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Chapter 34-The Black Lion's FangsEdit

One Hundred And Forty Miles South Of Etake-ValeEdit

"Four hours," Teo thought, "Four hours and we wipe the Northern Vampiri off the face of the Earth. Then we move on to the others." He looked at the picture of himself and Asami that he had stuck on his dashboard, then he looked out his windshield, "I can't lose. Asami would kill me if I didn't come back alive."

A voice suddenly crackled over the speaker, "Look alive everybody. It looks like Etake Vale sent out a welcoming committee." Teo frowned and checked his radar, quickly picking out the battle formation of forty or so green dots barring their way, each one a Death Bringer warrior. He grinned, "Let's see what these new mechs can do!"

Down On The GroundEdit

Long Feng frowned in concentration as the army of massive mechanical monsters bore down on them. Every one of the massive war machines was over six meters high and armed to the teeth. They bore the semblance of massive metal wolves, albeit wolves armed with the Republic's weapons. Long Feng waved his hand and ten Beinstyrke agents opened fire. Nearly a dozen powerful mortars flew from the Beinstyrke's battle line.

Those pilots who could see the deadly contrails attempted to stop short and out of range of the deadly projectiles. They did not succeed. The first wave of mortars crashed home, blasting the "heads" of half a dozen mechs clean off and stopping them in their tracks, bringing the massive machines crashing to the ground. The other three Wolf-Mechs in the front line ran on, massive cylinders turning and locking on to the Beinstyrke as the massive machines skidded to a halt. Then there was a sound like firecrackers with the volume of thunder as the machines opened fire. The faster Beinstyrke agents took flight as they saw the huge mechs turning to open fire. The slower ones who didn't quite make it into the air were reduced to clouds of gore in an instant as the Mechs' machine guns were turned on them.

"Take those weapons!" Long Feng bellowed, his tremendous voice easily carrying to his comrades over the noise of the battle down below. Nine Beinstyrke agents swooped, three to each Wolf Mech, and in mere moments they had restrained the machine guns and taken over the controls. The Beinstyrke agents' hands flew across the controls, bringing the powerful mechs roaring about to face the remaining Republic Forces.

They had never been trained for these particular control panels, but nobody got into the Beinstyrke without being quick on the uptake. In minutes they were piloting the War Mechs as well as the dead Republic Pilots down on the ground had been doing a few moments before, and took them roaring into battle against the next wave as the second wave of Wolf Mechs came screaming over the horizon.

Long Feng gestured to those of his comrades who were holding the mortars, "Artillerists! Light em up!" The artillerists quickly loaded and fired, focusing their attack on one of the War Mechs about to flank one of the ones they had hijacked and reducing the enemy mech to rubble in seconds as their own mech pounced another and the Beinstyrke agents on its back quickly hijacked it as well.

Then it was four against nine, and then five and then six as the Beinstyrke agents quickly repeated the process, hijacking two more of the Wolf Mechs with such ease that Long Feng frowned uneasily. "This is too easy," he thought nervously as the Beinstyrke's stolen Mechs worked in unison with their flying agents and artillerists to reduce the remaining Republic Mechs to scrap metal.

Less than ten minutes after the fight started, the Wolf Mechs had all either been destroyed or hijacked. Then they heard the ground shake. Long Feng flew higher and his heart jumped into his throat as he saw the main body of the Republic's army heading towards them, a dozen unimaginably massive machines, two of which were more truly moving fortresses than anything else. Then something hit him in the shoulder like a war hammer, shattering every bone between his upper arm and the side of his neck, as well as punching a crater into his armor.

Down in one of the ten Mammoth Mechs, Longshot grinned from behind the view pane of the Mech's long gun. The Duke grinned at him from the machine's head and twin machine gun turret, "Did you get one?" Longshot gave him a thumbs up with a grin. "That's awesome!" Pipsqueak exclaimed from the immense machine's belly as he prepared their massive cannon to fire, "Hey Smellerbee! Full steam ahead! I wanna see what this cannon can do!" "You got it!" Smellerbee called back happily.

Jet's voice crackled over the com-link, "Keep it in formation guys, save your ammo for the real fight in Etake Vale." "Aw come on! You just wanna get em all yourself!" Pipsqueak protested half heartedly. "Pipsqueak," Jet replied, "You know we need all the cannon fire we can get once we get to Etake Vale." "Yeah I know, but still..." "It's only four hours. Just be happy we got to come along!" A different voice crackled over the link, "Do I hear a thank you anybody?" "Thank you Mr. Varrick!" Unit 13 chorused.

"You're so welcome!" Varrick exclaimed happily from the bridge of the immense Tortoise fortress, "Hey Longshot!" he added quietly as he leaned down a little closer to the radio connected to Unit 13's mammoth, "How'd the long gun do?" Longshot looked at Pipsqueak who answered for him, "He says it's pullin a little to the right Mr. Varrick, not enough that he missed, but enough that it wasn't the kill shot he was aiming for." Suddenly the long gun sounded its immense report again and Longshot gave Pipsqueak a thumbs up.

Pipsqueak grinned, "He says never mind, Mr. Varrick, he's got it all under control." "Well of course he does!" Varrick exclaimed, returning to his usual volume as he straightened back up, "He's one of the finest snipers we've got!"

Thirty Minutes LaterEdit

The remaining Wolf Mechs were quickly pounded to oblivion by the power of the Tortoise Fortress's cannons, and the Mammoth Mechs pushed the wreckage aside with the immense cannons that served as their trunks to clear a path for the tortoise forts. The black bloodstained cloaks littering the ground didn't move as the immense machines rolled and stomped past over two hours later. The forty Beinstyrke agents smiled, they might have lost the battle, but they had thinned the enemy's ranks and bought precious time for their comrades to reach and warn Etake Vale.

The Deck of Tortoise Fort OneEdit

"The Lion's Fangs have lodged," Shiroi whispered quietly to Kuro. Kuro grinned and straightened his hat, "Good." All according to plan, he thought, his trademark sly grin settling across his face.

Three Days Earlier, Full Moon BayEdit

"Long Feng!" Graveren barked as he prepared for battle with the White Hunt. Long Feng hurried in and saluted, "Yessir!" "You've heard the news?" Graveren asked briskly. "Yessir." Long Feng replied. Graveren nodded, "Good. The Beinstyrke is to stay here and wait for the Emperor and Empress. When they arrive outfit the Churaians' ship the Albatross with engines and get to Etake Vale as fast as you can." Long Feng blinked, "Sir?"

Graveren glared at him, "Etake Vale is not equipped to handle War Mechs, especially not ones of this caliber. We are the only fighting force in the world that can handle an army like this. So I'm sending the Beinstyrke to defend Etake Vale. Lefko's sending his troops to oversee the evacuees. We're going to have to trust that they can keep the evacuees in line and safe. I'll be telling our boys all this in a few minutes, but I've got a special job for you Long Feng."

"Yessir," Long Feng replied, not even bothering to ask what it was. "Gather two squadrons of our best men, and I mean the very best. This is the most dangerous task many of you will ever face. You are my friend, and the battlefield is preferable to this mission, so I will understand if you do not wish to undertake it." "No sir," Long Feng replied, "If this mission is so important, then there is nobody I would rather entrust it over to than myself." He paused, "What is the mission sir?"

Graveren smiled over his shoulder at his trusted second, "You're going to go back up my little brother." Long Feng felt a bead of sweat roll down the back of his neck, but he saluted anyway, "Yessir, I understand. I will begin assembling a team immediately."

Next Time: Etake ValeEdit