Chapter 660: Fight, Lyr!
Flashes of purple flickered incessantly on the horizon. Booms and smoke rose as buildings fell. Roars, explosions, collapse… they all clashed together in a cacophony of terror.
Su He stood at the top of the clock tower, staring into the distance. High though he stood, his heart felt like it had sunk into the ground below. As temporary commander of the defenses he was meticulous in preparation, but he knew if the soldiers couldn’t hold the aliens back the students didn’t stand much of a chance.
They’d come too quick, too fierce. The world was swallowed by a toxic purple cloud that came on the heels of the alien warriors.
Su He heaved a sigh, squashing his own anxieties. Memories of a blue mecha darting through the jungle swam up to the front of his mind. Holographic recordings of scores of enemies being felled, and scores of lives being saved flashed behind his eyes.
Lan Jue, everything you did I can do, too. Or maybe I can’t, and this will be my last stand. But if it is, I’ll make sure the aliens pay dearly.
Every moment he watched the purple light crept closer.
“Everyone, prepare for battle.” Su He calmly gave the order from his vantage.
“Classes one, two and three prepare. We have aliens coming in from one o’clock. Hit them with laser fire. Mechas, ready your weapons.”
The inevitable clash with the aliens frightened the students. Behind stoic faces and metal breastplates their faces were pale.
Aoooooohh--! A lumbering beast heaved into view. It looks like a tortoise, with a body ten meters long and a thick shell on its back. In contrast to its likeness, though, it moved very fast on legs thick as verti-cars. Its whole body flickered purple as it bore down on them.
“Fire!” Su He shouted.
The students were nervous, but the bearers of the heavy weaponry were the best the school had to offer. They obeyed orders, and knew how to use the guns. A wall of shimmering laser light erupted from the university’s walls and rained destruction on a large swath of land before them. The creature responded by reeling back and deflecting the shots with its shell. However the assault proved to be too much and the creature was blasted away.
They beat it back! A cheer rang out among the students. But it only lasted a moment when suddenly their cries caught in their throats.
Ten more purple figures appeared on the horizon, each one different from the last but all looking like corrupted marine animals. Looking upon them struck fear into the hearts of the human defenders, but most frightening of all was the creature soaring overhead. A great and terrible bird was headed right for the school interior.
“Ignore the sky, fire at will. Don’t give them an inch of ground.” He gave the order and launched himself into the air.
His mecha picked up speed, the wind whistling around its sleek frame. He blazed as brightly as a star as the distance closed between him and the alien bird. For half a second the sky was dazzlingly bright – in the aftermath tumbled two severed halves of the beast. Blood fell like rain onto the training ground below. Su He’s mecha swung wide and returned to the clock tower.
The students and civilians looked on, witnessing for the first time the death of one of these nightmarish foes. Triumphant cries rose to meet their commander. Meanwhile the defenders along the walls managed to fend off the first wave of attackers.
But the aliens were strong, resilient. The turtle alien joined the others and pressed forward, acting as a shield so they could advance. Each lumbering step brought the hoard closer.
A line of mechas lines the balustrades, close-range fighters adept at tearing through whatever was in front of them. Another line of long-range mecha fighters and laser riflemen were at their backs.
Finally the beasts made their move. A frog-like creature leapt overhead and spat its tongue out. It blasted out with the force of a missile. The students responded with a hail of angry red laser fire.
Phomp! The frog screeched as its tongue was blown apart. The student who landed the shot was seated in a delicate-looking constructed mecha with a laser rifle twice its size. Its muzzle glowed red with heat.
Xiao Han! The Pride of Lyr University!
Xiao Han raced forward even before the chunks of tongue could hit the ground. Nine of his fellow students charged at his side to meet the aliens on the field. Besides Xiao Han, the other mechas were piloted by instructors. They were the only members of the staff with real combat experience. Serving as vanguard, they lead the students in routing the first batch of foes.
Moral soared as student and teacher alike watched the aliens fall before them. Their concerted fire didn’t stop, though, only becoming more ferocious.
The line was holding, but Su He did not look happy. He knew from his scanners that the world around them was a sea of deadly purple. He couldn’t tell what was waiting for them within that caustic mist.
A hard light glinted in his eyes. They would fight to the last man, until blood soaked the earth. It was the only way!
The four transport ships bearing civilians and non-combat faculty lifted into the air, shooting into the distance. They bore the future of Lyr to safety before the aliens could surround them and cut off their retreat. Su He let himself breathe a little easier as he watched them go. At least some would live to see another day.
Now they just had to hold for reinforcements. From the appearance of the aliens to now, over a day had passed. The closest military installation had to be close. Only, Lyr was big, who knew how long it would take the soldiers to get to them. Their focus was the main alien force!
More aliens appeared within sight of the walls. Mechas and defensive gunners alike were immersed in frantic battle. Su He was forced to join the fray himself. Whenever a more powerful alien appeared, he was there to deal with it personally.
The initial fear and shock had begun to wear off, and Lyr’s students fell back on their excellent training. Empowered by their mecha suits the students and teachers met the alien attackers in a dazzling display of color and sound. Instructors lead them valiantly to destroy wave after wave of foes. The normal alien soldiers no longer posed a serious threat.
The fighting continued. Su He commanded three hundred suits in battle, and the rest remained behind to defend the walls. Every now and again students would switch out to charge their suits and rest while others took their place. Only in this way could they keep up the fight, because the aliens weren’t stopping. Luckily LU was well-stocked with power gems which they used to keep the mechas in the fight.
Su He did not expect the students to perform so well. Inwardly he praised them all for their grit and determination. If they lived through this they would come away with more knowledge than six months spent in a classroom. The best way to motivate potential was a real life-or-death struggle.
Lyr city had already been thoroughly destroyed. As Lyr’s biggest city and its capital, it’d been the alien’s first target. The soldiers that had been posted there were all dead. If one could look down from above, all they would see was an expanse of purple.
The first wave of reinforcements had already arrived in planetary orbit three hours ago, but were searching for the progenitor. However, Lyr was so large and finding it proved difficult. At the same time more aliens were arriving from outer space to cut off the approach. Aid was locked out.
Time crawled one, one minute – one second at a time. Scores of aliens continued to barrage the school. Strong though these aberrant creatures were, they couldn’t hold a candle to real alien life forms. However, they were exceptionally sensitive to the presence of vital energy. The moment they sensed the living, they charged in for the kill. The LU was among the last bastions of humanity, making it an enormous target.
These humans were not machines, and even machines needed to be recharged. As the battle stretched on to the two-hour mark, things began to get dangerous. Chief among them was they were running out of energy!
Although the school could boast some Adepts, they were few. Without the help of mechas, how could they stand against the unending alien assault?
“Professor Su He, we’re out of energy. We have an hour at most.” One of the teachers in charge of support gave Su He the news. His heart sank.
This was bad. Without energy what could they do? The fields outside of the school were teaming with aliens out for blood. If the mechas couldn’t hold them, they would be lost.
“Stop the laser cannons and save the energy for the mecha pilots,” he ordered. The aliens were better at defending against long-ranged attacks than close combat, but it left them open. He had to make the hard decision.
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