The New Kingdom of Mecca, 5,000 meters over the City of Hensink, C - 1 Skyfreighter

"One minute!" The announcement came over the worn headsets of the gathered soldiers. Each soldier carried a variety of combat gear from the main and spare parachute to a small tank of oxygen linked to their face mask, weapons, armor, and life vest and a bag of spare equipment.

The interior of the cargo plane was lit up with a green glow while the tail end of the cargo hatch had swung open, exposing the inky darkness of the night. The temperature drastically plunged when the hatch was opened and the goblin cargo master shivered, snot slowly dripping out from his sharp nose.

"30 seconds!" The goblin cargo master squeaked. "Get ready to jump to your deaths! Ahah- Choooo!"

Hitsu of Claymore One strike out a middle finger at the sneezing goblin who wiped the snot up with his gloved hand and licked it clean. "Oh... that is farking gross! I'm not going to touch anywhere that has buttons on this bucket!"

Tyrier stood at the edge of the cargo hatch and looked down at the ground where several tiny pricks of light could barely be seen from their height. He turned to his team who had formed up in a row and waited for the order from the pilots.

"5, 4, 3, 2, 1!" The countdown switched the red jump lights to green and Tyrier waved his hand forward, and Wolf standing first in the row took a hesitant step before getting shoved off by Hitsu behind. "JUMP JUMP JUMP!"

One by one the rest ran out, with Claymore One leading the jump, followed by Claymore Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and Seven. The teams barely even completed five practice jumps before being whisked over and told that the mission had been brought forward. Already they were down by two men from having their legs shattered when they landed badly during one of the practice jumps.

Now forty seven bodies pierced through the air, reaching terminal velocity, and the only way to spot each other was from the weak glow of light sticks mounted on the back of their helmets. They could only guide their bodies towards the tiny pinpricks of light that flickered randomly on the pitch black terrain that was UN artillery firing at the city.

Tyrier had his arms and legs spread out as he fell. His eyes covered by a pair of goggles narrowed as he tried to spot his own men falling in the darkness. He could just barely glimpse the glow of their light sticks at the backs of their helmets. He checked the glowing green digits of his altitude meter and watched the numbers drop rapidly.

He looked back to the ground, the flashes of explosions of highlighting the city and its surroundings. Their target lit up briefly under the barrage of explosions, the massive airship looking like a tiny golden egg from the height he was at.

The golden egg grew larger and larger as Tyrier's altitude dropped lower and lower until his meter started beeping. He yanked his parachute cord and felt a heavy punch as his main parachute deployed, forcefully slowing his speed down.

He stopped several rectangular chutes below him, silhouetted against the backdrop of flames and explosion. Tyrier exchanged his goggles with night vision and quickly spotted the infra red marker that was being lasered onto the target airship by a spotter plane.

The size of the airship grew larger and larger until it covered Tyrier's entire view. He kept his knees slightly bent and seconds later he landed running on a section of the top deck without incident. Quickly, he tossed out an infra beacon, to further mark the landing zone for the rest of the 101st ATI that was still falling down.

"Claymore One all here?" Tyrier did a comms check with his team who started replying.

"Altied has taken a bad landing," Young radioed back. "He landed on some pipes and sprained his ankle!"

"Roger!" Tyrier replied. "Everyone form up at Young and Altied's position!"

Following the instructions given by Young and their memorization of the photos of the top section of the Protectorate's Flagship, they made their way towards Young and Altied. In the background, thump of explosions continued on as more and more 101st ATI landed on the deck of the unsuspecting Flagship. Yet not all the 101st ATI managed to land safely on the target. Some missed the airship totally and landed in the sea while others like Altied, misjudged their landing on the cluttered deck, and injured themselves.

101st ATI now with only 38 abled men and six injured, formed up before heading towards the suspected entry hatches that were identified by Intel. The wounded were given painkillers and magical healing by medics before they hobbed along. Tyrier leading Claymore One, headed towards a suspected observation hatch. They managed to find the hatch but it was locked.

"Breach it!" Tyrier ordered and Wolf started removing a breaching charge from his pouch. Wolf slapped the charge down against the hatch before tearing the friction tab off the breaching charge and igniting the fuze.

"Fire in the hole!" Wolf yelled and he rolled into cover with the rest. A chest thumping crack followed by a tremble of the decks signaled the breaching charge had ignited. "Go!"

The men bounced out from cover and rushed towards the destroyed hatch. Hitsu peered into the hole and found a dimly lit tunnel leading down into the airship with a ladder. Tyrier gave him a nod and Histu quickly climbed down the ladder, using the sides of his boots to grip against the sides of the ladder as he slid drop.

When Hitsu landed at the bottom of the ladder, he quickly drew his silenced pistol out and checked both sides of the corridor ensuring the way was clear. "Area clear!"

"Go!" Tyrier ordered the rest down before he contacted the rest of the 101st ATI. "All Stations, Claymore One has secured a beachhead over."


Tyrier joined his team who was covering the tunnel access. Hitsu asked when Tyrier joined them, "So which direction?"

"We wait for the other teams to join us!" Tyrier replied. "Watch your sections!"

Just as he finished saying that, a couple of crew members of the airship dressed in red jackets appeared around the corner of the corridor. For a moment both sides stared in surprise at each other, before a fury of suppressed pops knocked both Protectorate crewmen down.

"Shit," Hitsu hissed. "If they don't know anything is wrong... Now they do!"

"Hold the breach!" Tyrier ordered. "The rest of the Claymores are coming!"

"Grab the bodies!" Hitsu gave Wolf a nudge. "Come on!"

The two Claymore One members ran forward and checked their corners before dragging the bodies out of sight. Finally, the other members of the 101st came sliding down the ladder and Tyrier met up with the team leaders. "Is that all of you?"

Claymore Four and Five nodded. "The rest found another way in."

Tyrier nodded back, their comms were cut off when they entered the airship. "Alright! Then each team picks one way! We need to move fast, soon, someone will be would be looking for the missing crew!"


Flagship Aggression, Stateroom

Rism was frowning at the scenery outside the crystal windows. The heretical enemy has weapons that were beyond their own weapons from the way the heretics were bombing the city, while his troops could only suffer.

He had already ordered an evacuation from this land and the evacuation was just about to be completed when the damn lawless started their heretical bombing of the city, halting the loading of the supplies and goods. The sense of unease in his heart grew stronger as he stared out into the night, making him wondered if he should give up on all the remaining materials and leave now.

Another flash of an explosion flickered in the night, followed by a dull thump that could even be heard from the airship. There were still over five thousand Protectorate soldiers and two dozen Warjacks still in the city, including the massive siege engine, Reckoner.

Rism knew that the men of the Protectorate will give their lives for Justice but leaving behind the Warjacks and the Siege Engine would not sit well with the Grand Jury.

"Damnation to these lawless!" Rism cursed as he felt trapped. He left his stateroom and headed towards the bridge. "It's time to leave!"


Flagship Aggression, Unknown Deck

"Move!" Tyrier gestured as he took a kneeling stance, his weapon covering the dimly lit deck. His men ran past his back heading towards another entryway. Suddenly a troop of red coated Protectorate soldiers came marching in. "Oh fark! Contact!"

Pops of suppressed gunfire rang out, the empty cartridges almost louder than the suppressed shots as they hit the metal decks. Bodies danced and dropped like puppets with their strings cut off as Tyrier ran through an entire magazine.

The loud cries and clatter of Protectorate gear seemed to draw all attention as crew members and soldiers came out to investigate. Suddenly the narrow deck ways became flooded with dozens and dozens of Protectorate forces. The Protectorate soldiers rushed over the bodies of their fellows with both raised magical and physical shields until bullets overwhelmed their defenses and punched through their light leather and metal armor.

"Fark! More Beetle heads coming this way!" Hitsu yelled as he laid prone on the decks, his assault rifle popping single shots at any approaching enemy. "How many farkers are there?"

"Break out the heavy weapons!" Tyrier ordered calmly as he shot down a couple of charging half naked crewmen. The Protectorate seemed unfearful of death as they continued leaping over the dead that piled up along the decks, and with the dim lighting, made the whole scene appeared to be one out of hell.

Taylor and Wolf unslung the weapon packs behind their backs and removed a light machine gun. They quickly slap in a box magazine into the LMGs and laid down suppressing fire down both sides of the corridor and turned any unprotected flesh into a bloody pulp.

"Fall back!" Tyrier ordered after seeing the Protectorate forces were gaining ground. "Wire the place to blow!"

Hitsu quickly dug out explosives and dumped them behind him before he frog leaped back. "Back!"

"Go!" The rest bounced back in pairs as they gave ground to the Protectorate. Once Tyrier judged they were far enough, "Blow it up!"

Hitsu pumped the friction lever before twisting the ignition plug. Instantly the decks shook and a massive roar slammed into their bodies, followed by the moans and screams of twisted metal. Hitsu grinned and touched knuckles with Young. "That should give them something to think about! Wahaha!"


Flagship Aggression, Bridge

"What was that?" Rism and his commanders all looked around as they all felt a quiver beneath their feet.

An aide instantly appeared and he whispered some words to the Aggression's Captain. The Captain's expression changed several times from shock to anger. He stood forward and reported to Rism, "Lord Inquisitor General, we... seemed to have been boarded!"

"The Aggression is boarded? By the lawless?" The commanders and even Rism were surprised by the news. "How is this even possible?"

The Aggression was currently floating even higher than the city's walls which were over five stories in height. Yet now, word came that the Aggression that was the pride of the Protectorate's fleet was boarded and by lawless and heretics!

"How did the lawless enter the flagship?" A commander roared. "What are the escorts doing? Are they all sleeping?"

Rism slammed his fist on the table and growled. "This is a disgrace to our God! How dare the filthy lawless step onboard our sacred ship? How dare they defile this holy vessel?"



A note from neo Koh

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