"Do you think I became the Holy Emperor of a thousand worlds by being kind? By being compassionate? No...I became the Emperor because twenty years ago, I had the biggest fleets, and because everyone who refused to acknowledge me as their Emperor was burned alive! Words and kindness don't inspire power. Battleships do!" - Holy Emperor Fenix I, to his son Fenix II.
When the sound of Assaulter Gauss Rifles exploded through the mansion, 15-year-old Alexander Wolf thought he was having a nightmare. After all, this wasn't just any ordinary mansion. This mansion belonged to his father, Count Gerard Wolf, Lord of Imperial Solar System A21 and Commander of Battlefleet Obsidian. This was perhaps the safest place in the entire solar system!
But as the boy rubbed his eyes, he realized a cruel reality. He wasn't dreaming, and the sight of men and women alike falling all around him wasn't a hallucination either. As a matter of fact, they were all too real. The boy could smell the thick scent of blood in the air. He could distinctly hear the light tap as bullets were fired from the Assaulter Rifles, as well as the screams coming all around him. Many of these screams were all too familiar, for many of the fallen were servants Alex had known since he could remember things.
One of the servants, a maid in his thirties, grabbed onto Alex's arm and yanked him back. She was saying something to him, but Alex couldn't hear her. He opened his mouth to craft a reply, but before he could form a word of his own, several flowers of red suddenly exploded around the maid, and the woman fell, her cold dead eyes staring into Alex's own eyes, freezing his body in place and shaking his soul to the core.
All of a sudden, gunshots rang out from behind him, and a shell-shocked Alexander turned around and found himself staring at two men in grey and red uniform, both of them holding onto modified Assaulter Gauss Rifles of their own. The sigil of a roaring wolf was engraved into their uniforms. As he turned back, Alex found two attackers laying dead across the ground. Their weapons were raised, but they would never have the chance to take another life.
The two men grabbed onto Alex, and Alex recognized them. They were Wolf Guards, elite troops selected from the entire solar system and dedicated to protect their Lord. To protect his father. There should be dozens, if not hundreds, of them in the mansion alone, with hundreds more in the barracks located not far from here, ready to act on a single command.
"What is going on here?" Alex demanded, doing his best to stay calm despite his young age and the traumatizing events he just witnessed. His father had repeatedly told him something simple yet crucial. When danger was at hand, perhaps remaining calm wouldn't save you, but losing your cool would certainly doom you.
The two Wolf Guards were almost equally confused. As they pulled Alex to them and the trio started moving, one of them did his best to reply.
"We're under attack, my Lord. it's Countess Valentine's forces. Her honor guards. They have taken us completely by surprise...judging by the gunfire, the others are still resisting, but we can't hold for too long."
Alex could feel his heart somehow beating even quicker than before. Countess Valentine? But...but that was impossible! Alex remembered the number of times his father talked about the Countess before. The two of them have been friends for two decades! Alex even visited the Countess's mansion in System S88 over a dozen times! For god's sake...his sister was named after the woman!
"That's impossible!" He declared in disbelief before quickly moving onto a more important topic. Talking and moving at the same time exhausted him, but that wasn't quite on Alex's mind. "But...where are mom and dad? Where is Amelia?"
"The Count and the Countess were with Countess Valentine when they opened fire on us. We can't reach them." One of the Wolf Guards replied, his eyes carefully scanning the surroundings as he moved. "We followed the contingency plan. Secure you and Lady Amelia first. We're heading for the bunker right now."
Alex made his way past a dead body. It took Alex a few moments to realize the man was a nurse attached to the house. An elderly woman who was charged with taking care of the health and wellbeing of the Count's family. Now, she laid dead on the ground, a gaping hole in her forehead. Alex could feel his legs shaking and vomit racing to his throat, but the Wolf Guard quickly pulled him away.
"But…" The boy took a deep breath. "We need reinforcements. Have we managed to send a message to the barracks? Or Battlefleet Obsidian?"
"We have tried both, my Lord. We couldn't contact either of them."
Turning across another corner, the trio found themselves standing in a bedroom. One of the Wolf Guards stepped into the room, reached inside the closet, and pulled a hidden lever. Following a mechanical sound, a piece of wall of the closet moved to the side, revealing a slanting path.
The three of them quickly stepped inside. The last Wolf Guard pushed another button from the inside, shutting the hidden gate.
The short hallway led to an underground bunker with a dozen monitors, two sofas, a few beds, and enough food and water to last the occupants a month. Alex was glad to find that his sister, Amelia, was here, along with three other Wolf Guards.
"Alex!" With a happy cry, Amelia jumped up from the sofa she was sitting on and leaped onto Alex, almost knocking him over. As Alex looked down, he could tell his sister had been crying, and who could blame her? She was barely ten years old, and what was going on could traumatize most adults. Alex hugged her as tightly as possible, as if that could take away her fear.
Finally, after a few seconds, Amelia pulled away. She might be young and terrified, but much like Alex, she knew there were more important things to do here. Alex sighed as he gave his sister one last glance. I won't let anything happen to you…
He turned back to the Wolf Guards with renewed determination.
"What do we do now?"
One of the Wolf Guards pointed at the monitors, all of which have gone dark, rendering the occupants of the bunker helpless.
"Somehow, those bastards managed to scramble our signals completely, but don't worry, my Lord. With a firefight like this, someone has got to have heard it in the city. The local CSF. The local garrisons of the Imperial Army. Our brothers back in the barracks would be mobilized immediately. Hell, if nothing else, I suppose it'll just be a matter of time before our Marines descend from the sky in Power Armors and purge those bastards! After that, there will be hell to pay!"
Alex bit his lips. At this point, he didn't care about vengeance or payback. All he wanted was for his family to be safe. For his mother to hug him again. For his father to pat him on the back and tell him how much of a man he had grown to be. He opened his mouth, about to say something, but in the end, he remained silent. He knew there was nothing the Wolf Guards could do in their position.
The silence only continued for a few minutes, but Alex felt like it was a few hours at least. With every passing second, he grew more and more agitated. Where was everyone? His father was the Lord of this entire Solar System, for god's sake! Someone must have sensed something wrong! Where was help? Where were the reinforcements?
Amelia must have sensed Alex's fear as well, which was why, once again, she held onto her brother tightly and refused to let go.
That was when everyone in the room heard a loud bang at the door.
The five Wolf Guards in the room snapped around almost simultaneously. There was a look of fear on their faces, not the fear of death, but the fear of failing at their duties. The fear of being unable to protect the children of their Lord.
Four of them raised their Assaulter Gauss Rifles. One of them tapped the Mounted Personal Interface on his right forearm, and four medal barriers were erected inside the hallway. These barriers were designed to provide the defenders some cover in a firefight. As the Wolf Guards took up position behind cover and one of them moved for the door to check what was outside, another Wolf Guard turned to Alex.
"Look, my Lord...if the people knocking on the door are friendly, great. But if they're enemies…" He reached into his tactical belt and drew his Arbiter Handgun, a decent-sized silver gauss pistol. "Do you know how to use it?"
"My dad said I shouldn't handle guns until I am 16." Alex replied before grabbing onto the Arbiter. "But I know the basics."
The Wolf Guard nodded. Yes, giving an amateur a weapon in a situation like this might result in friendly fires, but that was better compared to having Alex be taken away defenselessly. Throwing that thought aside, the Wolf Guard knelt down before cover and positioned it on a firing rack on the metal cover.
Before the first Wolf Guard even reached the door, a mechanical sound rang out once again. It was the sound of the hidden gate opening. Alex suddenly found himself smiling. The only ones that knew where the hidden door was and its passcodes were the Wolf Guards and his family. This must be his parents coming to his rescue!
And then gunshots exploded. As the first Wolf Guard collapsed dead on the ground, riddled with bullets, the reality became painfully clear.
The visitors weren't friendly. Not at all. Even worse, they were well too aware of where the hidden bunker was and how to get in, both of which were top-secret information.
Backed into a corner with nowhere else to fall back to, the four remaining Wolf Guards made a stand. Accurate gunfire tore through any intruders that made their way into the hallway. The Wolf Guards demonstrated their skills as the elite troops of the system. Whenever one of them reloaded their weapon, the others would always be laying down covering fire, not giving the attackers any opening to abuse.
For some reason, the intruders didn't use any shrapnel or incendiary grenades, which would've been deadly in this scenario. Instead, they kept on launching suicidal charges in an effort to overwhelm their enemies, only to be mowed down mercilessly.
As the battle ensued, Alex was hiding around the corner, holding onto his sister as tightly as possible. His Arbiter Handgun was on the ground next to him. Just as the boy thought he wouldn't need to use the weapon, things took a turn for the worse.
Loud thuds appeared at the doorway, followed by a desperate cry from one of the Wolf Guards.
"Knights, incoming! Ion attachments now!"
Alex's heart sank. Knights was the general term given to troops wearing Power Armors. Much like the Medieval Knights, these modern Knights wore platings that made them nearly impossible to kill for most enemy infantry and their small-caliber weapons. At the same time, their own large-caliber Gauss Machineguns could plow through light-armored foes like paper.
Two Knights stepped into the hallway. Both of them were over two meters tall, each with enormous ammo tanks attached to their backs and Gauss Machine Guns in their hands.
The four Wolf Guards desperately opened fire on the joints of the Knights. They were well-aware of the capabilities of Knights. In fact, they themselves were trained with Power Armors. Unfortunately, as of now, they only had small-caliber weapons with them. Their only chance was the joints, where the armors were the thinnest, but…
The Assaulter rounds barely achieved anything. Blue ion rounds smashed into the armor of the Knights, but even the specialized projectiles designed to counter armor weren't sufficient. That was when the two Knights opened fire, their guns blowing right through the metal cover and tearing the four Wolf Guards to pieces.
Alex watched as the remains of one of the Wolf Guards fell right before him. The man's entire upper body was gone, torn apart by the Knight's fire. He could feel his hands and legs trembling in uncontrollable fear, but what came after fear was anger. He was angry at how terrified he was. At how weak he was.
His parents were lost, and he was the only one standing behind his sister and the enemies out there. The enemies who just murdered his family's loyal bodyguards. He was the last line left. The only hope of protecting his sister from the danger out there.
At the door, the two Knights stopped in their tracks after demolishing the resistance. After all, these two meter tall machines weren't the best in terms of capturing the enemies alive. Several men in silver and red uniforms rushed past the Knights and charged into the bunker.
The first man that entered the bunker barely had the chance to look around before Alex shot him in the chest.
This was the first time Alex killed someone. It wouldn't nearly be the last, but as of now, all Alex knew was to keep pulling the trigger. Again and again, bullets left the barrel of his gun and entered the body of that attacker, making him more and more dead. Recoil pushed back against his fragile arms, but he held them as steady as possible.
Unfortunately for Alex, the man he killed wasn't alone, and by the time he fired his fourth round, a second attacker came into the room and knocked his weapon out of his hands.
Welcome to The Vengeance of a Lord of Agony! If you are a new reader, welcome! If you have been reading my work for a while now, also welcome! This novel will mostly feature sci-fi elements and include everything from large-scale fleet combat to ground battles to political maneuvers. Of course, things will be starting off rather slowly and pick up pace as the story moves on.
Luckily, I do have quite some chapters saved up, so I will be publishing six chapters in the next 24 hours. If you enjoyed the first chapter, feel free to follow the novel so you can get updates whenever new chapters are uploaded!