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Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Eight by Imperator-Zor Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Eight by Imperator-Zor
One by one the shielded formations of Janissaries broke. In one case it was blown apart by an artillery shell landing in it's center, in three others rockets fell on it and in a few other cases both shell and rocket plaid their role in diminishing them. Even so mostly they were taken down by rifle fire. While their shields did deflect shots they also attracted fire. As their frontal layers fell to Infrastructural fusillades, the riflemen behind them broke formation and began to run forward, parting to make way for the Drow Forces behind them which surged forwards.

In one of these formations was Valrin ti'Haloneth. Elves in general could run as fast as 40 kilometers per hour and with practice and lightening spells could maintain a pace of about twenty five kilometers per hour over moderate distances in full armor.  Both of which he had mastered two centuries ago. His small platoon and those like it was composed of hardened veterans of dozens of campaigns. They had mastered bow, crossbow, greatsword, halberd, lance, dagger and mace but for this battle their armament was first and foremost a heavy shield and a scimitar. There was of course daggers as a fallback weapon and a few of the younger members had pistols. Valrin was not among them on principles. House Haloneth were tradtionalists and moreover traditionalists who had fallen from grace. Over the past three centuries they went from one of the great houses which had a seat on Valnothron's ruling council to a middling warrior house. The steadfast warriors of Valnothron who gained power, wealth and station through fire and blood (mostly their enemies) replaced by peddlers, cobblers outcasts and scrapings from the gutter. This cultivated in his family a disdain for all things new which he shared. Raw emotion which he helped fuel the fires of hatred for the enemy he was fighting today, who's efforts were only accelerating the arrival of more of such things.

But despite that he did see the effect that these weapons were having. He heard the distant bark of rifles, the thunder of cannons, whine of bullets through the air, the various sounds of their impacts, the roar of rockets, the thuds of explosions and the cries and screams of wounded and dying Janissaries. Almost immediately after their charge began a few bullets were slamming into the shields of his platoon, but little came of it at first. Getting through runic armor and shields without runebreaker spells was no easy task even for Infrastructure's vaunted guns. These increased as they overtook the masses of slave soldiers around them.

He also noticed that there was a pair of Drow Formations on either side of his, about one or two hundred yards to their side and ahead of them and saw the bursts of light as bullets impacted, which was soon supplemented by the splintering of wood. They seemed to be taking a more fire and even though many of the soldiers at the front of these formations managed to get behind their shielded comrades, it was not too long before he saw them shed their first body. Shortly afterwards the first of his formation's shields gave out under the gunfire. Their objective was closer and closer over the terrain and it became more and more visible, though shortly after that this stopped as the Coldlanders shifted their fire to the closer formations. It was hardly impressive in any case. It was a long enbarkment of earth maybe four feet tall with a row of spears on top of it with some wires tided between them. In his mind it was one of the most pathetic attempts at fortification he had ever seen, little more than an inconvenience to any determined attacker.

Then he heard a new sound, a steady series of quickly repeating cracks, first on his left and shortly afterwards on his right. On either side there was at least one Automatic weapon chewing into the Drow formations in addition to rifle. He saw plenty of flashes of light as a stream of bullets poured into them, as well as flying splinters and one by one bodies falling behind the formation. Between that and the rifle fire, those formations were in the end cut down like wheat at harvest. None of them got closer than fifty yards.

As he watched this unfold his flames of wrath were stoked anew. Sixty elite drow warriors, the products of decades of training and battle experience clad in fine armor with spells forged in wiped out by a handful of levied peasants with some infernal contrivances. It was an insult, a score that could only be settled with blood, steel, mana and bile. They just needed to close that distance. "HACK THEM DOWN!" He cried and his platoon surged forward. They company managed to find it within themselves for that final bit of speed for those last 200 yards. Soon after that they were under additional fire, which was soon supplemented with automatic fire. Soon the first rank's shields were torn apart and after that the shieldbearers began to fall. Each suit of armor could take between five to ten hits, but that was a lot of fire coming there way. There was also a hand grenade thrown in front of them which hit the drow troops with a spray of fragments. Valrin felt the impact of gunshots, shrapnal and ricochets on his shield, but these were background details that could be ignored. His mind had focused on one closing the distance.

More than half the platoon was cut down, but never the less they managed to close the distance. He could see that there were not many defenders on this portion of the Infrastructural line as some of the troops assigned to this stretch had. On the last few steps there was some stumbling as in the long ragged grass was a few calrops, though his boots had magically treated soles that kept his feet from getting impaled. Somehow through sheer bloody mindedness Valrin managed to surge ahead of his platoon for the last few yards. He scaled the earthworks with a leap, cleaved through the spiked wire of the barricade and fell on the Infrastructural rifle. He tried to draw his Cutlass in haste, but that was no use.

A second latter the rest of his platoon was surging over. He dropped his large clunky runic shield, pulled out a small bottle from a pocket under his tassets and downed it on gulp to recover some mana and then drew his dagger. Someone else sent up a manaflare, but he payed that little attention. The Infrastructural's line had been breached and now was time for a lot of up close and personal melee work against peasant conscripts to widen it. Behind his helmet Valrin grinned. The mad dash was over, now it was time for some sport.

Previous- Infrastructure: Pat Two Hundred and Seven
Next- Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Nine
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