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War Never Changes

Nirahsa's picture

Metal boots thudded against the ground as the footman marched, rifleman’s gazes scanning the hills of nagrand looking for the signs of orc soldiers.  The patrol had been  looking for raiders that’d been harassing the outposts in the region but so far hadn’t come across anything unusual.

A loud thud came from behind the column of troops as the large machine, Risha kept pace while bringing up the rear. Nirahsa kept close to Risha while watching her intently still not happy with the machine. She’d even tinkered with her programming to try and curb Risha’s brutality as Nira saw it, make her more defensive oriented.

The stillness was broken as a high pitched wail shot through the air before the ground exploded near the alliance troops in a concussive barrage. The impact of the shells sent several footman flying, the rest of the soldiers immediately began to spread out as they turned towards where the attack had come from. To see a Gronn cresting a nearby hill cannons strapped to its back even as a large orc swung his arm forward letting loose the traditional Orcish battlecry.

“LOK’TAR OGAR!”

Orc Grunts swept passed the gronn as they charged down the hill like a wave. Risha planted both feet before firing off several arcane blasts from her hands that exploded infront of the Iron Horde troops but did little to faze them. The large machine continued to fire but none of its shots directly connected with the troops doing little but create a light show.

The gronn hunched down before bellowing as its cannons fired off another salvo. The shells stopped short of the alliance troops as a purple shield flared in front of the soldiers, Risha’s right hand projecting an energy barrier to hold off the strike. The shield did little to stop the Iron Orcs from charging through and into the alliance lines as a melee broke out. To which Risha did little but stand in place.

Nira frowned a little even as she flung several bolts of lightning at the orcs. Her mind trying to figure out why Risha was reacting with what almost appeared to be disinterest in what was going on beyond projecting shields to stop ranged fire and sometimes firing her arcane energy in a vain effort to distract Orcs.

“You wanted to stop her –brutality-, what else can she do but stand around?” Asharin’s somewhat snide tone floated through Nira’s head.

Nira shook her head while causing the air to crackle, “She’s still supposed to stop the orcs!”

“How can she? She’s bigger than everything except for that Gronn, the simple act of fighting an Orc is seen by you as brutality on her part. You expect things to be clean….tidy, something you should know better than to expect in war.”

The ground rumbled as the gronn fired yet again, this time its shots were more widely spaced. Risha attempted to stop them but could only defend two small areas from the volley. As more shells slammed into the ground exploding with the pained screams of alliance troops that were not in the areas of Risha’s barriers.

Nirahsa’s heart thudded heavily hearing orders being shouted as the troops tried to hold back the tide of orcs, the Gronn’s artillery however was disrupting the battle in the horde’s favor.

“Risha! Umbrella!” Nira shouted out, the machine responded by widening its stance becoming immobile as its arms outstretched as the crystals charged and projected a barrier around the entire area.  Shielding the area, atleast from the Gronn as the giant fired again only for the shells to slam into the dome. However it did nothing to stop the Iron Horde troops from continuing to march into the field and attack the alliance from the inside.

“Waste, you should attack, eliminate the threat instead of impeding it,” Asharin sighed.

“Shut up, yes yes!” Nira stated shaking her head while throwing a violet bolt of lightning into a raider.

The Gronn looked ready to stride down the hill and into the melee now that its cannons had been rendered ineffective. The large orc commanding the creature however made it hold its ground even as the brown orc bellowed orders to the other orcs while pointing at Risha.

Nira felt the earth suddenly tremble causing her eyes to widen as she saw several orcish shaman rip boulders out of the ground before flinging them at Risha, the first went wide. The other rocks slammed into the machine staggering it backwards before the next volley of molten rock hit its mark. The draenic crystals in RIsha’s hands exploded sending shards flying as the barrier dropped at the same moment cannon fire sounded. The Gronns renewed artillery strike sent flowers of explosions blooming in the alliance ranks.

Risha shook off the attack and rose before she bellowed, “Casualty rate unacceptable, secondary directives online. Commence attack.”

“Finally,” Asharin remarked.

“What do you mean finally? Risha doesn’t have secondary directives!”

“You weren’t meant to know about them, no no.”

The war machine unslung the dwarven made rifle from its back before beginning to march forward kicking an orc hard enough to send him flying and break his back. Risha began to fire into the enemy ranks directly.

“What did you do Asharin!? How did you…” Nira tried to think of how Asharin could of programmed this into Risha without her knowing since while she’d let Asharin redo the programming she’d made sure to watch everything she did.

“Did it ever cross your mind that between the two of us, that my knowledge of crystal tech would be superior to yours?” The mirror in Nira’s head asked rhetorically.

Risha continued her forward stride the robot managed to avoid Alliance troops but made a point of stepping on any orc that cross her path. The gronn bellowed as Risha fired a shot at it, impacting one of its cannons and staggering the beast briefly before the Gronn ceased holding its position and began to charge forward.

Nira clenched her fists while watching Orcs getting turned to paste as Risha marched on, “This isn’t what I wanted! No no!”

“What you wanted the alliance to die?”

“W-what?! No, but I didn’t want Risha-“

“To do her job? To fight?”

“Not so brutally, no no!”

“Look around NIrahsa! Look at how many alliance soldiers died while you had Risha reacting to the horde attack instead of acting! Yes yes.” Asharin put pointedly even as Nira trembled as she gazed around at the chaos of the fighting, the corpses of alliance troops that’d died in the artillery fire.

Risha and the gronn nearly collided as the robot tried to fire a point blank shot into the gronn’s chest only for the giant to knock her rifle to the side before delivering a heavy punch to her chest. The machine took a step back to stabilize itself before retaliating with a punch of its own to the Gronn’s gut while booming, “I have come to destroy you!”

“You need to wake up, stop trying to make war clean and tidy Nirahsa. It isn’t, it is horrific and brutal. If you can’t accept that then you need to go back home to the Exodar yes yes. Ofcourse if you do that then you’ll be running away and leaving your friends on their own.” Asharin’s voice was low

“No, I’m going to help them! I have to help them!”

“You can’t even help yourself, here you are in the middle of a battle, and you’re arguing with yourself!”

While the fighting continued to rage on, the gronn and robot kept exchanging blows knocking each other backwards only charge at one another again before Risha grappled the gronn and began to wrestle with the giant.

“Then go away and let me work, yes yes!” Nirahsa stated in annoyance.

“No, you disregard me, you disregard yourself, you second guess yourself more and more….I….I, “Asharin trailed off for a moment as if collecting herself, “…I didn’t want to do this because of….potential, implications….but nothing else has gotten through to you…maybe a hammer will if it doesn’t break you.”

Nira’s heart raced suddenly as Asharin’s words caused a jolt of fear in the shaman wondering what her mirror was intending. Before her vision rather suddenly went black and the outside world vanished entirely.

The shaman’s body hit the ground with an unceremonious thud.

Meanwhile Risha hefted the gronn off the ground entirely and threw the giant backwards servos whining with the effort. The giant hit the ground hard landing right on top of the large orc that had been commanding it and the troops as if Risha had intentional aimed the beast like a live cannonball.

 

A human priest ran over to Nira’s fallen form checking the shaman for injuries but finding nothing. The draenei’s chest rose and fell steadily but any effort made to rouse her had no effect. Left with no other choice the priest called another soldier over and the two lifted the draenei up to carry her off. Even as the alliance slowly withdrew, conducting a fighting retreat as they gathered their wounded. Fortunately with the death of the orc commander the Iron Horde troops were disorganized and unable to keep the pressure on the Alliance as they withdrew while the Gronn and Risha tore up the landscape with their own battle.