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Dead Frontier, Border to The Great Ocean Plains

Morale was high as the men and women worked on improving the abandoned village's conditions. Buildings too dilapidated were torn down and any usable materials were recycled to patched up those buildings still sturdy enough for habitation.

The old broken down village hall had its walls and roof mended and served as communal sleeping quarters so that they can use lesser fuel for heating. The badly rotted palisade was broken down to be used as firewood as they planned to build a new palisade once spring comes.

The broken well was fixed but the water was frozen solid and dirty and with the ground too frozen solid for them to dig another well out. So they began the laborious task of breaking the ice and emptying the well of its contaminated water to allow fresh clean water to flow in again.

Those with hunting skills set off in the snow to find animals to hunt for food and hide, while others armed with felling axes chop down trees for building materials and firewood.

Borse watched proudly at the Company as they labored without complaint at the tasks, in fact, the men were in high spirits as they sang and worked to rebuild the village.

"What's the total count?" Borse asked as Taris and Lanser approached him.

"A total of one thousand and eight hundred and six soldiers," Taris replied. "More than half of the men are from Meccan and Foral while the rest are our boys."

"We have another three thousand four hundred families and dependants with us," Lanser said. "This village will not be able to hold all of us unless we expand it."

Borse nodded, "How about our supplies?"

"It should be just barely enough to last us to end of winter," Taris said. "As long the hunters could bring in game every once in a while."

"Water shouldn't be much an issue, we found another two more wells buried under the rumble and are cleaning it out now," Taris continued. "There is also a frozen stream further up the village, we can also melt snow for our needs."

"Problem is the number of shelters," Taris gestured to the communal building. "We placed the old, weak, and young into that building but we still have hundreds without any shelter over their heads."

"At this rate, we probably would cut down all the buildings here just to provide firewood to warm everyone," Taris frowned. "The weather is turning worst and without proper shelter, many will freeze."

"Have everyone double up in the tents," Borse said. "This way we have more than enough tents for everyone and they can share their warmth at night."

Taris and Lanser nodded. "See if you can cut more trees down before the weather worsens." Borse told them as they left. He looked at the people working on improving their chances of survival and gave a prayer to the Gods, looking at the grey skies as he prayed for the safety of his people.

-----

Haven, Burger Shack

Dijon placed the tray of food down next to Megan and Akron and he slumped down tiredly on the seat while rubbing his aching head. He had drunk too much last night and woke up with a hangover that threatens to split his head in half despite it being late morning.

Megan smiled as she helped her self to Dijon's fries while he was in torment. "Who asked you to drink so much last night?"

"Arghh, those damn, Mar-nees!" Dijon cursed. "Now I know why they kept calling themselves jar heads!"

"It is because you didn't want to lose out to their drinking..." Akron tactically replied from behind his burger.

"Ahh... my head hurts..." Dijon leaned back on the seat. "Everyone was drunk even my crew..."

"The celebrations for their Founding Day are quite impressive," Megan ignored Dijon as she spoke with Akron who nodded.

"Yes, and the army marching parade!" Akron said absentmindedly. "If only they would trade those thunder weapons of theirs to us!"

"Hmmm, I doubt they will," Megan replied. "I probed that Ford last night, but he's surprisingly immune to my charms."

Akron looked surprised at Megan's confession. "But your spell should be more than capable to charm anyone!"

"Yes, but it failed." Megan's eye narrowed dangerously as the charm spell she used was a Level 3 spell that she held a lot of pride in. But strangely, that hooman Ford seemed to be unaffected. Does it mean that the hoomans possessed the power to resist control spells?

Little did they know that the humans had found a way to nullify charm effects as the Princess herself had a passive ability that charms anyone of the opposite sex. Dr. Sharon had worked with Magister Thorn and the Princess to come out with a protective spell that is able to nullify any charming effects. If not, the Captain would have gone crazy due him constantly failing his willpower save against the Princess!

Just as Dijon was lamenting his hangover and Megan brooding over her failure, the door jingled out and several Air Force personnel walked in. What was eye catching was the group of goblins with them, making Megan and Akron stared at the strange sight.

The goblins went through the door excitedly, one of them dressed in a pair of rolled up children sized dark green overalls similar to what the pilots normally wear and the rest in dark blue overalls.

The one in dark green wore a grey ski mask with a pair of goggles over his bloated head and a pair of thick socks with protective paddings.

They queued up behind some customers who barely gave them a second glance and Megan recognized the one in green as the goblin that was with them onboard the strange flying machine.

Greg the Goblin tip toed as he dropped a handful of credit chits down on the counter, the coin like tokens rattled on against the counter top as the cashier counted the chits. He swallowed his saliva as he snatched the tray of Wyvern Burger Set Meal from the girl. "Thankee!"

He joined his gang as the Valkyrie One crew and support techs settled down and dug in. They did not join the celebrations last night as they were on active alert and only till the sun came out did they stand down from their duties.

Hence the whole crew of Valkyrie One decided to take one of the half-tracks and come to Burger Shack for breakfast. Greg's sharp teeth easily shredded the burger in a few chomps and he licked his sauce strained fingers with relish before burping.

"Goddamn it, Greg!" The pilot of Valkyrie One, Lieutenant Commander Peter cursed as he waved the stench of bad breath away. "We are trying to eat here!"

"Tee hee! Sorree!" Greg giggled with the rest of the goblins techs as he helped himself to the cheese fries. "mmHmm!"

When Greg was first offered a chance to 'redeem' himself when he was caught by the 'Mar-nees' on the beach with dozens of others. He quickly took the offer, as he somewhat knew that if he didn't, he will be killed by these long legs!

To his surprise, he and others who took the offer was treated like kings! They all each have their own beds and even a table and chair! To the goblins, this was a super luxury as they lived in overcrowded dens underground or in caves in Goblin City where they had to fight among themselves over every little thing.

The weeks that followed were a blur of constant surprises to Greg and the others. The 'Mar- sheens' and 'Ve- hic- kas' were extraordinary to them, the fascination and adoration of these strange devices hooked them and they looked upon the strange short eared hoomans as Near God beings!

As he has shown a higher level of initiative, he got assigned to fly onboard one of the God Mar- sheens! Immediately his status among his kin rosed as they view him with envy and admiration.

He found that some of the long legs distrusted him at the start but over time, they soon joked and chit chats with him and the rest of the goblins. They call this interaction as friendship and friends were things that were alien to the goblins.

But Greg loved it. He no longer felt like he was just part of the 'cog' in the system, a word he learned from the hoomans. In Goblin City, as long as you are stronger and more vicious, you gain more respect and admiration, but here there wasn't a need to be vicious to others!

Even the Ma- reens that caught him became friends with him, and they always cursed each other but he knew that they were just jokes. And when they stood up for him against others who distrusted the goblins, he nearly teared and he decided that having friends were the best feeling ever and he will do anything to keep his friends safe!

Greg watched with a satisfied smile as the rest of the crew bantered and joked over the meal and felt truly at home here with these people.

-----

With a massive flutter of wings, Blue Thunder settled himself down next to the half-track parked next to the Burger Shack. "Hmmm? Who else is here?"

Rastraz landed with grace next to him and poked him with her wing while shivering, "Let's order quickly! I don't like the cold!"

"Hmm, okay!" Blue Thunder waddled his way over to the drive-in counter and poked his head next to the window. "Helloooooo~~~"

"MANAGER!!! THE DRAGONS ARE HERE AGAINNNNN~~~!!!"

-----

Irisval von Aston rubbed away the grains of sleep from her eyes and unwillingly crawled out from the thick cozy folds of her blanket. She shivered as her bare feet touched the cold floor and she quickly donned a pair of fluffy slippers.

She looked at her self in the mirror in the toilet and turned on the tap. The splash of cold water shook her awake and she smiled to her own reflection as she remembered the talk she had with the soldier, Drake.

They both talked till it was very late and he had to return to the barracks while she returned home. He promised to meet up with her again later today and she looking forward to the meeting.

Irisval hummed happily to herself as she recalled back what they talked about the night before.

They talked about many things, from their families to their daily lives to what food they like. To Irisval, it was like suddenly having an old friend and they were updating each other about their lives.

And before they knew it, it was close to 1 am, and Drake had to rush back to return to the barracks.

She glanced at the clock and there were just two hours to the promised meeting, "Oh dear! What am I going to wear!"

-----

Drake tugged at his uncomfortable starched uniform collar as he got off the jeep. His buddy, Kont gave a wide grin and thumbs up. "Heh! Good luck, lover boy!" before he drove off leaving Drake alone.

The streets still held traces of celebrations from the night before, while music drifted over from other places that were still having celebrations ongoing.

He stood at the bus terminal as he waited nervously for someone he just met last night. It felt unreal to him as he felt that they were like long lost friends reunited. He tugged at his uniform collar again, and suddenly someone tapped him on his shoulder.

"Hi! Waited long?" Irisval's silvery hair was tied up with a long ribbon in a ponytail with a simple coat over her long dress and boots.

"H- Hi!" Drake was stunned by her smile.

"Let's go!" Irisval grabbed his arm and dragged him along. "Let's go eat something! I'm famished!"

"S-Sure!" Drake smiled as he allowed Irisval to drag him along. "Where are we going for lunch?"

"Burger Shack!"

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A note from neo Koh

Advance chapters are available on Pat-reon

 

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I wanna go try the A&W and Shake Shack that opened at Changi jewel ... but the queue is 4 fucking hours long! 4 GODDAMN HOURS!!!


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