An excerpt from my work so far on Ch. 8 of
, The Battle of New Optian. I'm just so happy writing this, I had to share it.
“Do you understand, Major Miles?” General Armstrong asked her subordinate.
“My men and I are to provide relief to the soldiers in New Optian,” Miles repeated his General’s orders. “If we can, we are to hold the line and push the titans back. If we are unable to achieve success in a reasonable amount of time, we are to retreat to prevent unnecessary casualties.”
“You have your orders, Major Miles,” General Armstrong stated firmly, swinging her arm forward. “Move out and good luck!”
“You heard the lady,” a Briggs soldier yelled behind them, loading a crate of supplies into a large truck. “Finish packing and move out!”
Edward and the other alchemists had worked for hours on end, and Major Miles was impressed by their work. They'd managed to convert several hundred mortar rounds to white phosphorous payloads. As far as he was aware, they were still hard at work, making more rounds for the defense of Eastern Command. He didn't even need to talk to the young State Alchemist to know that he'd seen something truly horrifying when the titans took Liore and Emell. Based on reports he'd read, as well as intelligence gathered from the operatives Colonel Mustang's group had acquired from the other side of the portal, these titans ate humans for pleasure, often leaving their victims alive to die inside their stomachs...some by drowning, others by heat, and still more died even more slowly from infection. Knowing approximately how many people had suffered that horrifying fate, Major Miles steeled himself, readying his mind to fight the abominations that were threatening to overrun his home. Though Amestrians had been responsible for the near-genocide of his people, he knew better than to hate them all, or even just the entire military. Most of the people responsible were merely following the orders of their superiors, something he couldn't blame them for doing, as the Amestris military had never been very kind to those found guilty of insubordination.
Two hours after the order had been given, the troops and supplies were ready, the convoy heading out of the newly-created wall bordering East City. For the fifth time since they'd set out, Major Miles checked the machine gun bolted to the transport he was on. The red-tipped mercury fulminate explosive rounds were loaded properly and the gun's bolt was locked back, ready to strike down anything that dared attack them during their ordered rush towards New Optian. Looking down to his side, he noted the numerous metal boxes, each with a red stripe along their length, indicating they were stocked with yet more explosive ammunition. Altogether, they had over fifty thousand rounds of such bullets stocked for their heavy machine guns, another twenty thousand for their rifles and sub-machine guns, over two hundred rocket-propelled grenades, seven hundred white phosphorous mortar rounds, five hundred high-explosive mortar rounds, a massive crate of grenades, normal ammunition of all kinds, mines, and even a dozen experimental flamethrowers they'd brought from Briggs, spread across half a dozen large trucks, each with a heavy machine gun emplacement atop it, their operators keeping a weather eye for incoming titans. General Armstrong knew the threat of the titans from what she'd read, and she'd spared no expense in bringing every possible engine of death to bear against this threat to their nation. Though the tank was still parked near East City's northern exit, she'd ensured that Major Miles and his squadron were given enough firepower to, if nothing else, save the lives of those men and women who were holding New Optian.
“Remember, men,” Major Miles yelled into the radio as they drove. “Aim between their shoulders! If we can take out their weak spot, then they stay down! Conserve your ammunition whenever possible and, most of all, stay calm! Do not spray wildly into an oncoming horde! We are the cavalry! We are men of Briggs! We'll show these giants what it means to fight against our iron will!”
“Sir,” the spotter behind him called out. “I'm counting five titans, at least ten meters tall, about two hundred and fifty meters to our three o'clock!”
“Titans,” Major Miles relayed into the radio. “Three o'clock, two-five-zero meters! Two and Four, open fire!”
Behind him, Major Miles heard the machine guns spring to violent life, the brilliant white-orange of the tracers streaking down to the titans as the beasts turned, lumbering in their direction. The rounds worked as advertised, as each new one found its mark, they exploded, ripping flesh from bone and scything the titans down at the shoulder. Fifteen seconds' concentrated fire later, the guns lay silent, their barrels cooling in the desert air. The titans that had been bearing down on them erupted into clouds of steam and, moments later, were replaced by bleached, white skeletons. Major Miles could hear the men in the trucks behind him erupt into cheers. Their first sortie against these monsters had been a resounding success.
“Don't get cocky,” Major Miles said calmly into the radio. “Those were just stragglers from the main body of the horde bearing down on New Optian! But, our brothers have five fewer titans to worry about when we arrive. Good work, men!”
I'm getting a bit of a military boner from it, yes. Can't help it! ITS SO HAPPY.