CHAPTER ONE – HOLDING THE BRIDGE
Tezlestan 4.15 pm
There were six of them as far as Michel could see, six Tezlesian soldiers sitting down on the bridge. Michel gestured to the rest of his omega squad and they moved up silently. Two Tezlesian's stood up, sentries most likely. Michel made a fist in the air followed by two rolls of his wrist. His squad stopped moving while two members of his squad crept off in the shadows.
Michel watched as the two Tezlesian sentries were grabbed by his men and had their necks snapped and there bodies dragged away. Michel gave another gesture and his squad surrounded the remaining Tezlesians. One stood up to speak and was shot. The others were bound and gagged.
Michel smiled to himself, his men were the best in the army and they knew it. The Tezlesians belonged to a poor country near Lethia. When the cog got involved in the pendulum wars, Tezlestan opposed seeking to gain Jacinto’s wealth. All they got was blood on their hands, for nearly forty years they traded blows with the cog. Swapping minor victories for major defeats. The war in Tezlestan was nearly over, the cog were attacking the country directly and Captain Michel Roche’s omega squad was at the forefront of the invasion.
Michel’s men knew the order, capture and hold the bridge for reinforcements to arrive across it. He set up sentries patrolling each side of the bridge for any sign of a Tezlesian counter attack. A shout went up from one of his sentries “Three halftracks on approach”
Michel unslung his long shot and peered through the scope, the sentry was right. Michel called over Larson, the squad’s sniper. “Lars, think you can take out those drivers,”
Larson smiled and wiped the lens of his rifle “course, cap I can hitim”
Larson scoped and fired, a hi-ex round launched through the air and hit the Tezlesian driver in the head, shattering his skull like a melon hit with a hammer. The halftrack swerved and turned over spilling its troops onto the ground. The vehicles behind slammed into the wreckage of the first and caused a tremendous explosion.
Michel patted Larson on the back, well done. A voice sounded over Michel’s microbead
It belonged to the pilot Joe “smoking aces” Harvy. “Captain you have Tezlesian infantry advancing due west to your position, do you require air support, over”
Michel considered for a moment. Another squad could need assistance with enemy armour or might need med-evac. He replied to the pilot “Negative, keep doing your rounds Harvy”
The pilot responded roger and the shadow of the king raven flew over the bridge eastward. Michel bellowed at his men “omega, dig in and give heavy resistance”
His men scurried about like ants for a split second and then were in cover and ready. After two minutes Michel heard the Tezlesian war cry and the shouts of men. He reached for his frag grenades and tossed on over his head.
It impacted and left a spray of dust and blood. He screamed at the top of his voice fire and the guns of his men opened up. The Tezlesians not in cover were gunned down where they stood, while the others made a run for cover. A Tezlesian officer wearing a high peaked cap was shouting at his men, co-ordinating and leading them. There was a pop and his head was gone, knocked off by one of Larson’s hi-ex rounds.
The Tezlesian soldiers lost co-ordination and broke, their moral gone. Michel shouted attack and his men broke cover to pursue the fleeing Tezlesians. The last of them were gunned down when the men heard the reassuring sound of armadillo APC’s. Michel stepped on a Tezlesian soldier trying to crawl away, and then complemented his men’s performance.
There was a sudden low rumbling, followed by an earthquake. The bridge began to sway as if nothing but paper, Michel and his men sprinted to the opposite side of the bridge and witnessed it plunge into the shallow waters below, along with the APC’s crossing it. The earthquakes continued and the ground began to buckle and break.
One of Michel’s men, Roberts, let out a shriek as he fell into a large gapping hole emerging in the ground. The shadow of a king raven passed over head. Michel activated his micro-bead and called for evac. The raven landed and Omega squad boarded just as white, human shapes emerged from the hole.
The chopper took off and soared into the air, when a rocket shrieked up from one of the streets. It exploded hitting the tail rotors of the raven, plunging it into a deep decent. Michel shouted “hold on” as the ground soared up to meet the chopper.