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.A barrage of fire struck the bridge until they could no longer see what they were shooting.Grenades and cannon rounds continued to plough into the smoke cloud engulfing the bridge.Two Mechs rushed out from the dust and smoke but were quickly cut down by a volley of fire.Seconds later, the bridge let out an almighty creek as its foundations gave out.They couldn’t see the bridge collapsing, but they heard it plunge into the water below.The smoke puffed out into a plume rising into the sky.The guns went quiet, and they could hear the enemy Mechs shuffling about at the other side of the bridge.The battle was far from over, but they had been given some respite.Chandra turned back to her platoon with a look of sheer relief.She peered down at the lifeless body of the Mech and then to the body of the soldier it had killed.The man had died instantly, his body torn apart by the viciously powerful energy weapons of the enemy.She speculated for a moment about their casualties, but she knew it would be a figure she wouldn’t like.The Major had seen a number of dead and wounded along the trench lines.Dust filled her nostrils and lungs once again.The constant bombardments and battles meant that she could rarely taste or smell anything but brick dust and throat burning smoke.“That will have bought us a little time.Blinker, check the hard line.Inform the Commander of the attack and our approximate losses.We need ammunition and re-enforcements.”An explosion erupted in the sky above them, quickly followed by several others.The combined air forces of Europe continued to battle the enemy in the skies.They fought at such heights that the ground troops could rarely catch a glimpse of them.Every day they’d find wreckage of aircraft, more often than not it was from Earth forces.She stepped to the edge of the building and looked over at the devastation below.“Captain Jones! Get the dead and wounded back to the aid station! Check your weapons.Get what ammunition you need, and be ready for the next assault!”It was a grim reality that they could do little more than await the next onslaught.Chandra knew the only reason they had won the skirmish was because they had superior numbers.Soldier for soldier they were still at a huge disadvantage.She turned back to the fallen Mech and walked across to it.“What do we do with it, Major?” asked Monty.“Leave it where it fell as a reminder that they are not invincible.They aren’t scary monsters or an unbeatable enemy.”She knelt down beside the weapon the Mech had dropped.It was almost two metres in length and made entirely of metal component parts.Despite it looking alien in construction, its external design was not so different to some of the heavy machine guns they used on vehicles.She wrapped her arms around it and tried to lift it.She got one end a few centimetres off the ground before realising it was too much for her.“God damn that’s heavy.You two, give me a hand with this! Monty, you too!”The four got a solid hold on the cannon and hauled it up to a standing position.“Onto that wall over there!”They hauled it onto the ledge of the thick wall overlooking the fallen bridge.“You think we can get it working, Major?” asked Monty.“It’s worth a shot.What do you think the recoil is like on one of these things?”“Probably pretty minimal, considering its weight.”He and the Major stared at it as the other two men stood back.She turned and looked back at the fallen Mech.They appeared to have two fingers and a thumb on each hand, a configuration which meant they were not so different to humans in their movement.She turned back to the gun.“This must be the trigger.”She placed her hand on the grip and found that her index and middle finger naturally came to rest on what felt like a large button.The grip itself was partially hidden inside the rear body of the weapon.The Mechs carried them with their offhand around the barrel like a heavy gunner would haul his weapon about.“Major, I think.”Light pulsed as the weapon fire and an energy surge blasted from their position, hitting a burning vehicle the other side of the bridge.The troops below went silent as they peered up to the bank [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]