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Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Four by Imperator-Zor Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Four by Imperator-Zor
Regardless of the loss of the Shieldwall, the Infrastructural Squadron continued on. Their plan of attack was simple, move the line of battle back and forth in a line while laying down continuous fire on the Drow Line at a distance of five kilometers while the Shchuka Boats remained behind them in reserve.  In effect this was also the case for the Ironclad Blizzard as her 75mm guns did not have that kind of range. In the mind of Seaman 2nd class Giordi Basov, this meant that the tension that had been getting to him for the last four days was left unresolved. A headstrong young man he wanted to do everything he could to break that blockade as soon as possible. He could just wait and listen to the distant blare of heavy guns as he stood by near his gun.

Then, after a few minutes he heard the whistle signal: prepare to fire. The gunshields were opened showing the crews the battle that lay before them. There were a few plumes of smoke in the far distance, but these were outnumbered by the clearly active drow ships that were converging on them. If he had seen the formation from above, he would have noticed the Drow fleet as a huge concave arc that was converging on his position like an amoeba moving onto food. His master gunner soon had worked out the range of that fleet and had Giordi adjust the cannon for firing as they crossed the 3.5 kilometer line. However at the same time they could see much of this fleet turn and bring their broadsides to bear on the infrastructural ships. As this happened the gunnery master yelled "FIRE!" and their first salvo flew off. Geordi did not know if they had hit anything as he opened the breech, saw the spend shell extracted and the fresh one brought in and moved the cannon back to position, adjusted it and braced himself as it was fired again. As he was repeating the process a third time, he heard the first slams into the hull as cannonballs slammed into the hull.

The Dark Elves returned fire with over a thousand cannons. Each ship fired off it's complement of guns off more or less unison for the first salvo at least, though it did so independently of the fleet. This meant that the Infrastructural line of battle was faced a continuous hailstorm of cast iron shells as new ships brought themselves to bear. Many of them missed and crashed into the sea, but still plenty more managed to strike home. Hardly a second went by without at least one heavy metallic clang. Geordi watched as armor dents suddenly appeared in the formerly smooth steel plating. The fact that all of this fire had so far only dented the ship was one thing, until he saw felt a few fragments of shrapnel cut through his left leg (though fortunately missing anything vital) and saw the steel tip of a shell just piercing through the armor. His leg was bound by a medic as he did his job, but after that he heard the crash as bits of the crow's nest clattered down onto the ship.

He remembered his briefing about the previous naval battles with Drow ships. Drow naval artillery dented the armor a bit, but did no major lasting damage. But then again this fleet was larger and he heard that they had been working to improve it. As such Giordi continued to do his job, thinking that he was stupid for wanting to get into the thick of it.

Previous-Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Three
Next- Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Five
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January 12, 2015
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