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UNS Singapore, Command Bridge

"Captain, Ground Team led by Master Sergeant Pike has established communications with the Dragon," One of the operators reported from his station.

"Great," Blake nodded from his seat, "See if he can entice the Dragon into our ranks. Failing that, make sure the Dragon does not approach within 150 kilometers of any of our outposts and the city."

Commander Ford raised an eyebrow and asked, "You wanna recruit that dragon?"

"Why not?" Blake smiled, "We have ample food now, what we are lacking is bodies."

"Another dragon?" Ford folded his arms as he leaned against the tactical plot table. "Seriously?"

'Yes, it's still a sentient being," Blake replied, "It might not be able to work in some industries but it can still be useful in the aviation sector. Not to mention their shit actually provides quite a bit of useful chemical compounds."

"Ha! If Blue Thunder and the rest of the dragons heard that you just hire them for their shit," Ford laughed, "I wonder what will they think about that!"

Blake grinned, "Well, we did mine the shit of their ancestors for saltpeter. Not to mention if this dragon can just produce thermal heat naturally, there is a lot of applications we can use it for."

"Sir?" A voice called out from the Command Bridge hatch and Blake saw Lieutenant Tavor from Intelligence making his way over. "I might have some bad news here."

"Damn," Blake gestured him over to the tactical plot table, "what is it?"

Tavor keyed his tablet to sync with the tactical table before he displayed several images. "As you know, we run a four-tier defense surveillance and detection network. The outer most layer is set at 200 kilometers. This layer is covered by our remaining UAVs."

"The second layer is covered by the Cobras on Combat Air Patrols roughly patrol around a 150 kilometer radius around our borders," Tavor continued, "The third layer is covered by the dragons, within a 50 to 100 kilometer band."

"And finally, our final line is covered by motion sensors seeded at key locations and Marine ground patrols," Tavor finished uploaded all the files into the system. "As with the incident with the Goblin invasion fleet a few month's back, I had tasked a UAV to do a recon pass every day."

Tavor selected an image and enlarged it on the screen, "This was taken 4 days ago, this 3 days ago and this was 2 days and this was yesterday." The images show goblins ships appearing on the wet docks of Goblin Island.

"This looks like a military built up!" Ford exclaimed. "Where did all these ships come from?"

"We suspect that they have some dry docks or construction slips hidden inside the sea caves dotting the interior of the cove, that is why we did not spot them earlier." Tavor explained, "This clearly shows that the goblins are preparing for something, and we counted roughly 30 'Dagger' class galleys and 10 'Sword' class sloops."

"It is way lesser than what they have thrown at us previously," Tavor said, "My department take on this is that this is a raiding party or pirates setting out for plunder."

"Any signs of our new friends from the Isles?" Blake asked, "Could the sea goblins be targeting them?"

"Most likely yes, but they might not be specifically aiming for our trade ships," Tavor said. "After all, we do spot one or two convoys of Isles merchant ships passing by us."

"The trade deal with the Isles still has a week or so before they are supposed to deliver their promise," Ford reminded everyone. "As for their payment of weapons and armor. We have them all ready and stored in climate controlled warehouses at Far Harbour. Even the glass they ordered is completed and is awaiting transportation to the warehouses."

"Put up more eyes to look out for the Isles' ships," Blake ordered. "Also continued keeping tabs on Goblin Island. When that Goblin Fleet sails, I want to know about it. Clear?"

"Yes Sir!"

-----

Northern Forest

In the past two days, several tents had sprung up among the ruined forest, where two disgruntled dragons laid watching each other cautiously. The temperature had returned to normal but the humidity was still high, making Flight Sergeant Stamford easily irritated.

"Come on, Blue!" Stamford stood before Blue Thunder with the top half of his flight suit tied around his waist, exposing a white tee while his arms were on his hips. "Keep talking to her! You know the translator will only work if you two keep talking!"

"But... she's scary!" Blue Thunder bowed his head low, "I meant, look at those eyes of hers! Actually its quite pretty but she wants to kill me!"

"For god's sake!" Stamford rubbed his sweaty face, "You are a goddamn dragon! You are a male and you are larger than her! How can you be so scared still!"

"But... females are hard to understand!" Blue Thunder whimpered, "I watched enough dramas to know that!"

"Alright, I'm cutting your hours on the Entertainment Rooms will be cut!" Stamford added, "Those damn soap operas are filling your bird brains with nonsense!"

"Nooo! I'm still watching 'Days of our lives'!" Blue Thunder moaned, "Please! I do it! I talk to her now ok?"

Stamford looked stunned for a while, "What the fuck? Why are you watching that shit of a soap opera?"

"It's interesting!" Blue Thunder grinned, "There's almost everything inside from love to family to death, even curses and vampires! Hehehehe! Great insight on hooman life!"

"Blue, I am gonna have a serious talk to you about what shows you can watch later," Stamford shook his head helplessly, "I wonder which idiot uploaded that series into the database..."

"Go talk to her now! Talk more!" Stamford yelled as Blue Thunder tried to creep away.

He whined, "Do I have to?"

"You want me to get Top over here to have a heart to heart talk?" Stamford decided to use Pike's reputation.

"Oh, it's okay, he's busy!" Blue Thunder moaned quickly, "I go right now!" And he hopped over towards the Red Dragon that was lying serenely on her side, watching the ongoing around her with mild interest.

"Hi, there!" Blue Thunder gave a forced cheerful greeting, as he approached the Red Dragon called Rastraz, who glared at him with her golden eyes. "Erm, how are you doing?"

Rastraz growled at the male youngling who came up to her without any proper etiquette and sighed inwardly. The young ones are always the ones that cause troubles. She had taken the past couple of days to assess her situation.

The strange meat bags appeared to be similar but there are actually two different races, the long eared people, and the short eared ones. She remembered encountering the long eared people many many moons back, and they worshipped her like a god.

It would appear that the descendants of her followers had probably forgotten her over time while she was asleep in the volcano if not those of her followers had passed on to the next life and these are of another nation.

These walking meats were so short lived, thought Rastraz as she glanced at the antics of these people around her. She turned her attention back to the youngling and wondered how did their proud race now willingly serve under those that once prey and worshipped them as gods.

Blue Thunder sighed and turned his head around and hissed to Stamford who was eyeing him like a hawk.

"She's not talking!"

-----

Highway to Far Harbor

Blake sat shotgun on the jeep as his driver gunned the engine down the super highway towards Far Harbor. The newly constructed work was like a miracle to the locals as they finished work on the road in just a month's time.

The freshly paved highway provided a much faster transportation route for the construction materials to travel up and down the Colony to Far Harbor while a split way links the highway towards the mines.

Several trucks rumbled passed the jeep carrying ores and other processed materials towards the industrial parks for the hungry factories to produce everything that they needed.

Blake smiled contently and felt that despite all, he had done pretty well for his people here. Just several months ago, when they first crashed landed here, there was nothing and now a thriving city and industries were built and the food was no longer worries on his mind.

In just another two more months, it will mark the 1st year anniversary of their crash landing on this planet, thought Blake. Damn, time flies.

The jeep soon arrived at its destination and Blake hopped off, leaving instructions for his driver before he headed towards a nondescriptive structure built alongside the harbor, with part of its structure out in the sea.

A couple of security officers saluted him as he approached and the sturdy looking metal door swung open to admit him in. Cooling air greeted him as he stepped into the building and out of the sun.

"Captain!" A youngish looking sailor leading a small party of other personnel stood at attention and saluted. "Senior Spaceman Mason, Sir!"

"At ease, gentlemen," Blake said after returning the salutes. "What have you got for me?"

"Come this way, Sir!" Mason gestured to Blake to follow him. "We have successfully tested two half sized prototypes and will be beginning to develop our third prototype following the feedback and test results from the first two."

"How much time is still needed before we can have a combat ready model?" Blake asked as they entered into a dry construction slip where two wooden speedboats sat on support moorings.

"We need about two months or so, at least," Mason replied as he did some mental calculation. "There are still some technical issues we need to iron out before we can start mass production of the boats."

"That's taking too long," Blake frowned, "Any chance of having the prototypes or a base model for use within a week?"

"A week?" Mason's jaws dropped slightly, "Sir, that is impossible. We barely just learn how to build a speed boat hull!"

"Nevermind, disregard what I asked, just continue with your work," Blake replied, "How about the wreck we salvaged off the coast?"

"Well, if you want that ship to commence operations," Mason brought Blake to another entrance which led them to the ship. "It's sea worthy now, thanks to Amar's skills. You know that ship carpenter we saved?"

"Yes, I remembered him," Blake nodded, "But he didn't return to his homeland with the Isles ships?"

"Nope, seems like he got nothing much there," Mason replied, "And the stuff we are doing here is more exciting for him too."

The wreck that Blake saw from the video and images taken were like two different ships. The rebuilt and reworked wreck now had a fresh coat of paint and a layer of steel plating covering its outer hull and the masts for the sails were all removed.

The top decks were remodeled and a superstructure now sits behind the forecastle and the quarter deck has a single black funnel jutting out. The wooden spars of the bowsprit and even the figurehead were removed.

The fresh coat of sea grey paint made the ship look totally unrecognizable as a former sailing ship of the Isles.

"This became Chief Matt and his department's pet project," Mason explained as he showed off the ship to Blake. "They are working on its internals now, giving it a powerplant and putting in that new techno-magic thingy that the Chief had worked out with the students from the magic school."

"Once it is done, it will be powered by a single 2,750 hp triple-expansion reciprocating steam engines with a single shaft propulsion system," Mason said, "It should give it roughly 16 knots (29.6 km/h) of top speed with a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)."

"Weapons?" Blake asked as he walked up the gangplank to the ship.

"Chief is looking at putting two of your new 3" 23s, one at the forecastle and one at the stern," Mason replied, "there will be cupolas mounts for dual 20 mikes on both sides of the ship and .50 caliber mountings for anti-air and anti-boarding actions."

"Where's the Chief?" Blake asked as he stood on the deck looking up at the two story tall superstructure.

"He should be down below the decks working on something," Mason said, "Need me to get him?"

"Of course, I want to get this ship up and running ASAP!"

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