1-29: Rhythm of the war drums

Completed episodes of the Azalea Company. Coming to a webcomic near you! https://www.su-comic.com
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1-29: Rhythm of the war drums

Post by Kim »

Scouts, Melee, and Calvary
After the Cessation of the Avenger
At the same time as "A Clash of swords and rifles"

Just as she finished the follow through, Valériane back pedaled to evade retaliation. She paused when she realized that the Black Army had gone silent. The distraction was enough for the Black King to initiate a throwing motion without Valériane processing his actions.

The Black King's spear flew and penetrated the thin visor of her helmet before it buried itself deep into her forehead. Her hands flew to her face when the mono-molecular tip pierced through the glass, but it was a futile motion.

Valériane and her spear hit the ground at the same time and never moved again.

The Black King stood over her for a moment. Processing what had just happened. Then he started calmly advancing by foot. Then he heard it. Azalea Company's battle horns began blasting from the left and from the right.

The shield wall they had formed began slowly advancing forward, and Azalea's rifle companies began firing in volleys into his troops. They were starting to cheer, and this motion threw his ranks into utter chaos. The Black King turned and rushed over grabbing his Spear and heading to his ranks to rejoin the lines. With a quick jerk he reclaimed his spear. But it seemed that this company made up of mostly women wished to reclaim their Knight Commander. He soon found himself frantically moving as indiscriminate weapons fire began being exchanged across the field.

"All units forward!" Kamilla "Reclaim the Knight Commander! FIGHT ALL OF YOU! MAINTAIN FORMATION"

The roar that answered her felt like the exhalation of a lion. They had been ready to break. They had been about to run. But there was nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide; their hero had fallen, and a mix of hysterical desperation and the desire to vengeance had committed them. Kill! Kill! KILL!

"Calvary Commander! You are free to engage as you see fit, flank the enemy rifles!" Kamilla said over the radio. She was at the rear of the line with the Berserkers.

Sidurra Gallve had been forced to stand by and watch this contest between their leader and the leader of the enemy, watch as the two fought for their lives and watched as the vile creature killed Valériane in cold blood. She hissed and drew her heavy saber as things started to come apart, the orders to begin the attack came.

"Troopers, prepare to advance! She called to her people, speaking in Awagir since all those with her were the little over a dozen Kishargal volunteers who had joined with her. Sidurra used the saber to direct her people forward at a trot, which they moved into rapidly. Then she let the blade hang by its wrist strap as she unslung her rifle and cocked the hammer back. The weapon was loaded and ready.

She brought it up to her shoulder and sighted down the length of the barrel, aiming at the monster who had killed Valériane. He was far too far away, but none the less, Sidurra aimed as well as she could, leading him as he withdrew to his own lines and squeezed the trigger. Her musket's hammer slammed down, striking sparks from the frizzen, into the pan and igniting the black powder inside. The flash of energy burned down into the weapon and set off the charge, sending the blue-white bolt of laser energy screaming down the field.

Bob, or Xilfulgfhg in truth, watched with fascination as he always did since coming to Azalea Company. Since meeting her, Valériane had quickly made herself stand out from all the rest of the lesser beings in the camp, and even before that. Word had spread about her after all, and being in the industry, he knew Helashio, but this one? This one was different. So, the Sutakame watched the fight with secret glee, only to recoil for the first time in its life as someone else died. It didn't understand. It couldn't comprehend. The small, black creature - the Sutakame could tell what it really wanted. Didn't it want this of her just the same? Then why? Why? Now -

"H̴͍͚̏͋̾̂͛͐̎̍̉͝Ȩ̵̡̨̢͎̻͖̰̭̟̻̲̞̩̳̃͌͌̀̆̓̍̃͠ ̷̗̩̪̲̥̳̠͉͛͛̊̎͑͊̆͊͠K̷̨̡̧͓͓̖͓̖̱͋̋͂̑̈́̓̒͊͑̑͊̎̈́͜I̵̹̦̯͗͛͜L̸̦̜͙̥̝̈́̀͌͂̂̐̀L̸̡̤̘̞̣̮̄͑̉͒̿͑́̚̚Ȇ̷͓̠̳̥̱͙̭̗̯̘̹̝͉̣̮̈̐̾̃̎̈͊̀̈́͐̕Ď̶͎̉͌̀́̑͝ ̷̧̬̼̗̘̩͓̲͍̗̣̣̳͕̔̆̓͌̚Ḩ̷̯̣̝͇̖͐̋͆͑̈̓̅̊̊͊̂͘͝͠͠E̸͇͘R̷̛̖̼̃́̏̾!"

Like a wordless, sour note, the furious, raging piece of meaning began thundering across the great divide between the armies and began assailing their minds. Weak across this distance, it Black Army only sent a chill down their spines, but Azalea simply felt the meaning, and understood. He told them. All of them, with absolute certainty, that Valériane had fallen. Like a rallying drum and demoralizing war cry, the monstrosity flew off into the air after the cavalry in a fit. With every inch, every foot, the rage, the anger, the booming, nail-on-chalkboard hatred grew stronger in the Black Army's minds.

Easily keeping pace above the cavalry, juking and dodging as it cannonballed towards them, Bob began to show the Black Army horrors from the old wars. Tentacles wrapped around its quartet of battle rifles, eyeballed ends looking down the sights, it blazed away at the crowd, giving all of one gun's attention to the Black King's back.

Amongst the lines of huffing, panting steeds and uniformed riders galloped a huge black charger. Atop, dressed in ill-fitting Ersetu clothing sat a cyan-eyed young man, saber rattling against his rawhide saddle with each bound of the stallion. In one hand, an old flintlock pistol was levelled at the enemy as the thunder of hooves echoed around the man and his company.

The wolfman blended in well, other than the fact his eyes were glowing while seeming more human than Kishargal and the horse being much too muscular for his frame yet still seeming to struggle under his weight. Nobody there other than his platoon would recognize him, wolf like ears flat against the wind.

With both armies fired up after the events of the duel, the two forces would quickly meet each other in the middle of the field. The two separate cavalry units would find themselves clashing along the flanks of both armies. The stage for the cavalry battle was set far away from Valériane’s body, which laid in the middle of the field itself, between the two masses of melee infantry and rifles.

Sidurra would find that her shot had just missed the running figure of the Black King, dirt and shrapnel flying in the air as her shot hit the ground beside him before he fell into a stumble. It was essentially the best shot that she could have gotten, given her position on the field. The Black King recovered himself and sprinted back to the relative safety of Black Army lines before he could sustain further damage to his person. He would no longer be a viable target for anyone without a precision weapon and the skill to shoot through a dense crowd.

Bobby would find that his first shots would strike center mass on the Black King. In reality, his shots were the ones that had caused him to fall. However, the Black King was easily able to recover himself after his neutronium armor soaked most of the damage. Still, he would not realize that he had sustained thigh and armpit wounds until he was safely behind Black Army battle lines. The rest of Bobby’s shots struck home on the enemy rifles and melee infantry. In total, he had already downed eight enemy soldiers. Even at range, the Sutakame was a force to be reckoned with.

Bob would feel bullets begin to bounce off his carapace as he fired, which negatively affected his accuracy and lowered his kill potential. For now, the bullets were harmless. However, he would need to ensure that he did not gain the attention of large groups of enemy forces.

The enemy cavalry had set itself on a warpath for the Azalea unit. Riding great, genetically-modified stallions, the riders were armed with long lances, spears, swords, pistols, and a few rifles. The riders were heavily armored, but they were not immune to bullets, maces, or monomolecular blades.

Just behind and beside the Black Army cavalry unit was a conglomeration of pikes and pistols, which maintained a square formation. Although their movements lacked the speed of the cavalry, they were a threat for any Azalea rider that lost track of his or her position along the flank.

Sidurra sniffed indignantly as her shot missed by a hair, to burn into the ground at the foul creature's feet. She quickly went about reloading and recharging her musket with powder and shot, preparing it for when it would be more useful in battle proper.

"Cavalry squadron, we will ensure the infantry can recover the Commander's body and keep the enemy at bay!" she said, regaining the hilt of her saber and swinging it's flashing, cold, grey blade in the air above her polished silver helmet. "Reserve gunfire for when the rogues are close enough for our shots to be effective. We'll only have one shot." she said and her people lined up as their birds trotted forward.

"Advance!" she commanded, bringing the saber down in a slash to point at the enemy and hunched over her bird as she urged the beast forward. The squadron of a dozen or so warbird mounted Kishargal cavalry surged forward, cheering and yelling their battle cries as their powerful Kirikuu shot forward, kicking up a spray of dirt at their feet.

Muskets and carbines were brought up to shoulders as the massive soldiers charged forward, sweeping in from the left flank of the Azalea line, then sweeping to the right, making a sharp right turn to sweep in and impose themselves between the enemy and the body of the fallen commander.

As they came into effective range, weapons were trained, glowing eyes sighted down barrels and sights as the massive warbirds of the cavalry squadron thundered down the field, shaking the ground, deafening those with sensitive hearing with the pounding of clawed feet on the ground, the screech of Kirikuu and the war cry of Kishargal soldiers.

Triggers were pulled, explosions puffed and burned as gunpowder was lit off, muzzles banged and flashed as air burned into plasma and blue laser bolts seared through the air at the leading edge of the enemy lines.

Then, with no time to reload their long arms, the Kishargal cavalry swung their weapons over their shoulders and either drew bladed weapons, or long, curved flintlock pistols, ready to discharge a second round of fire at the enemy, or slash at them with blades as they shot past, then wheeled around to slash back across the gap, keeping an ever-moving line of armed cavalry rushing back and forth across the gap.

Seeing the perpetrator escape, the Sutakame howled at the Black Army's minds as its rifles went dry. Staying close to Azalea’s cavalry overhead, the flying monstrosity shifted its tentacles about; as one eyeballed limb peered into its pack, others reached in, depositing spent mags while retrieving fresh 7.62mm rounds. Seeing the horde of black clad beasts and riders coming at them, the Sutakame made to break their charge. Directing its endless torrent of rage at the minds of riders and mounts alike, it joined Azalea’s charge, guns blazing.

The thundering horde of Black Army cavalry broke down upon hearing the voice of the Sutakame pornstar ring through the skulls of man and beast alike. His subsequent torrent of gunfire cut them down like wheat through a scythe. In total, the Sutakame downed twenty-five soldiers with his guns. The monstrous creature had made a gamble, and it had paid off. However, three riders were approaching him from all sides. One of the riders was armed with a rocket launcher and rode on a lightly armored mount. The other two were clad in a thick suit of armor, with one wielding a massive, monomolecular glaive that granted him long reach and the other a monomolecular tipped lance. Their horses were also clad in armor, giving both horse and rider nigh invincibility to small arm fire.

The first rider fired his rocket launcher at the Sutakame and cycled his mount back to prepare a reload while the other two charged the monstrous creature.

In total, Sidurra’s cavalry downed ten soldiers with their initial barrage of fire. However, the Black Army pike formation had fired pistols once the Kishargal unit had turned their backs, taking down two mounts and one rider. A few infantry medics managed to recover the soldiers as they fell off their mounts. The uninjured rider ran to join the Azalean infantry formations, while the other was carried off by the medics. The Kishargal cavalry found even more success in melee range, their blades, lances, and pistols taking the heavy infantry by surprise and quickly taking fifteen riflemen and melee infantry out of the fight.

If the cyan-eyed wolf man decided to go with the Kishargal cavalry or to support the Sutakame was up to him...

Seeing the riders coming after it, the creature did something completely unexpected. The Sutakame suddenly flew after the man with the launcher. Stabbing its collection of rifles out at the riders, it continued to blaze away; as it dual wielded to bring down the man with the rockets, the other two made to swat away the pesky riders giving chase. It was clear as day that Bob wanted the explosive weapon. Badly enough that flesh rippled and moved - out of the ends of several tentacles came half a dozen blades. Blades meant to rip and tear into a power armor's joints.

It wasn't even going to bother taking it out of the man's cold dead hands - it would take hands and launcher!

The wolfman spotted Bob through the clash of sabers and booming of guns, horses and men going down on both sides. With the three bearing, down his ears twitched in readiness to act, right as the squid decided to perform a crazy maneuver. He had that covered, the Agarthan decided immediately. A few of his platoon went down and they hemmed in around the glowing-eyed man.

Suddenly, he pushed off from his mount, jumping clear by a good few meters from the skirmishing enemies who had sought to hem him in. In the small window, he had made for himself, the man fell to all fours, the splintering of bone that marked the transformation of an Agarthan emanating from his body.

It was close blade work now. muskets, carbines and pistols had been discharged and there was no chance of reloading them anymore, not this close to the enemy. Sidurra knew some of her people were down, but there was no time to stop and count how many. Instead she pressed the enemy, her bloodied saber hacking down on the enemy as she guided her warbird through the enemy, she and her surviving cavalrymen riding the enemy infantry down.

Charging on the back of twelve to fifteen-foot-tall Kirikuu was a terrifying thing for infantry on their feet. And these infantry, while numerous and well-armed, were not properly trained in how to handle cavalry. Even though her numbers were incredibly small, the lines of soldiers were defenseless to even moderately capable cavalry. They had not formed square and were vulnerable to sweeping cavalry charges and Sidurra took well advantage of it, bellowing orders to her small squadron and to run down the enemy.

She charged in, her massive warbird biting and snapping at enemy soldiers, going for their arms, their heads, or just bowling them over bodily as the massive beast rammed through them. All the while, Sidurra brought her sword slashing down, the cold grey blade flashing as she hacked down on heads and shoulders and upstretched arms, killing as many of the enemy as she could on each pass through their lines.

The two heavily armored riders swung their mounts wide, keeping a wide berth from the tentacled monster that had fixated its attention upon their lightly armored comrade. Bob would quickly find that the riders rode extremely fast horses, to the point where they were able to maintain what would be a sprinting speed for a normal horse for several minutes at a time, even with their heavily armored riders sitting astride their backs.

Despite its speed, the lightly armored horse fell to Bob’s shots, with the rider jumping clear of the falling horse and landing on his feet in shocking display of athleticism. All the while, the rider maintained his grip on the rocket launcher. The riders armed with the glaive and lance were hot on Bob’s tail, followed closely behind by the transforming Agarthan.

The man who had jumped off the lightly-armored horse had one knee to the ground, and the rocket launcher was aimed at Bob. He held his fire for what seemed to be an eternity. However, at this range, the projectile would take less than a quarter second to reach the Sutakame. To dodge it, Bob would have to slow down on his approach and make his movements unpredictable, leaving him vulnerable to the riders that followed him.

Meanwhile, the Kishargal cavalry found success against the infantry formation, taking over thirty Black Army soldiers out of the battle. However, they would need to disengage quickly, an enemy pike formation was quickly approaching, and was beginning to form up near their exit points.

From the massed bodies of so many warriors, a great dire wolf leaped, soaring over the heads of even the mounted knights. With a grunt, the beast landed - nobody would have seen anything like it before, though it resembled something as if from mythology.

Cyan blur eyes glowed with an inner fire as well as in the literal sense, the wolven iris therein even flowing and swirling in an alien manner. Nearby mounts whinnied and squawked at the sight of the unique predator, allowing a gap in the crowd as they backpedaled from its sudden appearance.

Spotting the aberration that was Sutakame just ahead, it pounced, aiming to smash into the rocket-bearer's side like a fanged battering ram.

The clash of bodies, metal, steeds, gunfire and the horrific roars of monstrous creatures that should only exist in nightmares effectively drowned out the rumbling growl of a motorcycle tearing across the field at a ridiculously high speed from the rear right of the enemy line. There was no visible rider as the vehicle closed the distance on the flank of the enemy line. At the moment of near impact with the backs of the pikemen the motorcycle leaned hard to the right. Sunlight glinted along the length of an over 6-foot-long, heavy, double edged monomolecular ebon blade of a Zweihänder, as it arched down in a from the left with inhuman strength and the momentum of the motorcycle's speed into the Black Army pikemen's backs.

The rider kept her Onyx power armor's stealth systems active as she engaged in hand to hand combat. The motorcycle only slowed by a fraction as it tore off again. This is insanity. Armored horses, armored Kirikuu, rifles... and now here I am in a stealth power armor, on a motorcycle, using a horse sword. What a weird world I live on. The rider thought to herself.

Into all this bizarre chaos, Bob only added more to the fire. Rapidly closing in on the rocketeer, it blazed away with a pair of rifles, intent on dumping its rounds into the upper chest, neck and face of the rider as well. However, with the other two closing in from behind, the Sutakame did something the others couldn't. It flew up, zig-zagging into the air out of pike-reach as its mess of tentacles brought the other two rifles to bear on its pursuers, intent on gunning them all down!

The riders behind Bob tanked through most of the fire, their heavy armor protecting them from the brunt of the damage, the rider with the glaive connected with his target, his massive weapon cleaving two tentacles, one of which was carrying Bob’s rifle. Bob flew up fast enough to avoid damage to his carapace, but not to his tentacles. However, the rider with the lance switched targets at the last moment and couched his lance in the wolf man’s direction, while his attention was focused on the man with the rocket launcher. Bob found himself in a position where he would have to warn the wolf man if he were to save him from the lance.

Despite the damage to his person, Bob’s shots struck and killed the man with the launcher, making the wolf man’s efforts somewhat worthless. However, he did not kill him before he managed to get a shot off, which went wide flew away from both Bob, Lukina, and the wolf man.

With her six-foot-long horse sword, motorcycle, and invisible power armor, Lukina was a force to be reckoned with, killing and cleaving through twelve pikemen with her blade. She was moving too fast for the pikes to stop, so many resorted to small arms fire, with many shots puncturing holes in her front and rear tires. Her tires began to deflate before her eyes, the high speeds making the process faster and potentially more dangerous.

The dire wolf grunted in annoyance despite the whirlwind of combat, his efforts rendered entirely worthless and now putting him in danger. Thanks for that, he thought as many fell and cried out around them. Still, it gave him time to look around and spot the lance bearer due to the swiftness of Bob's butchering.

With the wooden-pole-bearer coming towards him, the Agarthan's eyes began to increase in brightness, becoming like beams of light to hopefully dazzle the oncomer. Once the enemy got closer, it would be easy to step free before he could re-adjust, hopefully having him careen into the ranks and down himself.

Lukina flicked her wrist, making the sword retract into the handle as she quickly pulled herself up onto the seat of the motorcyle. She jumped off the motorcycle and let it the momentum take it forward, engaging the thrusters of the Onyx to bring her up and out of the way of the crashing motorcycle. She lowered herself back down to the ground and stared at the pikemen from the Y shaped visor of the Onyx, the thrusters disengaging, allowing her to be invisible again. Jack can forgive me later. She grinned beneath her mask and ran towards the pikemen again, re-engaging the Zweihänder when she was in striking range again.

Clawing at the black glaive rider's mind like it was a chalkboard, the Sutakame quickly gave him its full and undivided attention, ignoring the lancer bearing down on his wolf ally. Turning about in the air like a fighter, it sped after the man that had rent its tentacles. Like an attack craft, the Sutakame floated up just a bit more to stay just out of weapon's reach proper. Floating directly over the man, it fired all three remaining rifles straight down into him, mag dumping.

The lancer swerved his horse to the side, the massive creature galloping just out of range of the wolf man’s claws. The lance gave him superior reach over the Agarthan, and the monomolecular tip penetrated deep into the wolf’s unarmored upper thigh, impaling the creature upon the lance until he slid off and was cast to the side.

The lancer and the glaive rider galloped their massive horses just out of range, although the glaive rider’s armor took heavy damage from the barrage of fire, to the point where the suit was completely compromised, pockmarked with bullet indents and dented by various kinetic forces. As the horse rode away from the Sutakame, the rider simply slid off the mount, dead by the time he hit the ground.

What followed was a peculiar interaction between man and mount. The massive horse stopped galloping and trotted back to where the man lay. It gave a short whine, before galloping back towards Black Army lines, finding the Sutakame’s mental attacks too much to bear.

As Lukina ran towards the pikemen, she would find that the pike line moved in a highly disciplined fashion. The long weapons made it difficult for her to advance upon them without impaling herself upon their weapons. However, her Zweihänder was a weapon designed for anti-pike warfare. The massive sword cut through the hilts of the pikes like a scythe, rendering them into useless sticks as Lukina advanced through the formation and cut through eight of their number before being forced into a retreat, finding that many in the formation had pulled out swords and pistols to use against her. Quite simply, Lukina needed to disengage before the pike formation maneuvered on the offensive. Bob and the wolf man were close by, making their location the most viable option for her retreat.

Before long, another formation of hostile, heavily armored cavalry was fast approaching. Armed with machine guns, long glaives, lances, swords, and assault rifles, each unit was similarly armored to the lancer and glaive man.

In total, the cavalry formation was eighteen strong, and each rode upon a fast and imposing steed, rider and mount clad in thick black armor.

With an aggravated mental sigh, Lukina re-routed to assist the monstrosities on the field. She watched the horses and moved toward them, recognizing the wolf. "Hey, I don't know you, tentacle beast, but you are fighting against these fucks. So, I guess you're cool. Hey Wolf! I don't know if you understand me but we can cover each other's back on this... we're slightly outnumbered," the disembodied voice was young and feminine as a strange black power armor with red markings shimmered into view. The left pauldron was larger than the right. She held the Zweihänder easily in her left hand at its full length as she turned to cover one of Bob's and the Wolf's exposed sides. The y-shaped visor tracked the movements and gave her the estimated time of approach and distances of the riders. "I'm sure there's a story about how you joined Azalea that you'll have to tell me later." Her right hand came up to grip the long hilt of the sword. "Hey Wolf, after this, we'll have to get you some armor."

Sidurra's cavalry squadron swept through the infantry once more, swords flashing as the riders hacked down on the enemy, the sharp edges of their weapons biting into flesh and bone, drawing out long gouts of blood as the blades were pulled free, swung and brought crashing down on another enemy. As the riders hacked, the great Kirikuu warbirds ran down and trampled the enemy unfortunate enough to be before them, the massive birds bowling down men and women with their broad chests, crushing bones, sending people flying, then trampling them under foot with their massive clawed feet.

Sidurra drove her heavy cavalry saber into an enemy, the blade sliding through light armor, cloth, flesh, slipping between ribs as it impaled the man, who screamed and flailed. She twisted her blade and drew it free as she rode past the doomed man as he crumpled to the ground to soak in a pool of his own blood.

The cavalry officer glanced about as she guided her bird along at the head of her squadron, her eyes darting about, between targets to kill and the greater battlefield around. She saw the pike-men trying to circle in and raised her bloody and gory sword, high above her head, red dripping and splattering from the edge of her blade.

"Cavalry, To me! To me!" she called out, swinging her blade into the direction she wanted them to go as she wheeled about and spurred her warbird in a new direction, her troopers charging after her as they broke free of the area the pikes were moving to encircle.

Having been denied his kill by some divine force, that same force saw fit to have the rider unperturbed by being unable to see. The lance miraculously found its mark, the man moved by an unseen hand to even swerve in precisely the right way.

However, the lance didn't cut as deep as one would have thought, given that this whole time the wolf had been able to move and was hardly stock still, bounding back as his flank was nipped by the weapon. He was even able to batter it with his claws as it came in to lessen the force moreso. Strangely, the drops of blood that hit the ground seemed to evaporate almost instantly. If his people had believed in a god, the man-beast would surely have thought himself cursed.

Now, he was far enough away from the rider that the rider would be unable to see him, the sound of Lukina's voice lilted through the air. The Agarthan made a sound almost like purring, a light of recognition glinting in those cyan eyes.

"Outnumbered?" Bob grumbled, just barely managing to note the elf's voice despite fuming in rage. "Wolf boy, get that rocket launcher and put it to use then!" the Sutakame pointed a tentacle at the fallen Black Army soldier. Quickly changing out the magazines on its three remaining rifles, the bolts slammed home as more rounds were chambered. With how heavily armored people were, the rifles were not the most reliable method of killing, much to its frustration. Hearing the big Ersetu speak however, it followed her lead. "We need to stay together," it formed up on the others. Opening with its rifles again, it more carefully aimed at heads, knees, elbows and steeds, hoping to disrupt and open the enemy to a back breaking charge.

On the corpse of the rocket cavalryman and the horse itself, the group would find enough ammunition for ten shots. The rocket launcher was ergonomic and allowed for quick reloads. The man also carried a great sword with a mono-molecular edge and a heavy revolver. The fallen glaive man had dropped a massive glaive with a mono-molecular edge and a power system, which when activated, would coat the blade in a sheath of energy. With the armor that the riders were wearing, kinetic rounds would only kill the riders with expertly-placed shots or focused fire.

Sidurra and her cavalry formation escaped from the infantry lines taking no losses, although one her number had taken a pike in their thigh. With Bob's sniping shots supporting them however, they wreaked havoc on the infantry on their way out, slashing and cutting through thirty-four more of their number before the withdrawal. Sidurra herself accounted for nine kills, while Bob had for four.

For the most part, the pike formation was annihilated. The few remaining survivors were either routing from the field or had ran to join a stronger infantry formation.

The group would only have enough time to get into a rudimentary formation and to reload weapons before the cavalry set upon them...

"I'm down to stay together. I recommend taking the horses down first," Lukina flicked the blood from her blade. "Wolfy, I can't manage this and the rocket launcher, plus my sword doesn't run out of boom, so I need you or the tentacle monster here to grab it. These guys are going to rush us." She gripped her sword's hilt and made ready for the rush, grateful to have power armor on and an active shield unit. "Hey Creature, don't die, wherever you are."

The Agarthan seemed to understand the two of them, bounding forwards to the fallen corpse and landing his front paws onto the body with a sickening crunch. A sound almost like running water could be heard as the wolf's figure changed once more, skin sliding like rain over tarpaulin until with a crack, he was back to humanoid form.

"Feck me, t'at hurt." Wolf grumbled, using the small respite to unclip the man's tactical vest and slip it over himself. "I've got the launcher m'dear, hang about." he spoke in an accent so different from anything they'd heard before it was as if every word was mangled. The fur-eared man slipped the revolver into the belt pouch of his vest, stowing the ten rounds in the series of other pouches deftly.

The fur-clad man swung his great sword and sheathe across the back of the vest, then hefted the launcher as if it was nothing, propping it up on one shoulder. Finally, he ran to join the others hopefully in time - there was no way he'd have been able to don the armor. "I'be honest with you guys... I ain't never fired one of 'ese mudderfuckers."

"It's loud, the trigger curves forward, point it that direction towards the enemy," Lukina spoke quickly, pointing to things on the launcher that she was speaking about before pointing to the business end of the rocket launcher, "That you point at the enemy. The explosion and will come out the back. You fire, open the barrel in the middle line and stuff another one in. Just do that until you can't any more. Aim for the center of the horses. The riders are a smaller target and you'll be more likely to hit the horses. Once the horses are out of the picture, we can engage the riders that survive with... what we have." She replaced her armored hand on the large sword's hilt, watching the targeting reticles and numbers on her Onyx's HUD, "Get ready, closest point of contact in less than 30 seconds..."

"Just do what she says," the Sutakame's voice sounded in his head. Seeing the enemy cavalry still gathering in the distance, Bob used the opportunity to quickly scoop up the glaive off the ground, tentacles wrapping around the shaft. Despite holding it at the very end, the monster had strength and control in excess over the weapon. "How are we going to tackle these shitheads?" he asked them all, menacingly glaring at the Black Army cavalry forming up in the distance.

Sidurra guided her cavalry squadron away from the enemy, giving time to check for wounds and count casualties. She spotted one of her people with a pike impaled in her leg and called for her attention.

"Get to the medics and have that taken care of," she ordered and cut off any chance for the younger woman to complain about being sent from the field of battle. "I can't afford to have one of my soldiers dropping from blood loss," she said and directed her to the rear for medical aid.

"Everyone else, to me! To me!" she called, gathering up the remaining of her cavalry squadron, ready to go for the next exposed infantry line.

"Bliddy hell, bit overcomplicated." Wolf muttered, taking in everything Lukina explained. "Cheers my love, maybe I ain't a lost cause after all." The Agarthan readied himself, glancing to make sure he could move and make space behind him like the elegant elf-girl had instructed. The sounds of the Suta echoing inside his mind almost spooked the strangely clad man, having never engaged in telepathy before. "Jaysus, ehm, pikes to the front?"

Lukina let out a short laugh turning her head only slightly to look at the Wolf, "Good, you can understand me now. So, what do I call you, or is Wolf good?" Her attention returned to the forces heading towards them. "Well, I would open fire if I were you. Before they close the distance, aim for the horses, cut their mobility. We can cut down the riders afterwards, there isn't enough of us to do aimed line firing."

"Well," the rather well-toned, oddly-placed soldier began, sighting down the launcher to the oncoming thunder of cavalry. "I don't really got a name, lads called me Green back in the camp but I think they just call everyone that. What about yourself, I'm sure your name fits you beautifully," he smiled, glancing to check behind him was clear. Squeezing the trigger shakily, the rocket practically leaped from the cylindrical tube, careening through the air in a cloud of grey discharge.

Surprisingly, there was very little kickback. He blinked a few times, hair even more befuddled than before. "Wow, okay..." the Agarthan muttered, lowering the weapon from his shoulder, silent for a second as he fumbled for another round. Quietly, he added "I like Wolf..."

"Then you can be Wolf," the power armored half-elf spoke after the explosive thunder of rocket launcher's first volley. "My name is Lukina Aleksasha Petrora."

As Sidurra rallied her men, she would look down the field and see the Azalean infantry had been struck by a reserve force as the main force broke. Now the Azalean Infantry was breaking and retreating. Across the radio they would hear Mizuki's voice. "Fall back! Fuck. General Retreat!"
The formation of enemy cavalry was packed tightly together, their monstrous warhorses were highly disciplined and easy to control. The wolf's rocket impacted with the ground and exploded with a fiery display. Shrapnel flew in all directions from the site of the impact, impaling man and mount alike with burning metal.

The shrapnel annihilated five riders and their mounts. Three more riders were completely thrown from their mounts, which were either injured or knocked off their feet. Effectively, there were ten riders left and three dismounted riders, who were still able to engage in the fight if they remounted or opted to fight dismounted…

The rest of the riders in the formation began to spread out their mounts. Those with firearms began to fire upon the group, while the melee cavalry circled around the group, looking to strike any of those who they could catch unawares.

"Major Sidurra!" Lukina called out to the Calvary woman from across the field, her voice amplified by the power armor as it resounded through the commslink to the thundering percussion of gunfire. "We need assistance against these cavalry!"

The combination of the half-elf knight's power armor and her shielding deflected the gun fire directed at her. She guarded the flank of the Suta and the Wolf man as the melee cavalry circled. Her Zweihänder glinted in the sunlight as she swung the massive blade at any cavalry that drew too close- aiming for the horses. "We can't pull back, we'll get ridden down at this rate." She inwardly cursed as she saw the Azalea Company infantry break formation and run in the distance. "Like that... Anisa damn it all."

"WE NEED TO GAIN FIELD CONTROL BY ELIMINATING THE ENEMY CAVALRY BEFORE RETREATING," a deep, baritone voice ominously thundered in their heads. "S-sorry! I forgot to whisper," Bob apologized. It was hilariously fitting for an RTS game however, but just not now. "I just hope they managed to grab her before falling back," he remarked, hopeful. It quickly sunk away though, as that heavy, foul feeling in its digestive sack returned. "What are we waiting for?" the Sutakame asked with the man's voice again.

The tall Kishargal soldier swore violently as she saw the infantry breaking and running. They had failed to form square, the only defensive formation that protected infantry against a cavalry charge, and were now running in ones and twos and threes, easy fodder to be run down and cut down by the enemy cavalry. Whoever was in command over there was either an amateur who did not know what they were doing, or were coward enough to not be able to think and keep their head and do what was right to fight the enemy.

Sidurra gritted her teeth and unshouldered her musket, reloading the weapon quickly, as did her surviving soldiers. The enemy cavalry outnumbered them by quite a lot and they would have to use every advantage they could to take them. Lucky for her, the enemy cavalry was completely focused on killing the breaking infantry running from them.

"To me!" She called to her people, who by now had their muskets and carbines reloaded and ready. "We will attack from their flank as they run down our infantry" she said, speaking always in Awagir, a language she knew the enemy had no knowledge of how to speak, but her people knew perfectly.

As her people formed up and began to trot towards the enemy, she let her saber hang from its wrist strap and cocked her musket, pulling the heavy dog head back with a loud and satisfying click.

"Forward!" she called and shouldered her musket, aiming down it's barrel as her warbird carried her to the enemy at a growing pace. They swept in and around to come up behind the enemy cavalry, weapons at the ready, and as soon as she judged the distance to be within what was effective for their long arms, she bellowed: "FIRE!" and pulled back on her trigger, her musket banging back into her shoulder, firing almost in unison with the rest of her riders weapons, belching out fire and smoke and blue-white laser beams, that burned out across the battlefield at the enemy cavalry.

"SWORDS!" she called next as she shouldered the musket and regained the hilt of her blood soaked saber and swung it towards the enemy. "CHARGE!" she called and spurred her warbird on to rush forward at a terrifying pace, charging through the gun smoke that had obscured her squadron as soon as they had fired their long arms.

The warbirds surged towards the enemy cavalry, the blood covered dull grey swords the riders wielded flashing in the sunlight as the gained on the enemy, thundering in to attack whoever had survived their small musket and carbine volley from behind with sabers and cutlasses.

They were too intermingled, Wolf recognized, for his launcher to be of any use as friend became indistinguishable from foe. Growling in a strange, primal fashion, the fur-clad man slung the rocket over his back and instead drew the sword he had collected hastily, the singing of steel of steel ringing out a little as he did. There wasn't a big enough gap to transform fully but he could manage a little.

The crunching of bone could be heard once again as the man's frame rearranged and expanded, muscles bulging more than they should through his vest and coverings, sword at the ready.

Keeping up with the rest of the charging cavalry, the Sutakame fired away with its rifles, carefully picking its shots at the joints and seams of the enemy mounts. However, as it scanned the area, it watched as the wolf-person stowed the rocket launcher. "If you're not using it, toss it over!" it called reaching out with its tentacles. The weapon still had its uses, but it had to be used now!

The Kishargal cavalry surged forward with their thunderous charge in full swing. In unison their rifles belched out blasts of blue light that arced out and hit their targets instantaneously. The Light hitting their armored cavalry men causing minor detonations that saw the heavy armor plates rip and wrench away from their bodies. The steeds they rode stopped their gallops to maneuver in fear, causing them to stall. Bodies fell from their mounts and dropped to the ground dead or dying. Then the Kishargal hit them head on. Sidurra would hear the squeal of horses and cawing of the Kirikuu, the screams of her men and the enemy and the clash of metal as sword met armor. Then the Suta came with his attacks, and demoralizing aura scratching at their minds. Any resistance Sidurra expected soon evaporated as the men, terrified, attempted to mount a retreat.

Lukina who was picking off their out riders would see Sidurra’s charge had castrated the enemy heavy cavalry. They soon evaporated and Sidurra’s riders, lighter and faster than the heavy black armored enemy knights halted their route and commenced slaughtering the men wholesale.

“Major Gallve.” The Cavalry sergeant said galloping up, his steed and his cuirasse slicked with the blood of their tiny enemy. “The micronians have been slain to the man. The men are wishing to commence with looting the bodies.”

Sidurra nodded, her bloodied sword hanging limply at her side as she looked upon the gory mess that was the remains of the enemy army in the area, now broken and dead or dying in the mud.

"Yes, that's fine" she said emotionlessly, and started wiping the blade of her saber clean on her trouser leg before sliding it back into its scabbard.

Lukina finally lowered her Zweihänder and flicked the blood from the blade before she let it collapse back down into the foot-long hilt. She took several heavy panting breaths as the fighting ended. Her black power armor was smeared with blood. She heard the resounding echo of a gun report in the distance. She recognized the familiar sound of a high-powered rifle and then another. Her visor turned towards the sound and her HUD showed the contacts. She frowned behind her visor. "Creature, is my Lord, okay? She asked over the commslink.

Lukina would see Creature through her HUD. He was on top of a fallen Behemoth that was misshapen and many times his size. Creature drove his great sword into its chest and twisted it causing body fluid to fly out like a short-lived geyser. Creature touched the side of his head and responded, after taking a moment to look at the way the Black Knight was being handled. "The Mi-fucking, uhhh the lord is alive. She looks pissed." He rasped back.

"I'm enroute, the cavalry is broken. We won this action, thanks to the Major," Lukina seemed out of breath as she broke away from the others and ran towards the hill that was overlooking the bloody and torn battlefield. "Do what you will, Major! I have to go to the Lord!"

"Pull back along the major retreat route. The army is at least heading north to Lucarin. That wasn't an order but advice. The Black King has the field." Creature said flatly.

"I have to go to her," Lukina replied before terminating the transmission. And you. She thought to herself.

Creature didn't respond. He knew Lukina would be here shortly. She would see him move away from the retreat, and form a barrier with the Dark Knight's rear guard.
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