30 Hell Week, Pt Squadrons Nightraven and Thunderbird raced towards the enemy base, determined to cause as much damage as they possibly could. If Grizz was going to sacrifice himself and his squadron, then they were going to use the time wisely.
Sunflower popped up on their comms display.
“Just please get Grizz squadron out of there,” she pleaded.
Eva grimaced, but agreed. Grizz was an idiot through and through. She would have happily left him and his squadron to their demise. But Sunflower had been an incredible friend to her, and she wasnt just going to throw that away out of spite.
Without a doubt, if she had ignored Sunflower, it would have been devastating for their friendship.
“Well save who we can, dont worry.”
The squadrons had completely switched their loadouts in order to perform this mission.
Evas wing had ditched the shield and spear and instead equipped plain old rifles. Chenglis wing put down their rifles altogether. This meant the only weapons they had were their shoulder-mounted plasma beamcannons.
Following a hundred meters behind squadron Nightraven was squadron Thunderbird.
They were a bit of a rarity, as they were split into four wings. Two of the wings were trained for mechanized infantry, and were equipped only with rifles. They were led by squad leaders Mantis and Clover.
The third was the Repair/Resupply wing, and it was led by squad leader Copernicus. They were equipped with only their repair guns. They were reinforced beyond a full complement, thanks to the other squadrons loaning them their r/r cadets.
The final wing was Djinns, and they had no weapons at all. Instead, they were loaded with explosives. They really were nuts for them. They too were reinforced beyond full by the other squadrons.
Everyone else was a little nervous to be near them considering their volatility, so they hung back an extra few meters. But that barely gave anyone any comfort.
All seven wings wore packs on their backs. Most of them were empty save for the demo wing, whose packs were filled to the brim with bombs.
They rushed into the base from the eastern side. Considering this courtyard was where the fast response squadron was stationed, it meant it was going to be the least defended. Presumably, Grizz had dealt with them, or at least tied them up.
Not a single one of them slowed down and they continued to rush towards the hangar at speed.
The only other mecha in the area were the ones that were patrolling, and were simple enough to dispatch. Eva and Chenglis elite cadets had made short work of them using their precise aim.
As squadron Thunderbird zipped through the alleyways, all they saw were the scrapped wrecks of shredded and bisected mecha. The squad leaders simply shook their heads at the carnage and scanned the damage.
Eva and Chenglis wings had torn through the enemy so quickly and easily. Their aim was exact, and had gone through the mechs weakest points. Their attacks were fast and precise, as though they had done this thousands of times before.
By the time Thunderbird arrived at the hangar, it was already relatively secure. Nightraven was engaged with the remnants of the fast assault squadron, but it was more of a massacre than a fight.
Within moments, the hangar was littered with the wreckage from various drones.
“T-bird, load up and take everything that isnt nailed down,” Eva ordered.
“Yes, maam!” the squadron replied.
The r/r wing immediately picked up and stowed as many of the repair materials as possible, while the others loaded up with weapons and ammunition galore. They tried to get some of the more unique weapons, or weapons that they didnt already have access to.
Djinns wing didnt pick anything up. They were much more focused on leaving things behind, and instead lined the hangar with explosives.
Their orders were to completely wreck the hangar. It would not only damage the largest comms tower, but it had the potential to block up the elevator platforms too. Knocking this building out might not neutralize the enemy altogether, but it sure slowed them down greatly.
Djinn made sure to use a few extra explosives. A bit of overkill never hurt, right
As everyone was busy with their tasks, the elevator platforms suddenly went to life and started to descend.
“Weve got movement!” yelled Chengli.
No doubt the hangar had activated another floor, and was going to reinforce the base with another hundred mecha. They couldnt afford to stick around and wait for that to happen, so they picked up the pace and quickly completed their tasks.
Djinns wing had lined the walls with explosives, their red lights blinked as they armed themselves.
“Hangars set to burn,” said Djinn.
The other wings in Thunderbird were also set to go, so Eva ordered them to continue on to the next phase of their plan.
Mantis, Clover, and Djinn zoomed off to plant explosives at the various repair depots while Eva, Chengli, and Copernicus blasted their way northwards to extract Grizz squadron.
Squadron Thunderbird met some resistance as they made their way from depot to depot, but it wasnt anything that they couldnt handle. Their infantry wings were quite capable, and were able to trade shots with all of the mecha patrols they had encountered.
Although they werent quite as decisive as squadron Nightraven, they still did their jobs well and shredded the enemy. They took some damage in exchange, but that was always to be expected.
Meanwhile, Djinns wing set their explosives around each repair depot carefully. It was imperative that they took them out. If even a single one survived, the base would eventually be able to recover.
At the north section of the base, squadron Nightraven had come upon Grizz and his attack force. Or rather, what was left of them. The battlefield was littered with the wrecks of dozens and dozens of mecha, and it was clear that a massive slaughter had occurred here.
The r/r wing quickly identified who was still alive, and dashed forward to repair their mecha. If they could get them on their feet, then they could escape faster.
As they scanned the battlefield, they noted that almost a fourth of the attack forces cadets were dead.
What a total waste of life, thought Eva.
Further up, the squadron of armored mecha was in melee with Grizz and his remaining few loyalists. Everyone else was piled up around them, either dead, disabled, or trying to crawl away from the madness.
One of the squad leaders loyal to Grizz was in a rough spot. His mecha had lost an arm, and its armor was cracked and in tatters. It could barely stand as it fired its rifle one-handed at an advancing armored mecha.
The mecha quickly boosted up and body-slammed the squad leader with great force, which shattered the rest of his armor and flung the pieces in every direction.
The squad leaders mecha crashed to the ground helplessly. He tried to crawl away as the armored drone relentlessly advanced. He pointed the rifle point-blank at the armored mecha and squeezed the trigger.
Bullets simply bounced off harmlessly. The armored drone was completely unfazed by the attack aimed right at its chest.
In response, it reared its arm back and then thrust into the downed mecha with its electrolance. The lance punched through easily, as though the mecha was made of tin, and even dug into the ground.
It glowed blue for a second, and then it released streams of electricity straight into the mecha. Arcs of electrical energy poured out of the puncture wound and reached out to everything around it.
The downed mecha shook uncontrollably from the excessive electrical damage it took. The whole thing started to spark and smoke as it charred from the inside. After a few more seconds, it stopped moving altogether.
There was no saving that pilot. He was cooked.
Eva scanned the battle as she watched the devastation happen. Sensor readouts indicated the armored mecha had B-ranked reactive armor. There was absolutely nothing on the field that could penetrate it. Except those B-ranked electrolances.
When she saw the armored mecha obliterate the squad leader, she immediately opened fire on them.
“Aim for the sensors!” she ordered. “Quickly!”
Nightraven immediately dished out bursts of fire from their rifles.
Any of the shots that struck armor were completely neutralized. Even the powerful beamcannons only left scratches.
The armor itself was a computerized, mechanical alloy that adjusted its density and tensile strength on the fly. Instead of constantly being “hardened”, the armor could be softer and absorb more force. Or it could perform micro vibrations on the surface to dull any impacts it suffered.
Of course it had its limits, but in short engagements such as these, the armor truly shined. And combined with a nanorepair module, reactive armor was nearly impossible to defeat.
Not that it had to activate any of its abilities, since the weapons they were up against were an entire rank lower. Their resting density was more than enough to counter the C-ranked weapons.
However, Eva and her squadron werent trying to penetrate that armor. There was no need to. All they needed to do was blind them. If they couldnt see, then how could they also target and attack
Their sensors were shattered to pieces under Nightravens clinical aim. Every single one of them would aim quickly, fire a burst, destroy a sensor, and then aim for the next.
They werent fighting a battle; they were performing surgery.
Some of the armored mecha charged at them, determined to stop them from becoming completely blinded. The cadets they swung at simply boosted away and kept them at a distance. They knew better than to get into melee with them. It would have been suicide.
The lumbering drones were no match for Nightravens agility and precision. Any other squadron would have had terrible difficulty with this task, but they made it all seem like childs play.
The blood, sweat, and tears they had shed during their training paid off here. They disabled a superior enemy quickly, and with zero casualties. They didnt even get hurt.
Squadron Nightraven was unparalleled.
The cadets who survived Grizz leadership watched them beat their enemy so effortlessly that it almost angered them. They saw as they moved quickly and easily, as though they were born for it!
Why couldnt they have gotten assigned there! That could have been them out there! Instead, they were stuck with that useless lump of a man, and he dragged them all down into the dirt with him...
Sensors disabled, the armored mecha could do nothing but stand there. Some of them swung their electrolances, but ended up only hitting air.
But that didnt mean the cadets could relax, not even in the slightest. Who knew if they were already performing repairs And what if reinforcements were on the way
They had no time to lose.
Eva suddenly appeared on every cadets comms display. Her face was hard and stern. Though she was deeply angry at Grizz, not an ounce of it spilled through the screen.
“This is unit leader Freya,” she said coldly. “All units are to fall back. Immediately.”
Grizz mecha was in tatters. One arm was completely missing, while the other dangled helplessly. One knee was smashed in, which meant he had to drag it behind him.
Inside, Grizz was barely holding on. He had brushed up against death, and nearly lost all his blood in the process.
When those armored mecha came out of nowhere and charged at his squadron, he realized how big of a mistake he had made. He rattled on the gates of hell, and got exactly the welcome he deserved.
Some were already shaken and demoralized and wanted to run, but Grizz ego didnt allow himself to run away. In his mind, only cowards retreated.
He ordered everyone to get ready to fight and take the charge.
They fired on the advancing brutes, but their bullets did absolutely nothing. By the time they realized that they should have run instead, the armored drones were already in their faces. It only took seconds for the armored mecha to tear everyone apart.
Arcs of lightning danced across the lances as they tore through their armor like paper.
Two of them had converged on Grizz himself, and smashed at him with their shields over and over until his mecha was all but a wreckage. He was knocked around so much that he started to lose consciousness.
If Freya hadnt shown up, he would have died.
Grizz was angry and fearful and most of all humiliated. This was supposed to have been his moment. He was supposed to crush the enemy! His plan was flawless!
But it turned out that he knew nothing. It all ended in this bloodbath. This wasnt a mistake that he could erase, not in a million years.
And when he had seen Freya in action, the last vestiges of his ego shattered.
During the fight, one of the armored mecha had charged her, and it looked as though it was going to shred her. But she had dashed to the side ever so slightly at the very last moment, and deftly evaded it by mere millimeters.
Small arcs of electricity lashed out from the lance towards her mecha. They flecked off small bits of paint as they swept past.
The two parted in a flash, and in her hand was the armored mechas sensor array! She had torn it off as she evaded.
She crushed it as the drone blindly spun around.
Grizz hung his head low as he dragged himself away from the battlefield. She had displayed unmatched skill, and was everything that he was not.
The r/r wing did their best to patch everyone up quickly while Eva and Chengli relieved many of the armored drones of their weapons and shields. Eva in particular was rather gleeful at suddenly having access to B-ranked weaponry.
She took the one that was used to stab one of Grizz squad leaders. The point was blackened and smoldering. It felt symbolic, so she kept it.
Grizz attack force was devastated. Those who could move on their own helped carry the ones who couldnt. The r/r wing brought back all those who didnt survive.
Too many cadets died. Needlessly, and for one persons vanity.
They all learned right then and there that Hell Week wasnt deadly because of how powerful or numerous their enemies were. It was deadly because of foolish choices and prideful egos.
After they turned their backs on that battlefield and sped away, their mood was solemn and all were quiet.
Back at the hangar, a squad of a hundred infantry mecha had just risen out and started to equip themselves with whatever weapons were left. They looked quite odd with a different mishmosh of equipment, but it was better than nothing.
They quickly zoomed off northwards to reinforce the armored mecha as the elevator platforms descended again. The hangar was ready to load it up with another squadron.
Meanwhile, the red lights on the bombs nearby blinked faster and faster
They turned completely solid for a good second before they all erupted and blew out all the hangar walls from top to bottom.
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A wave of force expanded outwards, and blew debris in every direction.
The hangars ceiling jumped up from the force, then completely collapsed right after. The added weight of the comms tower above caused the whole thing to cave in ingloriously. All of it crashed down on the open elevator shaft, and blocked it with tons of metal.
The comms tower fell in a heap of bent and broken metal scrap on top of it all.
And everywhere else around the base, multiple repair depots all went up in fiery blasts right afterwards. The explosions shook the entire area and sent fiery shrapnel flying in every direction. Mechanic drones were thrown around and smashed into scrap.
Plumes of smoke floated in the air.
Djinn watched the chaos ensue on her MFDs and laughed maniacally. Her bright orange hair perfectly matched the flames she helped create.