Elites on Land
The heavy man-made machine kicking up blades of grass and stones came to a halt. Daisy took her hat off to wipe her sweat and asked, “I think we went the wrong direction. I don’t recall having to cross a small town on the map. Lilia, have you found our location on the map?”
The maiden inside the iron giant blowing off steam opened a large map. Scratching her head, she replied, “I cannot pinpoint our location. I do not think we are that far off track, having said that. Edelweiss’ only issue is that the wireless radio often cannot connect.”
“Edelweiss is a gift from my father, after all. The wireless radio is also the best of this generation, so it’s a different model to other tanks. Maybe it’s not working properly. We can switch Edelweiss’ accessories when we’re back. Right now, we need to locate the instructors. Can we enter the town?” Daisy removed her headphones.
The desolate small town already underwent a war baptism. The bell tower had bulletproof sand bags stacked up. From the entrance, the toppled electricity poles and victimised houses were visible. Daisy’s group couldn’t confirm the status of their allies who previously entered the town.
Besides having lost her way, there was the possibility of the enemy being in the town, which was particularly high when accounting for the signs indicated that somebody had cleaned up some of the mess. Their tanks could manoeuvre out in the open, but they were sitting ducks if they entered the city. Edelweiss was a gift Daisy treasured and the tank she wanted to ride onto the battlefield. Therefore, she had to move gingerly.
“I… cannot locate the town on the map. Based off where we first veered off course, the town should be another battlefield. I do not think the town has any value since it is not a main traffic route or a supply station. Maybe the enemy occupied it at one stage. Nevertheless, it is now an abandoned town. Given our aggressive assail, they would have withdrawn forces from these useless stations to defend their primary traffic routes. We could also make use of tall buildings to try and get a signal so that we can contact the command centre.”
“Okay, let’s g-, wait. Wait!” Daisy stomped on the driver’s shoulder when the tank began to move.
Daisy peered through her binoculars to see smoke and dust whisking into the air from the peaceful street. She spotted an enemy tracked veh-, mult-, a row of tracked vehicles encroaching. “Enemy mobile unit spotted! They are leaving the town!”
“The enemy is launching a counterattack!”
Daisy hammered her tank. Usually, she’d give the order to attack when she encountered enemies. Stuffing enemy movements was also a means of covering allies, leading to successful sieges of mobile units or even breaking through their lines. Alas, she didn’t have an ally unit with her. Pitting one tank against the entire enemy forces was foolish.
Despite Edelweiss arguably being the best tank in the current era, there was no guarantee it’d survive a bombardment. Hence, she was stuck between retreating and sallying forth.
“Captain, we can still make it out in time. If they spot us, we will likely have trouble,” shouted the driver, unable to see Daisy’s facial reaction.
Daisy contemplated the question, then kicked the driver’s head, meaning “advance”. “Edelweiss, attack!” commanded Daisy, raising her binoculars.
The tank left the shrubs and moved onto the only path leading to the town. Daisy directed the gunner who let it rip, shaking the tank with its recoil. The loader immediately loaded another shot despite the heat and smoke.
Daisy showed no sympathy for the soldiers in the enemy vehicle – not that she had time to. She turned back and directed the gunner to prepare for the next shot. The tank behind the enemy’s tracked vehicle ran over the remnants of their ally vehicle to blaze a trail, only to run into Edelweiss’ next crippling shot.
“Back up! Back up!” Daisy commanded.
An enemy artillery shell smashed into the anterior side of Edelweiss. While it only left a scratch on the tank, the impact knocked Daisy back into the hatch. Daisy grabbed her head and resumed commanding Edelweiss. The enemy spotted Edelweiss upon crashing through the inorganic wreckage in front. Edelweiss turned diagonally, then took out another tank with its next shot. The loader instantly loaded the next shot, and the gunner turned the barrel for another blast. The driver turned the tank, turning a head-on shot into one that just grazed Edelweiss’s back.
“Back up! Back up! They’re trying to catch us in encirclement!”
Daisy was cognisant of the fact that she needed to keep the enemy in front of her at all times. The driver demonstrated deft steering and the power of advanced technology. Using the bushes and rubble as cover, Edelweiss eliminated tanks coming from both sides.
“Take out the tank destroyer! Do we have enough ammo?!”
The bruises from the periscope didn’t slow down the gunner or impact her aim. Daisy never let a single tank circle around her. Be it flying bullets or raining bullets, she didn’t cower.
“Daisy! Daisy! Are there any enemy tanks left?”
Daisy wiped the blood on the back of her head and looked through her binoculars. On either side of the black smokescreen were incapacitated vehicles and corpses. The remaining trucks and tracked vehicles were fodder for a tank.
Daisy reclined and ordered, “Edelweiss, advance!”
The iron beast howled again as it inched in on its shaking prey for one final strike…
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