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The 132nd battalion stormed ashore under withering fire from the company of weasels that were manning the machine gun nests. Major Quinn Longjump, a hare communications specialist with Company D, made it ashore with his bulky TBX radio taking some of the vermin bullets and thus saving his life. He dodged for cover as he made it halfway up the beach from the landing craft and tripped on a dead comrade. Quinn jumped up and made an ungainly spring for the trees, machine gun fire following him to the tree line. As he reached the trees he noticed how little of his battalion was making it up the shore. He was suddenly pulled down by a sergeant as the weasels started firing again.
Rear Admiral Reginald Sinsestra was sitting offshore on the NMS Mandoral waiting for orders after his bombardment of the little island of Megad, which the vermin were stationed on. He noticed how little damage the bombardment had done and ordered his frigates closer to shore to take out the machine guns before he turned his ship away to do a lone patrol.
Admiral Sinsestra's Mandoral was cruising to the south of the island when he encountered a convoy of three destroyers. The Admiral wisely requested for at least one ship to come aid his battlecruiser before opening fire on the vermin destroyers. All three triple turrets opened up at once and rained fourteen inch shells on the destroyers. Sinsestra himself could see that his guns had hit at least one of the destroyers by the way it was smoking. The other two destroyers rushed into torpedo range and launched two spreads of four torpedoes. Sinsestra speeded up to thirty knots and easily avoided the torpedoes. This move however brought him into the destroyers' guns range. They opened up on the big battlecruiser with their four and six inch guns. The Mandoral was hit aft and one of the shells hit the engine room reducing the fast ship down to twenty-one knots. The ship's guns were by this time reloaded and the Mandoral returned fire to the destroyers. A second destroyer was hit and was damaged severely with its speed reduced to two knots. Radar on board the battlecruiser showed another ship coming west, a larger ship, probably a cruiser, which was coming nearer at about 28 knots.
Meanwhile Major Quinn Longjump was busy calling reports out to the battleship Maybach, the flagship of the invasion. Quinn’s division had cleared one machine gun nest, with the help of the frigates, and was now working on the second one. By this time the 140th infantry division had also arrived on the beach and reinforced the 132nd.
Two weeks after the 132nd had landed the 5th Engineer Mole Corps landed on the Island. Though a bit seasick they at once began clearing the beach of obstacles and made a road for the tanks to get off of the beach on.
Meanwhile the command of Lieutenant Cobona were preparing for a probing raid to the vermin mainland. Cobona was in the dinghy with his men when he suddenly though about all that had occurred in the past year. Athalon had once flourished under cooperative vermin and woodlanders until Clisetta had won the vote for Duke of Athalon. The vermin and woodlanders alike had been happy with her and elected her to the position for life. She slowly abolished the constitution which had safely governed the continent for years and had her religion proclaim vermin superior to woodlanders.
Clisetta, in accordance with her religion, ordered the woodlanders be put to slave labor as she advanced the military power of Athalon. Over the next year she had taken over most of the islands in the sea between Athalon and Mossflower with her Navy and her Army was threatening to invade Mossflower. President Arpic had ordered Salamandastron and the surrounding area reinforced to protect from invasion and had started the building of a concrete wall as far along the coast as he could. The woodlanders of Mossflower had started pouring out weapons, ammunition and vehicles in preparation for the war that all expected to happen.
As soon as the Island of Megad fell to Clisetta and her forces, Arpic decided to go on the offensive. He asked the Senate to declare war and was heartily agreed with. Arpic gave command to Holt McCauslin, a 4 star general and a master tactician. McCauslin realized the strategic advantage of Megad and had ordered a full out assault on the Island to prevent Clisetta’s forces from establishing a forward base.
This was where Cobona had left the big picture and was ordered to McCauslin’s headquarters. McCauslin ordered Cobona to lead a group of scouts to make a reconnaissance mission on Athalon. Cobona complied and hand picked a group of forty-five otters, hares, and some mice as field doctors. Now he was in a dinghy on top of a submarine about to head for Athalon.
.*says a creepy voice:* The End for Tonight : P
The submarine lowered itself into the depths of the bay and Cobona’s scouts started paddling noiselessly toward land. And hour passed before they reached the beach and they pulled the dinghy’s up above the tide line and stowed them under some branches. All this was done in complete silence.
"Climb the cliffs men." Cobona whispered hoarsely along with a hand signal. Cobona’s men had silenced rocket guns with rope ladders attached for this purpose and they were put to good use. In twenty minutes or less every beast under Cobona had reached the top and the ladders were rolled up and hidden in case they should need to make an escape.
The group headed slightly southwest and ran into nobeast. They were relatively in the clear until Cobona himself happened to step on a hidden wasp nest. The air was soon filled with the shouts of pain from every single unit in the Squad. After a few minutes a ferret appeared with a can of smoke and started scattering the wasps. After a few minutes the wasps had dissipated. Cobona couldn’t let word out that they were on Athalon so he signaled his troop to surround the ferret while the two mice tended to the wasp stings.
"Sit down friend" said Cobona. The ferret sat nervously.
"You’re from Mossflower aren’t you? Please let me live. I ain’t gonna tell nobeast."
"How did ya guess we’re from Mossflower?"
"There’s only one other hare on this continent that I know of Sir."
A plane was heard in the distance and the entire troop except for the mice dived into cover.
To Be Continued…
- NMS = National Mossflower Ship
- ACS = Athalon Continental Ship
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