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The City of Silverton, Main Gates, Lower Bailey

"Do not falter!" A Knight Commander cried out as he rallied the Imperial troops. He raised his silver blade in the air which caught the sunlight, painting a pose of heroism. "We are the Mighty! We are the Shield! We are the Sword! For the Empire!"

Roused by the Knight Commander's rally cry, the Imperial soldiers locked their shields together and stood before the huge gates of the city, prepared to hold their ground. Roars of thunder could be heard beyond the walls and screams of wounded and dying could equally be heard.

Troops rushed forward carrying heavy logs to brace against the gates to prevent them from being hammered open. A couple of trolls with spiked slave collars and their arms and legs dangling thick chains lent their strength against the gates.

"Ready yourselves!" The Knight Commander called out to the shield wall which had deployed inside the gateway while a company of crossbowmen aimed their crossbows over the wall of shields. The gateway was roughly a hundred steps from the gate to the exit which had a portcullis ready to drop down. And beyond the exit was the lower bailey, an open courtyard filled with Imperial soldiers and another smaller gate barring the way to the city proper.

But unfortunately for the Knight Commander was unable to predict that the attackers would destroy the city gates in a mere heartbeat.

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Outskirt of the City of Silverton Main Gates, 8th Marine Battalion, 'D' Company

The team of Marines inside a gun pit, fussed over a thick fat tube mounted on the top of a tripod. The short stubby tube looked similar to the Marine's RPG - 1 except that the tube was fatter, shorter and heavier.

The maw of the tube was just set over the tip of the gun pit and the gunner sat on the dirt wet with dew, his eye stuck to the targeting scope. The spotter next to him yelled out, "Range, four fifty!"

The Marine gunner sighted the weapon and placed the dotted sights with the number '400' slightly above the middle of the gates in the distance. "Stand clear!"

"Clear!" The rest of the team scurried to the side, away from the zone of the backblast.

"One round away!" The gunner squeezed the trigger and a massive blast of flames erupted from the rear of the recoilless rifle while a dart flashed out with a crack. The 88 mm recoilless rifles were a new addition to the Marines, especially air flown to Falledge to support the Marines' airborne assault on the Emperor. The Marines chosen for the weapon had only a few hours of guidance on the usage of the weapon before they were loaded up and airdropped into enemy territory.

The 88 × 246 mm shell screamed out from the tube at a speed of roughly 250 meters per second downrange. Less than two seconds, the Hight Explosive Dual Purpose round squashed its head against the thick weathered gates made out of ironwood and detonated. There was no flames, just a cloud of grey smoke and flying splinters as the gates disintegrated from the 88 mm shell.

"Reloading!" The assistant gunner cried out as he twisted the rear hinge handle and swung the rear breech out. He extracted the empty shell casing and slammed in a new shell. "Ready!"

"Stand clear!" The gunner yelled.

"Clear!"

"One round away!"

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The two trolls resting their weight against the gate never knew what killed them as suddenly the gate burst into smoke and splinters. Despite the thick leathery skin of the trolls, the spalling from the gate sent hundreds of wooden splinters into their bodies, but that did not kill them. The resulting kinetic energy and shockwave from the exploding shell, dumped their energies into the Trolls' body, turning their internals into jelly.

The bodies of the Trolls toppled backward, crashing any Imperials that were lucky to survive the initial shockwave and spalling. The blast had knocked the shield wall down and in the gateway's enclosed area, the shockwave had broken many soldiers' hearing. Some of the weaker soldiers even died from the sudden overpressure caused by the explosion.

The second 88 mm shell screamed through the shattered gates and detonated against the rear walls of the gateway, blowing away a large portion of the gatehouse and the portcullis. The mangled remains of the portcullis fell down, further crashing more of the Imperials under its weight.

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"A Company! Advance!" Captain Gavin, once an ex Knight Captain, now Company Commander of A company of the 8th Battalion, roared out as he saw the city gates disintegrating. His men cried out as one entity as they rosed from cover and charged.

"WAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH!"

Bursts of machine gun fire covered their charge as the MG teams swept the tops of the wall with tracers and lead, blowing chunks of masonry and any exposed heads off. A company Marines rushed right up to the walls and stacked up at both sides of the huge gate, waiting for the smoke and debris to clear.

Gavin ran along the wall, passing by his men and paused right at the edge of the shattered gate. He took a quick peek in and could only see smoke and darkness but he could hear cries and voices of Imperials inside the gateway.

"Use grenades!" He called out to the nearby Marines who nodded in acknowledgment. Several of them quickly held an egg shaped grenade in their hands and pulled the pins. "Fire in the hole!"

The grenades were tossed into the gateway, and seconds later, several ear bursting thunder cracks echoed out. "GO GO GO!"

The Marines charged in and saw dozens and dozens of figures milling around in confusion. The light from the end of the gateway was bright enough for the Marines to see once the smoke had dispersed. They fired at the confused crowd discriminately, as they advanced as fast as they could to secure the gate before the enemy recovers.

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The Knight Commander's expression was bleak as the sudden explosions broke the gate. He stared open mouthed at the destruction and wondered what kind of magic spell was capable of overwhelming the magic defenses carved on the gates!

The second explosion shocked him more as it broke the heavy portcullis, sending it crashing down on the side and crushing anyone under it. "FORM UP A SHIELD WALL HERE!!!"

The confused soldiers stationed at the lower bailey barely followed his orders, making him scream at the men till they presented their shields towards the gate. As the men formed up, they could hear several thunderous cracks echoing out from the gateway, followed by screams. The men's faces paled as their minds started to wonder what kind of horror was breaking through the gates.

"Archers! Make ready!" The Knight Commander called out next. The bowmen and crossbowmen quickly stationed themselves on the internal walls, aiming down at the gateway's exit.

More thunderous cracks echoed out from the gateway and flashes of light could be seen, and the shield wall nervously shifted back. The Knight Commander growled angrily at the men. "STAND FAST MEN! YOU ARE THE SHIELD! THE SWOR-!?"

Suddenly, fiery red bolts erupted out from within the gateway and the shield wall collapsed. Sparks and loud clanks burst out from the collapsing shield wall as men screamed and dropped. The bow and crossbowmen panickily loosed their arrows and bolts into the gateway in response.

The Knight Commander in charge of the gate defenses was shocked, uncertain of what could have killed off hundreds of his men in just several heartbeats! His fury rosed when he saw dozens of shabby looking blue green dressed barbarians with paint on their faces fanning out from the gateway.

They spread out and kneeled down, and those demonic thunder weapons roared and his men died! The Knight Commander screamed out his fury and pointed his sword at the barbarians. "CHARGE! KILL THEM ALL!"

He charged and held his blade in a two handed stance while his retinue and nearby soldiers followed his lead. "KILL!!!"

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Gavin stepped out from the shadow of the gateway and into the sun. The first thing he saw as the huge pile of dead, laying like discarded armor in a haphazard way on the courtyard. Next, he noticed the archers on the wall tops, which he quickly pointed and ordered, "Clear the tops of archers!"

The Marines hearing his command switched their fire to the battlements on the wall. Their accurate and higher rate of fire overwhelmed the archers quickly but not before suffering a few casualties.

"CHARGE! KILL THEM ALL!"

Gavin snapped his attention to the cry and saw a group of heavily armored Imperials charging their way across the courtyard. He even noted there were a couple of trolls behind them, lugging along a tree log.

"Machine guns!" He called out and an Orc Marine carried a machine gun came up next to him. "You know what to do!"

"Yes, Sir!" The Orc gave a bloodthirsty grin and he stood there like that character in that war movie called Lambo or something, hip firing his machine gun like it weighed nothing.

The charge of the Imperials faltered as they slammed into a wall of lead. The magic barrier they had cast burst into sparks as the bullets hammered into it, depleting the caster's mana rapidly. Finally unable to withstand the onslaught of bullets, the barrier popped and without the protection of the barrier, the Imperials barely advanced another step when they were turned into bloody dancing mannequins.

"RPGs!" Gavin yelled next. "Take out those Trolls!"

The whoosh of rockets replied to him as bazooka armed Marines fired the shoulder held weapons. The Trolls were easily knocked down and killed by the number of rocket shots. "Platoon 1! Take the left tower!"

"Platoon Two, take the right!" Gavin ordered as the situation within the courtyard was stabilized. "Platoon Three hold the yard here and Four, secure that gate!"

Next, he gestured his radioman over, "Chancer Actual to Lord Actual, Gate is secured!"

"Lord Actual, copy that! Stand by for reinforcements!"

Gavin returned the radio set to his radioman and turned his attention to the medics. "Can we move the wounded out?"

"Should not be much of a problem, Sir!" The medic replied. "Once we stabilize them we can move the wounded out."

"Good! Do it!" Gavin turned his attention back to the courtyard as he could hear gunfire, most likely from the platoons clearing the gatehouse and towers of further resistance. Soon after, he could hear their reinforcements coming in as other companies started entering.

"Heh, the Imperials are so farked!"

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The City of Silverton, Citadel, Great Hall

The Emperor sat on the throne with his head resting on one arm as he watched the city's commanders and ministers quarrel amongst themselves. The Governor stood below the Emperor on one side, constantly wiping the sweat off his face with a scented hand towel.

"Enough of this charade!" The Emperor sighed. "Order all your household guards and what other soldiers you have left and reinforce the Citadel."

"By now, my Army on the North would have been notified by the attack and they will march down to support us."

The commanders and ministers all bowed to the Emperor and praised. "Your majesty is most wise! Long live the Emperor!"

"Go and do what you need to do," The Emperor waved the crowd away.

Once the crowd had disappeared, the Emperor asked, "Who are the attackers?"

"It would seem to be the barbarians from the... United Nations," A voice spoke out from the shadows.

"Interesting," The Emperor leaned back on his throne. "How did they get here?"

"By air, my Emperor," The shadow replied. "They used some kind of magic to drop from the skies... hence that was how they escaped our notice."

"I see..." The Emperor's eyes narrowed and he suddenly laughed. "Good, good! Such a wonderful opponent! I will enjoy crushing them even more now!"

"Order the Bronze men in! We will use this opportunity to test the results of... their new training and crush these... barbarians... here in this city once and for all!"

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A note from neo Koh

Advance chapters are available on Pat-reon

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Donate/Support me via Paypal now!

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The 88mm recoilless rifle is based off the 84mm Carl Gustaf which I had the most unfun experience of carrying one during a 24 km road march...


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neo Koh

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