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Wizard’s World War (s.3)-Dispatch 21: Cartagena

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El Arsenal de Cartagena,  Ciudad de  Cartagena, Municipio de Cartagena, Comunidad Autonoma de la Región de Mercia, Reino de España,  25 August, 02:56 hrs GMT +2

Private Alfonso Malavé pointed his rifle at the incoming enemy. Dozens of fires consumed the naval arsenal. The eery light mixed with the sickly smell of charred flesh. The demonkin roared as they climbed the quay toward his position. The shortest was a head taller than him, with plates of obsidian seared into their naked flesh. Muscles bulged to the point that the skin ripped near bursting. He shot a burst into the face of an enemy the moment it popped over the concrete pier. Their fellows ignored the fallen and pressed their attack, firing the assault rifles from the hip. Between waves enemy gunboats hammered the shore with cannon fire. A heavy shell blasted  Alfonso’s position behind a T-Wall. Alfonso fell back in a cloud of concrete dust. To his right, Alejandro San Jose fell clutching a bloody face. A demonkin jumped over the remains of the wall and with one thrust impaled the third member of the fire team. The bayonet went under private’s flack vest. The marine dangled at the end of the bayonet. He kicked in desperation as the life oozed out of him. The demon fired a short bust into the body of the marine then tossed him aside like a rag doll. Alfonso, still on the ground, swung his rifle with one arm and fired a burst into the side of the demonkin’s head. The enemy slumped to the ground. Alfonso scrambled to his feet when someone pushed him back.

“Get down!” yelled platoon sergeant.

Seconds later he heard the noise of grenades skipping across concrete followed by several explosions.

“Private, can you fight?” asked the sergeant.

“Sir yes sir!” yelled Alfonso.

“Then follow me!” ordered the sergeant as he carried Alejandro over his shoulder.

Along the way someone draped several belts of ammunition over Alfonso’s shoulder. The squad maintained a good pace as they ran west to a nearby hill. The direction confused Alfonso. He expected that they would fall back to the city proper. The only thing in this direction was Atalaya Castle, an old eighteen century ruin that overlooked the Arsenal. The flash of artillery over the hill told him otherwise. Someone put an artillery battery on the fort. Hesco bastions lined the base of the walls and entrances. The sergeant took them to the castle inner vaults. The earth around them the shook as the enemy trained their rockets on their position. Alfonso’s heart pounded wildly in his chest. The first barrage that came down at the Arsenal caught him surprise. He didn’t realize they were under attack until it was over. But now he knew the power of the enemy’s weapons. He glanced at the ceiling as thousands of rockets pounded earth and stone. Yet the old engineers built this place to last.  The enemy fire slackened after a few minutes.

The sergeant slapped Alfonso on the shoulder, “To the wall!”

He reached the wall  and put his nigh goggles on. A mass of green figures rushed up the hill. They howled like mad men. Inaccurate but heavy enemy artillery fire rained all around the hilltop from the enemy ships offshore.

“Steady marines, steady,” said the sergeant.

Alfonso’s eyes burned from the sweat that came down from his brow.


The mass of the enemy charged up the hill. To Alfonso this looked more like those historic reenactments that were so popular in his home town of Granada. But this time the bullets were real.


Onward came the enemy. They lobbed pots of incendiaries and fired rockets at the walls.


Closer and closer they came. Green blobs transformed into the contorted faces of the enemy, screaming in hell fueled rage.


Alfonso squeezed the trigger. Friendly artillery sailed overhead and exploded over the heads of the enemy. Each burst flattened dozens of them at a time. Yet the came into the wave of bullets that shattered obsidian and flesh. Alfonso slammed another magazine home. The enemy’s ranks thinned under the marine’s fire.

“Now,” said the sergeant.

When the enemy reached the twenty five meter mark, the earth in front of them erupted. A dozen claymore mines sent thousands of steel balls into the tightly pack formation. The enemy advance collapsed. A streak of light flashed over head. Seconds later a giant fireball rocked the bay. A pair of Tiger attack helicopters flew past. In the distance more fireballs erupted as air force fighter jets joined the fray. The marines manned their post until morning. Someone came along and delivered fresh ham sandwiches. Alfonso devoured his then washed it down with wine from a wineskin that made the rounds. He didn’t ask where it came from and he did not care. It wasn’t until the helicopters came that he realized the magnitude of the battle. Hundreds of bodies lay on the hill below. Alfonso wondered what would have happened if more of the enemy had come their way. From his vantage point he saw the city burn from end to end. Distant gunfire echoed through the hills. The battle was far from over.


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