The battle had now turned into a melee. The short distance between the two armies meant that as they’d predicted, neither side was gaining the upper hand and men were just being mown down seconds after they’d made the front line.
Troops from both sides were now losing hope. One desperate F.I.S. solider charged screaming something inaudible straight at Falcon who, surprised, only just managed to shoot him in the leg causing him to fall to his knees,
and then shot him again in the head only a few meters away.
Iadsgb moved forwards a few lines. He had seen R.K. fall but had no idea who had fired the shots that did it. At this range you could close your eyes, turn around, fire and more than likely hit something.
His men dropped all around him but he wasn’t worried, the U.R.S. were falling at the same pace; holed up in their pathetic riverbed.
A foolish U.R.S. solider who had spotted him, leapt from the trench and charged towards him, blaster blazing wildly,
but Iadsgb dropped to one knee and shot him several times in the chest and the man hit the ground still several meters from his target.
“We carry on with the plan!” Padfoot shouted into his comlink over the roar of the battle as two medics arrived with a stretcher for Blast.
They slid him across onto it
and then very carefully, surrounded by a circle of troops for protection, lifted him out of the rear of the trench and moved him back through the lines towards the cruisers.
“Stage one, go!” Padfoot shouted into his comlink and each of the U.R.S. leaders shouted to the troops surrounding them what had to be done.
Every U.R.S. troop emptied their grenade and detpack pouches onto the ground, so that by the time it was complete,
there was a long line of explosives laid out in and around the trench.
“Okay, stage two, go!” Padfoot shouted into his coms again and slowly, each end of the U.R.S. line started to fold backwards on itself, slowly, turning but each soldier still facing forwards.
The troops circled inwards, each man taking it in turns to be at the front of the steadily growing spiral.
“What the blazes are they playing at?” Iadsgb growled, watching what was happening as he neared the front line and another enemy troop took his chance and charged for him.
He got too close to shoot so the F.I.S. leader quickly drew a viro-dagger and embedded it in the mans neck.
Not bothering to retrieve it as the soldier collapsed, he went back to firing at the U.R.S., crouched on one knee.
The U.R.S. forces kept spiraling backwards and then the boarding ramp for The Manipulator whirred and started lowering.
“They’re retreating!” Iadsgb shouted to nobody in particular over the battle din and sped up his rate of fire.
He blasted into the enemy spiral that was now quite clearly moving backwards towards their ships, the swirling movement was just for defense, rather than just everybody turning tail and running away. This way, they could still fight off the opposition but at the same time, retreat.
“Don’t let them get away!” The F.I.S. head bellowed and the troops slowly started advancing again but slower now, more cautiously, towards the enemy, continuing to fire at will into the massive human spiral that was now close to the base of their boarding ramp.
The F.I.S. were close to the trench that the U.R.S. had been holed up in now and it was only at this point that Iadsgb noticed the explosives.
“MOVE!!!” He screamed and turned tail,
just as halfway up the boarding ramp, Padfoot gave the order of,
“Stage three, go!” Every troop who had laid down their detpacks activated the remote charges.
The explosion was massive. All the way along the dried up riverbed, the hundreds of dropped detpacks blew up and caused the grenades around them to explode as well. The effect was a huge wall of fire and smoke between the two opposing armies.
A large number of F.I.S. troops were caught in the explosion and those who weren’t staggered backwards away from the sudden light and heat.
Iadsgb flung himself backwards, face first to the ground, as did several others to protect themselves.
“Go go go!” Falcon shouted, stood at the bottom of the boarding ramp to The Manipulator, ushering troops on board while they couldn’t be seen behind the flaming wall.
“Come on! Move it!” Hess was doing to the same at the foot of The Valentine. He kept nervously checking the now dying flames to make sure it was still safe.
The U.R.S. troops were just rushing up the ramps now, not in formation or in their spiral, they were just trying to evacuate as quick as they could.
“Trapp, fire up the engines!” Padfoot shouted into his comlink to the Captain aboard The Manipulator’s sister ship. “Prepare for take off.”
“Aye sir!” came the reply and the rumble from the engines became the loudest audible sound, above that of the fire and the occasional laser through the flames.
Nightblaze and Shock had already gone to the bridge of The Manip’ and now those engines roared louder as well.
“We’re nearly there!” came a shout from Flare.
The fiery wall had now just reduced to a wall of thick, black and gray smoke with the occasional flickering flame, snaking up from the dried ground but never-the-less it still provided an un-breachable wall between the escaping U.R.S. and the attacking F.I.S..
Iadsgb was stood, furiously glaring at the smoke as his men continuously tried to break through it but with no success. The air was still searing hot and the smoke to dense.
Then gradually, the already deafening sound of the nearby cruiser’s engines gradually increased to an almost unbearable level and the wind started battering them, blowing the smoke wall to shreds in the process and so giving the F.I.S. a clear view of both ships taking off.
“NO!!!” Iadsgb screamed but the engine’s roar drowned him out and the buffeting wind blew away what little was left to be heard.
He aimed his duel blasters and fired repeatedly up into the sky at the rising U.R.S. cruisers and the rest of his army followed suit, attempting in vain to shoot them down.
Up on The Manipulator’s bridge, Flare, Shock and Nightblaze raced around making sure everything was in order as the two cruisers lifted away from the ground. Padfoot had already rushed off to the medical bay to check on Blast.
On The Valentine, Hess, Falcon and Slash were on its bridge with Captain Trapp. Hess watched from one of the windows as the F.I.S. down below opened fire.
Iadsgb let out a bellow of rage as the two cruisers grew ever distant in the sky, rising higher and higher towards the edge of the atmosphere.
Teeth clenched, attempting to keep as calm as possible, he stormed back through the ranks of his troops, shoving aside anyone in his way.
“He’s pissed.” Muttered Rogue to the injured Callum as the pair stood together, Jamie Clift nearby, watching him go.
BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? FIND OUT IN PART 6! COMING FRIDAY 3RD MAY!
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