Supreme Commander: Re-live

Chapter 4: Planning phase

Dawn breaks with the chilly morning wind waft in from the slightly opened window.

Bryn wakes up to a feeling of loneliness, she notices that the person she was sharing a bed with last night is gone. Perturbed, Bryn gets up and looks around only to see her Princess is sitting by the table, reassembling a Kar98k. While she saw many of her pupils do such a task before, she can help but feel that her Princesss every action holds a certain charm to it. The way she calmly treats the parts, the glint in her eyes when she assesses the gun, and the satisfaction shown when she witnesses her handiwork. All of them entrance Bryn.

She wonders. What is wrong with me?

Finally noticing that Bryn is awake. The Princess greets her Instructor. ” Good morning Bryn, did I wake you up? ”

Shaking her head, Bryn answered. ” No, you didn . I can see that you still retain your fascination with firearms. ”

Laughing embarrassingly, Princess replied. ” What can I say? Its a hobby I can live without it. And considering the battle to come, I would say that its a good hobby to have, no? ”

Seeing her Princess still have the mood to joke, Bryn feels a touch of relief. ” Seeing you have such good morale eased my heart a lot. The first battle is always the hardest to some, but I think you
e an exception. ”

” Im the one who cooked up this unorthodox plan. If the soldiers Im commanding right now saw me in a state of unconfidence. How can they trust me and fight without worries. ”

” Its good that you understand that. You are young, but you have leadership materials. ” Bryn let out a kind smile. She likes it when her students show good results.

” Hehe… ” Scratching her cheeks that have a tinge of red, the Princess says. ” I had someone bring us breakfast, its not much, but I think this should suffice. ” The Princess points at the simple ham sandwiches on the table.

” Lets eat while we still can then. ” Bryn takes a seat at the table, and so does the Princess. They finish the bland food just in time when a Private knocks on the door.

” Madams, the Captain reported that there are movements on the Ustians side. ”

The Princess wipes her mouth with a handkerchief and drinks her cup of coffee. ” Thats our cue. Let us see the play thats about to come, shall we? ” She offers her hand to Bryn, which Bryn elegantly takes.

They both head outside after grabbing their gears.

—————————————————————————-

” It seems like they were done fooling around, Princess. ” Captain Morrick passes me a pair of binoculars. Taking a look at the opposition, I can help showing a dangerous grin.

” They pull out all the stoppers. Heh, its better for us this way. ” I turn to the Captain. ” Pass the order, have our men dig in and follow the plan. ”

” Yes, my liege. ”

” Its showtime. ”

—————————————————————————-

With a whopping 20 tanks and all the available infantrymen that could be mustered. The Ustians leave only a skeleton crew to protect their HQ and artillery position.

To them, its a make-or-break situation.

” All troops, advance! ” The whistle signifies an all-out attack. Just like before, the tanks move first with the infantry trailing behind them. Though the Ustians artillery gets to sing today.

An intense barrage of heavy artillery carpets the defensive line of the Belkans with dirt clouds, and craters litter the affected area. For the Ustians, this serves as a great morale booster, seeing their enemy punished with impunity.

The barrage keeps on delivering shock and awe for a full five minutes before its stop. By then, the tanks are 200 meters away from the Belkan trench. The Commander of the Ustian troops feels that something is wrong when no enemy resistance was encountered when they have made it this far in.

” Weird, have they retreated? ” In one of the tanks, the Ustian Commander keeps scanning the terrain for any possible clue. He swings the turret left and right until his eyes catch something peculiar.

” That thing, why does it look familiar somehow? ” He analyzes the mechanical contraption that somehow survives a barrage. It comes as a surprise to him, however, when the contraption starts spewing white gas at the approaching Ustians.

The Commander quickly scans the surroundings only to see more of those weird contraptions shooting out streams of gas across the entire battlefield. It doesn take long though when the gas reaches its first victims, the tank crews.

Reports came in like a tide with multiple crews saying they feel extremely irritated on their eyes and skin. They can hardly breathe when the gas burned their respiratory system. Soon after, the infantrymen behind also succumb to the gas with the worst ones puking out their breakfast.

The Commander, also having a taste of that burning sensation, almost whimper in a horrified manner when he finally saw soldiers with gas masks appear one by one in the Belkan trench. He clearly sees one soldier waving his hand in a downward manner then all hell breaks loose.

” GAS, GAS, GAS! THE BELKANS BROKE THE GENEVA CONVENTION! THEY BROKE THE CONVENTION! ” Having relived the traumatic experience from a war long gone. The Ustian Commander hysterically screams on the radio, inflicting widespread panic among the Ustian soldiers.

” Retreat! Fallback! ”

” Gas attack! Its gas! ”

” Its burned! Help m- Guehh ”

Total hysteria ensues when the Belkans open fire, paying back tenfold the damage for every loss they took before.

The Belkan anti-air group was commandeered of their Flak 88 cannons and put in camouflaged positions to serve as anti-surface weapons. Their heavy 88mm high-explosive shell inflicts catastrophic damage on the Ustian tanks and infantries.

Soldiers of the Belkan Reich, having been briefed yesterday about the tanks weaknesses, employ their reserve of K bullets and other light AT equipment to disable the vehicles. This forced the panicking crews to bail out and run back to the Ustian line. Notably, the Belkan Princess managed to earn 17 kills and 3 tanks disabled with her Kar98k.

Surprisingly, some Ustians make a stand and try to push forward despite their losses. Such an action amount to nothing when the Belkan Air Force arrives. The infamous Stuka sirens sing freely, promising death and destruction to ants below. And with their payload, that they did. The entire field was renovated with bomb craters and gores of unfortunate souls. The fortunate few that make it back to the Ustian line breath a sigh of relief, even though it pained them that their comrades will have no corpse to bury.

They praise their lord and savior a bit too soon, though. This time, it was the Ustian HQ and artillery position to take the wrath of the Belkan heavy artillery. With their position exposed thanks to the 13th Recon, it will be unkind of the 88th artillery not to return the favor now, wouldn it? It is not the end yet, as any straggler will also be dealt with by Bf-109s headed by Rigel Squad using their guns and 50kg bombs.

The battle lasted for an hour with the post-battle clean-up taking more time, lasting the entire day. As promised, the Belkan Air Force patrols the air space nonstop with each passing earning the cheers of soldiers down below. When night falls, the number of reports that need to be dealt with greatly tired out the Belkan Princess, much to her chagrin.

—————————————————————————-

” Brothers and sisters, our battle is sure to be won! Death, to the Ustians! ” A burly soldier towering over two meters boosts the morale of his comrades in arms. With the heritage of an Oni, its no surprise seeing that he killing a swath of enemies with two MG-34s. Unlike his berserker-like battle cry though, he looks surprisingly calm operating the machine guns.

” Huhm… A talent to keep track of. ” I think while taking the life of an Ustian. Swiftly pulling the bolt back, I put in a fresh five-round clip then slam the bolt forward. With trained movement, I quickly acquire another target to kill.

*BANG* His head splattered on the hull of a tank and his friends scurried for cover or turned back to run. It doesn take long for me to empty all five shots. But this time I want to hunt bigger prey so I load a clip of K bullets.

Its hard to miss a tank on a battlefield like this one, though I do admit its not easy to identify critical components of a tank. Much harder when you actively trying to take them out with a rifle that has no magnifying optics. Didn stop me though. Fragile stuff like gunner optic or driver port, aren protected heavily in the first place. Hence I go for either armament or maneuverability kill on the tanks. Earned me some respected gazes when I pulled it off too.

” They
e charging at us. ”

Bryn, whos holding a rifle next to me, informed me when she saw the Ustians make a desperate charge. I nod to her and order.

” Grenadiers ready! ” At my command, soldiers start uncorking their grenades, ready to greet the charge with a devastating strike. ” Now! ”

With a flurry of hands, dozens of grenades were thrown. At such a close distance, you can see the enemy infantry turn pale when they realize whats about to happen. Consecutive explosions tear the air, follow by pained screams and cries as the damage finally registers in the enemy line.

” Another one men! ” More grenades rain down on the Ustians for good measure. This effectively stops the Ustians dead in their track, whoevers left is easy picking for us.

I was in the middle of my killing spree when I heard sirens from above. Thats when I know that wed won for sure.

” Took these guys long enough. ” I look up to see Stukas diving down with their guns blazing and bombs ready to drop. A sight I never thought I would bear witness to.

” We
e done here, Bryn… What? ” Why is she looking at me with an amused gaze?

” You were very cool, did you know that? ”

” I did? ” I take a look at the soldiers around me. They all hold the same reverent gaze. ” You guys think so too? ”

” ” HAIL VICTORY! HAIL PRINCESS! HAIL BELKA! ” ” I receive ear-numbing cheering as an answer. Exasperated, I turn back to Bryn.

” Will this happen a lot later on? ” I questioned, fearing for the future.

” At the rate you
e going right now, yes, my dear. ”

I facepalm and earn a chuckle from Bryn. Though I do admit, This isn a bad result for my first proper battle, not at all.

—————————————————————————-

In the Belkan Command Post, I sit down and listen to the subordinates report. Post-battle clean-up is always a chore to do in whatever world you
e in, glad to know something hasn changed.

” Only 4 deaths and 17 injured. The World Tree sure blessed us this time around. ”

I sigh while massaging my temple. ” Give me the list of casualties later, I will address it personally. ”

” Yes, Princess. ”

” I expect to hear some good news after that, no? ”

” Yes, the battle concluded with us achieving total victory. Thanks to your ingenuity, wed made use of peppers, mustard, and chilies to make tear gas. While the elves created illusions of the Great War gas dispensers to inflict mental trauma onto the enemy. This combination proved to be very effective in incapacitating unprotected soldiers non-lethally. And with it, the Ustians were routed with many of their soldiers surrendering and becoming our POWs. Most of their high-ranking cadres were the first to run away before running into the ambush set up by the 13th Recon. Notably, the Ustian Commander, one Jeoff de Lyon, had his car run into a heavy anti-tank mine. The 13th reported not even the frame of the car stayed intact. ”

” Jeoff de Lyon, as in the Lyon the Lion? ”

” Yes, Princess. He is the famed Ustian veteran from the Great War. ”

This earns a snicker from me. ” So much for a war hero, ditching his men and running bravely… away from the fight. ”

The entire map room erupts into laughter, some say if they were him, they would rather choke on their spit and die.

” Anyway, while its fun to mock the enemy while they
e down, I don want arrogant clouding your minds, got it? ”

” ” YES, PRINCESSS. ” ”

” Good, carry on people. ”

” We managed to capture 9 fully operational tanks and 3 moderately damaged ones. With the enemy HQ completely abandoned on such short notice, we
e hoping to recover more of their equipment and supply to fuel the war effort. ” The soldier pauses and turns a page on his notebook. ” The Air Force drops us a lot of supplies also, we received a new batch of radios and are setting them up as we speak, Princess. ”

” Well done. Keep me posted, you
e dismissed. ”

The soldier performs a salute then heads out to resume his duty. I was left there alone, looking down on the interactive war map while the rest of the staff are running around, minding their own business.

According to the knowledge I have from my past life, this was supposed to be a losing battle. Without me, the Ustians steamrolled the Belkan military, winning much ground in the process. And when the Time of Demons arrives four months later, Belkan lost all hope in mounting a counterattack. But I changed it, changed everything. I threw the script out the window and now Im ready to flip the table itself.

Only four months left till everything stagnated.

—————————————————————————-

”… oh, and make sure you tell the chefs to cook a sumptuous meal for the guys. ”

” Will do, Princess. ”

” Dismiss. ”

Its almost 7 PM, about time for the men and women of our army to grab a hot meal.

” I will be in the communication room, without my explicit order, no one is allowed to go in. When its ready, bring dinner to my quarter. ” I gave one last order before taking my coat that was hanging on a chair. Draping it over my shoulders, I make my way to the communication room and close the door behind me.

” Privacy at last. ”

I sit down and loosen my shirt for comfort. I then operate the radio station to connect me with my… mothers. Thankfully, the Air Force dropped us the long-range comm equipment, which saved me a fair bit of trouble.

” Hello, can the other side hear me? ” Its been a while since I use something as old as this, gotta reacclimate myself for a bit.

” Yeah, Im fine mom, Instructor Bryn protected me after all. Not to mention the Air Force and Army personnel who did most of the heavy-lifting, I just gave them orders mom. ”

” Mama? Ha… She overreacted again, didn she? ”

” I know, I know. I will get her a souvenir later, mom. ”

” Yes, yes… I will also hang around for our much-needed family time mom. ”

” … Going back? Eh… About that. ”

” Mom, just listen to my explanation first… Mama? No…? Wait, wait! I can explain. I assure you what Im about to say is of much interest to you, mama. ”

” I love you mom, mama. Thanks for hearing me out. ”

” Ok, you and mom are in the Army Command Center, right? Thats good then, any moment now there should be a delivery girl arriving at the main gate of the Center. With her is a sealed package containing some files and documents that I would like you and mom to read, sign, and follow the instructions written alongside those. ”

” Haha, its a secret for now mama. But I would like it better if there are fewer people who know about this. Only the designated persons should be involved in whats about to come. ”

” Of course its not harmful to the nation mama. I will never do anything that hurt you and mom. ”

” … Yes, I will obediently stay here. Instructor Bryn is taking care of me so you don have to worry. Yes, love you, mama! Tell mom I love her too! ”

”… ”

I lean back on the chair. While I do have memories of my previous life, I do want to treasure the bonds I have created in this world. Its not a bad feeling, to love and be loved by two mothers. Though its a bit surprising that I have two of them.

I shake my head with a wry smile, such thoughts should be for another day.

” I have eaten your Pawn, now Im aiming for your Chariot… Ustio. ”

Its gonna be a short four months…

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