Chechyen DMZ 10 miles east of command post
Ares rolled up to a fairly large village in a truck leading a few transports with several dozen soldiers. He hopped out as the truck came to a stop and met with his envoy who had come ahead. The man, Col. Arkady Grekov saluted Ares, "The chieftain has agreed to meet with you. He goes by King Adder. I must warn you his mutation is quite noticeable."
Ares nodded, "I'm guessing reptilian?"
Grekov looked surprised, "How'd you know?"
Ares chuckled, "You know an adder is a snake right?"
Ares looked up to Vadim, "Come with me. The rest of you stay put unless I say otherwise."
Ares and Vadim stepped up to a throne sitting in the center of the village made from the remains of an old Russian army truck. King Adder stepped out of a large sheet metal hut and walked over to his throne. Ares and Vadim noted his massive near 12 foot frame and scaled snake like skin that covered him. As he sat he made sure to allow Ares to see the long serrated claws on his fingers as he sat with his arms propped on the rests made from the truck's bumpers.
Adder glared down on them, "I've been told, you plan to conquer the DMZ."
Ares nodded, "You're well informed. I've come to make you and your people an offer. If your soldiers join my army, we'll provide you with food and protection. If not then I'd suggest you stay out of my way."
Adder looked wary, "And if we choose to resist?"
Ares stepped a bit closer, "Then I call in an air strike to wipe your village from the Earth."
Adder gritted his teeth, "Why do you believe we wouldn't side with the Iron Line?"
"Because you're all mutants, they tend to kill your kind on site unless they think you might be a useful servant."
Adder had to agree, "You speak the truth, but what makes you any different?"
Ares smirked, "They'll kill you because you're mutants, I'll kill you just because you're in my way."
Adder stifled a laugh, "If you can pass my trial you have my soldiers."
Adder then waved over a man around Ares size called White Bear. He was covered from head to toe in shaggy white hair with bear like claws and teeth. Ares thought to himself that the man could pass for a small yeti. Adder then spoke, "Choose a champion."
Ares had been told of this custom before hand and had come prepared. He turned to Vadim, "Loose the overcoat, you have a job to do."
Vadim nodded and tossed the coat to the side and stepped toward White Bear. Ares took a seat on a smaller chair sitting beside the throne and noted Adder's reaction to the massive stone skinned man squaring off with one of his fiercest soldiers. Adder looked over as Ares leaned back in the chair and propped his feet up in a relaxed position. Ares shouted to Vadim, "Don't kill him if you can avoid it. He looks like he'd be useful."
Vadim looked over to White Bear who maintained a pose meant to intimidate his opponent. Vadim chuckled a bit and waved him forward. White Bear charged and slammed his fist into Vadim's jaw then the other into his gut. He then planted a second shot to his face. White Bear pulled away and noticed blood dripping from his knuckles.
Vadim then delivered a crushing blow to his gut that sent him back a few yards. He then came up and clubbed his enemy on the back of the head slamming him face first into the ground. He then turned and started to walk away but the now furious White Bear pulled himself up and leapt on Vadim's back and slashed away violently. Vadim sighed as the claws scrapped across his stony skin. He grabbed White Bear by the arm and slung him into the ground and raised a foot to stomp his skull in. Ares ordered, "Hold."
White Bear opened his eye a bit to see Vadim's foot holding less than an inch from his nose. Ares looked up to Adder, "Can we call this? Your man can't win this."
Adder looked to White Bear, "Can you win?"
White Bear glared up at Vadim and then struck the ground angrily as he growled out, "No."
Vadim then put his foot down on the ground and pulled White Bear to his feet, "You lasted much longer than I expected."
White Bear's anger seemed to disappear as he saw the seemingly bored look Vadim had. He realized then that he had never had a chance in the fight. Ares had chosen a champion that no man of this village could harm. Adder sighed and turned to Ares, "You said something about food."
Ares stood at the back of his truck with King Adder as the soldiers set up a feast for the village. Ares turned on a monitor to call Queen Carol. Her eyes went a bit wide at the site of King Adder but she pushed away her shock, "Situation report?"
Ares nodded, "Allow me to introduce you to your newest citizen. He has given 300 soldiers and 50 miles of territory in exchange for the rank of General in the New Latverian army and governorship of the state of Northern Chechnya."
Carol gave Ares a slightly angry look, "Do you consider that a fair exchange?"
Ares nodded, "More than fair, this is possibly the most strategically useful areas in the Northern DMZ as well as the most stable part of the region due in large part to his leadership."
She pulled up a map in her throne room and looked over the area. As she looked it over she realized he was right, "Well General Adder welcome to my army."
Ares closed the monitor and looked over to Adder, "Shall we eat?"
General Hwjang of the Iron army sat reading a report before calling a superior, General Falcon Helfitta answered, "The Supreme Commander is busy at the moment so I'm handling quite a bit so make it quick."
General Hwjang nodded, "I need permission to launch a full scale assault inside the Chechyan DMZ."
Helfitta nodded, "Granted, but you'll need to handle it with what soldiers you have at the moment because their are none to spare for the time being. Keep me posted and I'll give you as much help as I can."
She nodded, "Is Dr. Prince's team available?"
He shrugged, "I'll have to get back to you on that."
(To be continued)