(Play for greater effect: Glorifica)
Near New Riga, Greater Saint-Paul
Early April, 2019
The tank silently watched over the hill, hidden among the snow-covered trees. The snow had already covered most of the tank, as it had stayed there for hours.
“When I was a child, I witnessed a group of boys steal from the local candy shop.”
A Greater Saint-Paulistian patrol of tanks were driving down the street, unaware of their hidden stalker.
“My father was furious when he found out. I protested and claimed ‘but I didn’t take anything.’”
The 105-millimeter cannon began to rotate towards the front of the convoy.
“‘Maybe not,’ he said. But…”
The turret stopped rotating. For a split-second, nothing happened. Then, a burst of fire erupted from the front tank, stopping the convoy. The tank lurched forward, driving towards them.
“...you were there.”
The commander climbed down into the mighty T-800 Titan, and shut the commanders' hatch, ready to hunt some enemies.
“My name is Werner Hartmann…”
The enemy tanks began to furiously fire back, their rounds missing.
“...Commander of Titan tank number 479.”
The Titan fired back, taking another one out.
“And I was there.”
One month later…
3rd Armoured Battalion
Hundreds of planes flew overhead information, their engines echoing amongst the hills and the barren streets. Intercoms around the city were playing propaganda music, to rally the troops' morale. Someone on the intercom was also speaking.
“...each defender is expected to sacrifice their lives for our glorious country - to the last bullet, the last shell.”
The tank sat in the middle of the paved street, as troops marched by and rode on the backs of transport trucks. Werner Hartmann waited for them to pass, and continued walking towards his steed.
“We will free our cities from the invaders and destroy them once and for all. Whether man…”
Hartmann stopped to salute for some soldiers. They continued off to march to the fields of hell, to fight off the Montarcian invaders. Next to Hartmann was a young lad, Erick Heel.
He saw his driver, Alfred Johann.
“It will all be over soon…” he said, looking towards the sky, his alcohol-induced therapist in one hand. Johann saw Hartmann and Heel. “Hartmann! Tell me we have a new radio guy and supplies.”
Heel handed Hartmann a clipboard filled with a checklist of supplies, which they were dangerously short of.
“I could, but that could be a lie, Johann. And I never tell a lie. You know that.”
Johann nodded in a half-hearted reply, looking elsewhere.”
“That’s a very noble move of you, Commander.”
Hartmann looked at the clipboard and looked at the supplies. They were low on everything - ammo, rations, even toilet paper.
“Eh…” Hartmann sighed. “We Commanders do not get the luxury of lying - it leads to nothing, especially in times of need.”
“Huh,” Johann replied. He took a long drink from his therapist and looked at Heel. “Ah, you must be our new radioman, eh? Our last one died. Poor lad. He was so young too.”
Heel looked at him, yet stayed quiet. Johann opened up the drivers' hatch and climbed in. His head was the only thing that poked out of it. The commanders hatch opened up, and out came Timo Turner, the loader. He was slightly older than Heel, yet still barely over 20.
“Is this the new radio guy?” he asked.
“Yes Timo, that is,” said Hartmann. “Now…”
Hartmann rested his hands on the Titan and looked around at his subordinates.
“Supreme Command wants us to move along with the 3rd Armored Battalion as well as the 10th and 11th Infantry Divisions. From there, we hold out until the 5th Fleet arrives with their invasion. Airborne troops will land before us.”
Johann took a sip, and Heel leaned on the Titan, albeit still nervous. Turner was in the process of cleaning the machine gun mounted on the top of the turret and was smoking a cigarette as well. It was bad for his lungs, as Turner attempted to quit multiple times, but old habits never die.
“Our mission is to act as a breakthrough. We move with the troops. Supreme Emperor Solomon wants all plans left behind to be burned, as to not fall to enemy hands. This is our last stand men. And finally, we radio in for air support to clean out the resistance. Once we are done, we are to move towards the Wuson Region to aid in Phase Two of Operation Double Cross near Itallitopia. Understand?”
His crew all nodded. Hartmann looked behind him one more time towards the once beautiful city, now in ruins. It saddened him that his home had to end up like this. But war is always the same. The crew of Titan 479 climbed in. Johann started up the massive V12 engine, the roar of the mighty engine echoed between the ruined walls of the collapsed shops and homes. Heel manned the gun, as Turner reloaded the 105, loading in an AP shot.
Hartmann stood among his steel behemoth on the commander's hatch, binoculars in hand.
“Forward Johann!” Hartmann yelled over the engine, extending his arm forwards.
“Roger Commander!” Johann replied.
Titan 479 lurched forward, its massive tracks moving across the pavement. They were soon to make history - a history that would become unwritten, the last of the Titans.