Vol 2 – Chapter 40: War for Laputa
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The men from Bromanian quietly hid in the buildings of the floating city of Laputa as the massive P.D.A. Tomato slowly circled above. The officers motioned for everyone to stay hidden and quiet. Sergeant Batey moved up close to his Lieutenant and waited for the orders for his unit. A skinny major walked into the room and put his helmet down and motioned for the other officers to come over. Sergeant Batey carefully watched from a distance as the major started to softly speak, "Our air cover won't be back for another two hours. We can't risk fighting that thing here in case the city is damaged. We're hoping that they come down to us where we have the advantage in firepower. I want to lure them into a kill zone so we'll have scouts make contact with their landing force and pull back to the main town square. I want our troops to get to the windows where they can lay down fire on the ground forces." 

One of the Leutients spoke up, "Major, what do we do if that ship opens fire on the buildings?"

The Major frowned and then said, "We have to hold this city no matter what, so do your best to find cover." He looked at each of the officers and said, "From what we know of these people, they use swords and armor still. They haven't had the teachings of the twenty like we have, so they won't be able to fight us here on the ground. In the air... Well, even if we have air cover, we aren't sure we can even really hurt that Red Baron bastard."

Sergeant Batey's Lieutenant looked at the map of the city and then pointed to an area on the edge of the map and said, "Major, my units have scouted this area, we found a building in sector four that appears to be a dock for ships like that one. I'd like to take my men there. If it is a dock, and that ship lands, we have a shot at boarding it."

Sergeant Batey suddenly had an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach. Swords and armor would be a lot more effective in the tight confines of a ship's corridor compared to their long rifles. He started to worry that his lieutenant was writing a check they couldn't cash without losing a lot of men. The cigar in his mouth rolled from one side to the other as he said in a low voice, "Nuts."

*****

Sir Évreux circled above the city in the clouds, as he looked over it he asked his XO, "Is it just  me or does that look a lot like the area of land that used to be our airship factory?" 

She shook her head and said, "That castle and the city were never there though, that looks like the factory, only different. It's like we are looking at the factory a hundred years in the future."

Sir Évreux nodded and said, "Yes, or maybe much further in the future. That building on the edge over there should be the main dock, lets put her down. We don't want to be sitting out in the open if those air units come back."

The giant red airship slowly angled down and entered the large airship hangar. Once inside the building, a magnetic mooring clamp automatically grabbed the nose of the ship and held it in place. Sir Évreux sent a messenger through the gate and advised that he had possibly found the location of the Council of Magic. A few minutes later a large number of VIPs came out from the gate, all of the parents for the Council members and their personal guard. Sir Évreux had his crew secure the dock and then as the various knights and soldiers of the VIPs started to exit the ship they started to take up stations for their own guard duties. 

One of the knights called out, "Your Excellency, one of our men can see men in green uniforms moving through the city. He said they were carrying strange looking weapons or tools." 

Sir Évreux frowned and then said, "Your Majesty, I think for your safety, you and the other nobles should return to the capital. I'll handle matters here. If I find them, I will send word at once."

The VIP group grumbled their discontent, but eventually, they all pulled back into the ship at the least. Sir Évreux moved out with a group of the knights and some soldiers from the ship he cast a force field over the group and then walked into the open to make them seem like easy targets.

*****

The Lieutenant called out to Sergeant Batey and the Sergeant from his other unit and said, "There they are coming out of the dock, I want you and your men to take them out and then we'll board their ship!"

Sergeant Batey frowned, he picked up his rifle and aimed at Sir Évreux and fired. The shot hit the field and ricocheted away harmlessly. Sergeant Batey rolled the cigar in his mouth from one side of his mouth to the other and said, "The enemy is walking in the open because they aren't afraid of our weapons, Sir."

The Lieutenant shouted out, "Men, fire at those men now. Do your duty!" Both units of troops looked at their sergeants. The two sergeants looked at each other and shrugged, leveling their rifles and firing. The rest of the soldiers followed their lead firing away. The sounds of bullets ricocheting all over could be heard until finally a stray bullet bounced back and hit the Lieutenant between the eyes killing him instantly. 

Sergeant Batey called out, "My guys retreat to the kill zone, pull them back into the city. Johny, swing your men around and get word to the officers, they need to know these guys are impervious to bullets."

As they started to pull back they heard Sir Évreux call out a word, "Gravity." All of the men who had been in the open including the other unit's sergeant were instantly killed by being flattened, gruesomely killed without a chance to escape.

Sergeant Batey started making hand signals to all of the living soldiers to run behind cover. He even dropped the cigar out of his mouth. He had never felt so scared in his life. Fighting against the Northern army wasn't a fight, it was children throwing rocks at armed troops. He knew that no matter what, they had to get a message to the Major, the slaughter the Major had in mind wouldn't the Northern army running into a kill zone, it would be the Northern army running into the Bromanian army to cause a slaughter against them.

Sergeant Batey ran as fast as he could keeping buildings and objects between him and the advancing Northern troops. By the time he made it to the Major's location several of his soldiers that managed to survive also arrived. Sergeant Batey ran up to one of the other Lieutenants and gave a rundown on what happened to their unit and asked to speak with the Major. 

The Lieutenant walked over to the Major and spoke quietly, he saw the Major shake his head and tell the Lieutenant to deal with it. The Lieutenant looked uncomfortable as he came back to Sergeant Batey, "Sorry, Chris, the Major is all in on this plan. He isn't about to listen to a Sergeant right before his moment of glory."

Sergeant Batey saluted the Lieutenant and with a twitch in his eye said loud enough for the Major to hear, "Yes sir, I was just going to report that the Northern army troops on their way to this location are impervious to our weapons and can kill dozens of men with a single word." He walked away with his surviving soldiers and grabbed them into a huddle, "Listen up you mutts, we don't stand a chance here. I say we follow the Lieutenants directive and try for the ship dock. We'll circle back around and stay out of sight." 

The men nodded each of them didn't want to be a coward, but they understood that fighting this battle was a suicide mission with no chance of success. 

*****

Sir Évreux led his group through the city and found the town square, he shook his head and said, "They are on the rooftops, I assume they'll fire those projectiles at us again once we reach a point they feel safe about it." He sighed and then said, "Levitate." He lifted straight up into the air where he could see all the soldiers with their rifles pointed at the group of knights. He pointed at the soldiers on the rooftop and said, "Chain-lightning.

A thin streak of electricity went from man to man every soldier's weapon acting like a lightning rod as it conducted the bolt. All of the men laying in ambush were either killed or severely injured. Sir Évreux suddenly felt a jolt of energy as he leveled up from all of the experience. He slowly lowered himself back to the ground and rejoined the group of knights and said, "Bromanian soldiers seem to be the only inhabitants here, but this piece of land is definitely the area that should be for the Council of Magic, we should look for books or journals that might have a clue as to what happened. I don't see any more Bromanians around, but be careful, there might be a few hiding in the buildings."

The Knights spread out and started to make an exhaustive search of the city going from house to house looking for books. 

*****

Sergeant Batey and his men saw the lightning show from their position they all winced and felt sick, one of the men asked, "Sarge, should we make the jump down to the ships below? If we circle over to the radio we can have them waiting for us."

He thought about it and then nodded and said, "Yeah, let's do that, Jonesy you and Tank grab the chutes, The rest of you, we'll head for the radio, let's not get near any of these Northern bastards."

One of the men asked, "Sarge, what do we do if one of the officers finds us and wants us to attack these guys?" 

Sergeant Batey pulled out a fresh cigar, cut the end off of it and then lit it up taking a drag from it, "Then none of the officers managed to survive. Right?" He looked at each man in the group and said, "Fighting against these bastards is asking to be killed for no gain."

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