UN, Falledge, City Walls
The city of Falledge, once a simple border town of the Bluewood Empire that adventurers and local residents used as a gateway into the Uncharted Forest were now in a state of high alert. The border city defenses that had stood against countless goblin and monster attacks were upgraded over the winter season in preparation for an invasion by the Imperials.
A new outer layer of defensives was constructed beyond the city walls, made of concrete and wire. A new berm wall, with fortified bunkers and overhead protection, barely three stories tall surrounded the city, leaving a small stretch of land between the new and old walls.
The local SDF troops were made up mostly of former guards, adventurers, and soldiers. The SDF three month training program was split into two segments. The first segment was the integration of languages, cultures, and technology.
The recruits were placed in a crash course of one and a half months of learning, re education and military conditioning. In that period, they were taught basic English, Maths, and Science and Technology. Those will lower amplitude on certain subjects were pushed into learning how to drive and maintenance of machinery.
After that period was over, they will officially start their military training for the next one and a half months, learning commands, small unit tactics, fighting from fixed positions and foremost how to operate firearms.
It was an eye opener for all the new recruits as they had to learn many strange things and even had to curb their urge to charge and rush at an enemy. For those who had fighting experience with swords and spears were mostly slumped by the new tactics they had to learn with firing with firearms.
Unlike the Marines' training, the idea was to have a militia force ready to be called up into action at any time. Hence the mentality of the trainers was that these were 'civilian soldiers' and the discipline was not as highly enforced compared to the Marines.
And the weapons and equipment issued with mostly older variants of existing Marine gear. There still large stockpiles of black powder ammunition and the first generation M1 'BP' Magelock rifles and these were issued to the SDF troops while the Marines had already switched to the second generation M1 Magelock rifles using smokeless gunpowder.
Most of the SDF who signed up were based on a twelve year contract which they were required to serve in active duty for two years before they were reassigned to the reserved service for ten years. Once in the reserved service, they are required to report twice yearly for a one month 'reservice' where they undergoing refresher courses and military training and duty.
Also during their time in the reserved service, if there was a time war or any emergency, they will be called up to active duty. Other than that, any SDF members not in active duty are free to continue with their normal lives as civilians.
The Department of Manpower of the SDF will also do its best to ensure they assign the troops to their native cities, so as to easier allow the SDF members to revert back to their civilian lives once their service was over.
SDF Corporal Bock leaned his beefy bulk against the parapet of the bunker he was assigned to with his squad. He was a blacksmith before signing up to join the SDF after the city was liberated from the Imperials by the UN.
He was almost part of the local resistance force that helped overthrow the Imperial's control away from the city and now, he was a Corporal with a squad of six under his command. He knew his rank was one tier lower compared to a UN Marine as the SDF was considered a civilian militia.
He was torn between joining the Marines and SDF when the call for recruitment came from the UN. But in the end, hearing the terms of enlistment from both sides, he decided to join the SDF as it could allow him to remain with his family even when he was in active duty.
During training, his mind was suddenly exposed to so many new and unconventional concepts and ideas that he was certain no one could ever think of except the Gods. 'Tek no logee' that makes life convenient for the common people was something that no noble nor king would ever develop in their lifetime!
He saw the factories producing steel in such amounts that were mindboggling during the orientation tour. The strange wagons and flying machines, even the craftsmanship of tools was so finely crafted that he as a blacksmith of many years could never dream of comparing nor compete in!
He loved the town he grew up in, He had seen the golden age when the town was still part of the Goldrose Kingdom where hundreds of adventurers and merchants flooded the town to explore the Uncharted Forest for its resources.
But the Imperials invaded and the Kingdom fell. In a span of several years, many changes enforced by the Imperials took place. Adventurers were forced to register with the Adventurer's Guild introduced by the Empire which then took a cut of any jobs they did. Harsh taxes were enforced, so did the forced conscripting of men from the farms.
Slavery grew rampant, and it was easy to get lose your freedom forever if you offend someone powerful, and they catch you and sell you off somewhere as a slave. Slavers hoping to make some quick gold, frequently roamed the night to catch any unwary people and soon the locals were fearful to travel alone in the streets.
The nobles were worse, as they blatantly ignored any law as long as gold was present. They took what they wanted, destroy things as they wished and treated the common people like dirt. At times, Bock though of the nobles as worse than bandits.
Thus when someone approached him, asking if he had the power to change his situation, would he take it. And he did, with many others. When the UN came, he was skeptic at first but soon was won over by their weaponry and tactics, but most of all, he was wowed by the fact that the exiled Princess of Goldrose was the wife of the leader of the UN.
It was still too early for Bock to judge if the UN was a better choice compared to the Imperials yet but after going into the SDF, his hopes of a better future were truly satisfied after witnessing the wonder of 'tek no logee'!
"Corporal Bock!" Someone suddenly called out, disrupting his thoughts. He turned to see what the issue was and saw one of his men pointing out to the distance. "Riders! Lots of them!"
First Imperial Army, Order of Shadows
A handsome looking knight with a lazy smile on his face was urging his war dragon to gallop faster as the walls of the city came closer. On one hand, he held a kite shield embossed with the emblem of a grinning skull and in his other hand, he held onto a glowing ball of flames.
Behind him came the rest of the Order of Shadows, riding their own land dragons. The ground trembled as the heavy war mounts pounded the earth with their clawed feet as they charged in a spectacular 'V' formation.
Each rider had a semi transparent dome covering their bodies as the Knights themselves cast protected spells before attacking the city. The Knight in the lead with a smile laughed at the stupidity of the defenders as the land around the city defenses were flat and empty, which gave cavalry a huge advantage.
He wasn't afraid of any traps by the stupid peasants, as he had a trap detection spell before him constantly checking the terrain for any pitfalls or magic traces. The flat terrain made it easy for his war dragon to close the distance towards the first tier of defenses which the walls looked to be hastily constructed by some kind of magic.
He raised his hand holding the ball of flames and the rest of the Order followed suit and as they were just roughly two hundred paces away, the walls of the defenses exploded into thunder and smoke.
"CEASE FIRE! CEASE FIRE!!" Bock yelled at his men who had nervously fired their rifles at the frightening cavalry charge coming straight for them. Bock could feel the thumping of the hooves resonnating in his chest as the enemy Knights came closer and closer.
"WAIT FOR THE GOD DAMN COMMAND TO FIRE!" He smacked the helmet of his man who had fired in panic. "Wait till they come closer!"
Bock could hear the same words being called out from along the walls as some officers with brains were yelling with a loudspeaker device. "Remember your training! Don't worry about them Imperials coming up the walls! Those land dragons can't fly!"
Just as he finished his words, the enemy cavalry suddenly split into two forces, one going left and the other right and at first, he thought the enemy was holding torches in their hands but now he saw that it was not torches, but fireballs!
The Imperial Knights seemed to casually wave their hands and the balls of flames in their hands flew into the skies and like arrows, they paused at the zenith of their flight upwards before dropping down like flaming raindrops.
"TAKE COVER!" Bock yelled at his men and he threw himself down into the bunker away from the firing slits of the bunker. A series of loud whoosh slammed against the bunker and screams and cries of panic came from all along the walls.
Bock could feel the wave of superheated air, similar to the heat coming from his furnace wash over his back followed by someone screaming in the bunker next to him. He jerked around to the scream and saw one of his dumb ass men did not take cover and had looked out of the firing slits as the fireballs hit them.
His man was screaming and clawing at his melted face and rolling on the hard concrete floor in pain. The others frightened by the sudden supernatural violence stared in shock at the scene. Bock hissed at his men and quickly ordered, "Hold him down! Call for the medic! Stop him from making his wounds worse!"
His men came to their senses and quickly held down their struggling comrade while Bock took out a canteen of water to wash and hopefully cool the wounds of his man. He could hear rifle barks breaking out all around him as the defenders returned fire at the Knights.
Finally, the wounded man stopped his struggles as he passed out from shock and Bock yelled to the gawking troops. "Man your guns! Stop staring! GO!"
A stressed looking youngster came running in with a red cross bordered by white on both sides of his helmet came running into the bunker. He stared at the wounded man on the floor and visibly paled before he bent over to administer first aid.
Bock sighed and picked up his weapon and joined his men at the firing slits. What greeted him was a scene of smoke and flames. Through the gaps of gun smoke, he could see the Imperials riding off and looping back to begin another magic attack.
He raised his rifle up and took aim, and fired. Instantly a rotten foul smelling smoke covered his view and he felt the heavy kick of his rifle. He worked the rifle bolt and waited for the smoke to clear just as he was taught and tried to find out if he had hit his target.
But the battle was too chaotic and messy and with the gunsmoke blocking his view, it was hard to tell what was happening. He only knew that the Imperials cavalry were doing the wheeling sweep again and he yelled, "TAKE COVER!"