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Great Ocean Plains, Dead Frontier

Borse grunted with effort as he worked on one end of the two man saw, the see sawing blade cutting the log down. After working the whole morning away, Borse was taking a break and having a simple mid day meal when Taris came up and joined him.

"We need seeds," Taris said suddenly as they were eating half way. "And many other necessities."

Borse nodded as he chewed the coarse bread softened by some well water in his hand. "And?"

"Some of the refugees that joined us over the past few weeks spoke of a trade city in the Ocean Plains," Taris explained. "I am thinking of bringing a few wagons down with our stock of horns and hides we got from wild game to trade for some seeds."

"If we plan to stay long term here," Taris broke the bread into small crumbs and nibbled. "We will need seeds to grow crops to support everyone here. We only have a handful of seed grains and that will not be enough to feed everyone, especially with the influx of new refugees joining us everyday!"

Borse looked over the village that now looked more like a large town, there were dozens of half completed wooden shacks still needed to be completed to house his people. Every since winter had ended, there was suddenly small groups of people fleeing the war from the Kingdom of Foral to refugees who had their villages pillaged by Orc raiders and slavers.

"Get a list from the town hall on what is seriously lacking and take what you need to go trade for seeds and food," Borse said. "Gather two squads for escort and see if you can find someone who knows their way around here to lead you."

Taris grinned and stood up, dusting himself off before he went off to find the people he needed to form a caravan. Soon less than a day, Taris managed to gather all the people he needed and even a list from the town hall of the needs of everyone.

He looked at the stacks of horns and fur bundled up on the back of the wagons and the chest filled with jewelry which the troops had secretly stashed on themselves and they voluntarily gave up to Taris to purchase the necessities that were needed.

Taris found a youngster who claimed he been to the trade city which he said it was called, Sin. He said it will take them roughly a five day week by mount to reach the city. "Well, Boss, wish me luck!"

Borse nodded and gave a wave as Taris grinned and urged his mount forward while the rest of the convoy moved out of the repaired gates of the village. "Take care, brother..."

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Somewhere in the Great Ocean Plains

Blue Thunder laid flat on the ground gently snoring away with a bubble forming on his nostrils as the men and aircrew unloaded the crates of supplies off his harness.

Other members of Claymore One worked on their bikes, ensuring they are in working order while the rest buried the load of crates into the pit dug by Blue Thunder earlier.

Airforce Sergeant Stamford spread out a map on the flank of Blue Thunder and pointed at their location. "We are here," He said to Tyrier and Mills.

"UAV has spotted the city which the intel you gathered called, Sin City, down here," He traced his finger down the map and stopped at a red dot. "It's about half a day's ride over semi rough terrain."

"You guys should have enough fuel and supplies for a quick look see look see," Stamford said as Tyrier and Mills pondered over the map. "So we won't be resupplying you along the way there. This will be the final resupply point."

"Field Command wants you guys to go in take a look," Stamford continued. "See if you can find the source of the firearms and also if those traitorous bastards are there."

"Don't get detected," Stamford warned. "It will be a few hours for air support to get to you, so don't get into trouble!"

Both Tyrier and Mills nodded grimly, knowing that if they got discovered, whoever is behind the firearms will be alerted and it will be harder to catch them the next time.

"Got it," Tyrier replied as he rolled up the map. "Once it's dark we will move out."

The Team normally travel at night despite the slower speed due to the terrain and higher chance of an encounter with monstrous beasts, to prevent being spotted by anyone. They will stop in the early morning and set up camp before moving off again at night.

Just as the sun slowly set, Blue Thunder, having his belly filled with the grilled meat of a mighty bison like creature, took off into the skies, leaving the Team behind.

"Alright, police up the area," Tyrier clapped his hands. "I want no traces of us being here, got it?"

The men spread out and carefully combed the area in the dimming light of the setting sun. By the time all traces of their presence was gone, they mounted up on their bikes and one by one set off in the direction of Sin City.

The small group of soldiers stopped as they spotted pinpricks of lights in the distance, all of them dismounted and took out their binos and they saw the shadowy shape of a city with lights dotting here and there.

"Looks like we found the city," Mills said. "Find a place to set up again and observe the city?"

Tyrier nodded in the dark, "Yea, let's do that."

The men found a small rise with a rock outcrop that could serve as an impromptu shelter against the weather if needed. They settled down and had a rotational guard to keep watch while others slept.

Mills grinned as he smelled the aroma of fried steak. Slow was humming to himself as he prepped the day's breakfast for everyone. The Orc surprised everyone with his cooking skills and he became the Team's designated chef.

Slow dropped a few slivers of fat kept from the Red Auroch they hunted yesterday into the cast iron pan. Once the fat bubbled and oil flowed out, he dropped slabs of choice cut auroch meat onto the pain and sprinkled a finger of salt, pepper, and some bits of wild herbs he picked along the way.

He carefully packed away the remainder of the red meat into the icebox that had a magic rune carved into the inner side that lowers the temperature. If kept properly, the meat could last them for a few days before the magic in the rune depletes.

The rest of the Team came over and sat down around the campfire watching Slow's cooking and took the mess tins of steak before digging in. Mills licked his lips as he finished his portion and sat the mess tin down. "Damn, that was good!"

The rest grunted agreements as they ate the food cooked by Slow. "Damn it, Slow, you should be a chef!"

Slow looked embarrassed as he packed away his cookery onto the ASAG's storage bins. "Cooking not warrior job! Is female or slave's job!"

"Bullshit!" Mills shooked his head. "You can make it rich if you opened your own restaurant!"

Slow smiled as he thought of his own restaurant before he shook his head, "No, Slow is warrior!" Slow is Marine!"

"Ha! But you can't be a Marine for life," Mills said as he leaned back against the rocks, looking up at the bright twinkling stars in the night skies. "Someday, you will retire from all the fighting, so what will you do?"

"I'll be a farmer," Hitsu said. "I'll buy my own plot of land and run my own farm."

"Farming?" Loke laughed. "What will you grow?"

"Potatoes!" Hitsu grinned. "Those damn dragons love that stuff! I will make lots of money! Hahaha!"

"Pfffft! Hahahaha" Altied laughed. "I am thinking of getting my own ship, I want to explore beyond these lands and maybe return to our ancestral lands."

"I want to get married and have kids, with a nice 3 room apartment down at District 2!" Young said. "Maybe get a job at the General Hospital."

Tyrier and Mills smiled at the talk among the men, when Tavel asked, "Say, Sarge, how about you? What do you plan to do when you retire?"

Tyrier looked up to the skies and thought for a while before saying, "I actually never really thought much about it, I always assume I would die in some unmarked grave in a battlefield."

The rest hearing Tyrier's words fell into silence. "But if I really could live till I retire, well, I like to run a farm like Hitsu. But not growing potatoes..."

The men laughed and Tyrier smiled. "How about you Mills? What are you going to do if you get to retire?"

"Me?" Mills smiled and answered, "Find myself a pretty wife, get a house near the sea and enjoy life till I die of old age!"

"Hahaha," Tyrier shooked his head at Mills's answer. "So simple?"

"Yup, that simple!" Mills replied. "I do want to return home, but I don't think we will be able to find our way home in the stars."

"Is it true you hoomans come from the stars?" Slow suddenly asked.

Mills looked at Drake and gave a shrug, "Yea, we came from the stars, from a planet far far away."

"How far?" Slow asked as he looked up at the stars in the skies.

Mills grinned and replied, "Slow, you can't walk there. Even if you can walk there, you will die of old age before you even reach a fifth of its distance, maybe even lesser!"

Hitsu whistled, "Damn, how did you guys get here than?"

"From our ship," Mills explained simply. "Our ship could travel anywhere in this whole world in minutes!"

"We found in an intergalactic war with an alien species which aim was to take bio matter to grow and propagate out into the whole universe," Mills said. "The last time we fought, we kinda lost, and our ship landed here as we escaped."

"I see," Tyrier frowned. "Even with your powerful tec-no-logee you lost?"

"Think of them like dragons but thousands and thousands of them," Mills gave an example. "Half the time, your bullets can't penetrate their hide, and even one you kill, two more steps in."

"But they sooner or later will run out of troops?" Loke asked. "If you bombed them from afar."

"They outnumber us by 1000 to 1 or even more..." Mills sighed. "I saw UAV footage of the Swarm massing on land and they covered the entire area, the bombs barely reduced their numbers as the ships and planes attacked them."

"Are they that dangerous?" Kont asked. "How did you all stop them?"

"Yes, you can ask Drake, he found them face to face before too," Mills replied. "He managed to get out alive, while others of his section didn't make it."

The rest turned to look at the fire lit face of Drake who nodded seriously. "Those creatures are taller than even Slow with jaws large enough to swallow you whole. They have four arms and two legs, with each arm ending in a bladed tip sharp enough to rip steel to shreds."

"Some of them could spit acidic saliva at you while others have thorn barbs that is like a rifle," Drake said. "I was lucky to get out alive, just two of them things tore up my friends into pieces in just seconds."

"Well, the trick is either to use high powered weaponry with armor piercing ammunition or shoot its weak points which are the opened mouth or its joints," Mills said.

"Pray these creatures don't come to this planet," Mills's expression turned serious under the lit of the fire as he looked at everyone gathered.

"For no one here has the strength nor firepower to resist them!"

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