Vol 14: Chapter 12-1.
Zheng was connected to Lan’s scan the whole time monitoring the bugs’ movement, the hoppers, the other team’s location, and the rescue ships. The boarding finally came to order after Xuan ordered to kill almost a hundred people. Everyone walked calmly. There were a hundred troopers that came with each ship. They had never been in any actual combat so they were totally shocked when they saw the bloody suppression by Xuan’s group. The new troopers soon began following Xuan’s orders and helped defend against the cliffs.
The hoppers showing up were much more dangerous than the frontline. Humans needed more than ten times the numbers to fight the bugs in close combat. Many troopers fell back in defeat. They weren’t in the bronze age anymore. Combat without firearms was near impossible. Furthermore, Zero was the leader of the group. He wasn’t as familiar with military tactics. Once the troopers backed off, about a hundred hoppers climbed onto the top.
The lieutenants stood up in this dangerous situation and led small groups in the attack. They still followed Xuan’s orders though since they knew the difference between Zheng’s team and them in arranging the defenses and executing the orders. Military ranks were pointless at this point. Those with power should take the responsibilities.
With more and more hoppers coming from the cliffs, the bugs also broke through the frontline. The tanker bug waved its claws and Zheng yelled. “Retreat! Everyone retreat to the rescue ships in the center!”
The troopers felt as though they were pardoned and started running back. Zheng said to WangXia. “Fire the last two tactical nukes at the bugs behind the tanker bug. We have to stop the bugs from getting close with large numbers!”
WangXia nodded and triggered the launcher on his shoulder. After a brilliant flash of light, he dropped the launcher then picked up the other one on the ground. The bugs hiding right behind the tanker bug charged at him at the same time. They were only fifty meters apart. The tanker bug moved slow but the rest of the bugs not so much. A dozen bugs reached WangXia in the blink of an eye. However, another person also stood in front of him.
Zheng shouted. “Hurry up and fire the nuke! I can’t hold them off for long!”
Being a determined soldier in the special forces, WangXia relaxed his body as soon as he heard these words. He focused his attention on the nuke launcher then pulled the trigger. This last nuke flew over the burning fire. WangXia threw away the launcher and yelled. “Run! Zheng! Run!”
Zheng stabbed a spider leg into a bug’s mouth then pulled his arm out before the bug could bite him. He dodged another attack, jumped up and kicked at this bug’s head. His kick was powerful enough to smash through the exoskeleton. Thick green liquid splashed from its head.
Zheng heard WangXia’s voice but he didn’t have the time to escape from these dozen bugs. He shouted back. “You run first, you will die if you get into close combat. Believe in me… This is an order!”
WangXia hesitated for only a moment then ran toward the ships. The first rescue ship had lifted off. Many troopers were cheering. Zheng was the only one still fighting these bugs while he moved toward the ships. The bugs weren’t easy preys as they tore off pieces of flesh from his body on the way.
Two bugs behind Zheng got knocked to the ground with these shots. Zheng turned his head around in panic to see that these bugs were killed by shots through the eyes. Zero was aiming with a normal federation weapon by a rescue ship. He said to Zheng through soul link. “Keep running! Don’t stop. I will take care of the bugs for you!”
Zheng took a deep breath and stopped dodging the attacks. He ran toward the ship next to Zero with the movement technique, leaving his back open to the bugs. The sound of wind coming from behind indicated the claws approaching him, yet he didn’t turn around or dodge. He had completely entrusted his safety to Zero.
Zero didn’t disappoint his trust. A bullet penetrated the bug’s eye before the claws reached Zheng. Zheng pulled the gap between him and the bugs to five meters with these two seconds of sprinting. His speed was higher to begin with. The buffer allowed him to escape from the zone of danger. The troopers next to Zero then focused fire at the bugs behind him and shot them down.
Zheng quickly ran over to Zero and asked. “Where is everyone? Why haven’t you boarded? Lan, label everyone’s location!”
Lan was paying attention at Zheng’s safety. She sent the location of the team members to Zheng as soon as she heard the words. Kampa already boarded the ship. Lan and Gando were standing in a line not far from Zheng. They should board the second ship in about a minute at this rate. This was following Xuan’s plan to stay low key so the other team couldn’t find them.
Zheng let out a sigh of relief as he saw the two boarded the ship. Then he turned to where Xuan was standing. Xuan and WangXia were already on the third ship giving orders to the troopers. Zero and him were the last ones. Zero handed the rifle to one of the rescue troopers then stepped into the line for the second ship.
The tanker bug was still several hundred meters away and its movement speed was slow. The bugs near the bottom of the mountain were fast but the nukes broke off the road coming up temporarily. They only had to wait for the ships to take off then they could go back into space in safety.
A trooper ran over to Zheng and saluted. “Sir, Lt. Razak wants you to board the second rescue ship immediately. You are in urgent need of treatments.”
Zheng finally took a look over the wounds on his body. Solidified blood nearly painted him in red. Any normal person would have died at this point. He gave himself a mocking smile then turned around and headed toward the rescue ship. This was perhaps the privilege of a sergeant. He walked past the line and boarded from the side. None of the troopers said anything because they recognized this sergeant with a broken arm. The person that saved the army from despair.
The inside of the ship was spacious. It wouldn’t be able to accommodate a thousand people otherwise. There were four floors. The officers were in the third floor. Zheng followed the trooper into an elevator. The ship began trembling as the elevator stopped at the third floor. The trooper said. “It’s finally taking off.”
Zheng walked over to the window. This ship was taking off. Through the psyche scan, he could see all seven team members were in the ships. One person in the first ship, four in the second, and two in the third. The weight on his heart was finally taken off. As he was about to turn away, he noticed the tanker bug had moved very close to the fourth ship. Its exoskeleton opened up while the ship was preparing to take off. The blue barrier enclosed a fourth of the ship.