Skies over the South Eastern Goblin Coast, 228 km from Far Harbour
Quicksilver flared his wings as he glided along the coastline, his small crew of two were seated in tandem on his back, observing the area around them as they did their routine aerial patrol. Quicksilver's dark silver scales glittered in the sun as he made a slow bank over the coast, his horned and ridged serpentine head looking around alertly.
"Yaaawwn..." Gother yawned, as he stretched his stiff body covered in a thick flight suit. "See anything interesting, Pera?"
"Nothing but the sand, sea, and trees..." Pera replied as he glanced at his wristwatch. "Well, we do another pass along the coast and we can return to base."
"Yay!" Gother cheered, "Quick, you hear that?"
"Yessshh..." Quick hissed and he flapped his wings, gathering speed and did a loop as they went along the coast for the last round, when he suddenly spotted something in the distance. "Wait! I see something!"
"What?" Both the aviator crews went on alert, "Where?"
"Our 2 O'clock direction." Quicksilver replied, "Follow the coastline, see the dark outline against the waves?"
"Head that way," Pera ordered as he was the crew chief. "Gother, report back to base, tell them we are investigating an anomaly."
Quicksilver returned to their original course and left their usual patrol route as they head towards the unknown sighting around the coast.
"It's a ship!" Quicksilver exclaimed as his eyesight were better than the elves, spotting the object washed ashore against the rocks and reefs.
Pera using a pair of field glasses, replied, "I think that's the missing ship from the Isles."
"Bring us down for a closer look and see if you spot any survivors!" Pera yelled over the wind.
Quicksilver bobbed his head in acknowledgment and arrowed his wings, losing altitude fast while increasing his speed. Soon the individual masts of the beached ship could be seen clearly and Quicksilver flared out his wings, reducing his speed and he did a lazy sweep around the wreck.
"See anyone?" Pera yelled as he gripped the saddle bars tightly as Quicksilver did an almost 90 degrees tilt.
"I don't see anything!" Gother yelled back as he too hung on tightly to the saddle bars.
"Keep circling!" Pera commanded as they peered around the wreckage, trying to find any signs of life. "Gother, radio Mother."
"Dragon Two to Mother, come in over!"
"Dragon Two, spotted a shipwreck off the coast of goblin sea, over."
"Mother, Roger, send coordinates, over."
"Dragon Two, standby!"
Gother removed the flap covering his map and started to read off the numbers on the map back to base, who acknowledged the coordinates.
"Mother is telling us to standby for support," Gother yelled, as he secured the radio set. "ETA, one hour!"
"Got it!" Pera nodded, "Quick, bring us down, not too close to the wreckage. We wait for support to come.
Quicksilver slowly came to a gliding stop over the white sandy beach and his claws landed on the soft warm sand, digging deep as his full weight slowly settled down on to his claws. Both Pera and Gother, unbuckled their harnesses and removed shotguns from their casings and climbed down from Quicksilver's back.
"Damn," Gother shoved his aviator helmet's visor up and grimaced at the heat coming from the sand. "It's bloody hot!"
"Stay on alert!" Pera said, as he kept his eyes at the distant trees, "There is at least a hundred men or more onboard that ship, and they can't all just drowned from the storm."
"Yeah, so where are they?" Gother asked. "Where have they gone?"
The Colony, Academy of Science and Magic
Dr. Sharon sat on the sofa of Magister Thorn and swiped her tablet as she dug out some historical text from the UNS Singapore's archives. There were sadly not much, as most of them were just basic books from the ship's entertainment library.
"Do you know who is the Hummingbird of the Left?" Magister Thorn asked from behind his desk, covered by stacks of old scrolls and manuscripts. They had been working on and off on this topic for the past few days.
"Roughly I can guess," Dr. Sharon replied distractedly. Lately, the voice in her head had disappeared, making her have a sense of unease in her heart. "Well, at least I think I am right."
"Who is it?" Magister Thorn asked curiously as he stood up from his seat and drag his chair over to the sofa where Dr. Sharon was sitting. "I did not know you hoomans have gods!"
"While to be frank, we have many gods, but science had proven those gods to be just beliefs created by man. But who is to say religion is wrong?" Dr. Sharon explained. "But then again, after coming here, I won't be surprised to find our gods are real too!"
"So about this Hummingbird?" Magister Thorn asked again, "What kind of god is it?"
"Well, if I guess rightly, he's from the Mayan or Aztec civilization..." Dr. Sharon replied. "I can't remember the full details, maybe two thousand years ago? My history of South American cultures is lacking... I only roughly guess."
"South 'er-marry-can'?" Thorn looked confused.
"Its the name of a continent from the world we are from," Dr. Sharon explained.
"But if he's a Mayan or Aztec God, then we are kinda in a big mess..." Dr. Sharon looked up at Thorn. "They are famous for sacrifices, from babies to young to male or females to the old."
"Is that why the computer listed it as a God of sacrifices and war?" Thorn asked. "But why the Sun too?"
"I seriously have no idea..." Dr. Sharon said. "I think we need to look for help, maybe someone has studied Ancient South American history or cultures onboard this ship..."
Shipwreck off the South Eastern Goblin Coast, 228 km from Far Harbour
The Valkyrie's engines pitch grew louder and louder as it came into a hover a short distance away from Quicksilver who stuffed his ears with his wingtips as the roar of the engines irritated his sensitive hearing.
Marines hopped out, ignoring the little green figure who screeched insults from the hull, "Dumb Ma-neesss! Go earn pay! Stop eating and grow fat! Too fat my god plane can't lift your fat ass off into the skies! Next time you walk!"
A Marine with three silver stripes on his sleeves jogged over with an officer that has a single gold bar on his shoulder and stood before Quicksilver and his crew. "So you guys called for some tender loving care?"
Quicksilver blinked his eyes in amusement at the way the hooman was talking while his two crew members looked momentarily confused. "Ahh, nevermind, its a joke." The hooman Marine rolled his eyes.
"Ahem, Sergeant Mills," The slightly embarrassed looking officer coughed, "I think I do the talking, you go check up on the troops."
"Gotcha L.T" Mills gave a wink and ran off towards the Marines spread out around the beach.
"I am Lieutenant Coraths, 1st Battalion, Bravo Company, Platoon 1," Lt Coraths replied. "You guys saw anyone alive from the wreck?"
Both Pera and Gother shook their heads. "We had Quicksilver here called out among the forest edge but no one replied."
"Great..." Lt Coraths rubbed his forehead between his eyes, "Ok, I need you guys up to provide some eyes over the sky, while me and my boys move in to do a sweep."
"Sergeant Mills!" Lt Coraths yelled and Mills came over. "Get the men ready, we are going into the forest to do a spread. Make sure even one keeps within five meters away and be on constant visual contact from each other."
"Yes, Sir!" Mills cheerfully replied and went off to inform the men. He had recently been promoted after finishing his instructor role at Camp Alpha and now he got posted to 1st Battalion, Bravo Company, Platoon 1 as a third sergeant.
The men quickly spread out in a double line formation and entered into the forest, their weapons on alert as they sweep the land for any signs of life. One of the leading point men held a precious motion and heartbeat sensor, his long ears peeking out from the headset of the tracker.
"We do a five kilometer sweep and if there still nothing, we report back to HQ and await further orders." Lt Coraths said to Mills who nodded. He was slightly awe of Mills as he heard some stories and rumors of him during his Officer Cadet School days, that Mills once got hit by a fireball and still continued fighting while on fire with his skin melting off.
Roughly an hour later, someone yelled, and the sweep came to a halt. Lt Coraths and Mills walked up to the Marine who gave out an alert. "Sir, Sarge! Look here."
On the ground, were clearly remains of a campfire. Mills crouched down to feel the campfire, finding it cool to the touch and he shook his head. "Maybe a day or more old. It's cold."
"Look here! Looks like blood!" Someone cried.
They saw several splatters of something dark and even a large patch here and there, with the ground looking disturbed. "Looks like a fight here. Looks like some tracks."
"Wait! These look like Oerkin footprints!" One of the point men spoke up, as he examined the tracks on the dirt. "Yea... smells like them too!"
"Shit," Mills cursed. "So the missing crew got taken by orcs?"
"Can't tell for sure, let's report it in." Lt Coraths replied. "Radioman!"
"So are we following the tracks? Mills asked as he watched the tracks leading deeper into the forest.
"No!" Lt Coraths replied hurriedly, "Let's see what HQ says."
The radioman started to make his call back to HQ, having found a small break in the canopy.
"So what now?" Mills asked as the rest of Marines formed a circular security cordon around the campsite.
"Sir! We can't get through to HQ!" The radioman replied as he fiddled with the radio set.
"L.T?" Mills asked again as he looked at Coraths.
"Eh..." Coraths rubbed his forehead, "We fallback to the wreck." He said after a moment.
"Huh?" Mills gave a look of surprise. "Seriously Sir? We are not going to follow the tracks?"
"It might be a trap!" Coraths said, "Until we get confirmation from HQ, we do nothing."
"Okay..." Mills frowned and gave the order to the men to pull back.
It took them another hour to exit the forest, but then all of them were tired, hot, and sweaty. "Damn wild goose chase!" Mills muttered under his breathe. "What a waste of time and energy!"
"Sir!" The radioman cried, "HQ says to proceed with extreme caution, and see if we can follow the tracks."
"Got it, eh, men! We are heading back in! Take a 15 minutes break!" Coraths yelled.
"What?" Mills couldn't believe his ears at what he was hearing. Even the men were grumbling as they flopped down or sat down against the trees to rest.
"L.T!" Mills strolled up to Coraths who was wiping his face with a hand towel. "We just wasted an hour walking out of the forest and now we are going back in again?"
"Well, sarge, you heard the radio. HQ wants us to go check out where the tracks lead to." Coraths replied.
"But Sir, the men are tired, and we do not know how far those tracks might lead to." Mills explained.
"The men are fine! They are trained for this!" Coraths proudly replied.
"That is not what I meant, Sir." Mills patiently tried to reason with Coraths, "We do not know how long we will be in the forest, and we will need supplies!"
"Not an issue," Coraths replied confidently, "We can have the Valkyries airdrop in supplies to us when needed."
"Oh my gods," Mills whispered under his breath as he watched Coraths walk away.
"We are so screwed!"