The howl of the Valkyrie's engine screamed as it came to a hovering stop over the concrete landing pad at the mining complex. The rear ramps dropped open and the troops housed inside rushed out, heading towards the walls and before the rear ramp was closed the Valkyrie had powered up the engines and lifted off, clearing the airspace and landing pad for the second Valkyrie coming in for a dust off.

Sergeant Collins blinked his eyes rapidly and shook his head to clear a ringing headache he had after a blow from a cudgel hammered his helmet as he fought off the goblins storming up the siege ladders at the walls. His Marines formed up beside him as they fired into the shrieking creatures as they climbed up in a swarm, crackling and giggling like mad constantly.

"Get them off my fucking walls!" Collins roared as he got up, racking his M2's bolt and getting back into action. "Use your grenades and blow those ladders!"

The elves around Collins obeyed and pulled out grenades from their pouches and primed them before lobbing over the walls at where the ladders were stacked up.

Loud cracks followed by high pitched screams showed the efficiency of the grenades. "Attach bayonets!" Collins roared and drew his sword bayonet and inserted it under his rifle barrel. "Chargeeeee!"

The goblin presence on the top of the walls ceased as the grenades did their work and the charge shattered the remaining goblin foothold on the walls. The Marine elves including Collins stood over the parapet and fired downwards at the clustered goblins, while others used their rifles to topple the ladders to the side ignoring the arrows and streaks of sparkling spells flying everywhere.

"Trolls!" Some one yelled at the side. Collins looked up and under the glare of the floodlights, several large humanoids carrying siege ladders under their ham sized arms were charging forward on the right.

"You five follow me!" Collins pointed to the nearest Marines armed with a bazooka, "The rest hold here." and he led the group towards the direction of the walls the trolls were aiming for.

The walls towered over 12 meters, and a troll was roughly three meters tall. they lugged along two long wooden ladders under its armpits easily, trampling over their own goblins that were too slow to give way or had noticed them in their paths. They wore a set of thick leather armor with a crudely made full faced helm, looking like a bucket with holes for the eyes. Bullets impacted against its body, making it grunt in pain but it continued on, its wounds leaking blood and supernaturally closing up as its innate regeneration ability kicked in.

Collins skidded to a stop before the troll, "Give it hell!" gesturing the rocket launcher team. "The rest provide covering fire!"

The team with the bazooka quickly set up the rocket launcher and leaned over the parapet, placing the wire crosshair directly at the center of the nearest troll who dumped the ladders at the base of the walls while checking their backblast.


"One round away!"

A WHOOSH and a trail of sparks and flame burst out and a second later a loud thunderclap was heard. At such short distance, the rocket could hardly miss. The rocket punched through the thick leather armor like paper and detonated its shaped charge warhead. A jet of superheated liquid metal instantly melt through the tough bark like skin of the troll, cooking and charring the surrounding flesh.

The troll's chest cavity collapsed, its lungs and heart melt and burst into flames, rib bones blackening into ash, muscles, and flesh overcooking and burning, and blood boiled and turning into vapor.

It toppled backward with a mighty crash with smoke and flames flickering out from the charred hole in its armor. Even with its impressive regeneration power, it could not survive a direct hit to the chest, its healing speed unable to match with the destructive power of the rocket's warhead.

"Fuck yeah!" Collins cheered along with those that witness the kill. "Hell of a good shot!"

"Incoming!" One of the Marines yelled as a dark shower of arrows and fireworks appeared and peppered the wall. The fireworks-like spells exploded upon impact, sending sparks, heat, and smoke flying everywhere.

Screams and cries of pain followed as arrows found unarmored limbs and body parts among the exposed Marines, while some of the wildly errant spells hit some unlucky people. "Medic!"

"Get in cover and hit the rest of the Trolls!" Collins ordered and keyed his comms, "Valkyrie flight, this is Apache Three, requesting fire mission, over!"

"Valkyrie One, fire mission, over," came the reply over the comms.

"Apache Three, fire mission, grid three three fout dash seven two niner, fire for immedate effect, over!" Collins read off the map on his tablet as he leaned against the parapet, peering over the walls.

"Valkyrie One, standby," Collins's comms buzzed, "Valkyrie One to Apache Three, that almost on top of you guys, over."

Collins cursed as another volley of arrows landed around his men. The arrowheads landed with sparks and bounced off into the night. "Apache Three, that is an affirmative! Request immediate fire mission!" A magic spell whizzed by his head and banged off into the night sky.

"Valkyrie One, roger that, danger close, repeat danger close! Coming in hot!"

"Get down!" Collins yelled to his men, "Danger close! DANGER CLOSE!"

The Marines all dived down and huddled against the parapet, ignoring the Trolls who slammed the ladders against the walls where the giggling goblins rapidly crawled up. The Marines put a solid layer of reinforced concrete against the incoming bombardment and echoing, "Danger close!" down the walls. They turned away from the incoming barrage and covered their ears and opened their mouths to prevent the shockwave from damaging their insides and ears.

The high pitch scream of the Valkyrie's engines tore overhead as it lined up parallel to the South Western Gate wall and rippled fired all its rocket pods. The brightly lit no man zone was further brightened by the exploding barrage of rockets.

The mass of goblins archers vanished in rolling flames and smoke. The overpressure from the thermobaric warheads slammed into the Marines undercover, thumping their insides and causing their ears to ring and deafening others. The trolls and the goblins that were climbing up the ladders were swept away by the shockwave, most died from ruptured organs or fell to their deaths, while the trolls were cooked in the explosions, and were temporarily knocked down.

Collins forced a yawn, trying to get rid of his stuck ears. Even with the concrete parapet acting as a barrier, he still felt the shockwave and heat from the explosions. He stood up and survey the effects of the bombing run and smiled in appreciation. "I do love the smell of cooked goblins in the morning!"

"Apache Three to Valkyrie One, good run!" He comms his thanks to the Airforce bird and turned to check on his men and commanded. "Kill those trolls before they regen!"


UNS Singapore, Command Bridge

Captain Blake watched the impressive rocket barrage going off via the UAV circling above the mining complex. "Damn goblins, how come there are so many?"

"From Magister Thorn's explanation, the goblins only eat, sleep and procreate all season. Only during winter, they hibernate and when spring comes they leave their dwellings in search of food." Commander Ford replied. "Apparently, goblins can interbreed with many other races, and can have as many as 40 babies per year."

"And what is the conclusion from Dr. Sharon?" Blake asked.

"She said that their sperm is kinda like some DNA parasite," Ford gave a shrug, "They enter the fertile host's embryos and recodes the female host's DNA string, and injecting its own DNA code over and a goblin baby is made."

"That is some sick screwed up shit," Blake replied, disgust showing on his face. "These goblins are like tougher than those from the landing fleet."

"Due to that invasive DNA re coding, most goblins take over some of its parental host traits but it might also fail," Ford continued. "That's why the good doctor thinks why some of the goblins show high levels of IQ, and others barely a child's IQ," Ford said. "It is also a reason why the goblins' growth are stunt due to DNA mismatch. In this case, these attacking goblins probably inherited some trails from something here, not to mention they are most likely doped up with some kind of drugs or herbs."

"They are like cockroaches," Blake said, "If we don't stamp them out, they will be a blight to us all."

"We guess is that the goblins from Goblin City mostly interbred among themselves, that is why their genes might have regressed. And one of the reasons why they have an annual crossing to the mainland is to collect genetic material for breeding," Ford nodded, "We also found some larger goblins, we believe to be an evolved version or a cousin breed."

"From the goblin landing ships?" Blake asked.

"Yes sir, actually more like pieces," Ford added. "Magister Thorn believes it to belong to a hobgoblin, which basically are larger, faster and smarter versions of goblins."

"So it is like a goblin that has leveled up?" Blake asked.

"Ahem," Ford gave a cough, "Yes Captain, its a leveled up goblin."

"We estimate as much as a thousand were spread across the fleet, most likely as lieutenants to control the goblin horde," Ford gave a serious expression, "Most likely the overall commander of the goblin fleet is a hobgoblin."

Blake turned back to the screen, watching the Marines fending off the remaining goblin wave which appeared to be dying down. "Damn, we have the Empire coming head-on, and goblins to our flanks and rear."

"Any reply from Claymore One on the situation with the merchant's backers?" Blake asked suddenly.

"The last report was that the merchant Etoro will be contacting his backers," Ford replied. "We are still waiting for them to reply, which will take up to a week for the reply to travel up and down. But the food supplies will be proceeding as agreed."

"Good," Blake replied, "Have Major Frank send in a couple of platoons to secure the supplies at the arranged location and escort it back, and have Commander Tommy to send one of the dragons as overwatch."

"Yes, sir," Ford noted it down in his tablet. "Then we will proceed as planned for the resupply. But we expect to find more goblins or other monsters to attack the convoy as they travel past the Uncharted Forest."

Blake gave a sigh, "Damn crazy planet. Have the Airforce standby to fire bomb the forest if needed. If this supply run is successful, I think we might need to force a road into the forest."

Ford shook his head, "That will take too many resources and manpower, which we are both lacking. And the maintenance of the roads in the forest will be hell. The basic road that Duke Sturm had built with his army to attack us, has already being reclaimed back by the Forest."

"I was thinking to cut it into the side of the mountain. It might increase the distance to Falledge but it will be safer for traveling." Blake gave his idea. "But first, as you said, we are lacking in a lot of things in every field. That road building will be a long-term project which we can't afford to invest in now."

"The Empire and goblins," Ford added in. "We need to handle these two first."

"We need a line of defense against Goblin City's fleets," Blake nodded, "Well, regardless if its a goblin or a hobgoblin, bastards are trying to eat my people and fuck them, and we can't have that can we?"

"No, Sir," Ford smiled at Blake's use of vulgarities. "You are suggesting?"

"We are going to need a good old fashion navy!"

A note from neo Koh

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