City Series:Volume5b Chapter13

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And the hidden history continues.


Chapter 13: Change[edit]

City v05b 011.jpg

6/6/1944

For some reason, the scream continues to ring in my ears.


June 6, 1944[edit]

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x92.”

Time slowed down. The rain from the cloudy sky fell slowly onto the Normandy beach.

I stood alone on the coast. I was the only person in the world capable of moving on this beach without being hit by our own machinegun fire or the enemy warships’ shells.

While moving at 92 times the speed of a normal person, I could even see the bullets fired by the infantrymen’s small guns.

The gunfire and explosions were stretched out 92 times to form a single great roar that never ceased pounding on my auditory devices. My vision clearly saw the bullets from the machineguns and small guns tearing through the air. Occasionally, an enemy soldier’s body was blasted into the air by an explosion where it would float for a while before falling.

Time moved so slowly. And in that time, a single color showed up brighter than all others.

The red of blood. That color sprayed from the infantrymen and stained the sea.

Approximately 5000 ships floated off the coast and an incalculable number of infantrymen attempted to reach land from them. They easily surpassed 10,000 in number. And they were transformed into corpses on the beach.

There was no cover on the 25-mile-wide coast, their tanks sank in the water, our machineguns fired down from a rock wall, and I intercepted any who still managed to reach land. I was tasked with protecting 1/6 of the beach, the 2-mile radius around Pillbox #18 which had been taken out by a shell from an enemy ship.

I was armed with a newly developed divine weapon called a heavy cleaver. That was a Werkzeug equipped with a Phlogiston Tank that used its own power to envelop itself in a cleaving black blade. It could cleave and slice through anything and everything.

I walked between the obstacles meant to prevent the ships from landing. Each step felt so slow, like I was walking through water.

I heard human voices along with the roar of gunfire and shellfire.

They were screams. Some were the gasps of people hit by a powerful impact, some were the cries of those who had just noticed their injuries, and some were the laughs of those who had accepted their fate, but they all mixed together to color the air.

<There are two enemy soldiers below me.>

I stepped on them. Two bodies’ worth of flesh and bone were broken and crushed between my metal foot and the sand of the beach. With my sense of time sped up 92 times, I could accurately hear each of their bones snapping and muscle fibers tearing. I felt nothing from the observation. My Psyche Outer system was functioning properly.

A small bullet hit the left shoulder of my armored clothing. It was incapable of penetrating the armor. I reacted while it was still digging into the clothing material. I looked back.

I could see the ocean. Several thousand enemy soldiers were standing and floating in the dark morning ocean. The ratio of dead to alive appeared to be about half and half. Several of the landing craft were headed my way, but the ones spewing flames and the ones sinking from a hit were also full of soldiers.

Nevertheless, the enemy did not give up. They had no real plan. It was an invasion reliant on pure numbers.

The corpses were piling up, but they relentlessly continued onward.

<One of the landing craft is headed my way.>

An MG42 bullet flew in from behind me and right past my ear.

When I saw the light of the tracer round, I lowered my heavy cleaver.

<The machinegun bullet slowly hits the front of the landing craft. It is not alone. Nearly 100 bullets crash into it while shaking the air.>

The result was the sound of striking bullets while blood spray and chunks of human beings flew from behind the front wall of the landing craft.

That 1-inch-thick metal panel might as well have been paper to the machinegun. The humans behind it were just as ineffectual a barrier. After penetrating the front wall of the landing craft, the bullets entered the bodies of the soldiers within, tore through their internal organs, hit their bones, and ricocheted into other soldiers. That landing craft might as well have been a coffin. In order to create a mass-produced product, they no longer protected the crucial soldiers within.

<The landing craft has lost its navigator and is now drifting aimlessly. It takes a somewhat diagonal course and ends up hitting and killing some of the soldiers on the beach. Then it rolls onto its side. The corpses within are dumped into the ocean. A moment later, the air fluctuates at three points above the ocean.>

The shells fired from the warships out at sea were 7-inch models. They were targeted at me. To intercept them, I pressurized my power output by a factor of 11 and raised the heavy cleaver.

<It produces a supersonic shockwave.

The compressed air acts as a shock cannon, so the shockwave races across the beach, tears a hole in the ocean, and collides with the shells.

The giant shells ricochet off course. Two bounce into the sky and the third falls into the ocean.

The ocean explodes from the blast. The ocean surface swells up and the water explodes upwards like a solid. The nearby landing craft and soldiers are carried into the sky along with it. People rain down from the air.>

I heard no screams. Their internal organs had been crushed when the initial shockwave threw them into the sky. Many of them spewed their organs from their mouth. They flew up and then fell in the slow motion of x92 speed.

<The one who flew farthest grazes Rot Löwe’s shoulder and falls behind me.>

The explosions, gunfire, and human voices sounded like a storm, but all of that noise was only coming from the distance now.

<I hear another distant explosion.

But instead of coming from a shell strike, this is the sound of explosives detonating in an enclosed space.>

I concluded a distant pillbox had been destroyed. The landing had succeeded.

When the defensive line collapsed at one point, the rest would fall apart from there.

I could not seek confirmation because Rot Löwe was not equipped with a communication device. Development was underway on a communication device capable of accounting for the time difference caused by my accelerated reaction speed, but no real progress had been made.

Thus, I checked with my sight devices while standing on the deserted beach.

“Primary Sight Devices: Lernen”

<As my field of vision rapidly widens, the first thing I see are the corpses littering the beach.

Most of them are gathered at the edge of the water where they stain the sea a dark red.>

The enemy soldiers were making a successful landing at a different point on the beach. The ones who had died here had died in vain.

<A single vehicle is visible next to Pillbox #18 which had been destroyed by shellfire from the ships.

It is a wagon jeep used to command a Grösse Panzer unit. The 1st aide’s head is sticking out from the open roof.>

It took some focus to hear his voice.

<“Lieutenant Colonel! The enemy has landed on the left wing! I will send two of our unit’s Grösse Panzers there!”>

I concluded that was a good decision.

I raised a hand to show I understood that those two would deal with the landed enemy soldiers.

<Rot Löwe’s left arm slowly rises with the shield in its grasp.

Just then, I hear wind rushing in from the ocean. It is coming from the shells fired by the ships’ guns.>

I confirmed their presence with my vision alone.

Six horizontal shots were flying my way from the ships out at sea. But instead of simple steel shells, these were explosive shells known as Bogen.

<Another volley is also fired. And including the shells fired by the surrounding ships, this one is 12 shots.>

This was a total of 18 explosive shells.

They had fired on this deserted area of beach after noticing none of their own soldiers were there.

I compressed my power output by a factor of 20. That was nearly enough power for the Panzer to cry out in protest.

I raised my heavy cleaver and shield.

The black blade carried a slicing power and it released a gust of wind as I swung it up with my right arm.

Wet with blood and rain, the sandy beach exploded from the shockwave and briefly hid me from the enemy. I could not see either, but I accurately remembered the locations of the enemy shells.

City v05b 019.jpg

This was not a problem.

The shockwave tore apart the ocean and was intended to neutralize four of the explosive shells.

My arm groaned in protest after I swung up the sword.

I normally used 10 times the standard power output to release a shockwave, but this time I had used twice that. The purpose behind this was revealed with the second attack.

I forcibly swung down the heavy cleaver.

When moving faster than sound, actions were silent.

The blade struck the beach and my hand felt it slicing through each individual grain of sand. This produced a second shockwave.

<The second shockwave occurs at the same time as the explosion of sound from the first one.>

The two shockwaves collided and burst with a light as bright as fierce lightning.

I straightened up and moved out of the way to avoid the shockwaves.

<As the fluctuation of air spreads out in all directions, the sand already scattered through the air is blown even further away.

My vision opens up like a curtain.

At the same time, the four shells on course for a direct hit on the Rot Löwe collide with the first shockwave and explode. The sound and explosive flames detonate another two. The remaining 12 shells are shaken by the noise and shockwave as they collide with the invisible wall of the second shockwave. Seven of those explode.

A total of 13 have exploded.>

The remaining five were not on a collision course. I took five steps back and raised my shield.

The sand, pieces of corpses, and shell shrapnel pounded on the shield as the multiple explosions propelled them.

I used more power output to hold my position here than for any of my previous actions.

“Heat Radiation System - Full Power: Lernen”

Just as the cooling system activated, the worst of the shockwaves passed. The shield suddenly felt much lighter.

I moved forward.

Before, I had been avoiding the shockwaves from the Bogen exploding in front of me, but now I had to endure the shockwaves from the remaining 5 as they exploded on the stone wall behind me.

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x113.”

One step. So very slow.

Two steps. I made a turn here to view the stone wall behind me.

At the third step, I spread my legs in a stance meant to defend against explosions.

<With a great roar, red-hot shells pass by overhead and to the sides.>

I held my shield at the ready. I only had to confirm the trajectory of the five enemy shells and then adjust the shield’s position.

<Four of the shells collide with the tall rock walls of Normandy.

But one veered from its expected course due to the many explosions and shockwaves.

After becoming a red ball of light, it crashes into the destroyed pillbox atop the rock wall.>

The 1st aide had been near there.

<Just before the explosion, the 1st aide looked to me from the military wagon next to the pillbox.>

His expression suggested that he had no clue what was about to happen.

<A moment later, explosive flames envelope everything and a volley of sound drowns out all other noise.>

The sound of stone wall collapsing was no more than an indistinct rumble with time slowed by a factor of more than one hundred.

But I did hear something within that.

No, I could assume it was there.

<A scream.>

The 1st aide’s scream was drowned out in an instant.

The deafening roar became stone shrapnel that pounded on my shield.

However…

<For some reason, the scream continues to ring in my ears.>

I concluded that I was only able to recognize it as a scream because it had been drowned out in an instant. However…

<For some reason, the scream continues to ring in my ears.>

Why? Why would the scream not go away? And why was I questioning something like this? My Psyche Outer system was functioning properly. I would only have questions and memories related to combat.

Then why was I questioning the screa-

Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Geschäftlich Schrift[edit]

Oddity detected in Schreiben user’s memory. The rapid return of a past memory has been confirmed. To avoid any risk, the surrounding memories will be released and the Schreiben user’s thought connection will be severed for 0.0000001 seconds before reconnecting.

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

The following once happened:

<March 24, 1944

At 03:22, I awoke earlier than planned. I believe I was woken by a shocking dream.

The only thing that remains in my memory is a scream. I cannot determine what kind of scream or whose scream it is.>

<March 25, 1944

At 03:21, I awoke earlier than planned. I had that dream again.

A scream, flowers, the rainy streets of Berlin. Those memories remain independent of each other. Of course, these fragmentary memories are not deemed combat related and will eventually be erased by the prosthetic parts controlling my memories.>

What is this scream?

<For some reason, the scream continues to ring in my ears.>

And why was I conflating the scream from that remembered dream with the 1st aide’s scream?

<The stone wall is partially collapsing from the shock of the explosion.

The wind whips up, circles around my raised shield, and flutters Rot Löwe’s armor clothing.>

I do not understand any of it.

I have determined it is dangerous to lose myself in these thoughts mid-battle. But the memories remain undeleted. I am not sure if this means the Psyche Outer system has ceased to function or if these memories are in fact necessary for me.

<The right side of my vision is stained red.

The top half of a corpse has plastered itself to my right sight device after being blown into the air by the blast.>

Humans are fragile.

<Even that corpse is soon blown away by the whirlwind of overlapping explosive blasts.>

I can assume that corpse also screamed as it died.

Is the scream in my memories the same as the ones made by these many corpses?

Were they created by fear, resignation, and the other emotions I no longer possess?

<For some reason, the scream continues to ring in my ears.>

I am currently a machine. Is there a scream like that within me? Why can I not clearly recall that? That is true of several other things as well: the photograph of a woman and girl, the four o’clock flower, and…

The Attesor Project.

What do those things mean to a machine like me?

I cannot find an answer.

But I do know that these are all things I have forgotten due to the Psyche Outer surgery.

So when I joined the Panzer Ritter Project…

<The upper half of a soldier that was plastered to my eye is now airborne.>

…why…

<It is obliterated by the vacuum produced by colliding air. For just an instant…>

…did I…

<Red spray dances in the wind and vanishes.>

…try to erase my memories!?

<For some reason, the scream continues to ring in my ears.>

I cannot find the answer.

Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Geschäftlich Schrift[edit]

Stabilizing the Schreiben user’s mind is no longer possible. Restoring a portion of his memories to eliminate the psychological pressure causing the instability. Altering fixed memories. The Schreiben user’s thought connection will be severed for 0.0000001 seconds before reconnecting.

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

A memory was replayed in my head.

<April 20, 1944

I discovered a part of my own past.

“The funeral for the family of Captain Heinz Berge, who has returned from Bourgogne, will be held at Grunewald Park Graveyard today at 2 PM. The forecast is for rain, so be careful.”

The date was from just after the end of the previous great war. Thanks to my Psyche Outer surgery, I had no memory of or emotion about the revelation that I had a family, that they were dead, and that I had likely attended their funeral.

I was only interested in the fact that the newspaper article mentioned that I had been in Bourgogne. I cannot recall any battle-related memories of that time. Why is that?>

<May 20, 1944

I was searching through my military records from the previous war I had acquired in Paris. In them, I discovered that the very last records were from the Morvan Mountains of the Bourgogne Region. That matches the newspaper clipping I discovered before. What does this mean?

This leads to 3 questions. 1: Is it possible I saw the Attesor Project myself while in Bourgogne? 2: Why was that memory not deemed combat-related? 3: The war ended after that, so why did I volunteer for the Panzer Ritter Project?>

What…what did I see in Bourgogne!? And when I returned, why did I decide I wanted to be the strongest!?

<For some reason, the scream continues to ring in my ears.>

I do not know.

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x1. Power output is dropping.”

<My Panzer is enveloped by a great roar.

After falling to human speed, Rot Löwe is blown away by the shockwaves and rolls across the ocean surface.

It all happened in an instant.>

Report from Operation Overlord Allied HQ: Summary of Landing Results[edit]

The landing operation begun today at 05:30 is still underway now at 18:30, but the valiant efforts of all our troops have successfully broken through in Region D and Region B. 80% of the enemy pillboxes have been successfully neutralized. A mop up operation will begin early tomorrow morning and we will begin to liberate the surrounding regions.

Spread the following message to all of our troops:

  • Operation Overlord was a success.

We lost one cruiser and an unknown number of tanks and special vehicles. We estimate we lost at least 4000 of our troops. I wish to express my greatest condolences as I honor their noble sacrifices.


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