Far Harbor, Civic Center

The reception room's furniture had been rearranged the night before, now a long table was set in the middle of the room with high back chairs all around. Yet only two of the chairs were occupied, one by Fleet Master Dijon while opposite him sat the Princess. The rest of his Captains and aides stood respectfully behind him while the Princess's retinue did the same.

A piece of parchment was placed before each of them, with a pen for them to sign the terms and conditions listed. "The Isles will provide, 10,000 stones* of iron, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, and tin each. 5,000 heads of egg-laying bird wyverns and 1,000 heads of muffalo. 2 Flying Fish class schooners and a dozen fishing boats." Princess Sherene read from the contents written down on the contract. (*1 stone is 100 kg)

"In exchange, We will provide 10,000 repeating crossbows, 10,000 sets of half-plate armor, 10,000 sets of half faced helmets, 20,000 sets of cutlass and 10,000 sets of long daggers, all made out of carbon steel. 20,000 small sized 'mason' jars with lids for food canning, and 1,000 pure glass panels." Sherene looked up from the contract and smiled sweetly, "All to be traded within two month's time."

"Hmph," Fleet Master Dijon frowned, acting like he got cheated by the Princess. The two flying fish class schooners were over 5 years old and leaking, and well below the Isle's standards for an ocean faring ship, while the fish boats were small sized and cheap and easy to manufacture.

Princess Sherene smiled despite knowing that Dijon most like will be giving her two of the oldest ships in his fleet, but Blake had said that it was alright to accept the deal, as they plan to tear the ships down to learn how to make their own and with the discovery of the shipwreck off the coast of Goblin Sea, Blake had told her not to inform the Islanders about the discovery, as he planned to salvage the wreck for their own use once the Islanders has returned.

Well. at least glass was cheap and easy to make for us, thought Sherene, as she signed and stamped her official seal onto the parchment and did the same with the other copy. "Pleasure to do business with you, Fleet Master. I hope there will be more opportunities for more trade between us."

Dijon nodded and gave a bow, "The pleasure is mine, of course, as a merchant, we will never turn down our clients."

"Now, let's us celebrate!" Dijon grinned, his early expression of a stern face disappearing as he picked up a glass of wine and toasted to the Princess.


Somewhere in the Forest, North of the wreck

Mills cursed, as he slapped at some insect buzzing around his ear. He wiped beads of sweat off his face, his helmet long removed hours ago and secured to his harness webbing, and he wore a jungle hat instead.

He looked around at his surrounding men, looking at their tired and listless faces as they toiled through the forest mindlessly, barely keeping an eye around their surroundings. They had been following the tracks for more than a day and their supplies had run out, while the LT tried to call for a supply run, the interference in the forest blocked all of their attempts to communicate out.

The tracks there were following led them deeper into the forest, an unexplored region the Marines and Surveyors had barely touched, hence there were no maps, nor even transmission towers installed and the dumb fuck LT had to bring them in without any re-supply, Mills cursed in his mind.

"Sarge!" One of the Marines called out, "Where are we going?"

"Hell if I know..." Mills replied harshly. "Keep your eyes open! We are in an unknown territory!"

"Damn, Sarge, does the L T knows what he is doing?" The Marines gestured to the rear where the Lieutenant was.

Mills looked back, spotting Lieutenant Coraths flipping over a map. Mills shook his head as he watched the antics of the Lieutenant. Does that idiot know this area is not mapped?

Finally unable to bear the embarrassment the Lieutenant was causing to the rest of the platoon, Mills went up to Coraths and gently took the map away from his hands. "Sir, this area is not mapped, you can't find anything in this."

"Wh-what?" Lieutenant Coraths looked up in surprise, "Why did you tell me earlier? You made me look like a fool!" He hissed to Mills angrily.

Mills sighed, "Sir, I think we should stop and retrace our steps back to the wreck. We have been out of radio contact for at least 16 hours!"

"No! We came so far already to give up, and HQ ordered to follow the tracks!" Lieutenant Coraths stubbornly replied.

"Sir, we have no lines of supply nor communications, HQ most likely has dispatched another platoon to look for us." Mills replied. "We need to re-establish comms as the priority!"

"No, our mission stands," Coraths glared at Mills, "Sergeant, do your duty, don't teach me how to do my job! We continue on!"

"Alright, enough slacking around! Let's move!" Coraths bushed past Mills and yelled at the rest of the Marines who grumbled and continued on, following the point men.

Mills closed his eyes as he counted down to one, cooling his temper before he turned and followed the rest of his men, muttering under his breath, "Don't make me shoot you behind your back, asshole..."


Camp Alpha, Commandant's Office

Major Frank frowned as he looked at the screen of his computer. He picked up the handset and keyed for Master Sergeant Pike's communicator. "Top? What's the news with the missing Alpha Company's platoon?"

"Major, we lost contact with them roughly 18 hours ago. They were supposed to report in every two hours, but as that area has no radio coverage, the communication operators did not sound out the alert till just now." Pike replied.

"Damn, send out a search party, and request for air support from the Air Force," Frank ordered, "Who's leading the lost platoon?"

"Lieutenant Coraths Riveria, ranked 49 out of 175 Officer cadets in Class 2. Decent grades and command scores." Pike replied as he forwarded the dossier on Coraths over to Frank from his workstation at Sawtooth Mountain Command. "His instructors' comments were that he is quite a mission focused and likes to follow the book to the letter."

"I see," Frank nodded, "Sent the search party out, dead or alive, find them."


Sawtooth Mountain, Air Force Base, Dragon Pen 2

Quicksilver was happily chomping away at a giant stainless steel bowl, that is more like a tub. He licked the insides of his bowl clean, smacking his lips as he swallowed the remains of the fried potatoes, cheese, and tomato sauce. "Hmmmm mmmm! Now that is a meal worthy of a dragon!"

"Right? Right?" Blue Thunder stuck his head over from his own pen as he too licked his chomps after finished his own serving of cheese fries. "I can just eat this all day!"

"Burpp..." Quicksilver gave a burp and looked at Blue Thunder, "Hows the wing?"

"Still sore!" Blue gave a dramatic sigh while wiggling his wounded wing still with patches of 'X' shaped duct tapes. "But healing! Just need more meat! Glazed and roasted with 'tear-ra-yucky' sauce! Oh my!"

Blue Thunder swallowed a mouthful of saliva as he remembered the exquisite taste of 'tear-ra-yucky' glazed meat. "Ohh... I hunger for some now..."

"You and you bottomless hole tummy!" Quicksilver sighed as he saw Blue Thunder's eyes glazing over as he drooled and day dreamt about his meat. "You should heal up first!"

"Hey, Quick!" Some yellow jackets and green jackets crew came over. "You're up for a mission!"

"Huh?" Quicksilver looked over to the crew that started to unload the harness from its storage bins. "I thought I am off duty now?"

"The Air Boss wants you to go," Flight Corporeal Pera replied as he walked in with Private Gother into the dragon hangar pen. "It's about the shipwreck from yesterday."

"What about it?" Quicksilver asked, while Blue Thunder curiously listened from his side. "Didn't the Marines went down to check it out?"

"Yea, they did, but those Marines went missing," Pera replied as he wore his own body harness.

Quicksilver stood up and waded over to the markings drawn on the ground, where the yellow and green jacketed crews had laid out his harnesses. He places his arms and legs at the proper loops and the crew swarmed over his body, securing the straps and buckles together.

"How did they get lost?" Blue Thunder asked as he leaned his massive head against a stack of machinery.

"HEY!" One of the yellow jackets yelled, "Get your fat ass head off that equipment! You want the Chief to cut your meat rations?"

"Ohh... sorry..." Blue Thunder meekly apologized and shifted his head away from the machinery which groaned when the heavy weight on it got lifted away. "Tee hee... don't tell the Chief!"

"Grrrr..." The angry crewman went over and checked the machinery, and sighed with relief as the engine for the crane system only looked dented but still working. "You want us to get chewed out by the Chief?"

"Hehehe sorry!" Blue Thunder hid his head back into his own pen. "Anyway, what happened to the Marines?"

"Not sure," Pera yelled from the back of Quicksilver. "We are going to find out!"

"Ok, take care! Give me the full details when you guys return ok?" Blue Thunder spoke to the back of Quicksilver who crawled out of the dragon hangar, towards the runway. "Be careful!"

Quicksilver gave a flip of his tail as acknowledgment and before long, he took off from the runway, bouncing off into the skies.

"I'm bored..." Blue Thunder sighed as he leaned his head down between his arms. "And craving for meat! Tear-ra-yucky..."


Skies over Goblin Coast, Enroute to the Wreck

"Dumb Maa-neessss!" Greg the goblin giggled as he sat on the oversized bucket seat facing the rows of irritated Marines. "See? No listen to the Great Greg, now dumb Maa-ness lost in forest! HEHEHEHEHE!"

"Aww, someone shut that damn goblin up!" Someone yelled, "Damn thing keeps yelping away."

"Oh, dumb Maa-neesss want a piece of Greg?" Greg sneered, "Careful dumb Maa-nees walk home later! Hahahaha!"

"God, this is like some weird ass slapstick B grade comedy show..." Corporeal Koing sighed as he heard his platoon mates throw insults back and fore with the goblin crew. "Come on, I'm trying to catch some sleep guys!"

Luckily the heated exchange did not last long as the pilot's voice came over the intercom, "Alright, kids! We are over the AO* now, 5 minutes!"

*Area of Operations

The new Lieuftuent nervously yelled out, "Al-alright people, check you gear!"

Koing sighed, "Hope nothing goes to shit and Platoon 1 is just lost and not in combat!"

The men suddenly felt gravity disappeared and they yelled out, some in fright, others in enjoyment as the pilot dropped the Valkyrie towards the ground in a combat dive, a combat maneuver to rapidly reduce little and also to get to the ground as fast as possible, to avoid taking fire or radar lock in a combat situation. But most of the time, the pilots like to do that, as it gave them a kick out of making their cargo puke.

The cabin light turned green and Greg happily smashed the rear hatch door's button, dropping the ramp down, and yelling from his position, "GO and die dumb Maa-nesss!" Go go gooo!"

The men rapidly unbuckled themselves and charged out of the ramp in order, while Koing unhooked the supports holding his partner to the cabin, ASAG-05, nicknamed 'Tags', which was ladened with supplies, happily bounced out of the Valkyrie following Koing as they took a kneeling position.

"Walking and getting dirty is so dumb! Only gods fly! Bye~ Dumb Maa-nees!!"

A note from neo Koh

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