“—This is the First Northern Area, First Forces ‘Sledgehammer’ calling all Processors. To all Processors.”
His partner “Juggernaut” lying by his side was badly dented on the cannon and the armor, after having taken a clean impact from the Löwe that weighed in excess of fifty tonnes, it could not move.
The pilot managed to crawl out from the crushed cockpit, dragging his paralyzed right half as he came to an old bridge in the outskirts of the area. He leaned his back upon a wrecked stone pillar, and laid down weakly. He wanted to open his eyes, only to end up feeling utterly lethargic. The armor of wilted bone color was smeared with the blood oozing from his body, and was vividly clear even in the night.
“This is the leader of “Sledgehammer’, ‘Black Bird’.”
All members of the squadron had been eliminated.
It was likely that the other forces in the area were wiped out too.
The “Legion”’s specifications were far superior to the “Juggernaut”, and there was no comparison. Such ferocious enemy units attacked on an unprecedented scale, and they, weak in fighting strength, had no hope of survival.
But they fought. Behind them was the country that was not worth protecting, and there were no families awaiting their return.
But they kept fighting.
“Our battle has ended.”
Thus, that was the lone remaining pride of the Eighty-Sixers.
The light-nulfillying armor didn’t reflect the moonlight, and the heavy metallic body of a Löwe made practically no noise as it moved forward towards him.
Perhaps the enemy was unwilling to slaughter a dying mouse by wasting some rounds, for neither the terrifyingly powerful 12.7mm heavy machine guns nor the ferocious 120mm tank cannon were aimed at him. The Löwe leisurely moved forth with the arrogance of a carnivore, its massive frame taking up the entire width of the stone bridge.
He, unable to move anymore, could only lift his head towards this steel tank that was closing in, sneering.
He was speaking into the public channels, in a one-way communication channel, but he could sense that on the other end of the receiver, countless numbers of his fellow eighty-sixers were listening to him intently.
“To all the Processors who can hear this. To everyone who fought until the very end, and survived until the very end. We’ve finally–retired. Good work everyone.”
They lived on this hellish battlefield of no death, where there was no redemption or hope, that no matter how much they struggled, only death awaited them.
Once he said everything he had to, he cut off all communications, and tossed aside his headset. He then picked up the crude looking control device within his crushed right hand.
The Löwe passed the stone bridge, closed in before his eyes as he leaned haplessly on the stone pillar.
Five years ago. Back then, the commander of his first squadron was an Eighty-Sixer, a survivor of the Republic’s Orthodox Army who was thrown into the battlefield. The commander taught him how to fight, how to survive, and how to use this controller.
There were none of the white swines left who would do this.
His lips and skin were searing and cracking under the intense heat, yet the smile on his face was so hearty.
Never once should he ever succumb to despair, nor give up hope to survive, nor let hatred stain upon the pride in his heart.
Such were the rules he had imposed upon himself, and thus was he able to keep fighting till this day.
But at the very end, this line from him would surely be forgivable, no?
He saw the enemy unit raise its leg before him, and with a chuckle, he pressed the detonator.
This line was meant for the shameless, tragic white swines of the Republic who had given up on battling, shied away from reality, and neither knew how to resist nor choose to die this way.
“–Serves you right.”
The plastic diamond charge latched onto the bridge exploded.
The old passing bridge, along with the steel beast king of land combat and a mere Eighty-Sixer who could not be counted amongst the dead, sank into the dark river in a rising fireball.
Year 360 of the Republic’s calendar, August 25th, time 2317.
When the siren blared in the military headquarters, none of the Handlers in the common office understood what that meant.
In a certain sense, that was to be expected.
The siren was installed ten years ago.
By their predecessors, the Republic Orthodox Army, who were in charge of protecting the country, that all men, even the backend staff, were to run to the battlefront and die valiantly there, never to allow this siren to be aired.
The massive hologram screens blinked into life. Displayed on the massive hologram screen occupying a wall was a crude footage, due to the darkness of the night and the electronic jamming.
All of them stared at the screen intently, looking either surprised or annoyed. Amongst them, only Lena felt some strange urgency choking her throat.
There was a massive concrete structure reaching the sky, its walls thick enough to bury a deck or a few small houses; and at this point, it was collapsing haphazardly.
That structure was truly too heavy, resulting in the shattered cracks to resemble a meander-like valley, and a massive horde of steel roared in like rapids. A terrifying army formed by various multi-legged army exhibited its killing capacity to its limits as it crossed the valley.
She felt a chill run up her spine.
“What is this? Some movie? Sounds interesting.”
“Hey, somebody turn that thing off. It’s noisy.”
None of them had ever seen such a thing, and as they obviously did not know of them, they just lazed around in a trance. Lena herself felt weak, and stumbled a step back.
Over the ten years, the citizens of the Republic pushed the responsibility of the war to the Eighty-Sixers, and concealed themselves in the cage of false peace by shutting their eyes and ears. Not even the military had ever seen the true appearance of the enemy. Amongst them, the only one who knew their appearances was Lena, who had witnessed them personally.
That was six years ago, on the day she visited the frontlines with her deceased father, lost him, and was saved by Ray.
And just a year ago, when she synchronized her sight with Raiden as she supported the Spearhead Squadron.
The charging vanguard leading the army in a wedge formation were the Ameises, shaped as sharp as piranhas.
Approaching with astonishing mobility on their six legs, advancing through the irregular severed surfaces of the collapsed wall were the Grauwolfs.
And remaining alert to all of its surrounding with its 120mm tank cannon, racing in a stable formation were the Löwe.
Using its massive weight to trample and kick aside the rubble with impunity was the Dinosauria, advancing as though on the plains.
And on the ground was the structure that was famed for being sturdy, yet utterly collapsed before her eyes–the Grand Mur.
Was the siren indicating the breach of the final defenses.
They have come.
The “Legion” had quietly been building up its strength behind the electronic interference of the Eintagsfliege, and launched their assault on this day. The Republic, hiding in their fragile dreamland while ignoring reality, finally met its destruction on this day due to its arrogance, just as Shinn had predicted.
The “Legion” crossed the rubble of the Grand Mur, over and over and over again.
They had entered the unprotected Eighty Five Areas, into the Republic of San Magnolia that had assumed that it was filled with eternal peace, and forgot how to fight to protect itself.
It was most likely that most of them were ‘Black Sheep’. The “Legion”, with the brains of the dead implanted in them to overcome the state lifespan, were the masses of Eighty-Sixers souls the Republic left to die on the battlefield, not even granting them a proper burial.
The army of the Dead had returned home.
Amidst the crease in the fortress wall that was on the verge of collapse, there appeared a light beyond the torrent of steel and the night.
It was a light caused by the optical sensors, cold and blue, a ghost light in a deep dark forest, leading people into an endless abyss.
The faint moonlight shows a vague silhouette. The shadow, massive as a skyscraper or a colossus, made it difficult to determine the actual range.
The front side of the shadow quickly rose. At the same time, the noise on the monitor was amplified for some reason.
Suddenly, she noticed.
Upon the devastated scene of the collapsed Grand Mur, there was a giant hitting it repeatedly, and it finally crushed it.
It was a devastation, caused by a cannon strike.
At that moment, the footage on the screen vanished, showing complete darkness. It was likely the camera..or the land where the camera was installed, had been blown away by the cannon.
The siren showed no signs of abating.
At that moment.
There was a unit that the elites of the elites on the First battle zone of the Eastern frontlines had once encountered, but had to retreat. It was a brand new long ranged cannon with astounding fire rate and range beyond its contemporaries, pelting its strikes with tremendous power like a downpour.
Lena muttered, and pursed her lips.
Her fellow countrymen remained unperturbed, sensing that there was a commotion, but did not feel endangered in the slightest. She suddenly turned to leave the office, towards her control room. The heels of the military boots landed on the wooden land, resulting in anxious knocking.
The RAID device was giving off an illusionary heat.
“Lena! That siren was…!”
“Reporting in, your Majesty! The Northern battlefront…!”
“Arnett, Cyclops. Affirmative. –They’re here.”
She switched the Para-RAID to target every single unit that could be connected, and began to do so. Typically, a commander could only be synchronized with one unit, but this was certainly not enough. Thus, she had Arnett help out, and adjusted the Para-RAID settings slightly over a year.
The enemy was the army of dead souls, of the countless Eighty-Sixers the Republic had abandoned to die on the battlefield.
To resist them, they had to gather their fighting strength.
To keep on fighting.
To continue fighting in response to their final words, to survive.
“–This is “Bloody Regina” to all Processors on the Frontlines!”
Federation Military Alias, the Morphos.
One unit alone was enough to breach the Grand Mur, and the new “Legion” unit reduced the stronghold of the Federation military to dust. This footage, found in the collapsed military headquarters, was the first observed data of this particular enemy unit.