A whizz shrieked passed Jiak's head and the top part of his skull throne behind him exploded, bits of bone shards and splinters showered over his head. "What sorcery is this!" He roared, glancing up from over the wooden railings of his ship.

The sun had set, yet despite that, the area around the beach where Jiak's fleet had landed was brightly illuminated by mage fire, balls of glowing orbs hanging in the sky. He did not expect to encounter any resistance on the shore and now his shamans were mana drained and made useless by the shimmering spell used to cloak the fleet.

"How did the long legs know we are coming?" Jiak roared in surprise, "Could the attacks from the flying monsters be part of the long legs?"

"Charge! Attack the long legs!" He commanded, leaping off the side of his ship and slapping the flat of his blade at his confused goblins. "Get off the ships!"

The goblins near him gathered their courage and followed Jiak, shrieking a war cry as they charged up the beach. The magical lights floating in the sky lit the way for them and Jiak while flashes of light could be seen sparking in the distance and the buzz and whizz of something screamed around him like angry bees. Some of his goblins fell to the sand soundlessly as if they suddenly fell asleep, others screamed as parts of their bodies suddenly blew up.

A whistling sound was heard and a large gout of flames and sand erupted not far behind from where Jiak stood, the shock wave slamming into him and bowling him off his feet.

Jiak shook his head, spitting out sand from his mouth and tried to clear the ringing in his ears before standing up again. He turned to shout at his minions to follow him, only to find a smoking crater in the sand behind him, and his goblin minions shredded by the explosion. One of the goblins at his feet coughed and shrieked as its bloody guts flowed out from his missing half of its body.

He stared blankly for a moment before at carnage before one of his hobgoblin guards dragged him into the cover of a sand dune while the sand exploded around them.


Recruit Platoon 2, Foxhole

Recruit Onetooth aka Slow was leaning over the foxhole he dug, looking down on the customized sights of the M1E Magelock. It was specially modified for Orcish hands, designated M1E, E for Enlarged. The trigger guard was removed to allow the thick fingers of the Orcs to squeeze the trigger while the rifle stock along with the rifle grip was also lengthened, adding another 20 cm to the butt.

The sights were raised to allow the Orcs to sight in as their heads were larger than the humans and elves. Onetooth peered through the notched sight, remembering Master Sergeant Pike's firearm lecture on the proper way of aiming and shooting.

He kept the single rear leaf sight center of the circle and aimed slightly ahead of a goblin dashing along the beach waving its spear in a somewhat threatening manner and squeezed the trigger softly. The slam of the rifle butt against his shoulder barely affected his stance as the bullet spiraled out of the barrel and smacked into the running goblin, sending it disappearing into the shadows with a puff of something dark and glistening.

Onetooth grinned and worked the enlarged knob of his M1E's bolt, ejecting the spent cartridge and pushing a fresh round into the chamber. He sniffed the sour piss smell of the gunsmoke and sighed happily, before scanning the illuminated beach for more goblins to kill.

"It is a good day to kill something!" He smiled happily as he shot another goblin runner.


Rear of the Beach defense line

"Load starburst!" The gunnery sergeant yelled and the seven-man mortar crew leaped into action. One of the crew tossed a shell with a white painted nose and a crudely drawn star on the side of the shell to the Assistant Gunner who held the shell over the muzzle of the mortar tube and the sergeant yelled, "FIRE IN THE HOLE!" and the whole crew covered their ears and opened their mouths.

The Assistant Gunner dropped the shell into the tube and stepped away, covering his ears and opening his mouth and a thunderclap sounded, compressing the lungs for a moment and causing heads to ring despite covered ears. In the distant sky, a star burst into life, a tiny parachute deploying, lighting up the area like a tiny sun.

"Switch to high explosives!"


Frank and Pike stood next to their jeep watching the goblins get slaughtered on the beach lit by parachute flares lobbed by the mortars. "Better than I expected," Pike commented, "This batch of recruits is pretty accurate even without tracers to guide their fire."

"Might be due to being an Orc or elf? Doc did say they have better hearing and eyesight than unaugmented humans. Looks like they landed within a two kilometer stretch of the beach," Frank said as he peered through his binos in night vision model, "What are their numbers you think?"

"Maybe ten, fifteen thousand?" Pike guessed, "They took quite the beating when they beached in that mess."

Frank nodded, "I am pulling in the other two recruit companies to the north and south of the beachhead. We will box them in."

"The mortar batteries are doing pretty well so far," Pike observed, "Most of their shells are pretty on target."

"They better, this is a very expensive live-fire exercise," Frank joked, "We managed to pin them down with mortar fire, but once our supply runs out, the goblins will definitely make a break through the lines. They still outnumber us by thousands."

"We just have to keep hitting them while they are still confused," Pike said. "Since they are bunched up nicely among the beached ships, I took the liberty to call for an airstrike."

Frank nodded, "Nice, now we need to advance and push them into the sea." He pointed to the largest concentration of beached ships. "Prep Delta Company for assault, we will attack them there."

Pike nodded and reached for the radio set mounted at the rear of the jeep and started communication with Delta company before heading to find the company.


Delta Company, 500 meters from Goblin beachhead

"Alright, Delta dogs! We are going over the hill and straight at those green skins!" Pike roared over the dim of gunfire and explosions. "Attach bayonets!"

Delta Company was the only company without any humans in its ranks. The elf Marines drew their sword bayonets and with a rattle, they attached their bayonets onto their rifles.

The light from the starburst parachute flares cast a hungry glint in the elves eyes as they stood in loose ranks among their platoons. The Platoon sergeants and corporals traveled up and down the ranks, ensuring their men's weapons were loaded and bayonets properly fixed.

"Company! Form up in line formation!" Pike barked. The individual platoons started to spread out and not long the whole company stood in a line following Pike's order. "Advance!"

Like the ancient musketeers, the whole company marched forward in step in a single row, climbing over the gentle slope and three sharp whistles were heard, signaling the recruits inside the foxholes to cease fire.

The recruits watched Delta Company march pass them and cheered, shouting encouragement to them as they advanced towards the goblins.

"Compaaaany... Halt!" Pike bellowed, and the men nearby echoed his command, and the line came to a stop and crouched down.

The night sky suddenly lit up again as the Airforce's Valkyries and Cobras arrived again, using the flaming wrecks as a marker, the aircraft volley fired thermobaric warheads into the mass of ships, setting the majority up in flames.

When their rockets depleted, the planes looped around, wagging their wings in salute to the Marines on the beach and returned back to base, while a pre-planned heavy barrage of mortar fire rained down onto the beach making it into the largest firework show for the Marines who had front row seats to watch.

Finally the last echoes of explosions slowly faded and Pike stood up, and blew his whistle, signaling the assault. The elves of Delta Company howled and charged, covering the last hundred meters in seconds and fired into the shell-shocked goblins. "OOORAAAAAH!"

Starburst shells continued to pop overhead, and together with the burning wrecks, the entire beachhead was almost as bright as day. The Marines fired at the goblins who finally seeing their enemies who screamed in their strange high pitch voices and rushed them with crude spears and blades.

The Marine line stopped as the surviving goblins came out from craters, sand dunes, and even from burning ship wreckages. They rushed out in small groups of threes or fours and died while the smarter goblins played dead till the Marines were almost on top of them, and they jumped up shrieking war cries only to get impaled by 15" long cold steel and died in doves.


Jiak squeezed himself as much as he could into a ball to avoid the earth-shaking explosions going off all around him, ignoring the screams of fear and death of his lesser kin. Suddenly the explosions stopped and a roar that grew in intensity sent chills down his spine. He pushed himself up and peered over the sand dune, and saw a line of dark figures appearing out of nowhere and fire, smoke, and thunder erupted from the line of figures, and his goblins died all around him.

"Master! We must run!" His hobgoblin guards advised him, tugging his arm to pull him away from the approaching danger. "We must hurry!"

Jiak nodded and cried out, "Retreat to the sides!" Those goblins hearing his cry echoed his words and followed Jiak, scrambling away in fear of the approaching death. But the line of death stretch as far as the eye could see, and the only way Jiak got go was towards the sea. The fire and thunder grew more intense as the line approached closer, and suddenly the world turned into flames.


Blue Thunder happily burped out sparks as he pulled up from his bombing run. His fireball impacted at a cluster of goblins, turning into dancing fire pyres. Quick Silver at his flank slashed down with his claws, gripping a couple of goblins and tossing them into the sea. Inside the command and control module, Tommy and the rest of the crew groaned as the module shook and buckled under Blue Thunders maneuvers. "Blue, enough fun yet? You need to break off, the air is too hot with friendly rounds!" Tommy yelled into the mic.

"Fufufu," Blue Thunder laughed manically, and hovered on the spot, spitting a couple more fireballs at the panicking goblins. "This is fun! Burn baby burn!"

Tommy rolled his eyes, wondering if dragons are naturally pyromaniacs and where did he learned that phrase from, and is that why stories always have them torching and burning villages and castles?


It was not long before the goblins ran away screaming in fear from the advancing line of fire and steel, some tried to break out from the sides, only to encounter defensive lines manned by the recruits who gleefully shot down the goblins. Majority of the goblins were forced into the sea, some even tried to refloat the beached galleys, others pushed rowboats back out into the waves.

Pike halted the advancing lines of the Marines and they all prone down or crouch down and fired at the fleeing goblins. He took out his tablet and switched to a map and keyed his comms. "Magnum Zero Nine, this is Dog Pack Seven, fire mission, request for grid one zero niner four dash seven six two niner, immediate fire for effect on my mark, Dog Pack Seven, over."

"Dog Pack Seven, Zero Niner, that's a roger on your fire mission, on the way, Zero Niner out!"

Seconds later, whistles of mortar bombs screamed over the Marine line and hell visited on the screaming goblins.

A note from neo Koh

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