The Warsaw Gates

Colonel Krakus was starring at the map of Warsaw when the earthquake hit them, or what felt like an earthquake. The room lurched to one side and refused to lurch back again.

“Dr. Saada!” she barked. “Is this it?”
Saada was staring at his laptop, hunched in a corner, away from all the military hardware. “Yes! Probably! There’s a compound word that could mean ‘earthquake,’ but—

“That’s a ‘yes.’ Thank you.” She was attempting to be gentle with the historian. He wasn’t a soldier.

“Lisowski, Nowicki! Report!”

The lieutenants were seated in front of huge monitors showing shaky images from infantry body cameras. The invaders were hard to spot at first, but they appeared here and there in reflections and between buildings. They giganting, ducking under street signs. They had impossibly muscular arms and shoulders. They wore sparse plate armour and carried huge, crude weapons: axes, great swords, hammers, even spiked clubs. They had tusks poking out of their mouths and bright green skin.

“Orcs?” Nowicki asked.

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