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Orwell's Point, Marine Command

"Sir, word is just in that Angel Flight had successfully raided the Imperial river fleet with one plane lost," The General Staff officer reported to Joseph.

"Where is the Imperial fleet location?" He asked as he stood over the map pinned on the plot table.

The Staffer pushed three blue wedge shaped wooden tokens on the map and said, "Angel Flight reports that they engaged the Imperial river fleet at these coordinates."

He updated the blue wood tokens and the green painted arrow tokens which represented Angel Flight on the map table. "Roughly here, Sir!"

The top down map made by the UAV in preparation of the Imperial attack, took them over a week to map out before the UAV was tasked to spy on the Serpent.

"They report at least eight ships disabled and all dragon elements in the AO has been cleared."

Joseph took out a set of rulers and compass tool to measure the distance from the Imperial fleet and Orwell's Point before he looked up at the chalkboard stacked against the wall to see the Airforce taskings "Hmmm... They lost all their air cover... Hmmm... We got two Mariners still on base?"

The staffer checked the Airforce taskings and replied, "Yes, Sir, Seagull One and Three is down for their scheduled maintenance while Seagull Two is en route back to Haven for supplies."

"So both Mariners on the ground are in cargo configuration?" Joseph asked again.

"Yes, Sir!" The staffer replied.

"Good! Very good!"

-----

Sergeant Mills exited the briefing behind his company commander, 2nd Lieutenant, Silverstar, a slightly older elf with several years of fighting with cold steel tactics. "What do you think of our chances here?"

"If we can achieve total surprise," Mills gave his comment. "We should be able to wing it somehow..."

"Sergeant... That's not very assuring you know?" Lieutenant Silverstar, CO of 2nd Battalion, Falcon Company replied.

Mills grinned, he kinda liked this no nonsense commander who was willing to listen to the advice given by his NCOs. "Well, Sir, we are Marines... not Airborne!"

"But being a Marine, they ask us to jump, we ask how high!" Mills winked at his commander who faced down Demons with hardly a blink. "Don't worry, Sir. I make sure the Boys won't disappoint you."

Mills left his Lieutenant and gathered the rest of the NCOs. He was in charge of all the NCOs since he got promoted to Company Sergeant Major. "Alright, people, we got a new job. I am sure all of you have all heard about the screw up made by the Airforce?"

"The one we lost a dragon?" One of the Sergeants answered.

"Give that man a beer!" Mills grinned. "Yup, they lost a dragon and an ancient red dragon to boot!"

"Now, as usual, when someone screws up, who do you call?" Mills asked with a wide smile on his face.

"THE MARINES!" The NCOs roared out. "HOO RAAH!"

"HOO RAAH!" Mills yelled back. "Now, as we Marines can be depended on, not like some other branches. We are needed to go and help the Airforce wipe their asses and clean up their shit after they shit all over the place!"

"We will be inserting into the forest and take up ambushing positions on both flanks of the river," Mills detailed out their operation plans and gestured to a blown up map of the area of operations.

"We wait for the Imperial river fleet to pass by us, and with air support from the flyboys, we will commence a raid against the Imperials!" Mills continued. "And at the same time, we will go save our dragon princess!"

"Sergeant Major, how are we going to be inserted in?" Another Sergeant asked. "By foot?"

"No, we Marines are going Airborne!"

-----

Orwell's Point Airbase

Goldan grinned happily as he ran through the pre flight checks of his Mariner while his co pilot shook his head in amusement. They could hear the cussing of their cargo at the rear of the plane as the Marines climbed on board.

"Someone is happy," The co pilot did his own checks of the flight instruments and made his comment.

Goldan laughed, "Well, at least its less boring running supplies up and down..."

"Everyone is loaded!" Their crew chief yelled from the cockpit hatch.

"Got it!" Goldan replied before he hit the broadcast to all on his mike.

"Welcome to Omega Point Air! We hope that you enjoy our flight-"

-----

The internal cargo bay lights turned green and the crew chief yelled, "GO GO GO!"

The leading Marine took a step off the open hatch and the wind whipped him away and seconds later a grey parachute burst open. One by one, the Marines jumped off and dozens and dozens of parachutes filled the skies.

Once the Marines has cleared the plane, the crew chief shoved out bundled crates of weapons and supplies out after the departed Marines before shutting the hatches.

The two Mariners had each took up one side of the river and dropped their cargo of Marines over the area, before looping back and returning to base.

-----

Imperial River Flotilla, Shard River

Titanna was livid with anger, as her fleet barely moved since the attack and had to stop their advance to made repairs to the damaged ships. She had paced up and down her cabin, barely able to get any sleep as she thought of the humiliation those flying creatures have dealt with her fleet!

Finally, the Fleet Captains gave the word that all but one of the river barges were able to continue on. They had to abandon one of the river barges as its belly was holed from the attack of the flying creatures.

Over a hundred sailors and soldiers died in that attack and so did all the dragons! Titanna gritted her teeth and managed to calm herself down slightly when she saw the ships' anchors weighing up and oars splashing away.

Titanna's head hurt when she thought of all the resources gone to train the dragons were just wasted by those cursed flying creatures. She wondered what kind of creatures were they, were they part of the unknown enemy that quietly captured Orwell's Point?

A hundred sailors and soldiers were just a small drop in the bucket for her forces but the loss of the dragons dealt a huge blow to the morale and resources of her troops. Not mentioning the loss of the slaves' rowers were barely worth mentioning.

"Make haste!" Titanna growled. "Do not fail the Rothschild family!"

-----

Haven, 15 km from Far Harbor

Intelligence Officer Lieutenant Tavor clutched tightly the heavy armored case across his chest as the PT boat crested a wave, making him feel the gravity dropping beneath his feet.

He managed to keep his seating as he held on with one hand on the railings. Slowly before him, the shape of a large Island Whale came to sight.

The PT boat gently bumped against the floating docks and Tavor climbed out of the boat, escorted by several Naval Security personnel.

They walked down the unstable floating docks and climbed onto the back of the largest Island whale. After an hour of trekking through the foliage following a simple trail, they emerged at the top of a small hill where a pit had been dug out.

Dozens of workers stand at the side as they watched with curiously at the work of the soldiers, wondering what was all this about. Tavor looked into the pit and saw that it was already filled with cement and had hardened.

A small portable cement mixer sat on the side of the pit next to a small furnace and Tavor gestured the worker to start the furnace. The worker gave a shrug and followed his order, turning the furnace up and melting the bars of lead inside.

Once the bars of lead had melted, the workers poured the molten lead into the pit and kept repeating. Soon the concrete pit was filled halfway with a thick silvery substance and Tavor stopped the worker.

He watched the lead cooling down and taking a pair of thick gloves to protect his hands, he gently set the armored case into the middle of the pit, directly on top of the solidifying lead.

After he did that, he straightened up and looked at the worker and said, "Fill it to the brim with lead than pour in the remainder of the cement before burying everything!"

The workers nodded and they went to work, while Tavor stood there and watched them with an impassive expression. It took almost an hour to finish every, and the pit was covered up properly with soil and Tavor addressed the crowd of workers.

"No one is to speak of this incident... Or there will be consequences..."

-----

Mills rubbed his bruised shoulder and checked his men, herding them together and doing a roll call. Once everyone was accounted for, they started heading towards the direction of the river.

Once they reached the bank of the river, they saw several figures in Marine fatigue waving on the other side. "King Falcon, you read me over?" Mills activated his radio comms.

"Read you loud and clear!" Lieutenant Silverstar replied from across the river bank. The river was roughly over 20 meters, separating the company into two. Lieutenant Silverstar lead Platoon One and Two while Mills take care of Platoon Three and Four.

"Set up ambushing positions!" Lieutenant Silverstar ordered. "Dig in and set up the MGs and RPGs to have interlocking fire! Check your men fire lanes! I don't want blue on blue incidents!"

"Got it, Boss!" Mills replied and he turned to his NCOs, "Alright, you heard the Boss! Break out the entrenching tools and start digging!"

"I want MGs and RPGs set up here, here, and here!" Mills walked along the bank of the river and pointed out locations for the heavy weapons.

"Get a team to cut down those trees!" Mills ordered next. "We use them as barriers and cover for the guys!"

Mills reached behind his pack and removed a standard issued Mark I E.T (Entrenching Tool) blade and stick, attaching them together and forming a small shovel. He joined the rest of the men, hacking away at the foliage and soil.

A couple of hours later, a massive shadow covered the digging Marines and Blue Thunder landed behind the soldiers. Mills took a break from digging the foxhole and walked over to Blue Thunder, greeting Stamford as he climbed down the dragon. "Hey man, how's everything?"

"Not so good," Stamford rubbed his aching lower spine. "Well, dragons are damn stubborn..."

"Heh, that's why they pay you the big bucks!" Mills grinned.

"Yea, yea..." Stamford grinned back. "Well, we did a quick flyby of the Imperial river fleet and they are roughly four hours out."

"Four hours," Mills looked at his wristwatch. "Plenty of light still for a nice ambush! RADIOMAN!"

One of the company radiomen ran over, "Priority message to Lieutenant Silverstar, tell him, the enemy fleet is four hours out!"

"Yes, Sarge!" The radioman started to fiddle with his radio set.

"Hows the preparations?" Stamford asked as he followed Mills to the river bank. He saw the Marines had been hard at work digging foxholes and trenches for the heavy weapons. Some of Marines were even dragging chopped down tree trunks as extra protection and draping foliage over to conceal their positions.

"Alright people! Four hours till enemy contact! I want positions to be ready in three!" Mills roared out. "Platoon leaders and section leaders! Check your men! Make sure your men are properly dug in and concealed!"

"Yes Sarge!" The men chorused.

"Raiders!" Mills called out. "Form in!"

A dozen Marines with wide accessories of weapons hanging all over their body harness gathered before Mills and Stamford. "The enemy is coming down in about four hours, and Sergeant Stamford here will brief you on your mission!"

"As you all know, Rastraz the Red Dragon has gotten herself captured," Stamford said. "Now, the last recon over the enemy fleet show that she is being held onboard the 4th vessel."

"Now, this is the plan. We will air drop you onboard the target vessel with the help of Blue Thunder!"

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