Word was getting out to the many smaller military bases that ringed the twin cities. There was no ground battle to fight yet, but troops were dispatched to the cities.
The pride of the districts fighter and bomber forces had been on Stran Island, to keep them safe from sabotage. They were incapacitated now. The remaining squadrons could only muster a few Corkscrews and a number of older aircraft. They couldn’t even muster superior numbers. Cicciles and Wasps entered into aerial combat around and above the twin cities.
There were few military targets remaining in the city limits after the first two waves of attacks. The great military and civil headquarters, despite having the largest barracks, was untouched in the hope it could be liberated and would give up secrets and prisoners. What planes were able, with fresh crews if possible, were sent out with waymarked routes past outlying airfields and camps. These planes bombed runways and depots, or found convoys of troops on the move along wide major roads.
It had always been supposed that the attack, if it came, would sweep down the snow fields as it had done in the Glacier War. Now the occupying force was rushing troops from this front to fires and gun sites seaward.
Horse’s fleet of trimotors, enrolled in the military and liveried in white and grey parachuted squads of engineers onto the ice. They would return the following morning with equipment- crevasse bridgers and load spreading planking. The engineers were to use the diversion of the battle to move about the snow field severing detonation cord and clearing a path to the Willno Slip, an old man-made ramp onto the glacier.
It wasn’t easy work, the winter suits made everyone bulky and clumsy, but they stayed ahead of schedule. Soon troops and armour would be moving on the city from two sides.