though: Command had managed to get a defensive line set up about ten kilometers to the east, with orders to all units behind enemy lines to fight their way there.
In the meantime, though, we had more urgent matters to worry about. An enemy company, and they were out for blood.
To a modern army with automatic rifles, a military force wielding axes should have been laughable. It's a bit of a different story when the the "axemen" are eight feet tall with the physiques of bodybuilders and hefting axes with blades the size of car doors, though.
Okay, not entirely different. At least, not at first. They shrugged off bullet wounds that would have taken humans out of the fight, barely seeming to notice the five-fifty-six holes we punched in them. But what we lacked in power, we made up for in volume, and the last one fell under a hail of gunfire before they ever got close to us.
It was too early to celebrate, though. Whether by accident or because the gunfire had drawn them to potential prey, more ax-wielding monsters stormed out from behind the trees, accompanied by strange, doglike creatures.
I'd never seen these things before, but I knew they weren't anything good. They were running with the ax-men, and besides that, nothing from the gates had been anything but murderous.
We opened fire, and though our bullets worked just as well on the beasts as on the humanoids, we were facing more hostiles with less distance to them. One of the wolf-things got close enough to claw at me before it dropped. I was lucky enough it just grazed me, and once it fell, we had time to catch our breath.
That, and contemplate the long trek back to the defense line. We were in for a rough night.
As we made our way east, we came across another rifle company. Relieved to see us, and liking the sound of safety in numbers, they joined us as we made our way.
We were moving along the edge of a ravine a bit further east when my rangers spotted another pack of the dog-beasts.
We opened up on them as they charged us, but as we were quickly learning to expect by now, they weren't alone. Another pack of beasts emerged from the woods, a company of ax-men charging up the ravine.
Their mistake. The steep climb slowed their charge and gave us plenty of time to pick them off.
We barely had time to catch our breath before we sighted another enemy we hadn't seen before.
They were definitely ugly bastards. As if ax-wielding mutants and hellhounds weren't enough, apparently the Wicked Witch of the West had sent her flying monkeys out on a stroll in the Slovakian countryside. Actually, could they fly? Something that chunky didn't look like it should've been able to get airborne.
Whether they could fly or not, though, the bastards were fast. They fell to gunfire just like the ax-men did, but they rushed toward us so quickly that even with surprise on our side, they were on top of one of the rifle companies before we'd gotten them all.
We got the last of them before they could do any real damage with those hooks, but it was a close call.
We came to a dirt path in the woods and heard the flowing water of a nearby stream. One of the riflemen got excited; there was a bridge nearby, he said, and once we crossed the river we'd be in spitting distance of the defensive line.
There were a few surprises waiting for us when we got there, though. The first, a pleasant one, was the presence of another rifle platoon. The second, an aggravating one, was that the Forces of Darkness had apparently anticipated our forces trying to retreat that way and taken out the bridge. Not a huge problem, one of the riflemen assured us, there was a natural bridge to the south we could use.
The real killer was the third. Now we knew why that squad was still alive, even though the enemy must have known exactly where they were.
They were bait for a trap. A horde of ax-men poured out from the forest to the west, snarling and growling beasts among them, more numerous than anything we'd encountered yet, and charged our cobbled together force. The rifle company we'd just rescued lost composure at the sight, firing wildly, and in their panic they were easy prey. Vicious jaws tore them apart left and right, and the screams of the dying joined the cracks of gunfire that split the night air.
Then the orcs fell upon us, and another rifle company fell victim to the enemy's weapons. The axes hacked through them with gruesome results and little difficulty - after all, our armor was designed to stop bullets, not blades.
It was a grisly, chaotic battle, but in the end, we prevailed. It was hard to celebrate when twenty-two of our own now lay dead, though.
The trip downstream was, all told, fairly uneventful. We came across a few scattered enemy units, but they apparently weren't expecting a force as large and cohesive as ours to still be on this side of the line. They'd let themselves become isolated, which made them easy targets for our massed gunfire.
When we were close to the natural bridge, we came across another scattered rifle company, fleeing headlong from another mass of ax-men. The green creatures were already hot on their heels and gaining fast, though. Without hesitating, we opened fire.
But we were too late. By the time the last orc fell, a full third of the company was dead, another third wounded. We patched up the injured the best we could, filled everyone in on what was happening, and cautiously crossed the natural bridge.
As we emerged from the woods on the other side of the stream, we came across another company of ax-men. Unlike the others, though, which had been sweeping the area in search of victims, these were dug in behind makeshift barricades. We set up a firing line, then I took a couple of potshots at them.
The plan worked. They couldn't very well sit there and let us shoot them at our leisure, and they couldn't exactly shoot back, so they charged us, joined by another company.
Such a small force, without even the element of surprise on its side, posed no real challenge.
We knew we were free when we came to the edge of a bog. Not because of the bog itself - that just meant we'd have to slog through muck and grime - but because we could see vehicle headlights and hear the rumble of engines in the distance. We were home free.
By the time I crossed the base perimeter, back to the relative safety found behind the line of tanks and IFVs, Slovakia had signed onto the World Alliance. My job was about to get a lot more interesting.
(cut to a bandly rendered soldier)
"Welcome, commander. As of now, you, John Alexander, are officially informed that your country has decided to join its military forces with the Alliance. This decision was, naturally, voluntary. After your amazing escape from that terrible Hell (literally and no, it doesn't work in Czech either), you have the right to decide on your own (presumably whether he wants to continue fighting, but they just mention "the decision").Nevertheless, I am grateful for every single man you managed to get to safety.
The situation is still critical: we still know next to nothing about our enemies. The orcs you met out there reamain a complete mystery. We refer to the enemies in general as "Otherside", the other side. (again, English and than translation) Their invasion has cost us many qualified (literally, I'm assuming they mean soldiers and combat specialists) people; we can recruit more people but there is no way to replace years of training. That is why we need the likes of you, Commander: determined and experience officers, forged in the fires of battle. For now, feel free to rest and think about your choice. I am expecting you at my headquarters.
I really can't decide whether he's hitting on Alexander or not. It seems like this belongs right after the first mission given the events mentioned.
And yes, he refers to the player as "John Alexander". No, that's not even remotely a Slovakian name. I imagine the English release came a bit later and they made at least some effort to fix some of the sillier parts.