Duke Sturm lean lazily on the saddle of his dragon and watched his troops emerged from the smoke and smash into the four-man thick shield line, catching the Goldrose soldiers in surprise.

He smiles when he saw the shield lines buckling under the impact of his troops, but soon he frowns when he saw lines of fire ripped into his men, tearing them to shreds.

He gestures to his runner and commands, "The enemy's barrier should be weakened enough by now. Order the battle mages to begin their assault. Destroy those spell constructs first." He points to the sandbag bunkers spewing fire.

The battle mages under the cover of the smoke, chanted their magic and gestures, creating several magical circles that glow in an unnatural red light.

The magic smoke allows anyone to view out of it, but it blocks sight from outside, preventing both normal and magical sight from viewing into the cloud thus allowing the Empire soldiers to charge up mostly unmolested.

The blue coats ignored the slaves in front of them, marching double time, they just ruthlessly trample whoever is in the way and sought to reach charging distance with the Goldrose lines.

The battle mages dressed in blue leather trench coats finally finished chanting their spells. The magic circles floated in front like a hologram, merged together with one on top of each other, and completed the spells.

Balls of fire grew into existence over the center of the magic circles hovering in the air. The temperature in the surrounding instantly heats up from the number of fireballs created. Another gesture from the mages and the massive fireballs flung themselves out like rockets, arcing into the sky and dropping downwards onto the middle of the Goldrose lines.

Duke Sturm nods, watching at least one fireball torching the magical construct, silencing it. The screams accompanied sound like sweet music to his pointy ears even from a fair distance.

"Target the enemy mages. Once their mages are down, victory is at hand." Sturm smiles happily, thinking of the little princess. The secrets to the level 10 spells and payment for his two flying dragons, I will squeeze it all out from her body. I hope she doesn't break so fast and can keep entertained.


Drake laid prone over the observation post that was prepared days ago. A smart camouflage all-weather netting provides some shade and concealment from the enemy.

The netting blocks all forms of thermal and electronic signal from emitting out, forcing the observation teams to communicate only with direct laser signals.

He deployed his bipod and rests his 22" long suppressed heavy barrel M7 DMR against the sandbags and zeroed his sights. "See anyone worth killing?"

The Goldrose soldier lying prone next to him, peers out of the tripod-mounted binoculars. Both sides had reached an agreement days before to work together to defend the pass, and this particular goldie was assigned to partner with Drake.

Drake used the time to teach the goldie soldier on how to be a spotter over the past few days of sentry duty when they two were partnered together.

"Uh, the smoke, I can't see anything," Kont replied. He wore an old leather armor instead of his plate mail, allow him more comfort to lay prone, while his sword and uncocked crossbow laid at his side.

"Try the infra. It works." Drake continues to make minor adjustments to his scope.

"Ahh… I see something but it's hard to find anyone!" Kont glued his eyes on the binos, sweeping left and right. He sees a huge blob of red, orange, yellow against a background of grey and white tones.

"Damn." Drake cursed. He set to thermal and sees the huge blob of color mixed together, making it hard to find individual targets.

Suddenly balls of fire erupt from among the defenders and his comms crackles, he left a receiver outside the netting, his comms connected by cable to it. "Drake! You better blow those S.O.B mages to hell now!" He hears Pike shouting in the comms. "All units are to spread out! The enemy has area effect weapons! Show them what the United Nations of Man Navy and Marines are made of!"

"The smoke is gone!" Kont yelled excitedly.

"You see where those fireballs came from?" Drake asked as he scanned the battlefield, ignoring the burning figures, knowing some of them were friends.

"There is more smoke behind. I think they are there!" As to validate Kont's words, another volley of fireballs erupts out from the smoke cloud behind the Empire soldiers.

"Got it, help me pick the targets." Drake track through the smoke, seeing a massive heat signature within the smoke.

"Eh, all the way to the right, a fireball just came out from there." Kont describes as best as he could, "About two-seven-three." He read the numbers out in Eng-ish, his numbers taught by Drake too.

"Copy that," Drake said in English and homes his scope towards that direction. He spots a heat spot that appears to be gaining heat, while a lower temperature vaguely human-shaped blob appearing below. He held his breathe and gently squeezed the trigger and watched the orange-yellow blob collapse down.

"I think you got him!" Kont yells in excitement. He had watched how this hooman kills with his strangely quiet thunderstick, different from what the other hoomans use when they first arrived at the Pass. "There! About eight or ten paces to your left. I see something like a people shape!"

Another hushed pop and an empty cartridge spins out from the ejection port, hits the rocky ground with a pinging sound, seemingly louder than the gunshot.


Mills moaned in pain, his Marine BDUs melted and glued against his charred and peeling skin. He laid beside the smoking bunker. He tried to draw in air, but his badly burnt lungs barely work, each attempt to breathe feels like someone searing him with hot irons.

He briefly remembers firing at the blue coats when the order came. Next thing he knew was a blinding flash of light and heat, and he saw himself and the rest inside the bunker on fire. Before he knew it, he was lying down here, trying to breathe with his half cooked lungs.

After a short rest, Mills pushed himself up with great effort, biting back the scream that is forming in his throat and growls instead. He looks at his hands, seeing them blackened and oozing some clear liquid. Fuckers gonna pay. Picking up his rifle, he ignores the fresh waves of pain, his superheated rifle scorching his already burnt skin, further cooking his flesh.

The blue coated soldiers with the help of their mages' fireball attacks had managed to force the shield line into disarray, splitting the soldiers into tiny squares of resistance, while the bulk of the Goldrose soldiers attempt to rally at the rear.

Mills barely could see clearly, his eyes half boiled by the heat and flash, he props himself against the side of the sandbag and drags his rifle against his side, ignoring the tearing of his skin. Mind over matter! MIND OVER MATTER! Remembering what his drill sergeant brainwashed them to do during boot camp.

He sees the blurry blue figures moving past him, probably seeing him as a corpse. Mills cursed, turn me into a bbq yeah? I fucking make you into swiss cheese! And he sat there and open fire with his M7A1.


Bartley manned the PK-299 HMG with fitness, firing short accurate bursts into the rushing tide of blue coats when he saw the bunker Mills was in went up in flames. "Oh Mills!"

He detached the PK-229 and reattached it onto his exo-frame, ignoring his surprised loader, and hooking the ammo feed into position while he climbs out of the MG bunker and charged down towards Mills.

Bartley used his larger build and shoves through the disrupted Goldie shield wall, ignoring the waves of heat caused by the falling fireballs and stood alone facing the charging tide of blue coats who were less than ten meters away from him.

He heaves his PK-299, braced himself, and held down the trigger. A meter long muzzle flash spewed out, and the space in front of him instantly clears, dozens and dozens of blue coats tumbled down lifeless or dying. He rotates his weapon left and right, giving a good wash of bullets on both sides before he charged forward.

"Mills!" He roars, as he stopped for the fourth time, his HMG tearing the advancing bluecoats to shreds. he spots a blackened figure lying against the bunker walls, firing his rifle sporadically. "Mills is that you?"

"Wassup Big Guy? I just overdid my suntan." Mills rasped out, coughing out blood. "Fuckers couldn't even do my tan right!" He pops off another burst at a group of blue coats charging towards them.

Bartley went down a kneeling stance and torn that group up with a burst of his HMG. He removes a morphine injector from his medical kit and jabs it against Mills's arm, who almost immediately sighs in bliss.

"Medic! I got survivors at the Bunker Two!" Bartley speaks into his comms, he did a quick check and found another two barely alive, gasping for air like a fish out of water. He kept a wary eye around while waiting for the medic to arrive. Most of the crossbow welding Empire soldiers were quickly taken out by Bartley before they could fire their bolts. "You be ok when we get you to Doc."

"Fucking hell, I want a refund on this fucking tan job."


Support "Out of Space"

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neo Koh


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