Part 4: Chapter 2: War

It had started. Eric’s plan was in full swing now and it was now a waiting game until the first wave of enemy forces arrived at the front line. I contacted all of the zonal commanders and requested that they ramp up the recruitment as much as possible. I tried to contact Eric on the frequency that I had used previously.

The signal was getting through and was being received, but there had yet to be a response. I needed to know exactly what it was that he had done in order to prepare for the eventual onslaught. I had no idea of numbers, fire-power or what effect, if any, Eric’s actions had caused.

I could only work on the assumption that we should be fully prepared for a huge army and that when the crunch came we would be outnumbered by at least ten to one. Not great odds at all, but the resistance network and vast array of weaponry and vehicles would perhaps turn the odds slightly back in our favour.

I was playing two waiting games as the hours trickled by with communications occasionally coming in from commanders and the Blue team.

It was approaching six hours later when Eric finally made contact.

I’m on my way back. Don’t look out for me as you won’t see me.”

What has happened?”

I divided them. I caused a massive rupture through Stasis that split the zones under Patrick’s influence. He’s on the North side. Anything on the South could still be in contact and under his control, so they may still converge at some point.

They will also be poorly equipped as I released a horde of Von Neumann machines that will attack any created object in here. They should dissipate well before they reach zones under our influence, but you should have the kill code for the machines.”

What about Patrick?” I asked, receiving the code for the machines and termination sequence.

He’s apoplectic and more than likely very dangerous. I have no doubt that he has managed to find a way to cause real death on a large scale inside Stasis then he will not think twice about using whatever weapon he has developed.”

Any idea about troop numbers?” I asked, somewhat hopefully.

None whatsoever. It could be relatively small, like 50,000. Conversely, it could be huge and in the region of 250,000. Be prepared for the maximum. And get the Tech team to strengthen my barrier around Blue.

I will be off the grid now until I arrive back. Make sure you leave some for me.”

Although not much, I now had just about enough information to work with. An observed estimate on troop numbers would have very useful, but at least I knew that there would more than likely be attacks coming on two fronts.

I ordered the zonal commanders on the fringe to be ready for this and to wait until the troops had gathered before taking any action. I did not want to jump the gun and give the whole resistance away with a small scale pre-emptive attack. Attacks in response to occupation would be seen as part of the battle rather than a futile show of force.

I also informed the commanders that the crossover points would be opened every six hours to allow new recruits through. I instructed the Tech team to fast-track a mind patch from the Farm Crew to allow instantaneous training. I wanted new recruits in and out within hours and not weeks.

I wanted and needed a bigger army.

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