Urka looked on grumpily as he stood with the members of his clan at the rear, watching the thousands of Empire climbing up the slope under the cover of smoke clouds cast by the Imperial Mages.
He hawked and spat at the side, the soft skin Big Lord has told him to get out of the way. Urka.never had been disgraced and humiliated so badly before. He wondered how he had to answer to his clan for his failures when he returns with his defeated band.
Should he ignore the Big Lord orders and charge in alongside the soft skins? Maybe he could still salvage some credit for the battle still? Yet his pride would not allow him to do that, "Break camp, we return home!" he gave his command to his warriors.
Lord Sturm stood on top of a viewing platform, constructed at the rear, allowing him to see the whole battlefield. He glanced at the retreating Oerkins, and snorted useless beasts. He had thought that he could use them as shock troopers in the front but they turned out weaker than expected.
Ignoring them, Sturm turned his attention to the developing battle, watching his men close up in good order, overlapping their shields as they used the cover of smoke to advance up.
The crossbow regiment followed tightly behind the shields, while the Lancers stayed out of sight, waiting for an opportunity to strike. In the front, a huge ramble of slaves armed with low-quality weapons and junk armor raced up the slope, knowing that by moving fast, they have a better chance of survival.
"What is that heathen sounding noise coming from the walls?" Sturm asked, hearing some unfamiliar music coming from the walls.
"My Lord," One of his lackeys responded, "It is some kind of music the rebels had been playing lately."
Sturm raised his eyebrows in surprise, straining his ears to throw to catch the music, but with the roar of the battle and shouts of thousands of men, he couldn't really catch the tune.
"Oh whatever," Sturm looked at his troops' position. "It is almost time. Signal the Sky Knights to begin their assault."
Sawtooth Mountain Pass, Wall Alpha.
Mills aimed his Magelock at the dark cloud of smoke in front of him, gauging roughly where the enemy will be and fired. "Damn, how I wish we had some artillery support!"
The loudspeakers were blasting AC/DC's Thunderstruck, which to Mills felt it was oddly appropriate. "Alright, ignore the slaves, go for the Blue Boys!" Mills yelled over the music and gunfire as the slaves emerged out from the smoke, charging with ladders to the walls.
The slaves who carried the siege ladders clambered over the obstacles such as barbwires and planted the feet of the ladder down firmly against the ground in front of the walls.
They climbed up rapidly, only to find that there was no parapet at the top of the walls. A smooth, rounded roof greeted them, and they couldn't find any way to climb or walk on the rounded surface.
Major Frank frowned as he watched the slaves milling in confusion at the roof of the wall, as they could neither advance or retreat. Already a few had slipped off and fallen to their deaths from losing their footing.
"Damn, what kind of magic is that that can terraform the earth?" Frank sighed. "Fucking cheaters."
"No such thing as cheating in war, Sir," Master Sergeant Pike spoke up. "I wonder how much energy is needed for a magic that large scale."
"Thought you hated them magic?" Frank teased, "Didn't you get a headache every time they used magic that acts against nature?"
"Marines learn to adapt and improvise," Pike responded, "We get better and better at killing things!"
"Sir, radar is picking up multiple bogies in the air." A tech reported from his station. "Distance 2070 meters and closing in."
"Do we have visual?" Frank asked, turning serious.
The tech played with the controls and a UAV visual feed appeared, numerous black dots in the sky could be seen, and as the image zoomed in, they enlarged to become huge winged lizards and dozens of smaller ones.
"Damn, they have so much flying dragons?" Pike cursed. "I thought they were quite rare?"
"It's probably all they had left," Frank replied. "Seems like they are planning to airdrop troops behind the walls, judging by the number of soldiers on board the dragons"
Dozens of soldiers could be seen, riding in special harnesses, strapped to the sides and the back of the dragons. "I count about forty plus aboard each dragon," Pike said. "Ten large dragons, and roughly fifty or more smaller ones. Those look like escorts or skirmishers."
"Say forty troops not counting the dragon crew, ten of those means around 400 soldiers," Frank calculated. "Most likely all are veterans or Knight class warriors."
"Let's just shoot them down while they are still some distance away," Pike suggested. "Looking at their flight path, they would be passing north of us and most likely will swing in and land at our rear."
"Missiles or railguns?" Frank rubbed his chin as he debated between the two weapons. "I suspect they probably have some kind of magical shielding, they must have learned from the previous time."
Pike nodded, "One thing is for sure, they ain't stupid for some low tech pukes."
"Railguns than, we can afford the ammo," Frank grinned wickedly. "Direct Guns One and Two to engage the transport dragons."
Pike shook his head at Frank's gleeful expression. "You just wanna play with the new toys."
"Hey, its been down for servicing for so long," Frank argue his point, "Now it is its trial under fire."
The two modified Mitsubishi XLM 5 megawatts Point Defense Laser turrets, which was salvaged and turned rail gun emplacements, finally had the chance to prove its worth. After weeks of tampering and redesigns, it was finally able to be fired in anger.
The gun loader manually slammed in the 105mm discarding sabot anti-dragon shot into the chamber of the railgun and turning the chamber hatch shut. "Ready!" The loader yelled.
The gunner peered through his gun sights, and the gun laying system calculated distance and heading, using the fire-control radar which displayed the information on the target's azimuth, elevation, range and range rate on the targeting screen.
The gunner laid the sights over the predicted dots and squeezed the butterfly trigger, and a dull thump echoed within the turret followed by the whine of the electromagnets discharging the build up static electricity.
Gun Two fired a second later, and five seconds later, Gun One fired again, followed by Two, again and again.
The kinetic energy penetrator exited the railgun barrel at a velocity of 3,675 m/s, the crack of its passage through the air caused shockwaves as it ripped through the air causing a sonic boom.
The penetrator rod fired from Gun One flew directly at the center of mass of the leading dragon, and a magic circle appeared just before it impacted the dragon. A shockwave erupted from the kinetic energy given off by the penetrator and the magic shield flickered. Five seconds later, a second sabot slammed into the shield again, followed by another five seconds later.
The magic shield fractured and exploded as the third penetrator rod slammed into it, and the crew of the dragon panicked, they made the dragon dive down to dodge the attacks but was too late as the fourth armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot clipped the hindquarters of the dragon, despite a glancing hit, the kinetic energy imparted, rent off the dragon's rear legs and tail, effecting a dying screaming from the beast and sending it into a death spiral to the ground.
A second dragon exploded into chunks of meat and broken bodies of the soldiers onboard as its magic shields failed, and the remaining eight dragons including the confused escorts scattered, diving for cover and taking evasion maneuvers.
The gunner tracked the diving dragons, the turret servos traversed the turret at 100 degrees per second, and the gunner fired when the lock on tone beeped.
In less than five minutes, all the ready ammunition of armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot or APFSDS were used up, and the loader scrambled out of the turret, screaming at the nearby support crew to bring more APFSDS up.
The crew piloting the dragons took the opportunity in the lull to close the distance over the mountain, planning to use the mountain as cover. The smaller dragons couldn't fly that high, instead, they hug as close to the terrain as possible, aiming for the Pass directly.
Gunner/Commander Newt of Gun One whooped with satisfaction as he saw his shots took down two of the large dragons, he used to be a ballista operator back in the day of the Goldrose Army. He yelled to his loader who was busy dragging in bundles of APDSDS shots from a support crew outside the hatch. "Hey, Taki, just load the canisters shots first, the smaller dragons are almost onto us!"
The loader, Taki yelled, "Argh we need more space for ammo and maybe another loader!" He hoisted the bundle of three penetrator rods onto the inside of the turret and lifted up a large canister from the ammo racks. He shoved the canister into the mouth of the gun chamber and closed the breach, yelling, "LOADED!"
A high pitch whine followed by a chest pounding thud could be felt, and the canister containing 1150 lead balls dispersed out upon exiting the muzzle at 1710 m/s, like a giant shotgun, swatting off several of the smaller dragons as they attempted to close in over the mountain tops. The rest scattered, some keeping as low to the ridgeline, while others went as low as the treetops, trying to dodge from the 'deadly bee magic'.
"LOADED!" Taki yelled again, as he reached for another canister shot. The gun whined and thumped, spitting out its load of grapeshot, sending another bunch of dragons spiraling down. Despite both guns best efforts to shoot down the dragons, dozens slipped pass, their crews threw firebombs down, setting the Pass defensives on fire.
Thick black smoke billowed out from the incendiaries within the Pass, the smoke providing cover for the larger dragons to glide in closer to land their cargo. One of the larger dragons flared its wing as it attempted to reduce speed and land directly in the middle of the two walls, ate a shotgun blast directly from Gun Two. Its body parts and blood painted the entire courtyard and wall dark red with stinky blood and guts.
The remaining six heavy dragons spread out, some landing on the roofs of concrete structures, others just crash landed, spilling their live cargo out like toys. The Marines took the opportunity while the Empire soldiers were recovering from the landings, rapidly fired their Magelocks, creating a killing zone. The dragons spread their body and wings as wide as possible to protect the men, soaking up the bullets and crying tears of pain.
Frank cursed, "Alright, tell the Valkryies we need close air support now! Get them to hit the front of the walls, don't let the enemy pile up at the gates!" He gave his commands to the communication operator who nodded and started speaking urgently into the boom mic.
"They are inside the compound," Pike reported, "So far the boys at Beta are pinning them down, but sooner or later, they gonna cast some shitty spells and break out."
"Send in the Hundred and First," Frank decided after considering that they might be facing Knights class soldiers. "Have the Marines on site support them."
Pike nodded and headed towards the exit, "I am going out for some air, it's getting stuffy as hell in here."
"Go get some for me," Frank grinned, "And don't buy the farm yet, I still got tons of paperwork waiting on your desk!"
"With all respect, Sir, fuck paperwork! I rather die!"