Jump to content
Tyler

War IS The Answer!

Recommended Posts

Slipping in through the entrance was the easy part, getting to the control center was what was going to kill him. 

"Who the hell are you?"

"Sound the alarm!"

Shit. With one throw he took out the soldier trying to get to the alarm button, the knife sticking out of his head as he lay still on the ground. His comrade had the sense to open fire before Isaiah had the chance to throw another knife, forcing him to dive into the hall on his right. There was a sharp pain in his side, and after putting his hand on it, he found blood. 

Running through the corridor he recalled the set of directions he memorized from the floor plans. The plan didn't quite go right however, as there seemed to be more soldiers than previously thought inside the structure. Did they realize how important this place was in the siege? That didn't matter, he fought his way through as best as he could, and took out a fair number of soldiers along the way. 

Finally he burst through a set of double doors, barring it with both swords and groaning as he got to the controls. His blood loss was becoming critical, and he needed to get this done, or else his death would be for nothing. He pulled a lever, flipped a switch, and released the failsafe meant to stop the plant from overloading. There was only one thing left to do.

Bloody hands took out the explosive device, wired to explode by a detonator. He collapsed to the ground, just as the enemy was trying to force their way in. Shaking, with shallow breaths, he pulled out the detonator, fighting back the feeling of blacking out, he frowned. "Damn...this really wasn't how I wanted to spend my last moments...should have asked for my payment up front..." He chuckled, and just as the enemy had broken through the door, he triggered the detonator, and his mercenary career ended in a glorious blaze of fire and death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reports of a breakthrough in the lines drew the attention of the second, disguised Force Majeure Seeker squad, and they moved to retaliate. There was no helping the first line of defense, it was lost, but the fluidity and chaos of urban combat meant that it could be regained or used to their advantage. The enemy spearhead seemed to slow down as it reached a major barricade, but the veteran Seeker sergeant recognized the lull for what it was, a breathe before the next push.

He eyed the Goliath from afar. It was a nasty-looking character, a walking tank, and the Norkortians used him as such. Only he in the squad could likely face the Goliath head-on and have a chance at winning, but that would give the Norkortians too much time to move up and overwhelm them with their numbers, and he was also unwilling to use what explosives they had left on one entity alone. No, they would fight this battle another way. 

"Let the other forces occupy their heavy. We'll flank the Norkortians and hit them as they're moving up to follow." Surrounded, and without support, even the Goliath would die a death of many cuts. Thus decided, the small squad of three stole across the rubble on the outskirts of that particular area, to attempt to infiltrate behind the enemy spearhead. They would stick to the shadows, and step lightly.

Elsewhere on the frontlines, where the enemy armored vehicles had pushed into the city, they would be faced with a new tactic utilized by some of the defenders who managed to remain. Concentrated small-arms fire was employed against the tanks, not that they had any hope of damaging them, but they were specifically targeting any method the armor crews had of seeing outside and finding their targets. Vision slits sparked, periscopes were smashed, and tiny ricochets and fragments threatened to pop the vision of any officer brave enough to look through them, while other parties swept their bullets onto the supporting infantry. If they were successful in doing so, each tank was reduced to a blind and isolated bunker, easily advanced upon and destroyed with more powerful point-blank means, the storming of a hatch with grenades, or immobilized with explosives to the tracks. These attempts were relatively few in number, likely due to the lack of the correct weaponry, or manpower in certain areas, but they would be felt nontheless.

 

Edited by Fierach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With both soldiers and mercenaries distracted with the perimeter, the manhole in the midst of the Norkotian lines slide open, and a head peered out. Shortly after, a hand holding a wand also stuck out and aimed toward the medics and those aiding the wounded. The spells that were cast were simple ones, but simple spells were generally the best ones to use when ones powers were depleted by the loci. These hexes were simple sleeping spells, which would slowly overtake the victim and put them into dreamland. They weren't strong, but this user could cast many of them, and rapidly too.

Targeting medics first, among them, Naherin, the hidden wizard began zapping everyone he could get to, starting with those most likely to turn and discover his hidden location. If he managed to take out all the medics, he would begin working on the soldiers that were surrounding and guarding them. Should he be discovered, he'd withdraw quickly into the sewers below...

@Thotification

* * *

Meanwhile, in the Lower City, the situation had begun to go south quickly. The incursion had already been held up, and when the Goliath moved ahead to blow the barricade, he found himself under heavily concentrated fire. The rest of the unite tried to provide him support, but an unexpected flanking attack, not by the main defending force but another unit that had slipped around them, forced the squads to stick to cover.

Isolated and without covering fire, Lag-Nor was overwhelmed and ground to a halt. He fell with a mighty rumble, heavily wounded and on death's door. He may yet survive, but only if he was tended to. However, he had fallen in no-man's land, and until one side or the other broke through, there was little hope he'd get help.

@Fierach

* * *

The combined forces of Joseph Tynes's armored brigade and Tin Man's mercenary forces began their advance. The tanks spread out, creating a sweeping fan that moved parallel along the streets, making relatively rapid progress as the defenders fled before them. But just because the first couple of defensive lines broke without a fight, did not mean the defenders were done. A least a couple platoons (four tanks each) found themselves isolated on side-streets, where they were caught in the crossfire of rotary guns, sumachinegunners and a host of infantry and low-level spell-casters. The concentrated fire kept the them from being able to support the infantry, which left both aspects vulnerable.

Bravo Platoon got the worst of it. In a narrow alleyway, they found themselves barricaded and beset from all sides. The infantry had to scatter, or risk being cut apart by the attacks targeting the tanks. As a result, the tanks too to blind firing in hopes of hitting something, though it was largely ineffective. Before last tank was blown apart by defenders rushing in to slap higher-yield explosives onto the treads, their situation was radioed back to the rest of the column, in a desperate bid for reinforcements.

While Tynes, in the center of the column, had not yet run into this problem, he realized that if a few enemies were using it, more would inevitably try. Thus, he pulled up radio communication with Tin Man (we will assume they synced frequencies off-screen) and relayed new orders to his men.

"We're getting reports of heavy heavy fire on our armor in some of the more narrow streets. I need your men to double its efforts in keeping our tanks clean."

Whether it be improving the coordination in spotting enemy strong points, or in clearing out spots the tanks could not reach, it was time for this expensive and vaunted infantry force to prove its worth.

@zackrobbman @Fierach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tin Man merely stood there, staring at the colonel with a look that couldn’t be read. It was a poker face, a practiced one that gave not the slightest clue as to what he was thinking. Then he smiled. It was a coy one though, as if it were only there to cover up a laugh. He gave the executor a lazy salute before tossing his cigar to the ground and stomping it out.

“Aye, aye, captain.” he said as he walked passed him towards his men. He pulled out the pistol he had holstered at his side and aimed it into the sky before firing off a single shot to get his men’s attention.

“WE STORM THE CITY WITH THE NORKOTIANS IN LESS THAN A MINUTE!” yelled the Tin Man gruffly. His troops responded with battle cries as they formed up with Norkotia’s forces. The more well-armed and armored mercenaries made their way to the front of the line alongside the tanks , their mini-guns whirring and ready. Most of them wore armor that had been custom made for them by smiths in Hell’s Gate, meaning that anything short of a high-powered sniper round or a rocket wouldn’t so much as dent the Tritanium, light-weight suits.

Although the other mercenaries behind them weren’t as well armored, their drug-addled, homicidal minds would make them ferocious and unrelenting in combat. Some of them were so hyped up on the performance enhancing drugs they’d gotten from the Tin Man that they’d stripped off the armor on their upper bodies and chosen to only wield close-quarters weapons. The notion that many of them were likely to die due to their carelessness didn’t even seem to cross their minds.

When the assault began, the gunners up front by the tanks let loose. The fifty caliber rounds being pumped from their mini-guns tore anything they came into contact with into tiny, little, pieces. Soldier? Civilian? If they were within their line of site, they were promptly shot at and killed in a rather grizzly and quick way as the gunners laughed at the carnage they wrought upon the city. The other mercenaries behind them fanned out to the sides and weaved in between the various buildings, killing any citizens or defenders that got in their way as violently and painfully as they could.

The inhabitants of the city tried to fight back through the use of traps both mechanical and magical. A mercenary would burst through a door lined with charges. Another would step onto a magically glamoured spot on the ground that would shimmer before the hired gun fell through it as if it weren’t there to begin with and was skewered on the spikes below. Still more were stabbed or shot from behind corners, windows, and rooftops. Archers would attempt to hail magical arrows down on the vicious killers. The Tin Man’s forces didn’t let up though, barreling forward like crazed animals. Any that were killed were followed up by a barrage of gunfire, grenades, and even expertly thrown knives. The defenders unfortunate to be encountered up close were either beheaded alive, promptly disemboweled, or had their hearts cut out as a mercenary watched the life drain from their eyes.

Snipers made their way to the tops of any building the Norkotians or mercenaries secured. making the rooftops no safer than the ground.

The Tin Man watched his men begin their assault on the city with apparent disinterest before turning around to face the group of disciplined soldiers that had come out of his ship. He nodded to them. They nodded back in perfect unison. The mercenary’s lips curved up slightly as the soldiers sprinted passed him towards the fighting.

“Suit up, Korzuc.” the Tin Man said to his second in command as he casually walked back to his ship. “I want you keeping an eye on things in case some stupid s*** happens. Radio me when it does, and make sure to keep an eye out for the Ace. If you manage to get your hands on Cordoza, before she gets killed, bring her to me. And do it quietly.

Korzuc nodded his head in acknowledgement. Shortly afterwards, the mic in the Tin Man's ear crackled.

On 8/26/2019 at 11:58 AM, Tyler said:

"We're getting reports of heavy heavy fire on our armor in some of the more narrow streets. I need your men to double its efforts in keeping our tanks clean." 

"Aye, aye...captain." smiled the Tin Man with a silent chuckle before switching radio frequencies. He'd assumed his heavies would have covered the tanks from the get-go, but these heavies weren't what most in the business would call expensive. Still, he was certain that at least a few of them were covering the tanks. Perhaps he needed to be more clear than he was in the briefing he'd had with them the day before.

"Heavies," he started, a finger to his ear. "I'm docking fifteen percent of your pay for every tank we lose in there."

 


 

"You got it boss." answered one of the heavies in a gravely, cold, tone. His armor had bullet ridden skulls painted all over it, so we'll call him Skull for clarity. His real name is Hannah, but I doubt he's ever told anyone he didn't shoot later. Still firing his weapon, he took a look around him for the first time since the start of the assault and noticed that several of the other heavies were alongside him.

"YOU DUMBA**ES!" shouted Skull over the radio, his voice gratingly loud in the earpieces of the other heavies. "DON'T STICK WITH ME! FAN OUT AND COVER THE F***ING ARMOR!!"

Skull being the more experienced heavy in the group, the others obeyed without a word and started branching off. They didn't care who ordered them around as long as they got to kill something. Taking maybe five seconds to figure out who went wear, they set out in twos to cover each platoon. Although Bravo had been wiped out, two heavies still headed their way to back up the soldiers retreating from the area. Groups of the other, smaller mercenaries followed each heavy, fanning out to the sides of them to give the gunners a wide field of fire. The enemy would need to retreat from Bravo's graveyard if they wanted to live. The heavies mini-guns tore the barricades they'd erected to pieces, fouling up any of Forthshaven's intentions to bastion up there. But they were advancing aggressively into enemy territory they did not know the layout of. Surely Forthshaven's forces would have a way to deal with them. Or at least they'd better.

Skull and another heavy with a naked woman painted on the back of his armor stuck with the Executor, keeping their eyes open for traps or enemy combatants carrying plastique or any other form of improvised IED's.

"Where we headed executor?!" shouted Skull over the sound of his own gunfire. He was trying to keep the enemy suppressed, but he and the others were bound to run out of ammo at some point, and the weapons took a while to reload. That's why he'd ordered the other heavy to keep his gun spinning, but only fire when necessary. Still, knowing where he was going would be a huge benefit.

 

 

(About four dashes from the green boundary, by the river road)

 

“Gettin’ yer’ damned blood all over me, punk.” murmured Clive bitterly as he rolled his now blood-slick shoulder to keep Zack from sliding off. Although the water had cooled him off a bit, he was back to sweating now. He’d been carrying Zack for a good four miles now and his shoulder was beyond sore. He’d considered stopping to take a break a few times, but his desire to get this over with in one go was exponentially strong. All he could think about was washing down his frustration and exhaustion with a nice, cold, beer. Maybe two. Or twenty. He usually started to feel a buzz after twenty.

Then he started to hear the explosions.

He instinctively looked up, drunkenly expecting another Zack to be falling from a black cloud in the sky. He obviously didn’t see that, so he leveled his head back down in front of him and listened. It was faint, but they were definitely explosions. And…gunfire? Clive had mixed feelings about this. The good news? Civilization as the possibility of a bar. The bad news? It sounded like there was a war going on. Perhaps if he got there and kept to the shadows, he could sneak into a bar and get in a few drinks before it was blown to hell.

As he contemplate this ludicrous idea, the sound of a vehicle reached his ears. It was coming towards them, but above the slope on the other side of the river. It was approaching fast, so he figured he wouldn’t be able to swim to the other side and climb the slope in time. So he started shouting.

“HEY!” he yelled, using his hand to project his voice. “HEY, WHO’S UP THERE!? WE NEED SUM' HELP!”

The roar of the engine was loud, but Clive could be obnoxiously loud when the prospect of attaining a beverage was in the cards. His pleas must have been louder than the roar of river  and the engine, because he could hear the trucks rpm steadily decreasing.

“DOWN HERE!” yelled Clive as he heard the truck stop near him. “BY THE RIVER!”

He heard hushed and frantic voices before the sound of rapid footsteps indicated that several people were running towards the edge of the river. His relieved smile dropped when he saw several armed men in combat fatigues point their rifles at him from the edge of the slope.

Ahhhh, s***.” Clive cursed before seamlessly dropping Zack like a sack of potato’s and raising his hands.

I don’ wanna ride da’ ponies.” mumbled Zack, still unconscious.

The soldiers were easy targets for Clive even on the other side of the river, but there were a lot of them and they were all ready to shoot. Even with his finest shooting, he might’ve only been able to dome three or five before being killed. It wasn't like on the ship where things were closer and he had more cover. He just hoped they weren’t the type to shoot first and ask questions later. He winced as if in pain when he put them and the sound of war in the distance together. He wasn’t wearing their uniform, so there was the very real possibility of them assuming he was an enemy trying to make a break for it.

Or was he?

“WE’RE ON YER’ SIDE!” shouted Clive. “DON’T SHOOT!”

Clive wasn’t too confident that his ploy would work since he wasn’t wearing their uniform and was no where near the fighting, but on the off chance they were an army keen on hiring mercenaries, which he and Zack technically were, they might buy it. There was also the fact that he’d called out to them, something an enemy on the run wouldn't do. He got to work forming up a story in his head in case they didn’t try to blow it off in the next few seconds. If the old fashioned weapons they were carrying were any indication, they likely wouldn’t believe the truth.

(Kinda hopin’ you take the reigns here for the Norkotians.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tynes gritted his teeth at the reckless abandon with which Tin Man's heavies tore up everything in their path. Enough so that when Skull's voice came over the line, Tynes's voice sounded somewhat strained when he responded.

"We will proceed straight ahead until we reach the lift. It is on the far side of the old city. Once there, we shall turn east and link-up with our forces approaching from the west. In short, your immediate orders are to continue onward and spot for the tanks," he managed to explain, "And mercenary, remind yourself and your men that we are here to capture this city, not annihilate it. The sector of the city up ahead contains many historical buildings that are important to my people's culture. Let us keep unnecessary collateral damage to a minimum, shall we?"

Despite his own words to Cordoza the previous day, Tynes had no intention of destroying Forsthaven. The city was, despite the many refugees and later arrivals, ultimately a Norkic settlement. That meant it belonged in Norkotia, and Tynes did not wish to see it leveled. His hope was a quick and precise war, one that could avoid civilian casualties and minimize damage. Unfortunately, the defenders were making that difficult, but fighting a war they couldn't win and forcing the Norkotian army to destroy more than was necessary because of that. But having trigger-happy mercenaries shredding everything in sight was an even further annoyance, in Tynes's mind.

* * *

Meanwhile, outside the city, truck loaded with Norkotian soldiers, heading back to the front lines after having been serving escort duty for the numerous refugees that had been following the river road the the camp, were suddenly flagged down by a screaming man in a cowboy hat. The truck stopped and the men filed-out, the sergeant in charge of the leading the way as they moved over the slope to get a look. There were two men below, possibly civilians, possibly mercenaries, one of then unconscious and bleeding. Luckily for Clive, he looked like he was from around here, which seemed to lend credence to the idea that he was "on their side". Even so, several of the men lined up their rifles on him, as the sergeant took a couple men and slide down the slope to reach the riverside.

"Ey! What are you two doing over there!?" the sergeant barked across the river, "There ain't a crossing on this river for another three miles!"

Given the river was fairly large (though not too large), and had a steady flow, it would be very difficult for Clive to cross by swimming. And that was without having to drag Zack along with. Getting someone onto Clive's side of the river was not simple matter, it seemed. Even so the sergeant continued to shout.

"We can send the truck around to get you if you just STAY THERE!" he bellowed across the divide.

@zackrobbman

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lag Nor brute wasn't dead. Good. It meant the enemy would stay around, and be party to more misfortune. The Seeker sergeant motioned for his team to slow fire and intentionally start missing as the Norkortians retreated into cover. Less were dead from their ambush then the sergeant would have liked, testament to the enemy reflexes, but they were still pinned, and the silenced nature of their fire and smaller squad size meant they were undetected yet.

Their marksman could pick off a few more men from this vantage point, bit no, it was better to let them think their cover was effective. Better to get a clean shot at their officer, who must be attempting to ascertain the battlefield and call in reinforcements.

The sergeant nodded and pointed for the marksman to stay and hold his fire while he and another stalked down and crept closer. This was the greatest risk of all. They had to move fast, and to remove a squad in cover, the quickest method was close-in fighting, but it was also where the Norkortians would greatly outnumber them. The Seekers were not the shield of the Guardians or the mailed fist of the Greatswords in their power armor, but they had a lot of nasty tricks to even the score.

The sergeant put away his rifle and drew a heavy pistol in one hand, and a baton with a knobbed, wired head in the other, thumb resting on an activation switch. His companion drew a flash grenade and a sawed off shotgun, as well as freeing one clasp on his holstered combat knife for easier access. They would be in position soon, and then their lookout would take off the head of a Norkortian who thought himself safe, forcing the enemy's attention to be diverted the moment the Seekers would storm them with flash and thunder.

---

The outcome of the assault on the tanks was never truly in doubt. The city defenders bloodied the Norkortian armor and infantry badly, and although they knocked out one tank and all but overrun a few others they had not the numbers or discipline to keep up the momentum. The arrival of the heavy infantry elites was decisive. Against a more ordered and professional army, the Tin Man and his soldiers of fortune might have walked into the grind of newly established defensive lines and fortifications. Here it was not the case... although that same lack of discipline did lead to moments of inspired destruction.

The Bravo tank crew was killed, smeared across the vehicle's insides by a grenade, but the tank itself was still intact. Before retreat in the face of the new onslaught, one wily mercenary went inside the gore strewn interior and wired the ammo supply for a truly catastrophic kill.

Setting a simple fuse and trap for anybody who tried to recover it, the act of doing so would ignite the tank's ammo compartment, launching the turret high like a children's jack-in-the-box, while ejecting metal and flame to scythe down any unfortunate enough to be nearby. 

Edited by Fierach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skull wanted to spout off a number of different things in response to the executors directions. A few of the things he had in mind were, 'You can't tame war, cup-cake. All's fair.' 'You're paying me to finish what you started.' or even 'F*** your historical buildings!'. Skull did not like others telling him how to do his job, even when it was someone that likely knew what they were talking about. The executor no doubt did since he had to have been through a considerable number of battles to be leading an assault for a nation and was probably a better soldier all around as a result, but Skull cared little for a persons report. The only thing he cared about was his weapon.

Oh. And money, of course. Money provided his baby with bullets, and 'Alyssa' only accepted the finest grade of ammunition.

He didn't like wasting ammunition anymore than the executor didn't like him destroying the cities historical monuments, but in his experience, collateral damage could be quite beneficial. If it didn't serve to weaken the enemies morale when they saw what his gun could do to reinforced concrete and steel, it shredded their cover and forced them to scatter.

Still, he had to bide his tongue. The executor wasn't paying him, but there was a good chance that either he or someone else from the Norkotian hierarchy was paying the Tin Man, and the Tin Man was paying him. If he didn't abide by the executors wishes, the executor could make a complaint up the ladder and get the Tin Man's full sum reduced. After that, the best case scenario for him was not being paid and not being killed by the Tin Man himself. This was ridiculously unlikely considering his boss's reputation, so Skull merely exhaled through gritted teeth and said what he knew he'd better.

"Yessss.....ssssir." he seethed before switching his radio frequency to the other heavies. "Skull here. The executor wants minimal collateral damage. Target hostiles, only!"

While the forefront of his mind was working on not saying something to the executor that could get him shot in the head later, the back of it was working out their current situation. Their very current situation. The number of hostiles had decreased considerably, their defensive line having been broken through like a wall of cards. He knew from experience that by this point, the enemy would either be retreating from the battle, or choosing to wait in ambush. The former wasn't likely for many reasons, so that left the latter. If they just kept on going with the assault in a literal straight line, they'd likely be murdered rather gloriously. They'd already shown that they could deal with armor at the start. Not a lot could get through his suit, but he didn't want to leave his life up to chance. Skull didn't sign up for that. The grunts did.

"Stop and hold off." Skull said to the other heavy, ceasing his advance. The other heavy who we will name 'Lady' because of the naked depiction of one painted on his back, ceased firing on the few retreating defenders he could see. He kept his mini-gun spinning though, curious as to why skull had put a halt to his favorite past time.  Skull held up fist to halt the executors tank and the Norkotian soldiers accompanying it.

"RUSH IN BOYS!" shouted Skull. The less armored, drugged up infantry the Tin Man had hired let out a cacophony of battle cries and shouts before rushing ahead of them. They sprinted forward like a pack of wild animals, eager to find someone to kill.

"What're you doin'?" asked Lady, dissatisfied with the number of kills he'd gotten that day. Skull turned and gave him a look. His face wasn't visible, but one could tell that it was one of grave disbelief and appalled disappointment.

"You trigger a mouse trap with your finger or a stick?" said Skull before turning away to watch the wave of mercenaries push passed them.

"Uhh...a stick?" said Lady. Skull drooped his head and shook it dejectedly.

"...Why I always gotta work with the dumba**es?" Skull muttered to himself before lowering his fist and motioning for the executor and his men to continue their advance. Most of the merc's with them had pushed on far ahead, leaving their six exposed. It was unlikely that anyone would manage to get behind them, but he wanted to keep his bases covered.

"You," Skull said, hitting Lady on the shoulder. "Double back and cover our six."

"You order me around like you're paying me, old man." Lady retorted angrily. Skull turned so that the front end of his whirring mini-gun was pointed directly at Lady's waist. Specifically the seam in between the abdomen and pelvis where the armor was weakest.

"Come again?" said Skull, leaning down a little as if he were trying to hear him better.

"F***in' a**hole." mumbled Lady before making his way to the back of the offensive.


 

Meanwhile, back at the site of Bravo teams defeat, mercenaries were combing the area in a frenzy. The two heavies assigned to the area were called Gill and Till, two men that did most of their killing together. After receiving updated orders from Skull, the two reluctantly let off the triggers of their mini-guns to prevent any further destruction to the city's property. They didn't much care for Skull, but they'd ran more than a few jobs with the old man and he was usually good for his word. The immediate area had been vacated anyway, so there wasn't much left to shoot at besides each other. Most of them planned to do that once their pay came up, but that was for much later.

One of the mercenaries that had been running around without shirt took note of the abandoned tank Bravo had been operating. Eager to blow something up, he and few others rushed over to it. It was a little banged up, but still appeared to be operational. They climbed to the top of it and tried to open the hatch just as Gill was walking over to see what they were doing. Till stayed behind to do a few checkups on his equipment, and that was what saved him.

The tank exploded the moment the hatch was lifted, the ammunition inside adding to the boom that practically incinerated the merc's that had been trying to get into it and shredding anyone around it with loads of razor like steel. Gill was blown back hard, landing over a dozen yards away before slamming into the corner of a building.

Till, who had only been knocked off his feet, slowly rose from the ground. He'd been standing behind a bullet ridden statue of some official looking woman when the explosion happened.

"Ah...ahhhh, s***." he groaned, turning onto his chest as he tried to think through the ringing in his ears. He'd been winded and maybe concussed, but he seemed to be fine. His armor had held.  The same couldn't be said for the others. As he rose to his feet and the ringing began to die down, he started to hear the screams. There seemed to be body parts and gore everywhere, most of them burned or charred black. He witnessed dozen of merc's crawling, hopping, or limping around, most of them on fire and holding the stump of a previously attached body part.

"Wh-...what the hell?" he breathed, his headache getting worse.

"H..HELLLP!"

Till turned to the sound of Gill's cry, spotting his partner sitting on the ground by a building. His armor also seemed to have held up. For the most part.

"T-TILL!" cried Gill after swallowing the blood that was trying to pool in his mouth. A large piece of metal seemed to have punched straight through his armor at the stomach, and if his lack of movement from the waist down was anything to go by, it'd also severed his spine. Explosions were notorious for turning every day metals into large, armor-piercing projectiles, so Till considered himself extremely lucky to only have a mild concussion. Gut wounds were a bad way to die.

"Hmph." grunted Till before grabbing up his mini-gun and making his way over.

"Please!" begged the downed heavy through gritted teeth as he tried to resist throwing up the blood that was likely gurgling up from his stomach. "I-I need help!"

"Can you move?" asked Till without the slightest bit of empathy. Gill gritted his teeth and tried to move his legs, but they wouldn't even budge. He shook his head.

"N-...no...no." said Gill.

"Take off your helmet." Till said, his tone a little demanding.

"Wha-...why?"

"I'm gonna program it to sync auxiliary power to your legs so you can move."

"We...can do that with these?" Gill asked, a tinge of hope in his voice.

"Yeah." nodded Till. "Now take it off."

"Oh...*gurgle* thank you!" Gill said, reaching his arms to depressurize his helmet. "I...won't forget this Till. I'm in your debt."

There was a hiss before Gills helmet detached from the gorget and breastplate. Gill grunted in pain as he lifted it off his head. His chin was covered in blood that he'd regurgitated and his eyes were wide with suffering, but he was smiling.

"Here." said Gill, holding the helmet out to his new friend. "Hurry! I think I-"

BAM!

Gills shoulders slumped and his so did his head. His helmet fell to the ground and rolled over to Tills feet. Blood and bits of brain dribbled out the new hole in Gill's forehead as did the much larger one directly in the back of it. Smoke wafted up from the barrel of the pistol in Tills hand before he lowered it and placed it back in the holster at his side. He then reached down and yanked the piece of shrapnel out of Gills gut. Throwing the jagged piece of metal away, he turned around and scanned the area, spotting a few merc's that seemed to have all or most of their combat essential pieces in place. He chuckled a bit when he remembered how his drill instructor always used to urge him and the other cadets not to lag behind.

"ARMOR OVER HERE!" yelled Till as loudly as he could, possibly reaching more than his intended audience. "I GOT A FULL SUIT THAT NEEDS A NEW PILOT! ANY TAKERS!?"

 


 

"...SURE!" Clive hollered back before lowering his hands and looking downstream. He couldn't see the bridge they were talking about because he was just a bit too far away from it, but he understood the need for it. The current had grown considerably stronger the further he traveled down the river. If he'd tried to swim across now, he'd likely tucker out and drown. And that was even if he decided to leave Zack behind, which was very likely. He'd probably tell himself that he'd come back for him later, but that was if he didn't get drunk enough to forget him.

Something he did to Zack rather often.

"I'LL START WALKIN' DOWN THATA'WAY TA' MEET'CHA!" yelled Clive, pointing down the river. But he had another request. "...YA'LL GOT ANY BEER?!"

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With their brutish battering ram down, and with the enemy closing in around them, the paratroopers realized their mission had been a failure, and that their only hope now was to try and make a desperate break back for their lines outside the city. One man suggested calling in a barrage, but the commander did not like that idea. The artillery on the top of the cliff could easily reach anywhere in the city, but it was not precise. They risked blowing themselves up if they called it in. However, maybe it would be a way to force the enemy into cover if it struck the current lines after the platoon had begun moving out of the area.

Directing the radio man to call in the coordinates, the paratroopers held firm for now, trying to hold out long enough to get a confirmation. Once they had that, they would try to make a break back toward the outskirts. It was their only hope of avoiding total annihilation. What they did not anticipate was that the enemy was not just going to sit and hold their ground. A small group of them was about to go on the attack.

@Fierach

* * *

"DO I LOOK LIKE I'M CARRYING BEER ON ME!?" the sergeant barked back across the divide, "YOU CAN JUST WAIT UNTIL WE GET YOU TO THE CAMP!"

He then ordered his men to withdraw, and they went back to the road and their truck. Clive could hear it rev up and move again, in the direction of the bridge.

Due to the vehicle being much faster than he could move on foot, it reached him long before he could reach the bridge himself. The soldiers filed out, and a couple of them took Zack off of Clive's hands. One appeared to be a medic, so it was likely they intended to check out the kid's injuries in the back of the truck. In the meantime though, the sergeant was more than a little suspicious of the two, so he held Clive away from entering the truck just yet.

"So what the hell are you two doing way out here? The battle is that way!" he snapped, pointing in the direction of Forsthaven, "How do I know you ain't deserters? Or a couple of enemy fellers trying to slip out into the desert?"

One of the soldiers, with a submachinegun, had taken position behind Clive, just in case the cowboy got touchy about being confronted.

@zackrobbman

Edited by Tyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/13/2019 at 11:34 AM, Tyler said:

"DO I LOOK LIKE I'M CARRYING BEER ON ME!?" the sergeant barked back across the divide, "YOU CAN JUST WAIT UNTIL WE GET YOU TO THE CAMP!"

"Damn." winced Clive. He wasn't sure why he was so disappointed considering the fact that these men were clearly at war. Perhaps it was because he could remember being constantly drunk when fighting in war when he was a lot younger. He may not have been straight up hammered, but the sergeants kept the throats of their men hydrated just enough not to care about the horrible reality they were attempting to live through. Did other armies not do that? Perhaps that was why so many veterans were so mentally jacked up. They just needed some beer.

"AIGHT'!" Clive hollered back before picking up Zack's body and continuing his easy-going walk downstream.

 


 

The truck met  him far before he could reach the bridge and they were quick about seeing to Zack. That was a good sign. These soldiers seemed to have a measure of compassion, even for handcuffed strangers. Clive could work with that. As the soldiers hefted Zack's sleeping form into the truck, Clive couldn't help but notice the sergeants uneasy stare. Clive tried to pretend he didn't notice and attempted to board the truck, but the sergeant stopped him.

On 9/13/2019 at 11:34 AM, Tyler said:

"So what the hell are you two doing way out here? The battle is that way!" he snapped, pointing in the direction of Forsthaven, "How do I know you ain't deserters? Or a couple of enemy fellers trying to slip out into the desert?"

Clive heard one of the soldiers walk up behind him, no doubt aiming his gun at his back. Clive made sure to keep his hand far away from his peacekeeper. Things didn't need to get bad if negotiation was an option, and bad men usually didn't negotiate in the first place.

"We ran into sum' trouble way back down stream with sum' marauders." said Clive, his expression calm. "They ganged up on us a day ago while we were on our way here and threw us into this...flyin' ship'er sumthin'. We managed ta' escape, but the punk over there got cuffed an' beat on pretty bad. Don't think we can get those cuffs off either. An' I know he looks like he's on deaths door an' all'at, but he's fine. He's one'a them...wha'do they call em'? Major...main..."

Clive creased his eyebrows and looked down at the ground with his hands on his hips, deep in thought. He stayed like that for a good fifteen seconds before it finally came to him.

"Meta!" he said triumphantly, bobbing a finger. "He's one'o them Meta-Humans...I think. He sure as  hell ain't no regular human at least. A little rest an' he'll be back up and runnin' in no time. Hell...he's been restin' for the last few hours! Wish he'd..." Clive cuffed his hands on his mouth. "WAKE HIS PUNK*** UP!"

Clive glared at the back of the truck, hoping to have gotten Zack to awake from whatever yellow-bellied nightmares he thought he was having. Unfortunately, he got very little in response.

"No! Not the drunk!" mumbled Zack. "Why I gotta work with him!?" Clive's glare grew sharper. Never again would he accept a job while he was too drunk to recognize his help.

"Anyway," sighed Clive before looking back at the sergeant. "If we were the enemy on the run, why in Sam Hill would we call out to you?"

 

Spoiler

Zacks Cuffs

594936070eda5524167121a4388144f3.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Securing their look-out way up on one of the rooftops, Khakina looked down below. Her sights were trained directly at Naherin and the other medics and none shall escape her watchful eye.

Her finger hovered one the trigger, her breathing slow and steady. Beside her, Sera is opening her pack and out came some food and alcohol. Khakina could not help but sigh. "You know Sera," Khaki spoke without breaking her concentration, "it would be better if you help me watch out for any hostile elements on the ground."

"Eh?" Sera chuckled as she stuffed some bread on her scarred mouth, "I'm covering your tiny ass on this rooftop. No fuckers ever gonna take you from behind."

"Well, keep watching and pass me some beer."


Meanwhile, down on the ground, Naherin is busy doing her task. She was leading the other medics and directing them. Not that she wanted to be on top but she was more or less obliged, seeing as there's no one else left. The only problem is-

"Magic," the white-haired woman spoke while her eyes scanned the area. "You should lay low for a bit, Naherin."

Nodding, Naherin motioned to hide behind the nearest building but then came the sound of gun shot. It must have been from one of the rooftops and hit the the area where a man hole should have been. The white-haired woman whistled in annoyance. "Those lazy bums are always late."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sergeant rubbed his forehead and sighed.

"Right then, is he dangerous? Do we need to restrain him 'er something?" he asked, upon being told that Zack was a meta.

"I do believe he is already restrained, sarge!" one of the soldiers remarked.

"Can it, private!" the sergeant snapped, "You can never be too careful with "enhanced"-types." 

He glared at Clive again, then shrugged, and hiked a thumb at the back of the truck.

"Get in. We're taking you to the front though, so don't expect to just get off resting the battle out in a camp somewhere."

Once everyone was filed in, the sergeant joining Zack, Clive and most of the troops in the back, the truck started off again. In less than fifteen minutes, they began to near the back of the front lines. Artillery batteries, tents canopies covering crates of supplies, and numerous sandbag emplacements were all around them, and upon stopping, they were approached by more troops. 

"We found a couple of mercs in the desert. One is a bit dinged up, so you'll wanna take him to the medical tent," the sergeant informed one of the NCOs that approached them. 

Presuming Zack had still not regained consciousness, he'd be taken off to the nearest medics, leaving Clive with the squad. The sergeant appeared to be waiting for orders, which he finally received once he found the right officer. Upon returning to Clive and the rest of the squad, he informed them that the'd be moving in as reinforcements behind the armored spearhead that was making its way down the center of town. 

"If you were planning on joining the fight, mercenary, I suggest you come with us," the sergeant added.

@zackrobbman

* * *

Revised-Forsthaven.png

The wizard who had tried to poke his head out of the manhole was struck square in the face. All that the nearby medics felt was a mist of blood and a few bone shards, which was followed by the loud "clang!" of a manhole dropping back into place. Some had no idea what just happened, but they had been saved from the worst of it either way. 

Thanks to Khaki's efforts, the area soon grew quiet again, and it appeared as though the remaining defenders had either been killed or had withdrawn. The sergeant here (not to be confused with the sergeant Clive is dealing with... should really give them each names) finally gave orders to get ready to move out again. With reinforcements moving in behind them, they would leave it in the hands of the reserves to get the wounded back to safety. Meanwhile, the tanks in the central street were moving again, and they needed to haul ass to keep up with their advance.

Things were faster going now, as the enemies began to retreat all the way back to the city hall, intending to regroup and form a much stouter defense there. With the sheriff's department not far away from it though, there was a good chance they might move her there before the Norkotians could reach the hall. But the walls were closing in now, as the invaders had opened fronts to both the north (Tynes and Tin Man), and the south (experimental units, including the Castro twins), which were moving in to cut-off the lifts and ramp. Soon, there would be nowhere for the defenders to go but to the very center of the city...

@Thotification

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Norkortian radioman followed his leader's order and went to relay coordinates for an artillery strike.

He would be the second to die. Or third, it was hard to tell which order he was in as the pair of Force Majeure Seekers stormed the pinned Norkortians. The two were outnumbered, but they had the advantage of surprise. Their third fed information from his vantage point even as he started the fight, with a surprise crossbow bolt flying through the air to pin an unsuspecting soldier in the squad bodily to the ground.

The Seeker sergeant quickly calculated the odds.

X enemies left.

Y enemies right.

Radio operator on the far side.

The commander was in the way. One of the Seekers had to deal with him first. Seeing their CO cut down before he could rally their squad would deal a great blow to the enemy morale from the onset.  The other Custode with the shotgun would handle that, nothing was better to savage the foe then to have them see their commander being blasted back by a spray of buckshot. The other Seeker had to move fast to cut communications. The Norkortians could not be allowed to get off a coherent message or warning to the rest of their forces. The Seeker sergeant skillfully twisted his baton one way, batting down a Norkortian's rifle as it was being brought up at him point-blank, and then the other, thumbing the activation switch on the return stroke and unleashing a shockwave of electricity from the end of the baton as the knobbed side made contact with the enemy soldier's jaw for devastating effect. Automatically, he raised the heavy pistol in his other hand at the radio operator and squeezed off two shots center mass. Killing him would be good. Disabling the radio unit for certain would be better. Depending on the speed of their assault and how quickly they managed to overwhelm the Norkortians they needn't suffer a single wound, although if they managed to rally they would be hard-pressed by sheer numbers, even with their third providing sniper support. 

Shock and awe was the name of the game. 

---

Till was lucky. It seemed providence was truly with him today, as a whistling sound from the air heralded the return of the tank's turret. It had been blown clear off in the initial blast, and now the several-ton turret crashed into the ground a scant three meters away with a deafening, ringing thud, pancaking some already dead, or dying soldiers. Had it been only twelve feet to the right, Till and his friend Gill might have been squished flat under the thing instead. Some of the lesser mercenaries didn't have the heart to stay around and began to pull back. It became the one one weak-point in the Norkortian advance in the upper city... but there was nobody around to take advantage of it. There was at least one bold mercenary who would take over Gill's suit though, though that intrepid individual would likely complain something about it not being as whole as promised, with the death of the previous pilot inside and all.

Edited by Fierach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Of course.” shrugged Clive with a smug grin. “Ya’ll hired me right?”

Clive gave the sergeant a lazy salute before tagging along. He watched a medic carry Zack away and didn’t think much of it. He’d already gone out of his way to help him out and didn’t plan on babying him any further. He was certain that he’d be able to make his way back home on his own…somehow. He figured neither of them would even get to see any combat given the circumstances. From what he’d seen and heard, this was an all-out assault on a stubborn city. It was probably almost over as it was.

But he was a mercenary. And these men seemed pretty convinced that they’d hired him. Perhaps he’d play along for a bit and earn some cash before high-tailing it out of the city. Or even better, maybe they’d let him partake of the spoils of the war by letting him drink for free at any of the bars left standing. The thought seemed tantalizing and refreshing, and there’s never many steps between thinking and doing.

If you’re a gutsy, drunk, cowboy, that is.

 

 

 

The medic that had been charged with tending to Zacks injuries would note that what Clive had said about him was true. Once he’d gotten him on a cot within a tent and did the usual routine checks, he’d find that the kid’s condition was shockingly stable. His breathing was unhindered, and his heart-rate was regular, if not a bit high. In fact, he might assume that he wasn’t too far from being conscious. Still, he figured he could at least tend to the various bleeding cuts and burns that seemed to litter him from head to toe. Then he could get back to helping his own men.

Rising to his feet, he turned to walk over to the other side of the tent to grab some alcohol, a thread, and needle from a bag on a table. Once he’d gotten what he needed and turned around, he noticed two things. For starters, Zack was gone. And so was the map of Forthshaven that had been sitting half rolled up by the foot of his cot.

 

 

 

The Tin Man sat back in his chair with his feet crossed atop the computer console he was seated in front of. He had one hand on the back of his head while he chugged a bottle of whiskey with the other. The light from the monitors in front of him lit up his body and half the interior of the ship. On the monitors he could see just about everything that was happening in the chaos. Half a dozen cloaked drones hovered above the war-addled city of Forthshaven, giving him an eye in the sky. Things seemed to be going as planned. His men were proving useful in the field and they were quickly closing in on what he believed to be the place where Cordoza was hiding out. Gill and Till had run into a bit of trouble, but he'd planned on that and didn't much care for them either. His elite teams hadn’t picked up on anything yet, so it seemed like he was going to have to go with plan B. Maybe even C. But that was okay.

Plan A had never worked for him at any point in his life.

Skull also seemed to be doing his job well. He was sending the grunts in ahead of the executor to ensure his men made contact with Cordoza before the Norkotians. Or maybe he hadn’t actually been paying attention at the briefing and was just trying not to get killed or get his armor dinged up again. It didn’t matter.

“Elites.” he said, activating the communications device in his ear. “I want Bravo to break off and make their way towards the capital building. Cordoza is your new objective. I need her alive.”

He deactivated his ear piece, not needing them to respond. They couldn’t even if they wanted to. Not anymore. He’d made sure of that. They were perfect soldiers now, and soldiers never objected. They were equipped with the same cloaking technology that the drones had and one of the monitors showed that they were all still in action, so it was safe to say they hadn’t been detected. Or if they had, they’d quickly neutralized whoever had seen them.

The only thing that was really bothering him was the fact that his contact up in the Air Jockey’s air-ship had gone cold on him about seven hours ago. He’d been relying on him to leak the Air Jockeys findings so that he’d know where to look for the ace in the city. He would've worried that they'd found out his informant and were on their way to get involved, but he knew they wouldn't. The leader of the Air Jockey's wasn't dumb enough to make herself an enemy of an entire nation because she knew she wasn't smart enough to survive doing so. She'd have to play keep away until the right moment. Just like he'd planned.

 

 

 

Clive continued to follow the sergeant and his men into the city, his gun drawn and at the ready in case anything came up. He planned to avoid any killing if possible since he wasn’t sure if the enemy needed it. For all he knew, the Norkotians were the bad guys in this scenario and were just trying acquire new territory. They didn’t seem like murderous zealots, but most nations didn’t up close.

He was traveling at the back of the squad, which is why none of them noticed when a pair of dirty, bandaged, cuff-bound, hands reached out with blinding speed and snatched him into an alley.

Clive felt a sharp pain in his wrist as it was twisted near the breaking point, causing him to drop his gun. He was then promptly thrown to the ground, his hat being flung from his head to reveal his scraggly, dark, hair.

“Alright then!” he said groggily as he clumsily got to his feet, putting his fists up. “C’MON THE-”

His anger bled away to one of confusion when he saw who stood in front of him. He’d recognize those paranoid, pin-prick eyes anywhere.

“Punk?” said Clive as he lowered his fists. Zack merely stared back at him and wouldn’t say a word, his expression clearly angry. His beady eyes pierced into Clives own, his chest rising and falling with rage.

“The hell’s wrong with you!?” Clive glared. “You almost broke my damned haAAOOOGH!”

Clive felt Zacks foot slam up into his genitals, the force lifting the cowboy off his feet. Clive landed on his side and clutched his testicles, groaning through gritted teeth as he wondered if something had busted.

“I almost DIED BACK THERE!” shouted Zack as Clive rolled around in pain. “Like…a bunch’a times! For NO reason! And why? Because you NEVER LISTEN!

“What…what are you talkin’ about punk!?” groaned Clive as he rolled onto his back, his eyes still closed from the pain. “Ah’…ah’ saved yer’ damned life!”

“Wouldnt’a had to!” Zack seethed. “If you hadn’t gotten DRUNK and STUCK TO THE PLAN! I said just the TWO of us! I said not to trust ANYONE on board the ship cause I KNEW there were moles! But noooOOOoooo! You had to got an’ make some STUPID DEAL!”

“Maybe…” Clive breathed, starting to get to his feet. It felt like his testicles were swelling up. “Maybe I wouldnt’a had to…if YOU had gone with MA’ plan from the GET-GO!”

Your plan?” Zack said, smiling incredulously. “YOUR plan was IN-SANE! We would’a alerted the whole darned ship and got killed by the androids they stole, reprogrammed, and had specifically stashed away to kill headstrong idiots like YOU!”

“I TOLD’YA punk…” Clive bobbed a finger at Zack with one hand still on his crotch. “I could’a handled em’! I’ve taken em’ out before!”

“You expect me to believe you’ve taken on a squad of Hell’s Gate’s finest combat androids in a random encounter at a BAR?!”

“...You callin’ me a liar?” said Clive in a low, cold tone as he took his hand off his crotch and balled his fists.

“Maybe not.” Zack shrugged in an overly-casual way. “Maybe the whole thing was an alcohol induced hallucination!”

“You think I’m scared’a you jus’ cause I ain’t got ma’ gun...PUNK?!” said Clive as he put his fists up again.

“Give me an excuse, DRUNK!” answered Zack with a cold, murderous glare. Clive was about to throw the first punch when a voice called out to them.

“The hell’s goin’ on over here, merc’!?”

Clive and Zack turned to see a Norkotian soldier standing at the end of the alley, looking confused and angry. The soldiers eyes flicked to Zack, who he'd probably remember seeing on a stretcher. Before he could ask how he’d gotten there or why they looked like they were about to throw hands, Clive spoke up.

“Sorry.” said Clive, lowering his fist and seamlessly twisting around with a friendly smile. “Me an’ my…business partner here were just havin’ a little disagreement. But we’re good now.” Clive turned to Zack and gave him the falsest smile he could muster. “Ya’ mind givin me ma’ gun…partner?”

Zack’s glare only softened a little before he relaxed his muscles and went to pick up the gun. He brought back to Clive and the cowboy snatched it from him.

“Thanks, pu-…partner.”

“Sure thing.” said Zack with a fake smile that only succeeded in making him look even more unstable. “You just be careful with that groin strain there. Might get worse later.”

“Duly noted.” said Clive blankly as he brushed the dirt off his gun and turned back to the soldier. “So where we headed, exactly? For tactical purposes of course.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pilgrim's Square
0127 Hours

It was nearing an hour and a half since the assault had begun, and thus far, Krieger's spearhead had made the greatest progress. The Forsthaven City Hall, a very old and impressive structure, loomed ahead of them. But the defenders had dug in around it, forming a tough shell that even the tanks would have trouble breaching. The defenders had positioned what was left of their outdated cannons into perfect ambush spots, blasting at the weaker armor around the tank treads or even at the rear of the tank, when possible. Unfortunately, this usually meant the gunners were already behind the Norkotian advance by the time they fired, which made them susceptible to being overwhelmed by infantry soon after. Many elected to surrender, forcing soldiers to peal off from the main force to escort them away from the front lines and to guard them wherever they were being held. It wasn't a perfect strategy, but it was weakening Krieger's lines, or at least, it was initially.

Reinforcements from the rear were being funneled in now, as men who had escorted the refugees out of the town were now returning, in addition to reserve units being finally deployed. Even so, Krieger would rather have bolstered his army, rather than simply maintaining numbers. The more men he had, the easier he'd be able to break through the defensive lines around the capitol building. At last, his patience wore thin, and practicality won-out over the naive, idealistic orders he had been given by the executor.

"All units, there will be no further prisoners taken until the mayor surrenders. Repeat, no prisoners!" he barked into the radio, both to local infantry commanders and to his own tank commanders.

By this time though, most of the ambush damage had been done, and several more tanks had been disabled and had to be left behind. And militiamen continued to harass the infantry even as they tried to position themselves for a push on the city hall. Even so, there was a brief stall in the advance as the spearhead gathered its men into position for a major push. As infantry and tanks all caught up, Krieger ordered a bombardment of the square and surrounding buildings, hoping to soften the defenses there. The hall was spared, for now, as Cordoza was wanted alive if possible.

* * *

"We're reinforcing the front line," the soldier replied, "I don't know much else than that. I guess we're trying to take the city hall. If we wanna get there in time to be any help though, we need to get going!"

"HEY!" the sergeant then stepped into view, "Fall out, soldiers! Gawk on the way, if you must!"

They were on the move again soon enough, passing along very trail that had been blazed by the squad accompanied by Linda, Khaki, Sera and Naherin. They passed by a group of wounded soldiers being tended by medics, bodies of dead Norkotians and defenders scattered about around the makeshift field hospital. The medics didn't even look up as the reinforcement squad passed them by; they had more important things to attend to. Further ahead, they found a small prisoner holding area, with a scattering of soldiers with submachineguns holding the prisoners in place. As the squad passed by, they heard a couple guards talking about some orders that had come down the pipe.

"Wait, we're shooting prisoners now?" one asked.

"Not us, just the ones at the front," the other replied, "Something about taking no further prisoners."

"Thought for sure we had orders from--"

"I think it's the colonel's orders, and since he's in charge in this sector, what he says goes. I for one won't mind not having to watch anymore than we already have to," the second continued, motioning to the already significant sum of militiamen and insurgents being held there.

"That's cold, bud..." the other began to respond, but by then the reinforcement squad was already out of earshot. 

It was not much further when they reached the rear of Krieger's advance. Soldiers were gathering and preparing for a massive thrust into the gauntlet, hoping to blitz straight to the hall itself. Much of the square itself was in ruins now, though the hall still loomed tall and proud above all. If the mayor had not been moved yet, and indeed, she had not, this would be the sight of her last stand. 

A young corporal, field-promoted to lieutenant by the platoon commander after his superiors were killed, approached the arriving squad upon seeing them. Coincidentally, he was the one now in command of the unit that the former Blackspear women were attached to. But they had lost a fair number of men, enough that they barely had enough for one squad, much less a full platoon like they needed.

"It's about time!" the kid quipped in an agitated tone, brought on by his frayed nerves from the earlier battles and his sudden, unexpected new command, "The colonel is going to give the order to advance any minute now!" 

There was barely time for the sergeant to respond, when a radioman barked to the lieutenant that the orders had come, and they were to begin advancing immediately.

"Shit! Alright, you take our left flank, we're gonna go over the rubble on the right! Keep low, and whatever you do, don't stop moving!" the lieutenant quickly directed, then rushed forward to take command of the other unit.

The tanks had ceased their bombardment and were now advancing into the square, infantry alongside. The defenders had little artillery left with which to strike back against the tanks, but small-arms fire was blazing from behind chunks of rubble, within bombed-out buildings, and in-particular, from the windows of the capitol building above it all. It was into this inferno of bullets, arrows and minor spells that the two squads now had to charge. The soldiers were following orders, but were the mercs so inclined to do so as well?

@Thotification @zackrobbman

* * *

The radioman stood little chance of reacting, and he was soon slumped over his equipment, soaking it with his own blood. Another man tried to rush over to move him away, but he was sniped in the head before he could do much. Two of the men took off and made a run for it, but the militiamen shot them down before they could get far. One lunged at the custode with his rifle, as the commander went flailing backward past him, his chest torn-apart by shotgun pellets. Another tried to position his submachinegun, but his view was blocked by his allies for long enough that he got no shot off before one of the hostiles was able to tag him too. 

One of the soldiers drew a combat knife and tried to take the seeker in hand-to-hand. Of all, he was most successful in landing some minor cuts and stabs, but ultimately Norkotian hand-to-hand training was not a match for what the Seekers likely had undergone. With the unit almost entirely exterminated, the last soldiers lost their nerve. Another of them tried to jump up and run, but at this point there was barely anyone left to shoot at, so he got perforated by nearly every militiaman in the vicinity. The last man, seeing no other escape, tossed aside his weapons and threw his hands in the air.

"Wait, I surrender!" he screamed, fearing the same fate as his fellows.

@Fierach

* * *

The Lift
0151 Hours

Tynes's unit had now split. One part of the force continued straight, linking up with the experimental armored units of the Castro Twins somewhere near the river. The main column, under Tynes's direct control, now turned eastward. Its sights were set on the sheriff's headquarters, where the defense was getting most of its arms and tactical advisement. It was also possible that the mayor could get moved there, so it was vital that it be taken. This would also put pressure on the city hall defenders from the rear, and hopefully force a capitulation sooner rather than later. 

The battle was nearly two hours in, and progress had been relatively rapid, but very costly. Joseph Tynes hoped that the next hour would see it finally cease hostilities, so the process of rebuilding could begin sooner rather than later. This was the pinnacle moment in the battle Forsthaven.

* * *

The City Hall
0151 Hours

From a high window, Mayor Cordoza glanced out at the battle below. Her aides desperately warned her to stay away from the glass, for fear that a sniper may mistake her for an enemy combatant and shoot her. Yet, she heeded their advice not. She could see far across her city, smoke billowing burning in many places, and once proud buildings lying charred and bombed-out. Was this all her fault?

No, she refused to accept blame. This was Joseph Tynes's doing. It was his decision to use violent force to get what he wanted, and she had no desire of letting him succeed easily. If she must go down with her city, if she must be a martyr for the people, she would be so. She was no warrior, nor general, but she counted her resolve as equal to any man or woman with a weapon. Perhaps moreso, given she elected to stand against them without one. She was proud of her people, or at least, of the ones who stayed and fought. Those who died, defender or civilian, would all be blood on Tynes's hands, and maybe that would be his undoing.

Finally she left the window and slowly sat down in her desk. Her aids and secretary all continued to urge her to flee the hall before the invaders reached it, but she had enough of their cowering.

"Leave me. Go look for your own well-being. I will remain here, until the end."

Some were reluctant, but ultimately they all did as she wished, fleeing from the building or finding places to hide at lower levels. But at the highest level, in the ancient office of the Mayor of Forsthaven, the current leader awaited her uncertain fate...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Seeker sergeant staggered under the wounds he had taken. One of the Norkortians was a feisty one, coming at him with a knife. Quick, and fast, he had scored some hits before the Seeker had managed to bring his pistol around and blow out his guts point-blank. The sergeant now brought the heavy revolver to bear on the Norkortian who had surrendered. He was the last one alive, and the Custode lowered the weapon. It seemed like he would spare him.

No, the sergeant was just reloading, flicking out the heavy revolver's chamber and putting in a fresh set of bullets through a speed-loading strip. Had the Norkortian youngster opened up fire when he was preoccupied with the other, he would've likely been dead, or at the very least dying right now. What was it again that his mentor had told him? Fear often killed before the final strike itself.

"Sorry kid," The Seeker growled roughly and leveled his gun again at the young soldier, apologizing before pulling the trigger one more time. No survivors were allowed, at least not where they had to take direct action. 

---

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...