Battle of Haibi Chapter 21

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Previous: Battle of Haibi Chapter 20: Siege Command

Chapter 21: Phase Two

Roku smacks unsteadily down onto the roof of the eight story tall Defense Tower Four, stumbling and rolling, hearing the Speaker's voice utter, <Evacuation Phase Two> in her radio. The plasma generator beneath Defense Tower Four has somehow been isolated from the wall, she reads from the turret's display as she gets into it, closing the door after dragging her flyer pack inside.

Her turret has more power than it could possibly use, and it hasn't fired a shot. Downside is that none of the Defense Tower roof turrets have been issued any Mode B projectiles. She thinks of reasons why the power connections may have been severed and signals on her radio, "Tunnel Security Sector Four, from the roof turret, do we have any interspace intruders?"

<Negative, Roku-san,> comes the answer, <but we have massive structural damage to the wall, we're evacuating the moat.>

Roku glances at her rising system temperatures as she fires several long range bursts over towards Sector Six every second, trying to keep the enemy from owning the air over town. "If you got anyone to spare," she squeaks, "I need a fresh barrel."

The talking box crackles with the voice of Saboath, <Master Maledict, Cacodemons have confirmed the destruction of Siege Command. They can't find Erebus or Lilith. Looks like we're on our own.>

He rubs his head as the chatter continues, <Craseonict, Megadermit, form on me, we're going for three-four-zero,> Maledict growls, <These ashfeathers don't know the first thing about battle!> He rubs an eye that is swollen shut.

He pushes the bent beam from his chest as he continues to listen. The other two batwings acknowledge Maledict, who orders, <Left turn in two ... one ... now. Decloak and ... fire! ... Three-four-zero is down,> he cheers.

Craseonict joins the batwing chorus, but Megadermit does not answer. It certainly isn't being as easy a battle as he hoped. After the resonating clatter of the debris clears, the monster keys his talking box and signals, "At least I still got my host."

<Erebus!> Saboath gasps, <Can you tell us how Sectors Four and Five are doing?>

"Siege Command is down the tubes," Erebus says, "I've got a valve talking box and one eye. Someone managed to spill some Baikal into the computer room. I have no info on Sector Five, but stay away from Sector Four, that's for sure."

Shinzoo rushes from Western University in Sector Five, carefully carrying a cardboard box. He sets it on the back of a motorcycle, and after lashing it down good, he gets on the bike and gingerly advances the throttle for a couple of seconds to warn the birds inside the box, then guns it off towards Defense Tower Five.

He slows as he watches in horror, three fireballs hit the roof. Their fire illuminates heavy damage to the tower's stone-forged eight story structure. The lights go out, and the roof disappears inside it. Cracks widen and windows blow out, revealing how few still have their glass panes. Shinzoo turns his bike around and heads back down, destination now Defense Tower Four.

Roku's overused cannon depresses in its mount, then falls out, rolling along the slightly sloped roof, smouldering. Two Defenders wrestle a replacement into position while a third opens the back of the turret to hand Roku an action.

"With that target rate, I can't believe you have no one at your viewersco-" he gasps.

A carbon colored bird not quite thirty centimetres from head to tail stands with one foot on each trackball with a stylus in his mouth tapping on the screen.

Roku quickly checks the fresh gun's alignment, then rams the action, meaning the plasma cannon's high energy parts, into battery.

"Juunana-san," Roku gestures towards the crow with as much formality as the cramped turret interior allows.

Nick inclines his head slightly towards the other Defender, then returns to his work.

"Oh, okay." The other Defender seems to be in a panicked hurry to get out of the turret and close it.

"Six and seventeen," he mutters to himself, "I guess I should grab a number."

Samurai, sliding the hot barrel into a standby pit at the edge of the roof, says to the Defender, "You didn't see any birds in there."

"Well," the Defender moans, "Actually, I-"

"It's not a question," Samurai snaps back, "It's an order."

"Yes, sir. I mean no, sir, I didn't see any birds in the turret." Having received his next assignment from Kabocha, his immediate boss, he jumps off the roof and deploys his flyer, heading up towards the aqueduct.

Samurai feels an alarm, pulls out a glowing double handled tablet computer from his breast pocket and gasps, holding it up towards the north, zooming its camera in on the apparent source of the alarm.

A huge, spire-like piece of the wall slides off the inner surface and buries its loose bottom end into a highway not too far from the inside of the wall.

"Oh, crap," Samurai sobs as he watches the scene. Losing half a dozen simulations did not prepare him at all to see this.

The huge sliver of wall stone slowly rotates over, ninety-metres tall becoming ninety-metres long. The wider top of the huge piece instantly crushes a six floor apartment building, then breaks in two as it is stopped by the much firmer ground.

Samurai scans the rest of the wall's inside surface that he can see from nine kilometres away, then tucks away his computer, "Kabocha, the enemy is about half an hour from getting through on the ground in Sector One, can you spare me three rifle sections on flyers, and have Roku keep the skies clear over their heads, please."

<Yes, sir, but no more. The way they hit us at first, I think the enemy knows the strategic value of our sector's aqueduct. If they take it out, it won't matter whether they get through on the ground,> Kabocha explains grimly.

Samurai's confused for a moment, then grips his chest, leaning upon the rampart for support. What kind of flood could an aqueduct failure cause? They hadn't even begun to consider it in the simulations. "I understand, Kabocha," he whimpers, "Do what you think is best."

Next: Battle of Haibi Chapter 22: どっしやっみない

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