-X- Introduction -X-
- Desolate Gail: Redux
- Started on: 5-17-2004 / Posted on: March 28th, 2006 / Checked on: Not Applicable
- By: Zeronova
- Chapter 47: Discipline Lost
- Text: Third person, Narration
- Text: First person, Thoughts
- Text: Interjection, the Narrator
-X- End Introduction -X-
The horde attacked on Testament's call for them to do so, his howling voice like a squeal of an animal on the hunt, piercing across the midnight. The moon was nowhere in sight; it had finally faded to new cycle, out of the night sky and hiding amongst the mountains and heavens to not shine down on this battle, for even it knew that the results would be fearsome. For all of the battles which had recently had the presence of the moon, this one didn't, and the silver lunar eyes failed to pierce this skirmish for fear that it too knew the inevitable outcome and hadn't wished to see the ugly death of it all, leaving instead its brethren, the sun, to see the carnage upon day break. Yet, day break was hours away, and the battle just begun. It would remain blind to the heavens until the morning would look upon the ashes.
The Gears were about a thousand meters away on top of the nearest hill, and from that hill's top, a relatively flat plane to the Seikishidan soldiers. Ky stood firm, looking forward as the Gears in front started running haggardly forward, the humanoid brawlers being passed by the more cunning animalistic foes, their bodies blotting out the few torches held by the lumbering two-legged ilk. Kiske took one step forward, then turned to his soldiers, all of them tense and ready, swords pointed forward, but waiting for the signal to attack. Atlas was waiting for the Gears to get close, close enough to be in the light and close enough for the Trojan soldiers to fire off their guns before the Seikishidan got into the guerilla proximity.
But, for all the calm military precision Kiske had planned out and how his soldiers were ready, LaTorri and his men were not. The Seikishidan were silent, the tramples of the Gear feet in the distance becoming louder and louder, their husking breaths ands whines of delight slowly becoming more and more audible as they closed in, the pyres of human skulls held by the large humanoid figures highlighting their brothers as they leaped closer and closer.
The echoes of LaTorri's foot steps offset the Gears oncoming attacks and the inaudible shallow breaths of the Seikishidan. He walked, both hands clasped behind his muscular, but somewhat short, gait, each slam of his boot on the top of the MT like thunder. He walked behind his rows of soldiers, all standing on top of the two massive MTs parked in front of the cratered walls of Neo-Troy. Everyone of the soldiers had their pistols out, the large grips snapped onto the pistol's handle, and snugly secure in their armpit, reaching out with their head leaning over the barrel into the sights.
But, the Trojans weren't as professional as the Seikishidan. I said before that the Trojans hadn't seen much battle, and whatever battle they had seen, it had been fairly small. LaTorri was a hardened man, he was on every excursion from Troy, and he kept order. But, most of the men who joined the Trojan Army were basically…rich kids trying to prove to mom and pop that he could do something in the world and was a big boy. They were just figureheads and wore that black vest with the red Z passionately. Hell, they were wearing Zepp branded regalia and wielding Zepp weapons, if that wasn't enough of a dead giveaway of their military strength and ambition; there was none. I don't even know if this is narration, or me just straight saying it. Trojans aren't soldiers.
"Steady arms, men…" LaTorri bellowed, walking rhythmically with each boot slap on the ground echoing through the metal of the MT and booming across the fields. He must have had at least a hundred men lined up on the top of each MT, down its length and elevated to shoot the front attack line of Gears. He had three pistols of his own, despite every soldier being issued one. Considering he was brother to the prime council and had him basically elected there, he controlled a lot of power, and three pistols wasn't a bad thing for him to have. He would also just say he picked them up off of some rookie carcasses that were killed some other time when Gears attacked the Trojan MT crews that were set out every so often. He also had the standard issue Trojan sword at his hip, as did every soldier, a mass produced craft-less blade that wasn't strong, durable, or notably sharp.
"LaTorri, have your men fire once the Gears reach the one-fifty-meter marker." Kiske said, looking back.
"You heard the man, do the plan!" He yelled, all of them mumbling a "yes" in some way. The one-fifty-meter marker, as Kiske put it, was from where the line was laid. Before battle, a few soldiers had placed a few boulders out at roughly one-hundred-and-fifty meters, to stop the flow of Gears, trip them up, give a good estimate. Initially, the soldiers walked around and saw some debris that far out, then were ordered by some low level sergeant to stack rocks in a line there, and so became the one-fifty-meter mark.
The only problem was that shots rang out well before the one-fifty.
LaTorri walked patiently, the mumbles and skitters of his own men embarrassing when Kiske's own vermin, the U.N. dogs from the outside world who would destroy Troy, as he saw them, were merciless and listened to orders. The Trojan Army was pathetic, its soldiers had never seen true combat, and knew nothing of discipline. Some of them whined, crying slightly, the thoughts of Gears and the oncoming battle too much for them, the scent of urine even drifting to LaTorri's nose. Their guns fumbled in their hands, sweaty palms letting the weapons slip and the soldiers aim jumping all about, unable to stand still.
A few soldiers turned around, dropping their weapons, and jumped off of the MT, running into the confines of the city and the darkness, too afraid to fight.
"If you are going to be a coward, then I'll shoot you myself!" LaTorri bellowed, firing off three shots in back of him after picking up the dropped pistol of a fleeing soldier, said soldier then falling face first into the street with a single shot in his back, and two others suffering the same fate.
"Wait for the one-fifty…" he said again, his deep voice not even needing to bellow to be heard definitively and clearly.
A soldier on the far right shot off his weapon, eyes widening at the realization he accidentally fired, looking at LaTorri, who plodded over to him to rebuke him when another scared soldier fired. "Not yet! Wait!" LaTorri yelled, but there was no stopping it. The line of soldiers started firing off their guns rapidly, ejecting shells making soft tinks as they hit the MTs metal top and then bounced off into the soft ground some ten feet below. LaTorri tried yelling a cease fire, but his voice was drowned out over the thunderous boom of over a hundred pistols firing off round after round into the darkness.
The Seikishidan soldiers didn't move at all, the orange glows of the weapons lighting up the field in front of them, but not piercing the darkness. The Trojan soldiers kept firing off, bullet after bullet, despite their leader yelling at them to stop, their targets too far off to even see, much less accurately hit. The shooting lasted for about fifteen straight seconds, the ringing of the thunder caused by them left in everyone's ears, but then no sound…none. The heavy breathing of the Trojans were left as they whimpered, clicking the triggers of their weapons as no more bullets would fire, then dropping the worthless handgun into the darkness, looking off into the darkened field.
A slight mocking laugh floated on the wind, undoubtedly it was Testament. Kiske whipped his head around, looking at LaTrri who was just as angered as the Seikishidan Commander was.
"You fool!" he shouted out.
"It's these damn kids, they don't know how to do a damn thing if it slapped them in the face! You all deserve your deaths for this bullshit!" LaTorri screamed. "Look now, you need to reload your gun!" A few questions barraged him, to which he shut up quickly by punching the person in question who dared to open their mouths, said person falling off the MT and landing on the ground awkwardly. "Press this button, the clip drops, grab another from the belt, put it in, push the slide lock down, and you're ready!" he said, holding up his own gun. They had never been shown this, or if they had, they'd forgot it.
Jaygus could only mutter at the pure stupidity of the Trojans…how their soldiers were unable to even follow orders or use their own weapons, the battle-frightened fools and idiots of which would waste the only strategic element the Seikishidan had on the Gears now. The Trojans fumbled around with their clips, trying to follow orders, dropping pieces or their guns altogether, fear overcoming them.
The trampling continued, the Gears edging their way further and further towards the humans, the cackling growing louder from Testament's foul lungs. The one-fifty-meter marker was hit about thirty seconds later, the slight orange glow from the lined pyres in front of the MTs and the casting huge fires atop the Trojan walls, stacked with whatever things one could find to help the soldiers, gave the Gears their moment to draw themselves from the darkness and formulate a physicality besides from the chilling melody of their rasping voices.
The galloping animal like ones came first, stumbling slightly over the small boulders, a few tripping and rolling, then getting right back up to sprint, others just leaping over the boulders all together.
"Have your men fire at the one-fifty, there are a lot more coming, and make sure they don't hit us!" Kiske yelled at LaTorri, who acknowledged him with a nod, but was too busy yelling at how to reload a weapon to too many scared-shitless Trojans. "Charge!" Kiske yelled, pointing his sword forward at the enemy, and the white coats all lancing backward as their occupants moved forward, the inertia of the wind billowing the capes out behind them. A good amount of people passed Kiske as he pointed forward for them, but he joined the sprint a few seconds after, mixing in with the rest of them, only discernable by the faint blue glow of his sword.
The two forces hit each other like an MT hitting the wall of Troy, or a ton of bricks, if you'd prefer to spare the pun. The animalistic Gears made quick work of the frontline of soldiers, quickly leaping on top of them and ripping them to pieces or using their agility to take out the sprinting soldiers. Once the two forces were knee deep in each other though, the battle started to even out.
There were probably around three hundred Seikishidan soldiers that had made it to Troy on the MTs, the rest of them were left in Lyon, the stains of comrade's blood still lining weapons and flesh of the Gears being fought now. The MTs, in total, had ferried about twelve-hundred people to Troy, which is what six MTs would have been able to carry, and they'd still be jam packed. And, of that twelve, only three was Seikishidan, making the other nine hundred civilian and still, so many were left at Lyon. Kiske could only think of the stupidity of the U.N. to try and colonize the city as soon as they had, because it only left more to be killed. Not to mention three hundred able bodied fighters was hardly enough to quell the innumerable amount of Gears.
Kiske never had the time to estimate how many Gears it took Justice to take over Lyon a few nights ago, nor the amount that now attacked him, but it wouldn't be foolish to assume it was more than he had. The darkness also didn't help to see the numbers.
Rivarez was at the front of the charge, ready and able for combat. He was raised to fight, and lived for the Seikishidan, this was the very reason he was alive. His Spanish ancestry was bred for this type of close combat, from conquistadors to bullfighters. His position of being a first-class sergeant wasn't for show either, as he was used to slaying Gears, listening to authority, and being a great soldier.
He had been centered on one leaping Gear, running straight for it, looking into the blood red eyes, and it back at him. When he was close enough, he knew it was leaping for him, aiming for him. He jumped up slightly, only a few inches off of the ground, but enough so that when he sliced vertically, his sword hit the blunt top of the Gear's skull, cutting into the thick bone, and stopping its forward momentum, knocking it straight to the ground. But, its momentum was transferred to Rivarez, who was knocked back a few feet, falling on his back as well. The Gear stood, snorting, obviously descended from some form of horse, its flat head and long body with spindly legs, but yet almost standing up straight, to give it a hunch-backed complexion. Rivarez's blade was lodged on the flat of its head.
The Gear reached up, ripping out the human implement with a loud growl, then ran forward at Rivarez, who quickly stood and dodged the enemy, as his ancestors would have had him do it, had he been in La Corrida. The enemy turned a few meters back, turning to charge Rivarez again, this time using one arm outstretched to sweep him, but after his first dodge, he was already running for the discarded weapon. Scooping it into his hand and slicing behind him in one fluid motion, he caught the charging Gear in the sternum as it tried to overpower him, instead its own rushing body ripping through the blade held tight in Rivarez's grip as it flung through and off the blade, dying a few feet away and Rivarez wiping splatters of its goop-like blood from his face, a smile parting his lips, then turning to grab another enemy and begin the dance of death once again.
Jaygus, on the other hand, was slower into the battle. He was passed up by more of the youthful few, and found himself facing off a rather large Gear. A younger private to his left had sprinted ahead, landing a few successful slashes and stabs on the Gear before it had crushed the boy's chest in with one large downward punch, leaving the body gurgling for blood, from his punctured lungs, heart, and other organs, caused by the bending inward and snapped ribcage. The foe was nimble, despite its nine-foot tall height and hasd an extremely large chest, the muscle tight and firmly stiff enough that the skin around it even had been exposed and ripped away to reveal the pink fibers of the strong chest.
It roared at its kill, then turned to Jaygus, who ran in front of it, stabbing it twice with two quick in-and-out stabs, readying for a third, when the Gear swiped horizontally with its burly fist. The wounds looked like small finger size holes on its muscular torso, bleeding nothing and not hindering the beast any. Two other soldiers started to battle it, jumping around its blows and cutting an arm that tried to punch them or jumping back from a swipe. Jaygus stood slowly, coughing from the tremendous force of the hit, running again to the foe, which had turned slightly in its quarrel with the other two soldiers. Seizing the moment, he jumped up and on top of the Gear's back, feeling the squishy skin and disgusting rot under his finger as he ripped his way up its back, pieces of skin dropping off from his prying fingers. Eventually, he was situated near its upper extremities, and brought his sword to its neck, twisting and holding tight as he dropped down to the ground. The blade dug into the soft flesh, the force of Jaygus' drop off the flailing Gear ripping successfully through the side of the neck, severing its spinal cord. The massive enemy dropped like a stone, a loud, thundering plunk as the ground gave way under him, leaving a mark and those around it finding footing.
But, in the corner of every soldier's eye was Kiske. The blue flashes and echoes of dying Gears radiated from him, no other soldier aiding him. The quick blasts of light on the darkened battlefield, lit only by the few oncoming Gears with torches and the pyres behind, the blue flashes every few seconds were what the soldiers fought with, seeing the face of their enemy lit in grizzly pale azure for a moment between swings and blocks, to see those dripping fangs and rotting faces of the enemy in front of them for the brief second was enough to just want to kill it.
Ky had found his own niche in the battle, noticing how Gears would sway their course or their closest human to fight, deviating to come directly at Kiske and Kiske only. He knew Justice had made him the priority to kill, and wasn't going to make it easy for him either, but somehow, he knew he would prevail. Justice didn't want him to die…did that creature see it as sport, as somewhat fun to watch humans struggle? Kiske was the natural enemy, for if he died, morale goes down for all of humanity, they lose their hero, the Seikishidan crumbles, and he held the one weapon specifically designed to kill Gears, so it was no surprise that more Gears swarmed on him than any other soldier.
And yet, he too had a smirk on his face. Unlike Rivarez, who lived for battle, Ky hated it, he didn't like the killing, the death…and yet, he found himself good at it. He was the person right for it, who had to do it, and while he'd never admit it, there was some urge, some primal shot glass he filled and drained consecutively with greater ease than he had with whiskey. A darker side, the more violent side that he would never admit he had, but during battle, it was all too obvious that it existed.
Three Gears converged on him, all three looking like offspring of the same creation, being long and lanky Gears who hunched over with spiny arms and sharp fingers. The first one lunged at him, blocking with his sword, the other two attacking at once, Kiske dodging under their consecutive blows and around the first's arm. They squealed, attacking him again, one quick slice to the right to disarm, literally, one of the Gears, then a stab left to another. Dropping to one knee and avoiding a horizontal swipe, he kicked out the legs of the second Gear, it grasping onto the third to try and stay stable, but both dropping. The first had been killed a bit earlier with his stab, and now the other two were killed under one long arcing slash that covered both of their chests, the electricity running about their bones and ribcages, withering away their organs to ash as the muscles contracted and convulsed.
Two more Gears dropped from the sky, their leaping trajectories nearly missing the chance to skewer Atlas. They turned quickly, attacking as their feet caught the blood-stained dirt. The first tried to bluntly smash Ky directly into the ground, but he side-stepped and then kicked its wrist forcefully, snapping it loose from the hand, the Gear reeling back, eyes rolling in its head to calculate while the second reered and took its place. Swiping quickly, it tried to attack Kiske three times, each swipe being blocked off, then it being sliced across the abdomen, bending over from the muscle convulsions. Kiske stepped back, putting both hands on the hilt, then swung harshly in another horizontal blow, the blade's own force and the following electrical current knocking the Gear into its handless comrade, soaring into the black darkness about ten feet, with a sick thud as the now dead Gear's innards and sharp bones stabbed through its handless brother, skewered by the body of the one who fought next to it.
Before Kiske could attack another, and there were plenty, the sound of gunfire rang out again.
His head snapped behind him, seeing LaTorri point out to the Gear hordes, his men, illuminated by the dancing fires, fumbling and shooting in trembling hands forward. Most had gotten their weapons reloaded and were now shooting off round after round, screaming uncontrollably as their fingers smashed down over and over again on the trigger, closing their eyes as they shot blindly.
The one thing Ky thought as an advantage soon turned worthless, and deadly. A bullet whizzed by Kiske's face, feeling the parting wind brushed onto his cheek, the shot hitting a Gear in front of him, the sagging and sitting blood in its body exploding out like a stone in a still pond over Kiske's relatively white uniform, splatters and dots of the foul beast's life over him, or lack there of. The orange blasts of light that signaled a bullet fired was like a blinding bloom of a flower from Kiske's vantage, turning to see the rows of people atop the MTs, firing blindly into the crowd of Seikishidan and Gears.
The entire front line of Gears was killed, no doubt about it, but they weren't the only ones. Blind shots and foolish men's bullets strayed, piercing Seikishidan soldiers as well. A few men groaned, falling down dead from a bullet in the back of the head or in the chest, grabbing at the splattered wound. Few men were shot through, the bullet passing through human flesh then the Gear in front of the soldier, killing both with one shot. The white robes became laced with holes and blood, exploding all over like a display of red fountains over the battlefield, acting like a crimson marker for anyone around them.
"Stop firing!" Kiske yelled futilely, his words being drowned out by the clash of metal and the boom of the gun fire. "Stop shooting now!" he screamed again, but nothing. Another bullet whizzed by, smashing into the broad side of his sword, which he held at his side. It flew out of his hands and to the ground, five feet in front of him. Atlas turned, seeing the glow fading from the blade once it left his hand, and dove for it, his face smashing into the cold, wet grass, laced with the carcasses of those he killed and dead Seikishidan lying around. He felt the splash of blood as a man fell next to him, gagging on his own liquids as he saw Kiske looking back at him on the ground, then a Gear falling next to him, the blood splattering again amidst the now unheaved earth and mud.
Tracks of Gears' feet, both that of human, animalistic, and amalgam, dug into the ground. Their footprints pooled the blood into the soft dirt, ripping up small roots and weeds with their claws, dampening boots as hard steps kicked up small splashes onto the socks and ankles of those battling. Everytime a man fell, he soon was gurgling, if not already dead, on the mixed fluids of his brothers and his mortal enemy, dipping his head next to a lifeless body that sat in a barrage of uneven ground, pressed with the ferocious leaping of both sides.
Kiske finally grabbed his sword, slicing upward at an oncoming Gear, then another, and another…not stopping or thinking, just killing. He was dirty, mud lining the entire front of his white suit, mixed in with the running and stagnant blood, seeping into the fabric. His hair contained a few clods of dirt, some crimson lingering on his blonde bangs, quickly removed by his jerky movements, flung into the night sky with his perspiration as he whirled his sword around for another blast, seeing the Gears around him explode from the shells hitting them, and similar cries of humans as the volleys of gunfire bowled their way through the soft flesh of anything the unmerciful flying lead would come into contact with.
"They're not going to stop, sir!" Jaygus yelled, slicing through a Gear, then turning his head to Kiske, looking through the Gear that toppled a moment later, connecting their gazes.
"We've got to get out of here or we'll all get killed!" Kiske yelled back, kicking his current Gear in the chest, whirling around with his sword in a long horizontal slash, the lightning brimming off and ensnaring the enemy in its blue fingertips.
"Fall back!" Jaygus shouted to his side. "Fall back to the walls, now!" he said, removing the leg of a rushing Gear that was trying to get past Jaygus and to the rest of the soldiers, but it crumpled down on its non-existent leg, as if it didn't realize it no longer could stand, rolling amongst the dirt for a moment before pushing itself up with its arms, but it then was pierced to the ground with Jaygus' sword through its back. He removed it, then looked to Kiske, blocking a sword to Ky's left, then stabbing the Gear after a delayed moment of opening. Kiske finished off his Gear, and then Jaygus, almost too forcefully for an under-ranking soldier, grabbed Kiske and pulled him along behind him, even though Kiske was still slicing at the hissing enemy that didn't stop coming for him.
It took a moment for Ky to gain footing, but once he did, he was running with Jaygus, periodically turning to blast a shot of electricity at the Gears. The ground exploded in large chunks of grass and foliage, leaping up from the ground in dirt particles and into the nostrils, eyelids, hair, and hands of those who ran by. Jaygus wiped his eyes with the side of his gauntlet, smearing a ball of dirt across his brow that was bliding him. The closer the Seikishidan got as it ran, the more of the enemy could be seen in the fire light, showing off the grotesque features and blood lust, as if such a thing could be physically perceptable. And, the closer the Seikishidan got, the better the Trojan's aim became, but not to say that there was a periodic cry of pain as a white caped person fell backwards into the muck and blood from gun wound, either dead there or in moments when the trampling feet of Gears would pound any semblance of life on the ground to pulp.
The animalistic Gears had been cut down in number from the initial attack, but their numbers were still dwarfing that of the Seikishidan's, now at about two hundred, down a full third. And, at the one-fifty mark, the boulders on the ground started to be kicked around, picked up and tossed ahead into other Gears, the shadowy, but recognizable line being destroyed and dismembered as if it too were a human. The lumbering humanoid Gears had finally made it to the close range of the battlefield to catch up with their speedier animalistic cousins. The construction of the human one-fifty-meter-mark was another show that anything human would be destroyed by Gears, even so simple as a line of rocks. Justice wouldn't let it simply exist.
Ky finally reached the metal of the MT, where his soldiers were gathering up and around, looking at the oncoming flood of Gears in full firelight. The torches had been set about twenty feet apart in front of the MTs, and the ample light from above on the walls of Troy, to illuminate the threats much better than out at the one-fifty, where one had to rely on shadows, sound, and instinct. He touched the frame, then reversed his direction, jumping back out at the Gears. They were a few seconds delayed, but it was enough for Kiske to look over at Jaygus, who breathed in heavily, his jet-black hair with peppered gray in it hanging loosely over his face from its slicked-back position. One thing Ky could note, especially from an Old World standard guy like Jaygus, was that all bets were off. The statured man and respectful soldier had disappeared somewhere when the guns started going off, leaving way for a brutish Jaygus, the Jaygus that would throw his own commanding officer to make him move from getting killed, and the same one that breathed in heavily with frazzled hair over his face like he too was a dead-set Gear for battle.
The bursts of fire behind them added to the orange light, the thundering continuing as shot after shot exploded upon the oncoming flood of Gears, some of them taking three to four shots before they even flinched, the skin and bone splintered, being ripped apart by the bullets, but the Gears not stopping, only continuing their leaping strides forward. The booms of fire mixed with the heavy, whining grunts and dual squeals of the enemy made for a noise that Kiske had never before heard, the sound of so much that he could lose himself in it, between sword clash and gun shot and yell, his mind could go numb, he could fight unhindered, he wouldn't have to think or do anything, he reacted on will and will alone. His fighting side had come out as well, it had no care for right or wrong, especially not for life. It was there to kill.
And it knew that this was definitely going to be a night to remember, but it would be the memory that would haunt him, if he ever would dream again. He'd have to live to be able to go sleep in a bed, and if he did, the yellow glint off of the glistening carapace of the Gears rushing onto him, dropping as they blossomed with the hail of gunfire and sliding to a stop in the dirt, would be there to wake him from his sleep. And, Kiske blamed Justice, for it all. Justice was the reason he had to lean forward and stab that Gear thats knee was just blown out and was barreling towards him, pinning it to the ground, and ripping his sword out as the body crunched in on itself from the current. It was Justice's fault, all of it, and the only Justice he could find was the one that resided in the tip of his blade.