Jenny, the leader of Metal Iris, was currently listening to the reports of her men.
Her beautiful golden blonde hair was cut short, and she was sporting a rugged-looking military jacket.
She serves as the leader of a Force at the young age of 25.
It was said that she took over leading the Underground Force founded by her dead lover.
The trust her subordinates have towards her was quite strong.
「The enemies are just unmanned weapons.
That means they’re probably after the control center.」
Human colonies such as Protection Domes and Fortress Areas are all equipped with control centers.
These power generation facilities supply the dome-shaped outer walls and buildings with the all-important Whis energy.
They make use of cores called A-Carbuncles that boast outputs that significantly dwarf A-Spinels in order to strengthen the outer walls and buildings to defend against outside threats.
After all, high-dimensional projection armor was originally developed to shield against harmful space debris and meteorite rains.
「What’s the make-up of the enemy force?」
「Our enemies are composed of many Keres centered around a single Enyo.
There are 30 Commander-types, 200 or so Worker and Soldier-types, and another 30 Telkhines.」
Telkhines were high-performance Silhouette-type unmanned mobile weapons.
Their main difference from Silhouettes was the inclusion of a prehensile mechanical tail that made their balancing capability quite exceptional.
They also boasted both high offensive and defensive capabilities.
It’s said that only one unit was enough to dominate a battle, and when going up against one with lower-end Silhouettes, you’d need at least three full platoons to even have a fighting chance.
That meant a full thirty units.
A considerable number for dealing with just a single machine.
「The enemy troops have currently just breached the minefield.
We’ve started bombarding them with self-propelled artillery and multi-launch rocket systems.
They will meet with our main force in approximately 30 minutes.」
「It would be enough to reduce the number of Soldiers and Workers by as much as possible.
Has our main force finished forming up?」
「We’ve finished deploying our forces in three mixed platoon formations.
They consist of 2 main combat vehicles, six armored vehicles, 12 Silhouettes as escorts, and a support unit composed of this C212 Defense Dome’s Familiars.」
Such a scale would qualify as a company formation in a regular army.
「Have you managed to contact the other teams?」
「There would be no support coming from the front lines because they want to let things develop into an urban engagement.」
Jenny let out an audible sigh.
Mercenaries and mercenary organizations weren’t that keen on cooperating with each other anyway.
It’s not like she couldn’t understand their feeling of wanting to stay on the sidelines and avoiding any command responsibility.
「So we can assume our defense line wouldn’t be that solid then.
Is the evacuation of the citizens progressing smoothly?」
「The mayor has already decided to abandon this Defense Dome.
The residents have already started evacuating in earnest.」
「I suppose it’s a good thing that the mayor is quick and decisive when making decisions.
That’s the only bright spot in our current predicament though.
We’ll have to buy them as much time as we can then.
Contact the command vehicle.
Have the vanguard retreat and proceed to urban combat.
Have the artillery unit provide cover fire 15 minutes from now.」
In an urban environment with Whis in active circulation, buildings can serve as tough and effective cover.
Due to their nature as humanoid weapons, Silhouettes were more effective in urban combat situations as well.
There’s no use complaining about the other mercenary teams that wouldn’t be coming to support them at this point.
Jenny boarded her Silhouette and proceeded to the battlefield as well.
The tank unit was about to engage in active combat.
The preparations for artillery bombardment from the rear were complete.
Most of the battles in the Nemesis warfront were high-risk engagements without the use of any foot soldiers.
The original role of foot soldiers was mostly filled in by Silhouettes, although their giant frames weren’t actually that suited for it.
There were a total of two tanks present.
The remaining six armored vehicles will take on a support role.
They were divided into two squads composed of one tank and three armored vehicles each.
Behind the two were a support squad and a squad consisting solely of Silhouettes.
The cockpits of tanks and armored vehicles were actually similar to the ones used on Silhouettes.
It was faster and more efficient to use Silhouette cockpits installed with the general-purpose Fennel OS than to build them from scratch.
Tanks were an order of magnitude more expensive compared to other combat vehicles in the Nemesis warfront.
That’s partly due to the high availability of plenty of Silhouette manufacturing facilities, making Silhouettes comparably much cheaper to produce.
They made use of the sloped terrain to perform ridge bombardment as they glared at the enemies.
The main guns used by the tanks were actually railguns.
The drawbacks of railguns such as the barrel life and considerable electric power consumption can be compensated through the use of Whis, and there was practically no danger of projectiles accidentally going off as well, so they were much safer than the 21st-century prototypes.
However, the enemy also uses railguns to perform ultra-long-range bombardments.
In a straightforward damage race, the tanks had the advantage.
However, the enemy would bridge that with their superior numbers.
Since a tank cockpit was the same as a Silhouette’s, it also had two seats.
One was for the driver and the other was for the gunner.
Actually, it might not be much different from the tank cockpit arrangement in the 21st century.
It did resemble the tandem cockpit of attack helicopters more though.
The armored vehicles in the rear use 120 mm smoothbore guns to perform support fire.
The Silhouettes take the place of regular infantry to seek out enemies and provide cover fire by making good use of their gigantic height.
They would use the tanks as cover and shoot from behind.
There were actually tank and armored vehicle models specifically designed to act as mobile cover for Silhouettes.
They exchanged some firepower for tougher defenses.
The enemy Worker-types were felled one after another.
Their small-caliber battery-powered lasers were incapable of breaching a tank’s armor.
The enemy forces sent out Commander-types in order to specifically deal with the tanks instead.
A feeling of apprehension came over the crews of each tank.
「So we’ll have to buy enough time until the evacuation is complete huh.
Talk about a tall order, man.」
A gunner muttered a complaint to his tank driver.
Pushing the frontline forward or holding a strategic position.
Those are the main jobs of tank units.
In troop deployment where armor, firepower, and the collective mobility of an entire unit are prioritized, there’s a strong tendency to make light of tanks in the Nemesis warfront.
It’s the consequence of designing everything using Silhouettes as a standard.
However, the fact that a single company was currently managing to hold down a swarm of Murders led by an Enyo was a great testament to a tank unit’s effectiveness in actual combat.
「Doesn’t telling us to destroy the enemy actually sound a lot better?」
「We’re playing a so-called ‘impossible game’ here.
But it’s true that we’re the only ones who can buy enough time for the civvies right now.」
Their machine was a customized T-10A2.
Its main armaments were a 155 mm railgun and a 30 mm six-barreled autocannon.
The autocannon also functions as the tank’s active defense system against missiles.
It is also equipped with a 20 mm single-barrel autocannon and an external rocket launcher as sub-armaments.
They managed to slow down the advance of the marching mindless murder machines.
What made that possible was their overwhelming armor and firepower.
Because the armor of Silhouettes and enemies were quite thick, the caliber of a tank’s guns had to be sufficiently large for them to be effective.
「The attacks of that Enyo are bad news, man.」
The gunner grumbled.
A single shot from that super-giant ant-shaped weapon platform was enough to turn even a highly armored tank into a burning lump of scrap metal.
They could probably withstand a shot only if they don’t take a direct hit.
The small-caliber lasers sported by the Worker-types lacked power, but they could still deal some damage gradually, and if enough was done, a well-placed railgun shot would probably do them in as well.
「Guess it’s about time we pull out.」
The driver prepared to make a hasty retreat at any moment.
The Enyo was certainly a big enough target that they’d be able to land hits easily, but its armor was so thick that even direct hits from their main gun wouldn’t faze it.
「I hope we did manage to buy enough time with this……」
The gunner muttered under his breath.
They were holding the line here in order to give the civilians enough time to evacuate the Dome.
The number of enemies was just too many.
And if their objective was to gain control of the Dome, there was no chance they’d pull out before achieving it.
They were truly troublesome enemies.
「We did the best we could.」
Their ammo was limited after all.
Their main gun was equipped with two drum-type magazines containing 24 shots each, for a total of 48 shots.
Suddenly, a warning echoed out from the comm.
It was from an ally Silhouette.
A spear-wielding Telkhines was fast approaching the tank unit’s position.
It was charging at them with tremendous speed.
It was a humanoid unmanned weapon sporting extremely high combat ability.
Freely utilizing its tail, which can be said to be akin to a third leg, it was a machine with exceptional balancing and maneuvering capabilities.
Their overall combat power was incomparable to the small-fry Murder models.
They were also known to wield Silhouette-use weapons.
The Telkhines charging at the tank unit was also sporting a booster unit on its back.
The gunner responded by firing the tank’s 20 mm autocannon, but it was next to useless.
Support fire also went up from behind, but it was also useless against high-dimensional projection armor.
「Let’s go, partner!」
The driver quickly positioned the tank, and the gunner fired its main gun at near point-blank range.
The Telkhines took a direct hit and lost its balance.
「Eat this, damn you!」
The tank’s weight was a little less than 50 tons.
Since it also sports high-dimensional projection armor like Silhouettes, a tank’s ramming attack was also highly effective against Telkhines.
The tank’s body hit the enemy as it staggered around after eating a railgun to the face.
As expected, the enemy couldn’t bear the weight of the tank.
The Telkhines fell down on the ground in spectacular fashion.
The tank retreated at full speed while bombarding the fallen Telkhines with its main and secondary armaments.
The armored vehicles also provided support fire from behind.
The Telkhines shuddered weakly and completely fell silent shortly after.
Thus, the might of the tank was displayed in full.
It proved that even now, it was still the overlord of land battles.
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