UN Rear Trench Alpha Two, Mess Tentage
Mills ravenously wolfed down the helpings of fried hash browns and chili over grains before swiping down his mess tin with a hunk of bread. He burped out in satisfaction and dropped the mess tin into the barrel with other used tins.
Dozens of other Marines on rest rotation were gathered at the Mess tent having their mid day meal. There were also members of the voluntary corps made up from locals and ex slaves who worked as support staff like drivers and cooks mixed in with the Marines, chatting noisily away.
Mills ensured his water canteens were filled up before he exited the tent and headed to his unit's allocated bivouac. Suddenly as he almost to his unit's rest area, a siren screamed loud enough to wake the dead, followed by an announcement.
"Imminent enemy attack! All units to return back to your designated defense zones! Repeat! Imminent enemy attack! All units to return back to your designated defense zones!" The several loudspeakers mounted on poles around the rear zone of the trenches cried out where normally they would be playing some rock and roll music.
Mills cursed and he ran towards his tent shared with the senior NCOs. Some of his section had already suited up and ran past him without a word towards the entrances that led to the forward trenches.
He grabbed his body armor and weapon, before running out from the tent, strapping in his armor as he ran.
He ducked his head low as he entered the trench entrance, following the men in front of him as their boots storming loudly over the duckboards laid on the trench floor. He made a left at the first intersection and while others continued on in the maze of the trenches.
After another few turns among the communication trenches, before he arrived at Forward Trench Alpha Two, where he and his men were allocated to defend.
"What is the situation?" He asked as he swept past several Marines already up on the firing steps.
"Sarge!" A Signals corporal came up and reported. "HQ relayed information that our UAV has observed the enemy is massing for an attack, beyond the forest!"
"Got it!" He turned to the Marines gathered at the firing trench and called out for a headcount while ordering two of his men to grab more ammunition from the ammo bunker.
Mills climbed up the firing steps and looked out across the pockmarked land towards the forest and sighed. "It's gonna be a long hot day!"
Moel frowned as several men in richly embroidered tabards over their ornate plate mail stood before him with a hint of rebellion.
"My Lord," One of the men with a hint of haughtiness said. "You want us to risk our troops to save your daughter?"
The others watched with great anticipation as they knew the power of the Rothschild was waning.
"You are all powerful and rich," The man who spoke earlier said again. "Why would you need our help? We are just mere land barons! Our forces are much weaker than yours!"
Moel's face darkened as he glared at his barons before him. "You need not know the reason why just follow my orders!"
"But my Lord!" Another Baron said with a mock distressed tone. "If we lose our troops here, how will we be able to defend the land against the goblins and monsters that threaten our lands?"
"Yes! How can we protect our people if our troops suffer casualties?" The rest of the watching Barons suddenly cried out in injustice. "How will we answer to our people? Who will compensate us if our beloved homeland is ravaged by those barbaric monsters!"
"Enough!" Moel roared out angrily, unable to contain his anger. "Who is your liege lord here? You all taken an oath to service me and the Emperor! Are you rebelling now?"
"Eh..." The Barons looked at each other unease as the commander of the Scorpian Legion stood silently beside Moel. "Rebel is too harsh a word!"
"We are just worried about our lands and people!"
"Yes! Yes! How can we rebel? We are loyal to the Emperor!"
The Barons started to clamor about how loyal and concerned they are for the Emperor's subjects. Moel's frowned turned deeper and deeper and he glanced at the silent Rock next to him before he said softly, "I-"
The Rock raised an armored hand up and took a step forward as he eyed the nervous Barons through his full helm. "You have a turn of the glass to gather your men for battle. Not one sand more! Or face punishment by military law!"
The frightened Barons swallowed back any retort they wanted to say as they sensed the killing aura coming out from the Rock. "Y-yes, my lord! At once!"
Moel watched the Barons scrambled away with a gloomy expression. He needed to show these Barons what happens if they disregarded his authority!
"You ready the troops," The Rock suddenly said. "I will have my Bronze men support the attack once the enemy's strength weakened."
Moel nodded and watched the Rock walk away and whispered to himself. "I will have to deal with you too later on!"
Skies over Northern Front
The lenses of the Owleye UAV whirled and whined as it focused on the troop build up at the edge of the forest. It hovered in the skies and recorded every move of the unaware Imperials as column after column of armored infantry and cavalry marched into the forest and disappeared from the sensors of the UAV.
But it was more than enough for the Intel officers at the command bunker to gauge and estimate the strength of the enemy and also their estimated arrival time and direction of attack, allowing the Command Staff to effectively arrange and direct their defense in preparation of the attack.
The UAV continued to hum to itself happily as it watched everything happening below it, including the new arrival of a contingent of heavily armored troops that was different from the rest.
Northern Front Central Command
Joseph watched the UAV feed on the display and pointed to the image, "What do we know about this troops?"
The Intel officer assigned to Orwell's Point, frowned as he looked at the image. "We have no idea, Sir. We have received no word nor Intel regarding this. Except, that those insignia belongs to the Black Scorpion Legion."
"I heard of them before," It was Joseph's turn to frown. "They are considered to be the Emperor's elite enforcers."
"Yes, Sir," The Intel officer replied. "From our records, it should be lead by a man known as the Rock."
"Sadly we do not have any pictures of said person," The Intel officer shrugged apologetically. "But from what we know, he is kinda like the right hand man of the previous Bluewood Emperor."
"He is known to be ruthless with his enemies hence, he was nicknamed the Rock, for being emotionless," The Intel officer read off the records from his tablet. "His personnel army, the Black Scorpions Legion, is known to be a mobile and elite fighting force. It is highly trained and is very adept at assaults, achieving victory rapidly before the enemy could counter attack."
"But?" Joseph asked. "I'm hearing a but right?"
"The tactics of the Black Scorpion employs are mostly what we learned as blitz attacks," The Intel officer explained. "It is effective as long as they don't overexert themselves or having their supply lines cut."
"Hence they are not very suitable for long sieges," The officer added. "The Rock will hit us as hard as he could to achieve victory in the shortest time possible and he will use his mobility to overrun whatever that remains."
"So we hit their supply line and force a drag out war?" Joseph asked in thought. "But we do not have the manpower to sustain a long fight."
"No sir," The Intel officer smiled. "Instead, I propose we do this..."
Joseph and the rest of the command staff listened attentively to the Intel officer's suggestion and son wicked smiles appeared on all their expressions.
"Heh, it might just work out." Joseph laughed. "And maybe it will work very well after all!"
UN Forward Trench Alpha Two
"Mills!" Lt Silverstar came running over. "How's everything?"
"Sir!" Mills greeted his company commander and quoted, "God's in his heaven all's right with the world!"
"Huh?" Lt Silverstar frowned. "What is that?"
"Erm, it means that everything is fine, Sir!" Mills cheekily grinned before he whispered softly. "As long as God doesn't comes down here..."
The men sniggered as they sometimes called the company commander as God.
Lt Silverstar frowned but he choose to ignored the laughter the men gave as he saw morale was high. "I gotten word that the enemy is forming up beyond the forest, and this line will be one of their targets!"
"I expect that the firing will be hard!" Lt Silverstar addressed the troops around him. "But you are Marines! You breath war and shit bullets out!"
"So what do you do to assholes coming here to take what was ours?" Lt Silverstar roared.
"WHAT DO MARINES DO BEST?"
"AND EAT BABIES!!!"
The men laughed madly at the joke and Lt Silverstar grinned. "DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER?"
"Good!" Lt Silverstar laughed. "Kill them before they kill you! Carry on!"
"Mills," Falcon's CO gestured him over. "Watch over the boys."
"You got it," Mills nodded solemnly. "I make sure they all get to go home in one piece."
"Good. I have tasked whatever available artillery we have on be on your call," Silverstar added. "Too bad, HQ doesn't allow us to bomb the shit out of them from afar, if not we won't even need to be in this shit hole!"
"Well, Sir," Mills grinned. "You and I know that if the enemy scatters, we will be in a even worst shit!"
"True," Lt Silverstar nodded. "Well, carry on, soldier! I got to check on the rest."
Mills nodded and watched Silverstar headed away with his aides to another section of the trenches. "Damn, this waiting is killing me!"
As the summer sun rose higher in the sky, the temperature rose along with it. The Marines took shelter under overhead cover to escape the sun. Temperature rose as high as 32 degrees Celsius as the men waiting impatiently for the Imperials to attack.
Finally, an alert lookout yelled, and the Marines jolted awake from their lethargy and watched as hundreds and hundreds of bodies in shiny plate mail appear from the forest edge.
The once blood soaked ground turned into a bloody mud paste had long hardened back as the sun baked the ground. The Imperials banners fluttered weakly in the thin breeze and both sides stared at each other silently.
"FARK YA MOMMA!" Someone suddenly yelled and his voice clearly echoed across the stretch of land between the two forces.
The Marines burst out laughing and started to yell insults at the confused Imperials whom clearly were unable to understand their cursing.
Mills laughed as he watched a ripple appeared among ranks of the Imperials. "Dumb bastards must be cooking in those suits of armor."
"Keep insulting them!" Mills yelled at his men. "The longer they are in the sun, the more baked they get! HAhahaha!"
Finally, the Imperial side got back under order and a horn blew a long and mournful cry which signaled the Imperials to advance.
"Alright, boys!" Mills checked his rifle. "Here they come! Same as before! MGs hit when they are at four hundred out, rifles hold fire till they hit the hundred marker! Clear?"
The Imperials formed into a long snaking line and the mages started to cast their protection spells, stacking several spells together, strengthening the power of the magic barrier.
"Give me a fire mission!" Mills yelled at his radioman while checking his map. "Grid Nine Three Seven One Niner Two Zero One Niner!"
Several seconds later, the welcome screaming mortar shells came overhead and the dying began.