UNS Singapore, Command Bridge
Captain Blake folded his arms as he stood before the tactical display plot, watching the blue virtual icons indicating friendly units blinking on the scene.
"All units RTB," Call the command over the comms, and Blake watched the blue icons started blinking towards home. He turned his attention over to the screen displaying the smoking goblin fleet, the high resolution image taken from a remote camera mounted on the chest harness of Blue Thunder.
Commander Ford next to Blake said, "Looks like a quarter or more of the goblin fleet is decapitated from the strike."
Blake nodded, "Not bad for a bunch of newbies."
"Tommy's strike group should have enough time for a second strike before night falls," Ford added. "They should be able to whittle down the enemy a bit more for our welcoming party on the beach."
"Strange formation they are adopting," Blake pointed out at the crescent shaped fleet formation. "Luckily whoever is in charge did not scatter the fleet."
Ford frowned as he watched the goblin fleet, "It looks like some kind of encirclement formation. Look, the two tips of the crescent could cut off the escape of any ships, surrounding them."
"But for an anti air formation, it makes no sense," Blake said.
"No wait," Ford pointed to the middle of the formation, "I think it is a formation to do with dragons."
"Why do you say that?" Blake raised his eyebrows.
"Look, the way dragons attack are similar to a helicopter," Ford explained, "They hover in place and spit fireballs or spells and sweep over the target they are attacking."
"That crescent formation is used to trap the dragon in an encirclement," Ford continued, "it should allow spellcasters, archers, and ballistas to hit the dragon from all sides."
"But won't the dragons break out of the formation?" Blake pointed out.
"Most likely yes," Ford replied, "Don't forget dragons fly slower, especially accelerating from a hovering position."
"I see," Blake grinned, "Guess they did not expect to get hit by fast movers!"
Ford smiled back, "Yea, I think whoever is in charge there is probability cursing and swearing at our boys."
Goblin Sea, The Skull Taker
Jiak the Skull Krusher cursed as he took in the sight of his ships burning around him, the fleet which he had painstakingly built up piece by piece. He glared up to the skies, seeing two dragons lazily circling above his fleet, most likely waiting for a chance to grab a tasty goblin snack.
"Inform all ships to push faster! We need to get to land before more of those flying creatures come back!" Jiak ordered, and his pet shaman bowed before relaying his command into the crystal ball. "What are those vile flying beasts?" He asked the shaman once he finished his orders. "Some kind of dragons?"
"Master... I have no idea," The shaman replied, "I could not detect any trace of magical power in them and they do not look like any dragons I know of."
Jiak frowned, "Tell the shamans to cast a shimmering spell over the fleet. Make sure we can't be spotted easily."
"Master, the spell will only hold for less than a span of a turn of the glass!" The shaman warned Jiak, "It will not cover the fleet all the way to land and the spell will exhaust all the powers of the shamans!"
"Tell the fleet to close up," Jiak replied after a moment's thought, "That will reduce the amount of power needed to cover the whole fleet."
"But, my master..." The shaman protested.
"Enough!" Jiak snapped, "Do it!"
Skies over Goblin Sea
The tech next to Commander Tommy suddenly gave a cry of surprise, prompting Tommy to turn his attention over from the map he was looking over. "What is it?"
"Sir! The enemy fleet..." The tech turned and gaped at Tommy, "It's gone! Only the wreckage from the air strike remains behind."
"What?" Tommy climbed out of his seat and stood over the tech, gripping the hand bars set on the ceiling of the module for balance. "Show me!"
"Sir, one minute they are there, the second they just vanished!" the tech said, showing the playback of the video of the goblin fleet.
The image showed the goblin fleet started to bunch up and a sort of shimmering over the air could be barely seen and the ships disappeared. Tommy replayed the video in slow motion and keyed his comms, "Blue, what do you see?"
Blue Thunder lazily flapped his wings, riding the warm air currents, and was half asleep when the speakers at his ears crackled to life. He snapped awake instantly, jerking the module on his back as he did, causing the people inside to curse.
"What? what?" Blue Thunder tilted his head downwards and using his forelimbs and wiped away his drool. "Huh?"
Tommy sighed, "Blue, do you see the goblin fleet?" He nearly fell off his feet when Blue suddenly jerked.
"Goblin fleet?" Blue Thunder blinked his eyes rapidly and looked down to the clear blue sea, "Aren't they below... HUH? Where did they go?" He narrowed his eyes and craned his neck left and right, trying to spot them. "Wait, did I go off course?"
"Nevermind, Blue," Tommy said over the comms, "Quick, how about you?"
"They disappeared suddenly below us," Quick Silver the medium weight replied in his deep bass voice. "They used a spell to hide themselves."
"Roger that, tango, out," Tommy cut the comms and pondered his options before instruction the tech, "Try infra?"
The tech nodded, switching the camera mode to infra, which the display showed up in a dark grey color. "Look, see here!" The tech pointed out dozens of ships like shapes highlighted in white against a grey background.
"Damn," Tommy cursed, "They used a spell to hide the ships. The Cobras has no infravision, only the Valkyries are equipped with infrared. This is gonna be a bitch to fight!"
"Sir, I don't think they will be able to keep up such a large scale spell for long," the tech said, "It should take a lot of juice to power a spell like that over a huge area."
Tommy nodded, agreeing with the tech's analysis. He looked at the digital clock on the display and thought, another three hours to sunset. The Valkyrie and Cobra squadrons should arrive within 30 minutes. "Order No 2 Squadron to engage the fleet first, which No 3 squadron to take a holding pattern 10 kilometers away. We let the Valkyries hit them first and when the spell expires, send in the Cobras. Prioritize the Scabbard Class transports first!"
"Yes, Sir!' The tech replied and hurried to relay the orders to the squadrons.
West of Seacliff Mines
Dozens of half-tracks rumbled down the beach before stopping before a red flag stuck into the sand. The rear tailgate opened and troops in digital camo hopped out and formed up before the flag. Once their cargo has been dumped, the half-tracks rolled out and return to pick up another batch of soldiers.
"Alright, you maggots!" Corporal Mills yelled over the crashing of waves and pointed to a rise overlooking the sea. "Grab your entrenching tools and dig! I want proper firing foxholes here, here and here!"
"Yes, Corporal!" The recruits chorused and grabbed their entrenching tools and started to dig.
"Come on, chop chop!" Mills yelled as he strolled among the recruits digging foxholes, "Your lives will depend on the foxholes you dig! You will fight in them, take cover in them and sleep in them! Make sure you dig them nice and deep!"
"The enemy is coming!" Mills continued as he yelled encouragement to the frantically digging recruits, "This is no longer a drill! This is real action!" He pointed towards the sea and said, "Hundreds and thousands of green skinned scum are headed our way to kill us!"
He paused and yelled to the Orc recruits, "No offense there, wasn't talking about you guys. Anyway, goblins are coming and it is a good day to kill some goblins!"
"The sky is clear, we got a nice breeze here, great view of the sea," Mills stood over the rise watching his platoon of recruits, "It practically a perfect shooting range built for us here!"
"HOORAH!" The recruits yelled as they dug faster, piling sand and soil over the sides of the holes.
"You boys will hold this stretch of the beach," Mills continued, "Platoon 1 will be on your left flank and Platoon 3 on your right! We will hold this beach with everything you got!"
Major Frank stood on the side of the jeep and tried to spot the enemy fleet with his binos, just as two Valkyries screamed past over his head, darting towards the horizon. He lowered his binos and looked up at the two dark shapes in the sky, and frowned.
"Airforce is saying the fleet is cloaked?" Frank asked Pike who was leaning on the side of the jeep with a pair of shades.
"Yup," Pike nodded, "But it should be temporary, we can spot them with infra or wait till the spell wears off."
Frank raised his binos again, following the Valkyries' flight path, " It's almost time, is everything ready?"
"Yes, Sir," Pike replied, "All four recruit companies have dug in and Delta Company is on standby as a reserve force. Problem is how will the goblins scatter their fleet or hit the beach in one concentrated force."
Flashes appeared over the horizon of the sea, lighting up the purplish sky. A short while later, rumbles of thunder could be heard. "Well the Valkyries have engaged them, hopefully, the Airforce can sink as many ships as possible."
"Well, I think its a good chance to test the recruits," Pike said, "Good live fire training for them, and also for our new artillery corps."
"Hows the set up of the artillery going?" Frank asked as he put down his binos.
"We got 6 batteries of 120 mm mortars on stand by, each battery has three mortars," Pike replied, "They are spread out behind the companies for support fire."
"Problem is that we do not have much ammo for sustained fire. Each gun has only roughly 60 mortar bombs, but we got plenty of starburst shells to illuminate the night sky for the troops to see." Pike said, "Production of the new smokeless gunpowder is still insufficient for our needs, so we used the new smokeless powder for the mortar bomb's propelling charge while the warhead is good old black powder."
"The mortarmen might need to relocate depending on where the goblins land," Pike added, "So I took the liberty of attaching some half-tracks and jeeps to their batteries.
Frank nodded and snapped his binos up again, "There! They came out of hiding behind their magic."
Pike took out his bino and observed the mass of black dots in the horizon, background by flames and smoke, "Damn, we need to learn that cloaking spell, it will be damn useful."
Goblin Sea, Skull Taker
"Faster!" Jiak roared, "Land can be seen! Once we have landed, we will no longer be at the mercy of those flying monsters!"
"M-master!" One of his hobgoblin bodyguards called out pointing, "More flying monsters!"
"Shaman! Use all your powers and blow the fleet to shore now!" Jiak roared at the pale faced shaman beside him, "If not we all die here!"
The shaman nodded resignedly and spoke into his crystal orb, and before long, a sick greenish glow lit up all the ships in the fleet and they suddenly accelerated, hurling towards the distant shoreline. One by one the shamans in the goblin fleet collapsed from mana burn, blood flowing out from their nose and ears as they burnt up their life energy.
The leading galleys glided up the sandy beach with a loud crash and oar not properly secured slammed against their owners, breaking bones. Other ships behind being slower to steer away, rammed into the ships already beached on the shore, causing chaos and casualties among the goblin crew.
Soon every ship settled down on shore, and cries of pain and the dying could be heard over the waves. Jiak grinned, "We made it! Now get off the ships!"
Just as he said that several whistling sounds could be heard over the waves, growing louder and louder. Jiak looked up in confusion and his world turned into fire and hell.