Moving Underwater – Amphibious Machine

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There was a large river flowing close to the X463 Fortress Area.

A huge humanoid figure suddenly rose from the surface of the water.

It was an amphibious Silhouette model, the SA-A2 Otter.
There were three of them that surfaced.

They were also accompanied by a multi-purpose armored vehicle that can be configured to perform missions that require diving and traveling underwater.

They were Metal Iris’ combat engineering team.

The SA-A2 Otter had two large cylinders equipped on its back.
It was also equipped with a shrouded propeller that doubled as a screw propeller.

Machines with the ability to cross bodies of water like rivers can be divided into two types: those that move while floating on the water’s surface and those that move while submerged underwater.

The Keres weren’t good at operating in water.
Therefore, diving types were particularly useful.

When the rest of the tank corps engaged the Keres in combat, they went ahead and approached the Fortress Area’s outer wall using a different route.

The leader of the combat engineering team was a transferee.
He was Japanese, and his name was Nishizawa Fuyuki.
Nishizawa was a man in his forties with a small and slender build and sported a pair of glasses.

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「This is it, everyone.
Let’s go.」

He spoke in a relatively soft tone.
It had been ten years since he was first sent to the Nemesis system.
He worked in a completely different industry back on Earth, but now, he was serving as the leader of Metal Iris’s combat engineering team.

After confirming the responses of each of his team members, they advanced through the woods.

The armored vehicle went first to confirm that there were no traps ahead such as landmines, and the three Silhouettes followed after it.

The engineering team often went ahead of the main force when conducting missions.

Their job this time around wasn’t to build bridges or to sweep for mines.

Their target was the shelter covering the Fortress Area.
They aim to destroy a part of it and create an opening large enough for Silhouettes to pass through to be used as an infiltration route.

It was not exactly easy to destroy a barrier wall reinforced with Whis produced by an A-Carbuncle.

The Red Dwarf Nemesis regularly induces meteorite rains and magnetic storms that mercilessly fell on Planet Asia.
The shelter was a more than 20,000-year-old relic born to defend against such disasters.

Even the Stones had to use a massive and extremely heavy weapon called the Enyo and crash it at the wall while it was being reinforced by Whis generated by an A-Spinel at full power in order to destroy just part of it.

They, however, were only tasked with creating an opening large enough for Silhouettes to pass through.
But even this was very difficult.
The place wasn’t called a fortress for nothing after all.

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However, that was their work as combat engineers.
They were the ones who opened paths for the rest of the troops in the frontlines when there were none.

Currently, Storm Hound was attracting the attention of the enemies.

They had to somehow capitalize on the time their allies were buying.

Fuyuki stopped advancing and gave out orders.

The armored vehicle stopped and went on stand-by while remaining on alert.
Each Silhouette took out necessary equipment for their job out of the armored support vehicle and quickly equipped them.

In order to breach the barrier, the three Silhouettes infiltrated deeper into the enemy-controlled area.

The tank corps led by Rick finally engaged the enemy tank corps led by the super-heavy tank.

The enemies consisted of one super-heavy tank, four T-10A2 Rhinos which were the same tanks Rick’s men used, and nine Silhouettes.

On the other hand, the mixed force of Metal Iris and Storm Hound consisted of twelve T-10A2 Rhinos.

Behind them were armored combat and support vehicles of the same number and six Silhouettes.

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A tank battle was basically a battle of positioning.
It was both sides trying to successfully outmaneuver and destroy one another.
The troops under Rick were trying to take the enemy’s flank.
Their numbers weren’t enough to attempt a complete pincer maneuver.

Rick led the MBTs to attract the attention of the enemy troops to the front as the support vehicles and Silhouettes rushed to the side as much as possible.
The latter couldn’t afford to take the enemies head-on.

First, they had to bring down the enemy Silhouettes and tanks in the periphery.

Rick’s troops managed to reach an area where they could take a hull-down position.
Since the enemies had the advantage of hunkering down at a very defensible position, their advantage as the attacking side was to be able to freely select an effective position for launching attacks.

Guns roared and dust clouds flew up to the sky due to the impacts created by the shells.
The terrain visibly changed even though the shells they used didn’t contain explosive charges, and the state of destruction wrought at the center of the impacts served as evidence of the power possessed by the tank’s guns.

The impacts of the railgun’s shells were just that overwhelming and they generated powerful shockwaves.

Rick and his troops continued to engage the enemies in a tense firefight while avoiding enemy fire by a hair’s breadth.

Neither side has landed a clean hit so far.

The enemy Silhouettes were also pretty well-defended.
The super-heavy tank was functioning as a shield more effectively than Rick first expected.

It was akin to a mobile barricade.

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「Guaah!」

A scream echoed out from the comms.
A tank under Rick finally took a direct hit.

The skirt armor on the front of the tank was fully crushed.
The shell penetrated the armor and dealt damage to one of its treads.
The destructive power of the shell was truly tremendous.
It once again showcased the danger posed by the super-heavy tank.

「Roger!」

「I’m okay.
The wheels and sprockets are still alive.
Sorry, but I’m falling back for now.」

「Alright.
Make sure you get back here as soon as you can.」

Roger’s tank that took a direct hit was still capable of moving, albeit slowly.

It retreated while making sure not to expose its flank.

Once the enemy Silhouettes confirmed the tank’s retreat, they quickly switched gears to mount an offensive.

Since the other party’s fighting strength had been reduced, they decided it was time for a counterattack.

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