The men formed up silently next to the double doors leading into the final room of the dungeon, where they expected the Boss of Level 2 to be inside. Private Tinoth tested the door handle, giving it a gentle pull, opening up a tiny crack. He turned and nodded to his Section Leader who returned his nodded and Tinoth pulled out a flexible fiber camera scope. He crouched next to the crack and gently inserted the flexible camera into the door crack and using a handheld device and observed the interior of the room.

As the scans earlier taken from Platoon 3 had shown, the room stretched over 50 meters deep and 20 meters wide. The night vision of the camera got only pierce into roughly 20 meters before everything was too dark and unclear to scope more. Tinoth twisted the camera left and right, taking in the whole room, while James watched the video on his tablet.

"Looks clear," Tinoth whispered. He checked his motion and heartbeat tracker issued only to point men, and couldn't find any movement nor heartbeats, only static showing up on the screen. "Damn, too much interference, either magical or natural here." He whispered to his Section Leader.

James keyed his mike and ordered the whole Platoon, "Go deliberate, slow and steady."

Tinoth kept his gear and unslung his weapon, taking in a deep breath as he gathered his nerves. "Go!" His Section Leader slapped his shoulder, indicating him to move in.

Tinoth pulled the door open and stepped in towards the right, while his section mate behind him rushed in and covered the left with the Section Leader coming up 3rd covering the middle. Tinoth receiving another slap on his shoulder pushed in towards the corner of the room, his flashlight illuminating pillars and man tall blocks of stone scattered all over the area.

The rest of the Platoon entered section by section, and very quickly all four sections of seven men each had entered, covering the entire area. "Move in," James ordered and the men moved up, checking everywhere of the room.

The lights from their weapons stab out for a few meters before drowning in the darkness. It appeared that the darkness in the pillared room was absorbing all light. Corporal Tells from Section I whispered next to James, "Sarge, I don't like this much."

As they advanced deeper and deeper, chunks of rocks some larger than a half track laid haphazardly all around the area, next to pillars with carvings similar to the ones in the first room.
the temperature appeared to drop, and a fog appeared before them, making most of the men curse.

"Halt," James ordered and he looked at the fog, "Point men, what do you see?"

The point men equipped with infra goggles tried to peer through the fog but couldn't find anything. "Nothing, Sarge, no heat signatures nor movement on the sensors." Came back the replies.

"Pop flares, light up the place!" James commanded. The point men dug into their pouches removing flare guns salvaged from the spaceship's life boats and fired into the fog. Four blazing balls of reddish glare erupted out and flew into the fog, before hitting the ceiling and bouncing to the ground.

Also immediately a howl burst out from inside the fog and the men tensed and ready up their weapons. "Back! All sections fall back!" James yelled. "I want distance from the fog now!"

"I got movement!" Tinoth yelled, as his M314 Motion Tracker beeped rapidly, the sensor returns coming from within the fog as he backed away from it.

Suddenly, dozens of fluff balls bounced out from the fog, and the Marines snapped their rifles up ready to fire when around roar broke out from within the fog. "Back!" The Section Leaders yelled to their men, as they moved away from the fog and whatever is inside.

The glow of the red flares cast shadows of something moving within the fog towards them. By this time, they retreated back to the fall end of the room where the exit was and took cover among the rock debris and stone pillars.

"That doesn't sound very good," CorporalTells muttered, "Sarge, permission to ready the bazookas?" Just as he finished saying that, suddenly, reptilian shapes darted out from the fog and the men opened fire at the hissing creatures.

"Contact!" The men yelled and fired at the leaping lizards. Some of the men screamed as the lizards spat globs of corrosive acid that ate into their armor, melting away skin and flesh. Others cry out in surprise as some lizards whipped their long fleshy tongues that glued to their bodies, pulling with an overwhelming force to the owner's tooth-filled gaping mouths.

"There's too many of them!"
"They are everywhere!"
"Help! Someone!"

Screams and cries rang out among the Marines as the flood of dino lizards slammed into them. James cursed, wishing they had a machine gun or two. "Grenades!" He yelled, "Use them!"

"Several yells of "Fire in the hole," followed after his instruction, as the nearby Marines took to his order, pulling out a pin attached to the head of a cast iron oval-shaped metal ball, triggering a heat rune, that slowly heats up to over 300 degrees, which will ignite the black powder packed inside the grenade. Unlike modern-day grenades, these do not have a safety lever and required the operator to throw the grenade once the heat rune was activated, as the heat rune will hit ignition temperature of the black powder within 3 to 5 seconds.

The grenades flew over the heads of the besieged Marines, landing among the herd of dino lizards and detonated one after another, spewing out lethal shards of shrapnel, tearing and stunning the creatures within the blast radius of three meters each.

Due to the sudden grenade barrage, the pressure against the Marines dropped as the lizards cringed in surprised and confused from the explosions, allowing the Marines to rapidly take advantage of the situation and turning it around.

The Marines fired their M1s and shotguns into the cluster of dino lizards, the heavy lead bullets blowing away scales and lizard flesh, drenching the rock ground with dark red lizard blood. Just as it happened suddenly, the lizards retreated back into the fog in terror from the onslaught by the Marines.

Corporal Tells spat out a glob of blood from his mouth from a cut in his mouth as he took a hit in the jaw by a whipping dino lizard's tail. He gave his machete sword an expert flick, flicking off the blood as he returned his sword into his scabbard attached to a tactical rig on his left thigh. He then transferred his emptied revolver to his right hand and started reloading it, while keeping an eye out for his dropped M1 Magelock dropped somewhere in the melee.

"Check your ammunition! Medics to the wounded! The rest keep watch and be at the ready!" James voice could be heard over the cries of pain and curses.

James moved among the men, seeing the carnage wrecked by the dino lizards. Several were out killed by the acid spits, only a pile of smoking and bubbling skeletal remains, with intact arms and legs remaining behind. Even the weapons, armor and gear were melted through, the lucky ones managing to remove their armor before the acid ate through them, but still suffering burns on their arms or legs.

The medics were busy using water and healing magic to neutralize the acidic burns and James ordered everyone to pass their water over to the medics to use to wash the acid off the victims. Other than the vicious acid attacks, the rest of the men mostly suffered cuts and bruises from the claws and bites which given a healing spell, managed to stop all the blood and mild poison inflicted from the lizards.

"Sarge, we got five deaths, all from the corrosive attacks, another four in critical condition from the burns and two more due to having serious injuries from the getting mauled. Another fourteen with varying degrees of wounds but still combat effective," Corporal Tells reported. "The men are doing fine despite the loses and injuries," Tells jerked his head towards the fog in the distance, "And it seems like they are massing again."

"Plant claymores, I want a two-tiered defense line," James ordered, "Evacuate the wounded now."

Tells nodded and head off to relay James orders, barking out instructions to the Platoon. James keyed his commands to the Platoon leaders channel, "Apache Two to Apache Three, over."

"Apache Three, send."

"Apache Two, request immediate medevac, and support over."

"Apache Three, Roger, E T A five mikes, out."

James ended his comms and looked around, seeing the men, deploying claymores and the Section leaders directing lanes of fire. The badly wounded were strapped on to foldable stretchers by the medics and were being relayed to the exit.

"HERE THEY COME!" Someone yelled, followed by barks of gunfire. The dino lizards burst out of the fog again, but this time, the Marines were ready and not distracted. They fired at the charging lizards with accurate fire as the lizards entered their lanes of fire, sending them toppling down and forcing the rest of the lizards to hop over or swerve to the sides to avoid their fallen herd.

The defensive line to the fog was roughly 30 meters away and with the speed of the charging lizards, they can close the short distance in less than 5 seconds. The claymores deployed earlier were rigged to a trip wire by the Marines, detonated as the leading dino lizards tripped the wires. The shotgun blast like explosions swatted the charging lizards away like a giant hand, leaving behind bits of gore and blood.

The Marines cheered and laughed at the gorely screen, and redoubled their efforts at shooting at remaining stunned lizards. As the Marines cheered on, a sudden roar blocked out their cheers, and a massive shape broke out of the fog.

"Oh fark," Tinoth cursed, as he looked up at the towering behemoth appearing out of the fog. He emptied his shotgun at the monster and died when it tail whipped the pillar he was taking cover from. killing two others of his section mates.

James cursed, "A fucking T Rex? You got to be kidding me!" The behemoth that appeared from the fog looked similar to a Terran extinct dinosaur, the Tyrannosaurs Rex. It has silverish scales with quartz-like crystal jutting out from parts of its body and tail. The neck is longer compared to a T Rex and it has thicker and longer forelimbs.

"Use the bazookas!" James yelled as he fired his M2 uselessly at the behemoth. Keying his communicator, he screamed into it, "Dungeon Ops, come in! This is Apache Two! Are you seeing this shit? Over!"

"Oh yes, what an amazing specimen!" Magister Thorn's voice replied excitedly.

"Fuck that!" James cursed, "What is that? How do we take it out?"

"Hmmm," came back the reply which made James grit his teeth in frustration.

"Goddamn it, Dungeon Ops, people are dying here!" James cursed in his comms.

"Apache Two, this is Dungeon Ops, wait one over," Another voice cut in and the comms went silent.

"Fuck!" James cursed, just as the reinforcements from Platoon 3 arrived. His own heavy weapons team in his platoon ready a tube on their shoulders, their buddies slapping their shoulders yelling, "Ready!" into their ears as they plugged in the fire runes to the rear of the tubes.

Lance Corporal Abert Tinner placed the simple wire cross sights on the center of mass of the behemoth as they were taught. Previously he worked as a miller, grinding grains into flour in the mill he worked in the outskirts of the Capital. When the Empire attacked, he got caught up in the battle and was conscripted to help man the ballista on the city walls.

He was credited with two lightweight dragon kills and four troll kills with the ballista he was crewing. The commander on the wall was so impressed with his skills that he got awarded an Army position and was given command of four ballistas on the wall. Now he kneed among the stone debris and blood-soaked ground, aiming a metal tube at a monster, over 20 times his height. "Ready!" His assistance gunner yelled in his ear, slapping hard on his shoulder armor.

He squeezed the trigger and a loud WHOOSH burst out from the tube, and a dark dart streaming fire and smoke slammed into the monster.

"One round away!"

A note from neo Koh

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neo Koh


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