The God Wars
Flights of Death
By Dwayne MacInnes
Lieutenant Ross continued to lead the remaining six TBF Avengers with their payload of bombs towards the mainland. The protective flight of F6F Hellcats also escorted the torpedo bombers towards their destination.
Captain Ray Walsh was the squadron leader for the Hellcats. Although the planes could also carry a bomb under each wing, this flight was only armed with the ammunition for their six .50 machineguns mounted in their wings. This was done in order for the fighters to remain with the longer range Avengers for the maximum amount of time in the air. Thus, weight had to be restricted.
As the two flights of aircraft approached, in the city that Hodgson's torpedo bomber discovered, the crew could make out that things have not gone well for the humans. This was despite Hodgson's strafing runs. The entire city now appeared to be in flames, the remaining humans were fighting tenaciously near the docks and piers of the harbor as the few remaining boats loaded up with human cargo. The huge minotaurs and cyclopes continued in their annihilation of the citizens and soldiers of the city below. They showed no signs of mercy.
"Okay, boys," Ross said over his intercom. "Let's see if we can help those people down there."
Ross aimed his Avenger towards the lead group of monsters. The muzzle of his .30 machinegun flashed as the steel rounds stitched their way towards the giant creatures. Several of the half-bovine minotaurs fell backwards as the bullets ripped through their torso. Ross's bombardier then released the 500 pound bombs which were residing the in the belly of the aircraft.
The ground shook as the bombs detonated amongst the ruins of the city. Huge clouds of dust, debris, and smoke obscured the view below. The giant monsters halted their onslaught long enough to look towards the sky. They were stunned into inaction to see five more of the torpedo bombers dropping their payload all over the ruined city. The entire city shook as if in a terrible earthquake as the bombs detonated.
Captain Walsh ordered his half-dozen Hellcats to help support the attack on the monsters crowding the city. The six .50 machineguns in each of the Hellcats chewed up any monster that survived the initial bombing raid. This was proving too much for the monsters below.
The few remaining human defenders did not know what to make of the strange mechanical birds in the sky smiting their foes. But, they did not question the fact that maybe some new god had come to take mercy on them. They cheered as the army of minotaurs and cyclopes began to retreat. The humans took rest and tried to restore order to their pitiful army as the few remaining civilian refugees took to the boats.
Both Ross and Walsh continued to press their advantage with continual strafing runs on the inhuman army below them. The constant pressure caused the lead forces to fall back. However, what started as a mere retreat soon became a rout. Soon the forces trying to leave the city were colliding with those trying to enter it. This resulted in massive confusion that rapidly became fear.
The entangled masses of monsters offered too tempting a target for the Avengers and Hellcats. The planes continued to fly in from all directions unleashing their deadly strafing attacks into the creatures below. Several times the aircraft came within feet of colliding with each other.
As with Hodgson's attack, the two wings of aircraft ran out of ammunition all too soon. The torn and mangled bodies of the invading army of monsters now littered the ravaged and burning city. Sadly, there was still a countless horde that was willing to replenish the ranks of the fallen.
However, much of the invaders enthusiasm for blood dampened when they witnessed the broken and shredded bodies of their more unfortunate comrades lying about. Instead of pressing the attack to finish off the remnants of the city's army, the minotaurs and cyclopes started surveying the carnage for any survivors.
The convoy made the best speed possible towards land. The Kingfisher scouts relayed that the best landing for the city would actually be at the city docks. For the moment, the defenders still held that part of the city. Even though the convoy was warned to be careful for there were many boats carrying the fleeing citizenry.
With the report of sea monsters in the area, Captain Arnold ordered all capable ships to use active sonar. The loud pings not only alerted any potential threat to the fleet, but also warned those threats that they better move along or face the consequences.
As the fleet steamed east, the warships only had to drop depth charges twice. One of the attacks not only produced the huge explosive spray, but also brought up some blood and body parts of an unfortunate sea serpent that got too close to the fleet.
The convoy soon encountered the fleeing flotilla of boats from the city. Captain Arnold would have liked to stop and help them out. However, his business with landing troops in the city took precedence because he did not know how much longer the defenders could hold out.
Nonetheless, Arnold had the foresight to have Lt. Greer and Mina on board the bridge. Mina was fascinated with the workings of the ship. Greer tried his best to describe what was going on with his limited vocabulary of Minoan which is what he referred to Mina's language. Mina was mindful to stay out of the way of the working men, especially the men in white lab-coats furiously working on a huge machine near the rear of the bridge.
"Lieutenant," Captain Arnold said as the cruiser sailed towards the ragtag flotilla of uniremes and fishing boats. "I need you tell those people out there that we are going to rescue their home."
Greer repeated the best he could what the captain wanted to tell Mina. Mina nodded her head but only asked, "How?" Captain Arnold handed Greer the microphone for the public address system.
Mina began to speak into the odd instrument and balked when she heard her voice boom out of the speakers like some kind of goddess. Greer urged her to continue. After a few seconds of hesitancy, Mina relayed her message. Captain Arnold requested that she continue the message repeatedly which she did.
General Crist walked over to Arnold when he had finished with the interpreter and the girl. "Captain, I have only four LCVPs or Higgins boats for landing," Crist said. "Each Higgins can only hold 36 soldiers, meaning I can land only about a 144 men at a time."
Arnold frowned, acknowledging Crist's concern. With only about a 140 men landing at a time, they could have a hard time establishing a good beachhead. Arnold paced back and forth for a time. Then he walked over to his radioman and spoke a few minutes with him. After 'Sparky' sent off a message, they all waited for the response.
On hearing the response, Arnold walked back over to Crist. "We are in luck, according to my scouts the city piers are made of stone and should be capable of offloading the Olympus. Our only concern is whether the depth is deep enough. I will send the Blake ahead to get sonar readings."
"Let's hope we can get there before we lose sunlight," Crist said watching as the sun started lowering in the west nearly kissing the ocean.