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The Rock ripped his dented helm off his bald head and wiped away the dribble of blood that trickled out over his face. He glared with unsuppressed anger at the enemy for causing the destruction of the majority of his forces with just a simple ploy.

Now he was trapped in the enemy's tunnels with barely a quarter of his Legion still with him. Hundreds of other Imperial soldiers were trapped here and there with his men. He couldn't advance in the tunnels due to those cursed Dragon's Breath spells blocking him while if his men were to climb over the tunnels, the enemies' cursed thunder spells will kill them.

And retreating wasn't much of a choice either, as they will be targeted by those screaming death spells in the open. Even the path of retreat towards their camp was blocked off by raging fire that gave off thick black smoke that covered the entire horizon!

For the first time in his many years of campaigning, he started to feel a sense of dread and defeat. The cursed Dragon's Breath was appearing closing to his position. Even his mightly Black Scorpions could not even stand such a fearsome spell at such close quarters!

Nor his powerful Bronze Men could even break out of this deadlock! And he barely has a dozen left with him now, the rest of his Bronze Men's conditions were unknown.

He looked at his loyal troops' trusting expressions and made up his mind. "Brothers of the Black Scorpions! We fought across many a battlefield together. We drank and bled together! Now we faced the toughest challenge ever!"

"Beyond that rise is the enemies stronghold!" The Rock pointed over the enemy lines. "We managed to get this far with the blood of our brothers. Do you want to retreat back?"

"NOO!" The men chorused, their emotions riled up.

"Than we shall advance! For we, the Black Scorpions have known no defeat ever!"

"NO DEFEAT!" The soldiers roared out and under the cover of magical smoke and spells, they climbed over the trenches over and rushed out in a mass to attack the enemy lines.

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UN Forward Trench Alpha Two

Mills and his men had managed to reclaim some part of the forward trenches when they heard a loud warcry and he saw from the trench line still occupied by the Imperials suddenly broke out like a dam as the Imperial troops in black armor flooded out from the cover of the trenches.

For a moment there, Mills couldn't believe his eyes. The Imperials were charging headlong directly at the machine gun nests!

"Have they all gone crazy?" Mills asked. "Well, since they are offering their lives to the MGs... Let's pick up the pace here!"

The Marines were very familiar with the network of trenches while compared to the Imperials who stumbled blindly around the confusing turns and bends. Marines armed with flamers jogged forward and in pairs, they turned the trenches before them into flames, forcing any Imperials to retreat back in terror.

Once the flamers had done their jobs, a couple of Marines will lob grenades down the trenches packed with panicking Imperials and the blast of the grenades will shock and stun those not killed or wounded by the shrapnel.

Mills urged his men to assault harder as the sudden charge had caught the MG nests off guard. If the Imperials managed to cross the lines, they will get back into the trenches and the Marines will have to backtrack to retake the trenches again!

The fighting was fierce in the trenches as pockets of Imperials troops and 'Terminators' made a stand in the narrow confines. Mills had to use his flamers to burn down walls of spears and shields in his path and when the flamers ran out of fuel, he directed volleys of rifle fire and grenades to break down any resistance he faced.

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UN Secondary Trench Line

The .50 cal machine gun nests were sited along the second line of defense, serving as both anti infantry and anti dragon roles. As the gunners stared in surprise at the sudden appearance of smoke cover that came out from the front trenches occupied by the enemy.

"Holy shit!" The gunners stared at the figures appearing out from the dense smoke cloud. "They are charging us! Open fire!"

The land between the two trench lines was covered with lines of barbwire that purpose was to channel the enemy into a kill zone. It was only effective against unarmed or lightly armed troops but against the better equipped Black Scorpion Legion soldiers, who had full plate mail, the sharp barbs weren't so effective.

The Black Scorpions barreled through the barbed wire which only hindered them slightly as they stopped to untangle themselves from the barbs. Others used their shields to create a path among the barbed wire to cross.

Bolts of red hot tracer rounds stitched across the charging Black Scorpions covered by the smoke cloud. The high powered .50 cal rounds ignored the smoke and the armor of the Imperials, tearing men into lifeless chunks of meat without any regards.

Those Imperial troops lucky to be behind a Battlemage, managed to survive longer due to the arcane barriers brought up by the mages. They weathered the punishing fire as much as possible as they attempted to cross the hundred meter expanse of killing ground.

Faced with the deadly gunfire, the Imperials sought whatever cover they could with the terrain. Some even hugged the ground as they tried to crawl amongst the dead and craters filled with bloody mud.

The desperate Imperials tried to crawl on the ground that turned into mud by the blood the seeped to the ground. Their heavy armor encumbered them greatly, and many soldiers abandoned their armor to be able to crawl faster.

The Black Scorpions soldiered on despite the horrifying loses they sustained in the charge, their eyes filled with fervent and grim determination to get to their enemies.

Just as they were about to pass the last fifteen meters to the enemy lines, shrieks came from the skies as the mortar batteries had re zeroed into their positions and the bombardment of hell began again.

-----

The Rock laid half prone on the bloody mud in a crater made by one of those cursed spells of the rebels. His magnificent armor with all its arcane runes barely protected him from the deadly thunder spells.

A half dozen of his Life Guards clustered around him protectively, they were his only remaining personnel guards out of fifty. Too many had sacrificed themselves to protect him. Now they stayed low under the scant offerings of cover from the shallow crater, their eyes watching all directions as they tried to spot the enemies' deadly spells.

The Rock jerked up as he heard the telltale screams of the spells that came from the skies and he cursed, "All is lost! We have lost this battle!"

"Retreat at once, tell all the Battlemages still alive to make as much smoke as possible to cover our retreat!" He ordered while his Life Guards prepared to escort him out to safety.

Thunderclaps erupted all over the skies and death claimed the lives of the men directly under the air bursting mortars while cries of retreat spread among the remaining Imperials and they fell back in panic under the cover of smoke made by their mages.

The Rock escorted by his Life Guards ran as fast as they could down the slope towards the cover of the forest that was still smoking and burning when suddenly a whizz screamed passed them and the ground before a group of Imperials in front of them erupted upwards with flames and smoke.

He paused and he turned around to see what kind of mage cast that spell and he was dumbstruck when he saw what was coming out from the enemy lines.

-----

UN Trench Charlie Three

"UP!"

"FIREE!" Sergeant Sath roared out as he glued his eyes at the sighting device switched to infrared mode. The Manned Armored Walker shook as the 3" turret boomed, sending a shell downrange at the fleeing Imperials.

Despite the clouds of smoke, the MAW's commander and gunner could see with the infravision onboard their walker.

The command was given for them to sally out from their hull down positions and chase down the routed Imperials.

Sath grinned as he watched his screen flash white and the clump of moving white spots remained still on the ground before he lasered another target and sent the info to his gunner.

The two MAWs trotted out from their positions and easily strolled over the trench lines, their 3" turrets swiveling and erupting with eardrum bursting roars.

The Imperials seeing two such monsters appearing out of nowhere finally broke down both physically and mentally. They threw away their weapons and armor and ran, ignoring the flying bullets and shrapnel, only intending to put themselves as far as they could from these monsters!

Other dropped on their knees and surrendered, some even curled up into a fetal position and cried non stop as their minds broke from the horrors they witnessed today.

"Zero One to Zero Two, over," The radio crackled, interrupting Sath's thoughts.

"Zero Two, send,"

"Zero One, take the left flank and mop up all enemy elements," The voice of Sath's commander came in clearly. "How copy?"

"Roger, advance left and destroy, out!"

"Go left!" Sath ordered and tapped with his booted feet on the left shoulder of the pilot who sat in a capsule just located at his feet.

His MAW, Unit Zero Two, hastily repaired from the aftermath of the fight in the plains, turned slowly as each leg of the spider tank moved one by one to rotate the entire hull. The 3" turret on the top remained its facing at the enemy, firing at targets of opportunity.

Once in position, Sath ordered the pilot to advance forward and all guns to engage the enemy. Whizz and bangs rang dully against the hull as some brave soul loose arrows, bolts, and spells at them.

The pilot, Clove laughed at the useless of the Imperial's resistance. "Our armor has been upgraded since the last time we fought against that damn snake!"

"Your puny spells and arrows are useless! WAHAHhahaha!" He laughed madly as he aimed the MAW directly at a group of resisting Imperials.

He grinned wickedly as his sights lined up on the enemy and he squeezed the red triggers on his control sticks. Instantly the blunt nose of the MAW erupted out in twin jets of fires that reached as far as seventy meters!

The flames washed over the panicking Imperials and when the flames receded, several burning figures danced madly as fire glued to their bodies, turning them into dancing pyres.

Clove laughed evilly again at the sight, he had the crew replaced his twin forward guns with a pair of flamers instead. He had seen the Marines armed with flamers clearing the cultists' dens and was very impressed with that weapon. Hence he begged and cajoled his commander constantly who gave in to his request in the end and he happily had the ground crew swap out his guns.

The Imperials seeing the monsters spewing flames like a dragon ran madly away from their approach, screaming terror.

"Lord Actual to all sally forces, procced to the enemy encampment, search and destroy! If possible capture the enemy supplies, if not burn them all!"

The two MAW, together with half a dozen half tracks and jeeps in support, advanced swiftly towards the forest, chasing the Imperials. They skipped the stretch of forest that was burning and charged towards the enemy camp that was boiling in confusion.

They broke past the fleeing Imperials and came within sight of the enemy encampment that had a wooden log wall for protection which the MAWs easily crashed through the flimsy walls and their 3" guns blew up the defensive ballista and arrow towers lining the perimeter of the camp.

The demoralized Imperial defenders tried to put up a fight but were swiftly crushed by the firepower of the MAWs and they threw their weapons down and offered their surrender.

"Clove! Stop burning the damn camp with those farking flamers of yours, you manic! They are surrendering! CO wants their supplies!"

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