Tough leather boots fell on the padded sand.
All around the small colony of Roanoke, el 6to Batallón de Exploración fell into position.
Spanish light infantry crouched behind bushes, dropped below fallen logs, and watched over sandbars.
As his men prepared for the coming raid, Captain Vasquez climbed upon a small tuft of dirty sand, and pulled out a spyglass, gazing upon the English colony.
The fools have finally put up some sort of defence, he thought to himself.
Roanoke was surrounded by a high wooden palisade, about 10-15 feet high, completely encircling the town except for one small gate that was guarded by the local militia, currently only 2 soldiers being stationed at the guardhouse.
Fields of wheat and corn spread around the area of the village, leaving any intruders in open sight.
Vasquez cursed, resenting the fact that he couldn’t sneak up on the village.
If it weren’t for direct orders from the King himself, Vasquez would never have attacked this quaint little town.
He fully doubted that Roanoke could ever serve as a base to rally the British forces against the Spaniards, but his men were eager for battle, running low on supplies, and orders were orders.
Vasquez’s officer crouched near the captain, his dark mustaches quivering in anticipation of the order that would sound the attack, where he would be free to break off and lead a small squadron in the assault.
“Fuego en la empalizada.” Vasquez decided he didn’t want to send his men through the narrow opening into Roanoke, choosing to punch a hole in the flimsy palisade that would allow his men to charge into the colony unchallenged.
The officer waived his gauntlet and with a small whistle, two small cannons were loaded.
Another whistle was sounded seconds later and the two cannons were fired, the explosions ringing through the coastal morning air.
Two large sections of the palisade came crashing down, blown to splinters.
Roanoke shook itself awake, startled by the sudden disturbance.
The guards called out, and six more militiamen rushed out, muskets in hand.
The villagers rushed around the colony like angry bees, buzzing from house to house, securing women and children in the huts. Fathers reached for their swords, hidden in linen cloth somewhere.
Vasquez gave a signal to a bugler, who played three long notes.
100 Spaniards crawled out from their positions and crossed the fields in one shining wave.
The militiamen at the gates were overwhelmed.
A couple raised their rifles in the air and shot at the Spanish, killing an unlucky few, but they were soon forced into a melee combat.
The English pulled out rusty sabers handed down for generations since medieval times, and the Spanish pulled out cutlasses and rapiers forged for use in the most powerful army at the time.
Spaniards hacked and slashed at the militiamen, spilling their blood upon the golden wheat.
Outnumbered and routed, the militiamen fell in less than ten seconds.
The crushing horde grew happier with every easy kill, and soon poured through the gaps in the wall.
Fathers and brave sons rushed out of their homes, confused and shaken.
They naturally formed a circle in the center of the town, coming closer together for support.
The Spanish rushed at the settlers, but were disappointed to hear their sergeants calling for them to halt.
The horde gradually slowed down to once again encircle the colony, panting with crazed excitement in their eyes like a cheetah.
Vasquez stepped down from the small tuff, crossing the fields towards the battle.
He stepped through the golden killing fields, looking down upon every body before his feet.
Bedraggled settlers lay where they had been cut down, warm blood still gushing from the wounds which had ended their lives.
A twitching guardsmen was all that was left from the slaughter, who tried to grasp for his sword hilt, but lacked the strength to do so.
Vasquez, in one fluid motion, flipped out his pistol, finished the man, and spun it back into a golden holster on his right hip. He kept on walking towards his men.
Seeing the enemy captain display such ruthless confidence, the settlers began to panic.
Most lay down their swords, calling out cries of “Mercy!” and “Oh spareth us, dear Lord!”, some calling out towards the heavens, some pleading with the enemies before them.
But those Spaniards did not understand English.
Vasquez looked towards a couple lines of musket men who were filed in the rear.
“Dispararles a todos.” he said and turned away towards the treeline.
The musketmen heard his command and raised their firearms in unity.
“Tres....Dos....Uno....Fuego!” called out the sergeant of the musketmen.
Twenty shots tore through the English, each musketball ripping holes through multiple of the helpless settlers.
Only half of the settlers fell to the floor, some unlucky enough to see their friends and family literally ripped apart before their eyes.
For a full 30 seconds as the musketmen reloaded their fiery weapons of death, many passed out from the shock, while others simply clutched eachother, sobbing.
With another countdown, the English were finished off.
All of the English were either dead or dying, and the thirsty crowd of Spanish swordsmen rushed forward to loot their bodies.
The battalion broke off in multiple directions, some finishing their search of the bloodied figures, some heading towards the storehouses, and most branching off to raid each hut where the widows waited with their children.
The Spaniards all knew their orders.
Not a single Englishmen should survive.
Vasquez walked away from the battle, hearing the screams of women and children behind him in the chaos he had ordered to take place.
The captain flipped open a knife, and stepped up to the nearest oak tree.
Taking his time, he carved the word “CROATOAN” into the bark.
Vasquez was not a fool. He knew that when the English crown heard that their first successful colony had been decimated by the Spanish, they would retaliate, bringing a new cause and new spirit to fight against the Spanish, possibly decimating the already weakened Spanish military.
But if he made it seem like some poor villager was able to crawl up and carve the name of the enemy who had slaughtered his people, in this case, the local Croatoan indian tribe, then the British would never know what actually happened. The Spanish would never be blamed, the English would never receive a true reason to fight, and the war would go on as usual, except without the colony of Roanoke, of course.
The Croatoan indian tribe would receive some hard hits in the future, but Vasquez cared little.
Nobody would ever remember Vasquez’s name, nobody would ever know of the secret raid he had led, and nobody would ever find out what truly happened here.
But Vasquez was not a fool.