Gideon watched in shear horror as the sky exploded into a swirling black vortex stemming from the blind eternities. Enormous metal warships shot out from its depths and advanced slowly into the world below. The ships were easily five miles away, but that didn’t keep the men from screaming orders at each other and preparing for battle. Every able body was now awake and running to their defensive positions. It was midday, but the sky was black as night, and lusterless as death. As the black wormhole closed behind the massive warships, they moved into some kind of flying battle formation and began blasting mana beams down at the land, scorching and obliterating everything within their general vicinity. These ships were massive. Each Ship was easily a mile long. All but the rear ship, it dwarfed the leaders of the formation. It was a formidable three miles long, and a half-mile wide.
We’re not ready! Gideon thought to himself. Jace contacted him mentally and instructed him to meet with the other planeswalkers at the north gate. Gideon headed for the gate. The enemy was advancing from the southeast, so Gideon presumed that they must have some kind of plan. When he arrived at the gate, Jace was standing quietly while Sorin, Ajani, and Chandra bickered and shouted at each other. Elspeth were nowhere no-where to be found.
“What the Hell is going on here?!” Questioned Gideon demandingly. “Chandra is trying to get us all killed!” Shouted Ajani. “And what makes your plan so much better than mine?” Chandra shot back. “We will live longer than five minutes!” Sorin yelled. “Enough!!!” Gideon commanded impatiently. There was immediate silence. “Where is Elspeth?” Asked Gideon. Jace responded. “Preparing a forward assault group. She knew they’d keep fighting like this until the enemy was at our door.” “They’ll blow us away before we can even fight back.” Sorin chimed in. “Not if we get up there and knock them out of the sky ourselves!” Chandra bit back excitedly. “No Chandra, we don’t have the firepower to take even one down.” Gideon stated. “We need to do something about those beams. If we can raise a defense of some kind against it, it might buy us enough time to evacuate the men and set some kind of trap.” Gideon continued. Suddenly, there was silence. All the camp’s screaming, clanking, and preparing for battle went dead silent. The five turned to see the form of Nicol Bolas tossing the now unconscious form of Elspeth to the ground.
Gideon ran to her, she was in pain, but alive. “Well, quite the procession you’ve gathered Sorin. Friends, enemies and traitors all working together. An impressive feat, but no more a threat than a fly hovering over a towering beast. I’ll take the interplanar lens you stole, and be on my way.” His sinister voice brought the darkest most sinister visions of Gideon’s greatest fears to the forefront of his mind. Sorin began to respond. “…And if we refuse?” Bolas looked to the warships in the distance. They suddenly stopped in mid-flight. They stayed stationary as thus for several minutes as the group watched in dead silence. Then they began to launch thousands of pods at the ground so rapidly that the only word to accurately describe them was swarms.
The ships began to advance slowly again as they did thus. Each pod held a Phyrexian foot-soldier, which would emerge upon impact. Plague carriers, crusaders, walkers, and porcelain infantry quickly formed ranks and advanced quickly toward the camp as more of their brethren landed and did the same behind them.
We have to do something. Holding Elspeth in his arms, Gideon spat at the dragon. “You will suffer pain far worse than anything your armies inflict on our men Dragon-Coward!” Gideon was challenging the planeswalker, hoping he could hold him at bay long enough for the other planeswalkers to fight the enemy back. He knew that Bolas wouldn’t risk blasting the campsite now that he knew his precious artifact was here. He wouldn’t dare, and Gideon would use that against the dragon for as long as it could possibly aid them. Bolas stared down at Gideon in mocking way. “Ah, Gideon. I hadn’t noticed you. I make it a point to notice the minor details of course, but I suppose you just didn’t register. If you think you can defeat me, try. I’m nothing if not a generous ruler. I may even give you the satisfaction of actually landing a hit.” Bolas taunted. Gideon laid Elspeth down carefully on the ground by Jace. Take care old friend. He thought to himself.
Gideon looked at Sorin, hoping he’d understand what he was about to do. Gideon leaped for Bolas swinging his Sural (his three bladed whips) at the dragon’s neck with all his might. He had no hope of actually injuring Bolas; he simply intended to anger him so the others could fight unhindered. Gideon had never met Bolas before, but his magical prowess was legendary, so Gideon was very surprised when his swing landed a bleeding blow on the Dragon-Lord’s neck. Gideon landed with a roll and quickly raised his shield. He was swiftly hit with a barrage of blightning that ricocheted off his shield with a thud. Gideon hurriedly taunted and fled, summoning a griffin to carry him into the black sky, with Bolas flying close behind. All manner of mind-rotting, skin-searing, and plague-inducing spell was sent after Gideon, and all of them were either dispelled or dodged with ease. I don’ need to win, I just have to keep him preoccupied.
Gideon’s griffin was shot out from under him in an arc of crimson flame, and as Gideon fell, he saw the magnificent beast burned alive and cringed. He swung his Sural out to the side of the nearby cliff and dug into the rock with all his strength to break his fall. He made it to the bottom unharmed. Bolas had lost sight of him, and began to circle from above. He used this as an opportunity to collect himself and check his friends’ progress on the battlefield. But when he looked out to the warzone in the distance, he wished he’d never had the opportunity.
The Phyrexian ground forces were shredding the Tolarian soldiers like paper dolls. If they weren’t cut to ribbons by the Phyrexian forward assault formations, they were incapacitated by the plague they carried. Some survived the first few hours of the disease, and were mutated beyond recognition. They’d lie in the dirt shifting and mutating until the blue-aligned Phyrexian researchers collected them, to be returned to one of the four massive warships that continued to deploy Phyrexian soldiers like pouring rain.
Gideon couldn’t watch another moment of it, and he wouldn’t get to… Right at that moment, the cliff he was hiding by exploded into a shower of stone and magma. Gideon was caught in the resulting avalanche...