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Orwell's Point, Airfield

The heavy rumble of the twin engined Mariners drowned out all noise at the runways. The ground crew made last minutes urgent checks to the two aircraft lined up on the runway before a green flag was raised for each of the planes.

The pilots of both Mariners acknowledged the salutes of the ground crew and pushed the throttle of their engines to the max and released their brakes. Soon both planes took off into the skies with a belly full of napalm.

As they formed up in the air, a squadron of Cobras joined them as escorts as they headed towards the North Front.

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Secondary Alpha Two

Mills forgot how many times he had reloaded and fired his carbine. His shoulder had long gone numb from the recoil of his rifle as he fired at the Imperials that kept crawling into the trenches.

A sudden yell jerked Mills's head up and he saw a shadow fall over him. He reflexly stabbed upwards with his carbine equipped with his sword bayonet and impaled the squirming Imperial in the chest.

Sticky blood flowed down from the stab wound of the wild eyed Imperial who screamed like a girl. Mills grunted with effort to dislodge the full weight of the Imperial from his bayonet and the weeping Imperial collapsed to join the heap of dead bodies on the trench floor.

"They keep coming!" Mills's radioman yelled as he fired at another wave of Imperials popping up like rabbits over the trench line.

"USE YOUR GRENADES!" Mills yelled and he dropped his carbine to its sling and pulled out one of his last grenades. "READY? THROW!"

Those Marines still having grenades, threw them over the trenches on Mills's command. A couple of seconds later, several dull thuds popped loudly and Mills felt the air in his chest compress by the explosions of the grenades.

Screams and cries of pain followed after the explosions, Mills roared out, "Clear them out!"

The fighting had turned ugly when scores of Imperials reached the trench lines. The 'Terminators' were mostly stuck in the trenches by the bulk of their armor and those that exposed themselves in the open were gleefully gunned down by the .50 cal machine gun nests.

The common Imperials soldiers could only crawl into the forward trenches abandoned by the Marines and they tried to navigate their way in the tunnels only to meet gunfire at intersections.

The close quarter fighting had rendered spear and halbert armed soldiers useless. Even the Battlemages couldn't focus enough or had enough space to cast their spells efficiently.

The Imperials abandoned their polearms and grabbed whatever swords they could find among the fallen. Some even broke their shafts of their polearms to shorten their spears for use in the narrow confines of the trench tunnels.

Mills watched another group of Imperials attempting to breach his checkpoint by using human wave tactics, in this case, more like elf wave tactics.

His mouth was parched from the yelling and screaming. His surroundings were hot and the warm blood of the Imperials over his body didn't help either. Mills growled at the charging Imperials and snapped fired his carbine, his shots toppling the leader of the Imperials and suddenly his carbine locked back.

He automatically reached for his ammo pouches only to feel them empty. "Shit!"

The first Imperial slammed into the chest high makeshift barrier of bodies and the Imperial started to climb over the gory barricade. Mills without a thought thrust his bayonet tipped carbine at the face of the scrambling Imperial.

The high carbon steel gouged the cheek of the screaming Imperial before it cut upwards and punctured the right eye of the soldier.

The Imperial screamed and half stood on top of the barrier and clutched his ruined face in pain. Mills retracted back his carbine and poised to thrust again when his radioman appeared next to him and shot the blue jacketed Imperial in the chest.

With the support of other Marines, they beat off the rest of the Imperial charge, their bodies collecting at the bottom of the trench, seemingly turning into a part of the terrain.

"Fuckers never stop coming!" Mills took a quick swirl of his water canteen. "Any more ammo? I'm out!"

His radioman shook his head. "Everyone is running out, Sarge!"

"Where are the ammo runners?" Mills cursed. "Without any ammo, we will be overrun!"

"You two," Mills quickly pointed to two Marines, "Hand over all your remaining ammo and go back the lines and grab more over. The rest keep holding here!"

The two passed the scant remains of their ammunition before running off down the line. The rest of the Marines gathered the dropped Imperial weapons and guarding the trench that leads deeper into their lines.

Overhead, lines of tracers could be seen as the MG nests denied the enemy the chance to cross, forcing the Imperial to crawl on their bellies or move along the trenches.

"Mills?" Lt Silverstar suddenly appeared with several men. "What's your situation here?"

"Sir?" Mills greeted his OC and gave a brief rundown of their position. "We need more ammo and any rifles you can spare!"

"Those are on its way," Lt Silverstar assured the men. "You just need to hold here a bit longer!"

"What the hell is going on?" Mills asked Silverstar out of hearing from the rest of the men. "First we lost mortar support, then we gave ground and now this?"

"HQ got some plans," Silverstar said. "We are letting the Imperials think that they had successfully breached our lines."

"Once that happens, they will pull off all their forces and focus all their attention to the breach," Silverstar said. "In that extent, HQ wanted the Imperials to think that they are taking ground from us and our mortars are depleted."

"Which we do have a limited store of mortar shells," Silverstar added. "HQ wants every fish to be in the barrel before they launch a counter attack."

"What? Why didn't you notified us at the start?" Mills frowned and hissed angrily. "You know how many casualties we took from the breach?"

"Calm down soldier!" Silverstar sighed. "I know and I too was just informed of this operation by HQ."

"Those damn pencil pushers!" Mills growled. "Wait till I get out of here, I'll show them what a pencil can do up their ass!"

"This op has the CO's full endorsement!" Silverstar sternly said. "It's his direct order!"

"What the hell?" Mills cursed. "FUCK!"

"Calm down!" Silverstar said again. "I brought some men and flamers along with me to reinforce you. Once the bombardment starts and the command is given, we will push through to reclaim the forward trenches and clear all Imperial elements in this sector!"

"Fuck!" Mills cursed again and spat to the side. "Damn it, playing with our lives like some kind of chess game here."

"Cheer up," Silverstar said. "Once this is over, beer is on me!"

"Yea, if we get to survive this shit!"

-----

UN Northern Front Command

Joseph eyed the clock mounted on the wall of the bunker and glanced back to the map while he tapped the table in anticipation.

"Sir!" A command staff called out. "Seagull Flight reports time on target, five mikes!"

"Got it!" Joseph stood straight up and gave the next order. "Order all artillery elements to make ready! And warn all units to get into cover!"

"Start Operation Firestorm in five mikes!"

"Yes, Sir!"

-----

Firebase Georgia

Four batteries of 120 mm mortar sat surrounded by berms of earth and sandbags cover while the men recalibrate their sights and double checked their range.

Three mortars teams formed one battery and all twelve mortars teams were sitting impatiently waiting for their orders to resume fire.

Suddenly, they heard the order they were waiting for and every man jumped into action, grabbing mortar shells and prepping for fire.

-----

Skies over Northern Front

Two seagull shaped twin engined flying boats droned on unmolested with its escorts at a height beyond the range of a ballista or mage's spell.

Their escorts peeled off as the two Mariners began its bombing run, their bomb bays opening as they came in directly horizontally of the battleground.

The planes lined up one before the other and kept a short distance between them before they released their payload of napalm bombs targetted at the forest.

The Imperials looked up in confusion and wonder at the flying boats and before they could do anything else, gigantic balls of flames erupted out all along the forest, instantly vaporizing anyone that was in its range.

-----

Moel jerked around when the sudden roars of exploding fireballs erupted behind him in the forest. He was hunkered down at the strange tunnel with hundreds of other soldiers, his mount had long succumbed to the enemies' cursed spellfire.

He looked at the burning forest in shock and wonder what had happened and what caused it. Suddenly, dozens of explosions erupted again and this time from the front. He turned and looked in horror at the land before him and seeing the land bursting up from some spell and it was slowly coming their way!

-----

The creeping barrage fired by the mortars rained high explosives rounds down almost on top of their positions. Slowly, the explosions moved down as the mortar men increased their range, making the rain of explosions 'creep' forward.

The Imperials sheltered in the trenches were greatly shocked and frightened as they have never seen or even heard of such a scary magic spell! As they watch, death 'creep' forward to their positions and many decided to run away.

Soon it became a flood as the Imperial soldiers ran back from where they came from, only to see their rear was in flames. They spread out to the side only to get shot down by the Marines that had reinforced the flanks of the breach.

The Cobras standing by in the skies swooped down and attacked the flanks of the retreating Imperials, indirectly channeling them towards the burning forest.

Those that remained in the trenches managed to survive mostly, except for bursted eardrums or inner injuries from the shockwaves, but they were in a shellshock daze.

The creeping barrage increased its pace as artillery observers relayed information to Firebase Georgia and the mortar barrage chased the fleeing Imperials before overtaking them and blowing hundreds of men into bloody pieces.

-----

Secondary Alpha Two

"-eration Firestorm is a success!" Came from the radio set. "All units to reclaim the forward trenches and clear out all elements of Imperials soldiers!"

"Alright!" Mills yelled, him and his men having resupplied. "Let's go kill some Blue bastards! Flamers to take point!"

They shoved down the barricade made out of dead bodies and quickly advanced forward. The flamethrowers equipped Marines constantly sent gouts of flames before them and around the corners, sending any surviving Imperial unfortunate enough to catch the sticky flames screaming.

The flamers herded the enemy backward and even the futile attempts at stopping the flames with magic were met with dozens of rifles and machine gunfire.

Even the remaining few 'Terminators' still stuck in the trenches were dispatched quickly with heavy concentrated fire.

Finally, the Imperials, unable to hold back against the counter attack of the Marines, fled from the breach as they found the exploding spells had lifted.

They ran down the gentle slope that was pockmarked with craters and hundreds and hundreds of bodies. The Marines had successfully retaken their positions, leaned over the trenches and fired at the routed enemy increasing their fear.

As the enemy was about to reach the forest enemy, suddenly screams of mortar shell came overhead and the forest edge was blanketed with an airburst of fragmentation shells. The deadly shrapnel from the airburst reaped lives like a farmer cutting wheat.

Mills stood on the firing steps of the trench and yelled, "Cease fire! Cease fire!"

He watched the bursts of smoke in the air covering over the forest and wondered how many men died here in just one day.

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Another hazy day~


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