54. To Seoul (2)
The Kwang Hwi Faction divided up their armored units into Mapo district, Eunpyeong district, and Seodaemun district.
On the other hand, the enemy’s armored unit, the Armor’s, torso exploded into pieces while charging at the tank. The humans’ armored troops had the clear upper hand in this conflict. Shards of armor and flesh were spraying everywhere as evidence.
It wasn’t over, though. Another monster quickly emerged from behind the falling Armor, using its body as cover. The tank commander failed to notice it in time, and when he did, he quickly shouted at the top of his lungs, “Reverse full speed!”
The 1500 horsepower MTU 883 engine roared violently. The Merkava Tank quickly reversed. The Armor was also quick to lunge forward as it noticed the tank backing off.
The Armor’s foot crushed through the asphalt. The monster used the rebounding force to launch itself upwards, its hand already clasped around a javelin. With reversed grip, it raised its arm high. The javelin arm was stretched back as its bicep tensed with compressed force.
In the tank, the gunner gulped upon witnessing the monster’s oncoming attack.
The gunner hurriedly shifted his stick.
The barrel followed the stick’s movement and aimed towards the monster that had just begun to descend on the tank. At that moment, the monster and the muzzle were at eye-level. Staring down into the bottomless pit of the muzzle, the Armor flinched.
The round smashed into the monster and drilled it into the side of a building. The impact turned a franchise coffee shop and a restaurant above it into dust.
The gunner looked through the fire-control system to confirm the Armor’s status, which had a big hole in its chest. Its body was completely lifeless.
“Good hit! Enemy neutralized!”
The gunner let out a sigh of relief. That was a bit too close for comfort.
– Heron here. Armor detected 1.5km ahead of Squad Three’s current position, over.
The tank commander responded, “Roger that. Squad Three en route to engage, out.”
– Squad Four is currently moving towards the Changcheon-dong three-way intersection. Joining forces with them is highly recommended.
The Sinchon Five-way Intersection was one of the most iconic downtown areas in Seoul. There was a rare university town surrounded by Yonsei and Sogang University, and Ewha Women’s University. It was not all formal, though, as bars, diners, and cafes decorated the premises to welcome the youth. However, that was in the past; now, they were accommodating monsters.
The Merkava Tank came to a screeching halt. About a kilometer in the distance, a group of Armors was gathered in a circle. Their large and tall stature made the wide Sinchon Intersection seem tight.
– This is Squad Four. We’ve arrived at the Changcheon-dong intersection. Current ETA on Squad Three, over?
Both Squad Three and Four picked their targets with the help of the Heron. It assigned a number for each Armor, and the two squads split the targets in half.
– Target confirmed. Ready to engage.
One tank and two APCs fired simultaneously.
The monsters fell from the preemptive strike. The tank shell wiped the life out of its enemies in an instant, while autocannon rounds splattered their blood, painting the pavement red.
The ones that managed to survive bit through the pain to get up. However, the armored units of the Kwang Hwi Faction did not relent. A 120mm shell found its mark on an Armor that was trying to hide behind a building.
The Armor was flung back by sheer force and crashed into another Armor that was running towards Yonsei University. Although temporary, the Armors were hindered in their tracks. The Namer APCs took advantage of this opportunity and rained hell on them.
The barrage of rounds severed whatever life the Armor had left in it as it struggled on the ground. Shards of armor from the monsters were scattered across the street, along with flesh and blood.
An Armor stepped on the shards of its brethren and cried out, as if it weren’t already going through enough. Fortunately for it, the pain was short-lived since a tank shell put it out of its misery.
Noticing their desperate situation, the Armors became less hesitant to stomp on their dead brothers to run away. The APCs shifted their barrels quickly, but the rounds were off by an inch.
– Ground units, this is Heron. Enemies are currently retreating towards Yonsei University.
“Roger! We’re in pursuit!”
The drivers stomped on the pedals, and the Merkava Tank and Namer APCs lurched forward. Speed was not an issue since they were traveling on a flat surface. The Kwang Hwi Faction’s Armored Units drove past the Sinchon five-way intersection and entered Yonsei Street.
Off to the distance was a group of Armors fleeing for their lives.
“Target spotted ahead.”
The gunner aimed for the Armors’ exposed backs and pressed the trigger. Due to the deafening blast, the windows on surrounding structures started shaking, as if an earthquake was coming. Despite moving fast, the tank managed to fire and land a round squarely on the monster’s back.
It was all thanks to the automatic target tracker, a device that aided in increasing accuracy when firing on the move.
The Armor frantically clawed the air for a few seconds, but it soon sprawled lifelessly on the ground.
The Armors had long legs, but the Kwang Hwi Faction’s armored units were still absolute in terms of speed. After each roar from the tank, an Armor was put to rest on the ground. The other Armors shook their arms and legs around wildly in a desperate attempt to escape. However, it only caused more buildings to blow up.
The Kwang Hwi Faction remained unfazed through the destruction they were causing around them.
A 30mm shell missed its target and lodged itself into a pillar. This pillar was a support beam for the Gyeong-Jungang railway bridge. When the round struck, the bridge sign with a hole in the middle fell down from the impact.
The final remaining Armor began moving in zigzag, possible because of the monster’s unique agile shape. Its new strategy worked as the subsequent shells continued to miss the monster.
“New trick up your sleeve, eh?”
Annoyed, the APC gunner carefully handled his control stick. The monster stopped its zigzagging when it entered a three-way intersection with no cover in sight. Right away, the gunner lined the crosshair onto its back. He was seconds away from squeezing the trigger.
“I got you n—”
-STOP! ALL UNITS DISENGAGE!
The Heron operator’s frantic shouts hammered the crew members’ eardrums. The armored vehicles, which were racing ahead of one another a moment ago, ground to an abrupt halt.
While the vehicle came to a sudden stop, a trigger was squeezed. The shell grazed the Armor’s ear, mere inches away from ending its life. Blood dripped from the torn ear, but the monster didn’t even look back, continuing its sprint towards the university campus.
The gunner let out a frustrated sigh after missing his target.
“Why did you tell us to stop?!”
– Enemy forces, estimated size 2 or above, have been detected in the university. The exact numbers are unknown, but there are definitely more than a hundred of them!
The gunner, realizing the gravity of the situation, nodded in acknowledgment. There were two squads gathered here, but they only consisted of one tank and two APCs. It was nowhere near enough to take on more than a hundred enemies.
– Transmitting your current location to Squad One and Two. Please wait for reinforcements to arrive and then proceed with the mission.
“Roger. On standby.”
– It won’t be lon—Huh?
A brief stifling silence…
Then came a panicked voice of the operator.
– Squad Three and Four, multiple enemies appearing from your rear! Size unknown! They’re pouring out of the Sinchon Five-way!
An uncountable swarm of mosquitoes was emerging out of Sinchon Station, Line 2. These were no ordinary mosquitoes. Rather, they were gigantic in size, ones seen only in nightmares; They had a total of five blood-sucking proboscises instead of one, which converged into one at the end.
The giant mosquitoes filled up Yonsei street and flew towards the vehicles.
“We’ll take care of the mosquitoes with the machine gun! You Merkava take care of the Armors from the front!”
The machine gun attached to the Namer APC was given free rein. After a shower of 7.62, a few mosquitoes hit the ground. However, keeping their large number in mind,
It didn’t even make a dent.
“Should we dismount?”
The soldiers riding in the dismount compartment asked carefully. Unfortunately, there were only a few of them since the humans had no intention of engaging Armors with infantry units in the first place. They had brought two to three soldiers per vehicle in case of emergencies.
“You guys fucking nuts? Stay there and stay put!”
Even the Armors were difficult to face against for a foot soldier, let alone a swarm of monster mosquitoes. They might get a couple dozen of them, but once a swarm surrounded a soldier, there were no guarantees of survival. The APC’s inside was the safest place for them at the moment.
A loud explosion could be heard even inside the APC, and an Armor emerging from Yonsei University’s direction was blasted off. Despite taking care of one, the tank commander wore a grim expression. Multiple Armors were gathering one by one from between the campus buildings.
“Heron! When will the reinforcements arrive?!”
– Reinforcements are in the same situation as you right now, Three and Four! You need to hold on a bit longer!
Squad Three and Four weren’t the only ones taken by surprise by the enemy’s flanking maneuvers.
The claymores all exploded at once. Covering 120 degrees ahead, thousands of steel beads blasted off everywhere. They were small, but each could reach up to a jaw-dropping speed of Mach 3.
Monsters with mere sticks for weapons were no match for the impending rain of steel. They spewed black blood and fell one by one, staining the asphalt with thick blood. A hot wave of wind swirled in behind the defensive line. Although only for a brief moment, the black tide of monsters covering their sight was dispersed.
Kwang Hwi’s soldiers, who were staying low behind cover, quickly stepped out and retaliated.
The road ahead was cleaned of monsters, albeit only for a while. It was soon filled with monsters again as another wave was sighted beyond the makeshift defensive line. This time, it was the dwarves they had fought in the past, the Shorters. They were running towards the command base.
The LPWS showered the ground with bright glowing fire. Originally designed for anti-air purposes, it could also be used to engage land units if controlled manually.
Just as the dwarves reached the nose of the defensive line, they were wiped away by the Vulcan. Their shredded limbs were flying in the air like fireworks, but there was no one there to appreciate the sight.
The Dragonflies, flying quickly into the air, shot off hydra rockets. A blazing fire made its presence known amidst the dark wave. Some of the monsters were dissolved without a trace in the explosion, while others were embraced by the fire. They were tortured to a slow, painful death.
“Commander! You need to escape from here!”
The officials were trying to persuade Kwang Hwi as they fired their weapons.
“How about you shut your mouth and focus on those fuckers ahead.”
Kwang Hwi quickly shifted his barrel and squeezed the trigger.
A spear flying towards one of the officials bounced off. The official smiled awkwardly, but the moment could only be savored for a brief second as another official started pleading Kwang Hwi. After all, the Kwang Hwi Faction only existed because of Kwang Hwi. The whole organization would be in danger if he were to suffer an injury or possibly die.
“Alright, no more of that. This is an order.”
The officials were forced to keep their mouths shut. If Kwang Hwi emphasized something as an order, there was no way to change his mind. They had spent ten years with him, so they knew better than anyone.
Kwang Hwi assured his officials.
“We can make it through this. We may not have our tanks or APCs, but we still got the choppers.”
As if on cue, one of the choppers flew by their heads, firing autocannon rounds. Under its wrath, the monsters rushing towards the defensive line let off a disturbing cry and perished.
“Our utmost concern right now is not us, but our soldiers outside.”
Kwang Hwi was worried about the armored units dispatched to hunt down the Armors. It would’ve been better if those units were together, but they were not. Despite their sturdy steel armor, one could never know what might happen. After all, according to Heron’s report, they were barely holding on.
“We must take care of the things here ASAP. Jackson also needs to arrive fast, then we can get the choppers…”
A sharp sound cut him off. The A-10, piloted by Jackson, was flying towards the battlefield.
– Bombs away!
The projectiles attached to the hardpoints of the aircraft were dropped on top of the monsters’ heads.
Amid the cacophony of deafening booms, flames rose alongside the defensive line. Hundreds of monsters were all instantly turned to ashes from a single bomb strike.
Off in another location, the Lords, who were strategically placing their minions from behind the lines, frowned in frustration.
— Ω —