Vol 14: Chapter 9-2.
The march until they reached the top of the mountain killed over 800 troopers and 300 more injured. This was the result of Xuan, WangXia and Kampa’s cooperation along with Lan’s psyche scan. Otherwise, the number of casualties would have doubled.
“This is a great result. The numbers are better than expected. Looks like these troopers gone through rigorous training, although there are issues with their training. They lack actual combat experience. These surviving troopers will become the bone of the federal armed forces. They will be the only army who lived through actual combat since the third world war.” Xuan sat on a rock and said to the others around him.
The army went up the mountain. Xuan ordered the troopers to use tactical nukes on the thousands of bugs chasing after them. The tactical nukes had a range of 5km, a weapon that the federation never gave up.
The environment at the top of the mountain wasn’t great. The wind on this planet was strong, and its temperature over ten degrees lower than Earth. There were snow accumulated on the top. The sharp wind made them shiver.
Though the federation was quite capable in areas outside the military. The troopers’ uniforms contained mini portable air conditioners that could adjust temperature to one comfortable for the human body. This enabled them to continue fighting in freezing conditions.
A type of black rock scattered over the mountain top and in the ground. This type of rock had similar toughness to granite. There was only one road leading up the mountain. The troopers cheered and the officers led them to sit or lie down for rests. They had been fighting for hours already. They heated up simple military ration and water. A delicious scent filled the mountain top. Those guarding by the road turned their heads around to look as they drooled. Though their past training kept them guarding the place. Xuan had told everyone that each rotation was twenty minutes with one and half hour of rests. They just needed to persevere for twenty minutes and steaming food and water was waiting for them.
“Take a good rest. Our priority is to raise morale. The current result is decent. These people at least have hope. Adequate food and resting will recover 80% of strength for those who aren’t injured. But that’s not enough. We won’t last six hours with this.” Xuan was writing on a piece of paper and explained.
Zheng asked in confusion. “What other problem? The wind is strong here. Those hopper bugs wouldn’t be able to fly up here. There’s only one road and with the black rocks on the ground, this place should be safe.”
Kampa and WangXia smiled bitterly. WangXia replied. “You have learned to grasp the situation through life and death situations so your arrangements are timely and on point in combat involving small groups. However, it isn’t so simple for an army. We don’t have enough ammunition.”
Xuan raised his head. The paper was filled with numbers and formulas. He continued. “Correct. We don’t have much ammunition remaining. The ideal arrangement to guarding the road is with a thousand people. That can push back even the tanker bugs. But that’s not viable. We only have forty two tactical nukes left, 13,000 magazines. Dividing them among the whole army only leaves each person with two to three magazines. So unless there aren’t many bugs or they only come in few waves…”
Zheng also fell in silence. The scan showed that the bugs had surrounded the foot of the mountain and their numbers extended up to tens of kilometers away. That was only the surface. Countless bugs were moving under the ground. The total was well over millions. Aside from tanker bugs, there was a type with thick exoskeleton and two large pincers. Their numbers were less than the tanker bugs and they weren’t among the list God had noted. It seemed like this type of bugs belonged to a hidden level and extremely threatening.
Zheng smiled bitterly. “You’re right. This amount of bugs can drown us in six hours by just charging at us. Fortunately, the visibility here is low. Otherwise these troopers would lose all their confidence in staying alive.”
Kampa and WangXia sighed. Kampa suddenly said. “Then just bring out our weapons. If I can use the EMP rifle in situation, I can kill all the bugs. Haha. The only problem is if they can block off the bugs while the gun overheats.”
“No!” Zheng and Xuan both yelled. Xuan then said. “Can’t show our weapons. The other team won’t attack us since a few of our members are still hidden to them. However, if our weapons are exposed to other people, the whole federation will become our enemy. Governments are the most ruthless entity in front of interests. This is a war genre movie that takes place in space. The chances of us surviving against the government is zero!”
Kampa sighed. “So we are just going to sit around like this? How is it different than fighting outside by ourselves?”
Xuan took a look at the troopers and gave a cold smile. “Of course there is a difference. There are so many people here dying with us. We will only get into danger after they are all dead. Back to ammunition. We should have enough to last four hours under intense fires with five hundred troopers. The next hour will require other defensive methods. The first thing we can use are the rocks. The incline is steep enough. A rock with a diameter of one to two meters can killed all the bugs on the way down. It is slightly more powerful than bullets. With several thousand people digging and pushing down rocks, we can last about an hour. However, one shortcoming is its effect against larger bugs such as the tanker bugs and the ones with pincers. That’s when we use the forty two tactical nukes.”
Zheng, Kampa, and WangXia was planning their role in the battle as they listened to Xuan. Zheng nodded. “Then I will assign our roles. Kampa teach the troopers how to maximize ammunition efficiency and not fire aimlessly. WangXia go collect all the grenades. See if you can modify them. I need more powerful grenades. Their size isn’t an issue. Xuan stay here and coordinate the army. I will stand by the road entrance and take care of the larger bugs. Zero stay connected with my mind. Use the sniper rifle from this army to snipe the eyes of the larger bugs. Their eyes are the most fragile. The army’s sniper rifles have a rather short range and low power so you are the only one that can take this task.”
“Lan coordinate our soul link and keep scanning, especially at the cliffs. They are steep but we should be prepared. Gando you have to protect Lan with your life. She’s the most important person in this team, more so than me. If the situation gets dangerous, you have to carry her and run. If need be… Sigh. That’s it. Take care of your role and defend. Six more hours left.”