Vol 14: Chapter 11-1.
Three hours had gone by. The death toll reached 1300 people, only a few dozens were injured. Most of the deaths were caused by the jungle spiders. The first dozen wave or so of jungle spiders were taken care of by tactical nukes. However, as they were coming more and more frequently, the army had to stop firing tactical nukes. The last twenty nukes were saved for the most critical moments.
The jungle spiders curled up to a ball when they were shot into the air. Their exoskeleton was extremely tough and protected them from fire. All the bullets could do was get reflected off with sparks. After a few times of heavy casualties and with the help of Zheng, the troopers grasped the ways to deal with the jungle spiders.
The best option was to kill the blaster bugs at range. 500 meters was the line where these jungle spiders became not a threat. If too many blaster bugs came at once, the troopers would retreat. They needed to get at least 30 meters away from where the jungle spiders land. Their rifles could shred the spiders once they stretched out.
This tactic cost 1300 people. A thick layer of flesh, blood, and broken limbs covered the ground. But the troopers were only following orders mechanically at this point. Their bodies and minds were numb.
“Count of ammunition? How much do we have left?” Zheng sat on a rock a little tired. He just killed another tanker bug with the help of WangXia. Several hours of combat put a strain to both his body and mind. He expends over ten times the energy a normal person needs after all.
“2000 magazines, 11 tactical nukes, and 400 grenades. One and half hour before the rescue ships arrive.” Xuan said calmly.
Zheng sighed. He looked down to the foot of the mountain. Bodies of dead bugs piled up by the road. Every wave of bugs would destroy most of these bodies by a spray of fire by the blaster bug or a step by the tanker bugs. There was a period of pause after the previous tanker bug attack. The troopers used this opportunity to transport ammunition and swap the frontline. Everyone let out a sigh of relief for the short break. Zheng took out a pack of cigarette. He lit it with his shaky hand, sat on the front most rock and looked down.
“Don’t worry. We will survive. We have to survive. We bear a lot of things from our past and have many things to take care of. We will live on even if that means fighting with our lives!”
He took a puff sand said through the soul link. His left hand holding a cigarette butt taken out from the ring. He stared at it for a moment then put it back. Zheng stood up from the rock and said. “Troopers, prepare to fight! Let these bugs know that humans are not herbivores. Let these bugs remember our bravery on this mountain!”
The troopers gave him a shout in reply. Humanity in this world was different from theirs. The federation’s priorities caused military quality to decline but society also became peaceful. The contact with aliens revealed the heat within their blood. Humans were once a brutal and offensive race on par with the bugs!
Zheng looked at the swarms of bugs and knew the final attack began. The bugs had no sense of fear and their numbers were uncountable. However, the death toll in this battle had enraged the brain bug.
“Zheng, the masked area is moving up toward the ground. Is the second team finally joining the battle?”
Zheng said coldly. “Then let them come. If they don’t appear now, our rescue ships will come soon. They probably think we are weak. But what qualification do they have when we aren’t using our own weapons nor full strength? Xuan, think of a defense tactic to keep ammunition in balance.”
Xuan’s mind also felt a little irritated. He murmured. “I noticed the bugs’ movement very early. The pause after the previous attack was too long. The scan shows hoppers joining the attack. However, the environment isn’t suitable for hoppers. Are they going to attack without regard for casualties? The best result for them is one out of every one hundred hoppers can get up to the mountain top. Go defend by the entrance. I will arrange the rest.”
Zheng nodded. “Understood. Everyone let’s try our best to live!”
Following the first gunshot, the troopers began shooting. Bugs on the frontline fell in rows but there were so many more charging up. A lot of bugs died by being stamped on. The army’s firepower looked too weak in comparison. These bugs pushed their way up at the expense of countless dead bodies. The gap was closing in meter by meter, as was the weight on the troopers’ hearts.
Several minutes later, the second group entered combat. The thousand trooper frontline finally suppressed the bugs’ advance. That was when the blaster bugs started to appear.
The blaster bugs would kill a few warrior bugs with every step, yet the warrior bugs blocked in front of them to take the firepower. The gap was closing. 400 meters, 300 meters. The blaster bugs shot the tumors at the frontline. No one backed off. Tens of thousands of bugs were more threatening than several dozen jungle spiders at this point. As death approached them from the top, the troopers stood in place and continued firing.
Zheng yelled. “WangXia, use tactical nukes. One at the sky and one at the ground. Push their frontline back!”
Zheng charged up with a jungle spider leg he just snapped off. This was the only weapon better than the army knife he could use at the moment.
WangXia fired the tactical nuke at the sky. Just then, Zheng heard Lan’s voice. “The cliffs are filled with hopper bugs! Thousands of them are climbing up the cliffs. If the wind blows them off, they would fly back and keep climbing!”