“Above! Above! Eyes to the skies!”
Titan Blue didn’t have time, at least for three seconds, to look up. She was too busy sweeping a gaggle of Imperium troops away from her stumpy feet. She regretted the action when a dragon bathed her head in flame.
Screeching out a pained battle roar, Blue stomped the ground hard enough that the soldiers jabbing spears into her legs collapsed. Then, turning her attention skyward, she raised one thick arm and held it in front of her face as the incoming dragon spat gout after gout of deadly flame. Blue’s skin thickened into a tight shield, blocking out the licking orange and yellow heat - though a shield made of skin was, still, skin.
Fuck me, this hurts, she thought, grunting. Wait for it, though, wait… wait for…
One soldier, recovering from the buffet to the ground, nearly broke Blue’s concentration by jabbing a spear into her thigh. She ignored him -
- until the dragon came into range. He didn’t live much longer than that.
As soon as she felt the whoosh of the dragon’s wings, Blue reformed her shield into an oversized, pistoning hand. It flew into the air, stifled the dragon’s flame, and grabbed the creature by the face. Wrenching downward with all her might Blue smashed the dragon into the ground, squeezing as she did. The combined effort broke the beast’s neck, and though it continued to reflexively spit dying fire into her palm, the dragon went limp.
Taking a step back, Blue dropped the dragon onto the soldiers. Most of them died, including her attacker.
Panting hard, Blue checked the battlefield for allies. A cluster of Non ground troops were assaulting a tight knot of nearby Imperium troops, their shields up and their spears poised to penetrate anything that dared to approach. A long line of Imperium artillery waited in the distance, but airborne Non were keeping them busy with rocks dropped from above. And beside her -
A big hand gently slapped Blue’s shoulder. It belonged to Thomas, another juggernaut-sized Non, though a little smaller than herself. “Hey, you okay? Took one hell of a wallop there.”
Blue shook her head. Shoving Thomas aside, she raised her hands and clapped them together, fusing her skin into a single, thick funnel. The funnel caught a volley of five cannonballs that were zipping towards Thomas. They disappeared into her arms, rebounded, and flew back the way they’d come. Blue felt the holes they’d left tear a little, and she winced as her Non body struggled to reform.
“Pay attention,” Blue grunted, smacking Thomas. “On your six! Hands up! Stones!”
Thomas whirled around, following Blue’s orders, and she joined him. The Imperium had unleashed another volley, but this time the projectiles were enormous, flaming rocks, launched from trebuchets. Acting almost instinctively, the two Non knitted their trunk-like arms together, expanding their skins to form a huge, powerful net. The three incoming boulders hit the nets, singing their flesh, and flew back towards the Imperium soldiers…
… with much great effect. Rather than leaving small dents in the battlefield, like the cannonballs, the boulders exploded upon impact, scattering fiery debris amongst the Imperium’s lines. Soldiers and engineers screamed and fled as their siege engines burned to the ground. The sight sobered Blue, even as it made her cheer inwardly.
Thomas offered Blue a brief high five. “Atta girl. We’re a helluva a team, you know it? We’ll send these little fleshies runnin’ for their mommas fore ya know it. Not much longer.”
“Yeah, that’s what whatsisface keeps sayin’,” Blue grunted, rolling her eyes. She tried to shake the pain out of her hands, but it just wouldn’t dissipate. “C’mon. Let’s rush ‘em while they’re down.”
Nodding eagerly, Thomas joined Blue in a mad dash towards the Imperium’s remaining siege weapons. She’d made similar rushes a hundred times in the last month, and she knew she’d make a hundred more. She was made to rush the enemy, to take all of their abuse and pour it back with little damage to herself. She was born for this role.
But she didn’t like it. Oh, lord above, did it ever hurt to be a weapon.
The Imperium’s lines were, eventually, forced into retreat, allowing the Non to regroup with the bulk of Kierkegaard’s sweeping army. The offensive continued, westward, towards Rodentia, along an inexorable track that Blue couldn’t help but view as too repetitive to be anything but a damned trap.