Dasar yawned as he stretched his cold body after a morning of standing guard at the drawbridge. He rubbed his cold hands together with the shaft of his spear and stomped his fur lined boots to relieve them.
His partner. Jun, leaned against the wall and as close as he could to the dying embers of a fire brazier while hugging his spear and half dozing away.
Dasar rubbed his wind bitten face and glanced up to the sky which had started to brighten and suddenly there was a clatter of metal. He turned to the noise and saw Jun had slumped over on the ground and knocked off the brazier.
Dasar laughed thinking that Jun had fallen asleep on his feet and fell down. He reached out to help his friend up when an 8 gram, 6.5 mm cupronickel coated lead bullet slammed through the thin low quality steel and leather of his helm.
The bullet velocity despite lowered slightly by the suppressor was way more than enough to penetrate the steel helmet of the guard and drilling through the skull before exiting out of the other side of the helmet and spending the remainder of its energy against the thick gates companied by a small spray of blood and brain matter.
Several shadowy figures emerged from the moat that surrounded the wall. Their damp uniforms stuck on their bodies as they quickly cover the short distance to the walls.
Sergeant Miles slammed his body against the city wall and checked the two kills before nodding to his men. "Get rid of those coals." He said with disgust as the red hot coals were burning and cooking the fallen guard who had knocked them over himself as he fell.
"Raider One to Lord Actual, in position over." Mills reported his progress to the Battalion Commander, Captain Joesph Tokin, who was just recently promoted from First Lieutenant to Captain to command 2nd Battalion.
"Lord Actual to Raider One, what's your sit rep?" The Battalion Commander asked.
"Raider One, So far so good," Mills replied. "Guards surrounding the drawbridge and gate has been neutralized."
He looked up at the drawbridge and said, "No alarms as of yet. Over."
Joseph replied back, "Raider One, Lord Actual, secure the Gatehouse and clear the two gate towers, how copy?"
"Raider One, roger that. out!" Mills nodded and gestured to his section into action.
"Alright guys, we are gonna up the walls!" Mills said and his men took out grappling hooks from their backpacks. The hooks were fired with compressed air, making a dull thump. The three pronged hooks shot up with a whine as the cables whipped out after them.
The rubber padded prongs hit the top of the wall and the Raiders reeled them in, the prongs barely making any noise. Once the prongs were holding firm, they attached a roll of folded up ladder that self deployed itself upwards with tiny motors running up the cables.
"Go, go, go!" Mills hissed as they secured the ladders to the ground.
Mills followed his men up and they climbed the ladders as fast and silently as they could. The city walls reached a height of roughly nine meters and the men made the climb in less than two minutes.
Vaulting over the battlements, Mills saw his men had spread out in a security cordon, their suppressed M2 Magesplitter already claimed the lives of the guards that were dozing away.
"Raiders! Split up and hit those towers!" Mills whispered and his men split into three groups of two and set off to the towers on each side of the wall.
At the same time, he led one of the teams and headed into the walls towards the gatehouse where the controls for the drawbridge were.
They found a stout looking wooden door reinforced with iron bands blocking their way into the room. One of the men tried to open the door but it was locked from inside and he shook his head at Mills silently.
"Damn, we need to breach this!"
"Raider Three to Lord Actual, guards at the port cleared, moving in to secure the port, over." The radio at the temporary command post of 2nd Battalion crackled.
"Lord Actual, Raider Four, East Gate is in our hands, over."
"Raider Two to Lord Actual, West Gate secured, no enemy contact remaining, over."
Joseph smiled as he listened to the reports coming in from the infiltration teams who were sent ahead to clear the guards and secure key entry points into the city.
Compared to how wars were waged just a year ago, this was like magic, more than magic, as magic couldn't even replicate what was being done here in the Command Post! Joseph thought.
This battlefield management and control system taught and implemented by the hoomans are short of amazing, it was complicated to understand at first but once you learn how it works, everything just falls into place!
Joseph watched the support staff move markers and icons of friendly troops on the map of the area. The map was taken just 12 hours ago by the dragons which flew overhead of the city and with a super high resolution camera.
Even as he stood there, one of the dragons was providing overwatch with thermal imagery which one of the monitors were displaying the live video feed that was going on in the unaware city.
"Lord Actual to all Raiders, good work, hold your stations while Raider One drops the bridge, over." Joseph took the handset of the radio and announced.
"Echo, Falcon, Gryphon, standby to attack," Joseph spoke into the set. "Hawk, prepare to provide support fire and hit the enemy barracks. Over."
Mills sharply gestured to his men to plant breaching charges at the door. His men quickly removed a couple of blocks of explosives and glued it against the hinges and waited for Mills's command.
Several minutes later, Mills's comms came in, "Team One, tower cleared. over."
"Team Two, tower cleared."
"Roger, Raiders rendezvous at the gates." Mills ordered. "We are going loud, make ready!"
He turned and nodded at his man who held the firing device in his hand.
"FIRE IN THE HOLE!"
The explosives were detonated by an electric primer and the door vanished in a cloud of fire and splinters. The men leaned against the pressure of the blast and they charged in a second later.
Four men were found in various stages of confusion inside the room while one laid bleeding out on the ground had a portion of the door embedded inside him.
Mills stepped over the dying man, and they shot the rest of the guards one by one. "Drop the bridge and raise the portcullis!"
At the same time, Captain Joseph's voice came in over the comms, "All Raiders report! What is going on?"
"Raider One to Lord Actual! Had to go loud," Mills explained as his men worked the levers and cranks for the bridge. "Door is bared in. Bridge is coming down now. Advise to move the rest of the boys in fast!"
"Lord Actual, roger that!"
The chains holding the bridge rattled as the lever was removed and the bridge swung down and crashed loudly against the stone ground in the early morning. If the explosion didn't wake these assholes up, that surely will do the trick, Mills thought.
"CONTACT!" Mills's comm rang out, "Team One and Two engaging enemies at the gates!"
"Go!" Mills ordered and he fired a burst at the mechanism that lifted the bridge, ensuring that the drawbridge could not be raised again. As for the portcullis, there was nothing they can do except destroying the whole thing.
Mills emerged from inside the walls and saw dozens of Empire guards already dead, lying on the streets in front of the gates. His men were prone on the top of the wall and firing in controlled aimed shots at the confused guards who woke up and came out to see what was the ruckus.
Just at this moment, several wailing screams came overhead and one of the structures they had identified to be a barracks exploded into smoke as the mortar support from Hawk Company landed around it.
"Raider One, to Hawk, on target, fire for effect!" Mills yelled into the comms.
Seconds later, another volley of mortar shells landed on the partially damaged stone structure. The mortars shells kicking up clouds of dirt and rock as High Explosive warheads destroyed the roof of the barracks.
Joseph watched the thermal imagery and saw several bright flashes on the screen where the mortars hit, and white colored bodies could be seen unmoving laying here and there.
The higher body temperature of people could be seen easily against the cold background of their surroundings while the Marines in the city all had an infrared beacon that displayed their locations.
"Target Alpha destroyed," The artillery command and control operator reported, "Switch to Target Bravo?"
Joseph nodded in confirmation to the operator who spoke in his mike to the support company's mortar batteries.
Not long, Joseph heard the thump of the mortars firing and looked at the screen where Intel had pointed out a secondary barracks for merchant or slaver guards. The cluster of white bodies flattened down on the screen as flashes of white suddenly appeared over them.
"Echo, Falcon, Gryphon, Operation Freedom is go, repeat Operation Freedom is go!"
"- Operation Freedom is go!" The message repeated over the platoon's comms clearly and the Company Lieutenant turned and grinned.
"Alright! Godslayers! MOVE OUT!"
The Marines roared out as they charged up from a prone position and onto the causeway that led to the drawbridge. The city's warning bells were ringing at this time and several fires caused by the mortars lit the city up while sleepy residents poked their heads out in confusion from windows and doorways.
The main stronghold in the middle of the city was targeted next after the outlaying barracks were bombed by the mortars which had pre sited the targets earlier in the day before. Now the airburst shells fragged the assembled knights and Imperial soldiers who mustered at the inner courtyard of the stronghold.
Several Imperial Mages attempted to shield the men but after several hits from the mortars, their mana was completely drained and the shields failed and the dying started all over again.
Small clusters of guards and Imperial soldiers approached from the alleyways and side streets as they responded to the ringing of bells, only to be taken down by accurate fire from the shotguns and bolt actions of the Marines.
The 2nd Battalion had several objectives to capture and secure, namely the Slave Pens, Stronghold, East Gate, West Gate, South Drawbridge, Docks, Warehouse District, Adventurer's Guild, Merchants Hall, and the local Governer's mansion.
The barracks and slavers accommodations were tasked to Hawk Company to destroy with mortars whose ammunition were limited as they were carried in by the dragons. After which they were to hit the Stronghold to pin any reinforcements down till the major objectives were secured, following that they will provide fire support for any calls.
2nd Battalion split its companies and platoons as they pushed in from three directions, one company from each gate. The West and East Gates each had a small, wooden bridge over the moat wide enough for a single wagon to pass and it had a mechanism that allowed the bridges to be easily destroyed by the city guards should the city be attacked.
Only the South Gate has a proper drawbridge, and with the guards silenced before they knew they were attacked, the West and East Gates were opened up for Falcon and Gryphon to enter.
Joseph smiled proudly as he looked at the stream of reports coming from all the platoons as they secured streets and crossroads of the city. The sun had just peeked out from the horizon and they have already captured over two thirds of the city already in just within an hour or so.
"Damn, I love modern warfare!"