The New Kingdom of Mecca, North Eastern Region, UN Outpost Charlie One
"Why are we constantly either digging or marching?" Krew grumbled as he shoved dirt out from the marked ground. "Shouldn't the engineers be doing this kind of shit?"
Cork paused and wiped the sweat off his head. "Don't worry, you are not the only one digging here."
"The entire A Divison is digging with you," Cork said as he rammed the blade of his entrenching tool in the hard soil. "But... I don't mind a few mages with earth magic to help loosen up the ground a bit..."
As if God answered his wish, the ground around Cork and his men suddenly gave off a dim yellow green glow. Specks of mana started appearing from the earth and floated up before vanishing and the hard packed earth suddenly crumbled.
"Is this alright with you all?" Jeanne dropped her outstretched hands and asked. "I am not that well verse in earth magic..."
Krew gave the soft dirt a few stabs of his entrenching tool and gave a wide grin. "Oh... this is great! Thanks Pretty Knight!"
Jeanne blushed as she heard the soldier nicknamed her Pretty Knight. She gave a self conscious check of her attire that consisted of an heirloom plate mail over leather and padded armour. "Just.. call me Lady Jeanne!"
Krew continued to grin as he started shoving dirt in a rapid pace. "Sure thing, Pretty Knight!"
Cork shook his head as he watched his men tease the lady knight. "Alright, enough of your jokes you rascals! Since Lady Jeanne has so helpfully worked her magic to help you all, I want the fire trenches to be done before dark!"
"Awww..." The men gave a grumble as they return to work, but this time they were more energized.
"Hi," Cork greeted Jeanne as he climbed out of the trench. "What brings you here?"
"Greetings!" Jeanne replied. "I was wondering what is everyone doing. I saw you all digging away..."
Cork turned around to look at their surroundings and gestured to the city in the distance and explained. "High Command has passed down the order for us to dig in here."
"We will build small bases all around the city and then we wait for the orders to attack," Cork gave a simplified explanation.
"We will not attack anytime soon?" Jeanne frowned. "What are we waiting for? Reinforcements?"
"Eh... something like that," Cork replied. The Army's A Divison, which the 1st Rifles was under, had been given orders to dig in around the city. They were to hold their positions and keep the Protectorate forces boxed in the city. Two out of three Rifle Regiment that made up A Divison were deployed to encircle the city.
1st and 2nd Regiment had roughly 800 men each, which they do not have enough manpower to fully encircle the city, hence the tactical decision was to create supporting outpost around the city outskirts. Should the Protectorate attempt a breakout, each outpost could provide support fire for each other and the mechanized companies serving as rapid reaction force will move in as reinforcement.
Further back along the line of outposts were the firebases that held the artillery and rocket batteries of A Divison which will provide fire support. Fighter and helicopter gunships were also at the standby at the new forward supply depot just over the mountain range.
"They purposely placed us here," Cork said as he gestured to the open terrain that stretched all the way to the smoke shrouded city that was roughly two kilometres away. "Our guns have the range to gun anything down if they attempt to rush at us."
"This time around, it won't be like Turnstead!" Cork growled. "If they dared to come out, they won't be able to even come close to our lines!"
The New World, New Protectorate Territories, City of Hensink
"What are these... heretics are trying to do?" Lord Inquisitor General Rism asked his gathered commanders and advisors as they watched the ongoing efforts of the local lawless working the land by means of an optical spell that broadcasted the images on the surface of a pinkish crystal that was almost two meters tall and over a meter wide and thick.
"My Lord, they appeared to be digging trenches..." A commander replied. "Like the defensive lines of our Paladins..."
"They wish to besiege us?" Rism asked in a mocking tone. "Hahahahaha! Truly are a bunch of backward heretics and lawless!"
"My Lord," Another advisor spoke up. "They must be awaiting reinforcements to come. We should take the initiative and attack before their numbers grow! We must not let the lawless think they can get away from Justice!"
Rism's eyes narrowed as he remembered the enemy's strange weapons and spells. "Hmmm... despite their heretical ways. They do possess power that could threaten our faith!"
"As much as I want to send these lawless to confess their sins to Ramuh..." Rism had a thoughtful frown on his face. "We do not have the numbers on our side! We must make careful plans to engage them!"
"Come out with a proper attack plan!" Rism ordered his commanders and advisors. "I want to see it by tomorrow morning!"
"Yes, Lord Inquisitor! Justice shall prevail!"
United Nations, Sawtooth Mountain Air Base, Hangar Three
Rows of foldable chairs were laid in neatly on one side of the hangar space with a couple of whiteboards at the front. The side doors of the hangar suddenly opened and a group of soldiers entered their posture exude confidence and strength.
Bit by bit, more and more soldiers entered the hangar until all seven rows of seven chairs were fully occupied. The soldiers greeted each other and some even attempted to challenge others with bone crushing handshakes.
"ATTENTION!" Suddenly one of the soldiers called out and the friendly bickering among the soldiers ceased immediately. They shot up to their feet and stood at attention as the squeak and footsteps of boots came from the door.
A slim hooman with exotic features in a set of full black uniform appeared at the front. Two aides in the same uniform each carried a thick stack of documents and files stood beside him. "At ease, gentlemen. Take a seat."
The soldiers relaxed slightly before sitting down and the aides of the hooman started handing out the documents down the rows. The hooman started pinning pictures and maps on the whiteboard and once he was satisfied with his work, he turned around and greeted the patiently waiting soldiers.
"Good afternoon to all," The hooman gave a smile as he introduced himself. "Some of you may know me some of you don't. But don't worry, all of you will soon know me well enough!"
"My name is Tavor," Tavor said to the crowd. "I am the head of Naval Intelligence of the UN military."
"You can call me Sir, or Lieutenant Tavor," Tavor gave a smile to the soldiers. "Now, I gathered you all here today is for a mission of great importance to this nation!"
He gestured to the file each soldier held in their laps. "Go on, open them up."
"As you can see," Tavor tapped against the photos on the whiteboard. "An enemy has crossed the oceans and arrived here on this land. Not only had they taken the Princess, but now they are here to conquer this land."
"Both satellite and aerial surveillance has shown the location where this enemy lies," Tavor said. "This enemy is known as the Protectorate of Ramuh. I am sure all of you has heard of it before."
"As for where they come from and what is their agenda and goals," Tavor continued. "That is not important now."
"As of now, the city where the Protectorate had withdrawn into is being encircled by the UN Army's A Divison," Tavor added. "The navy is also holding a blockading position to prevent any of their airships from leaving the encirclement."
"These matters not to you all. The important thing is this!" Tavor tapped on a photo which showed a top down image of a ship. "We believe this is the Flagship of the Protectorate."
The photo showed a huge airship and two smaller ships at the side. "As of now, we have totally no intelligence regarding the inner workings of the airship at all."
"This will be your mission," Tavor's eyes glittered. "Your mission is to capture and secure the Protectorate's Flagship!"
The soldiers broke out into an excited commotion as they heard about their mission. A soldier raised his hand and asked, "Sir! What are the estimated numbers of crews or soldiers on board the ship?"
"As I said earlier," Tavor replied. "We have zero intel on anything on this ship."
"But what I can tell you is that based on the photos," Tavor tapped on the photo again. "It has a length of roughly two hundred and fifty meters, and almost a hundred meters wide."
"Numbers of troops and sailors onboard should be only a skeleton crew," Tavor said. "As the Army will conduct decoy attacks to force the Protectorate to commit its forces on to the ground."
"The Air Force will ensure that Protectorate's Airships has no chance to take off," Tavor smiled. "The city is certain to have been reinforced with many anti air weapons, and the Air Force will feign that they fear those weapons and it should make the enemy think their airships are safer within their anti air coverage."
"Sir!" Another soldier raised his hand to ask a question. "How will we insert in?"
"Good question!" Tavor's smile grew wider. "You will do a High Altitude Low Opening drop or what we call HALO insertion."
"A transport will bring up over the city at night and you will be dropped over the target," Tavor said. "Once you land on the top deck of the airship, you will have to find some way to enter the airship."
The front row of the group of soldiers gave out a painful moan which Tavor ignored. "As you all had practised and learned before. A ship has three important stations, one, the brains, which is the bridge. Two, the heart which is boilers. And finally, the legs, which is the engines."
"Control any one of these, you can cripple the ship," Tavor said. "As we have no fucking idea what is the layout of the Protectorate's Flagship, you guys have to improvise once you infiltrated the vessel."
"I will be very frank," Tavor said in a serious tone. "Chances of coming home from this mission is very low. But you men are the only ones who can pull this off. This mission is very crucial to gaining the technology of the enemy and will turn the war!"
"I expect you all the memorize all the information in the documents given to you," Tavor said. "Once you finish memorizing the information, the documents are to be destroyed! Team leaders are to ensure that!"
"Mission training will start tomorrow at 0900 hours!" Tavor smiled again, especially to the front row. "I expect you all to be able to pull this off! For you, all are Hundred and First, Arcane Tactics and Intervention! The best of the best!"
Hitsu moaned as Lieutenant Tavor gave a nod towards them and exited the hangar. He looked down at the file and sighed deeply. "Why can't we have like normal missions just for once?"
"Now we got to jump off a plane at what heights?" Hitsu flipped through the file and moaned. "Five thousand meters?"
"Then they expect us to perfectly time our parachute openings just before we land on the hull..." Hitsu grumbled more as he read the mission brief. "Find a way in, hopefully without alerting any of the thousands of possible crewmembers onboard... Find either the bridge, boiler, or engine room and take control of the whole ship?"
"And with just 49 people?" Hitsu exclaimed loudly. "Oh well... I am getting bored lately..."