UNS Singapore, Captain's Office

Blake's eyebrows rosed up as he read the report while his senior officers waited patiently with smiles on their faces. "No wounded, zero deaths on our side?"

"Yes, sir!" Colonel Frank replied cheerfully. "Some deaths and wounded on the Empire side, but basically it can't be easier than stealing candy from a baby!"

"Our troops have taken Falledge in barely three hours, of course not counting the time they took to march onto the town," Colonel Frank continued. "Hell, should have seen the citizens' faces when they woke up in the morning."

"All of them can't believe that Falledge is no longer under the control of the Empire," Colonel Frank proudly said. "And all done by our recruits!"

"Nice," Blake nodded and placed the report down. "Very smooth. So now we have another town on the map to pin our flag on."

"So who's taking over as governor?" Blake asked.

"That will be Etoro, Sir," Lt Tavor said. "He was our first choice and also quite a respected businessman there."

"The merchant who was doing the trading with us?" Blake mentally recalled the name. "And the people in Falledge, how was their response to all this?"

"Mostly shock and surprise," Lt Tavor replied. "Give them a week, before we can be certain of their mood. But I had the local resistance members to help do some propaganda for us."

"Ok, good," Blake nodded. "Make sure to keep Falledge happy. Also, check for cults and any other threats. I don't want any more hidden surprises!"

"Yes, Sir," Lt Tavor nodded.

"Now, once Falledge has settled down and the new recruits passed out from basic," Blake said. "I want a line of defensive pushed out from both Falledge and Orwell's Point, starting from twenty kilometers."

"Once we established a perimeter, we push out our defense line more, till we get a defensive zone of at least a hundred kilometers," Blake pointed to the map on the wall.

"So basically, you want to push our borders out by a hundred kilometers?" Colonel Frank asked.

"Yes," Blake nodded. "With the new batch of recruits passing out from basic, we would get another two battalions and any leftover manpower gets redistributed to the Navy and Air Force."

"With five battalions on hand, we could hold our cities and also maintain a defensive line against the Empire," Blake said. "And with the Orcs starting their basic training soon, once they are done, our ground forces will be up to Brigade strength."

"I want our ground forces to be at least a Divison strong," Blake continued. "That's means at least ten thousand fighting men or women and not counting the support elements."

Commander Ford gave a low whistle, "Ten thousand troops? Our population now doesn't even hit fifteen thousand, if you don't count Orwell's Point and Falledge."

"I know," Blake replied. "We will recruit directly from anyone who is willing to give up their previous life and join us. I plan to follow what the Romans in the ancient times did, offering anyone who signs up in the military for ten years and get a piece of land when they retire."

"Hmmm, it might work," Commander Ford bobbed his head as he thought it over. "Should be attractive, for the ex slaves at least."

"I'm sure the Orcs will be attracted too," Colonel Frank added. "Their lands were pretty devasted by the fires..."

"Well, I hope so," Blake nodded. "Now the next thing. I been hearing that there is an upsurge of goblins volunteering for military service?"

Colonel Frank shook his head in defeat and said, "Sadly yes..."

"Apparently... Someone spread how one of their own died heroically in battle in Norshelm," Colonel Frank explained. "And with the ceremonial parade of one of their own and being decorated. Greg the goblin was hailed as a martyr for goblins. Now every tom dick and goblin wants to sign up and serve..."

"Goblins are pretty handy with their hands and machinery," Commander Ford grinned. "They like machines a lot and think of them as some kind of God."

"Yea, they pretty much integrated well in our heavy industries," Colonel Frank said. "At least a quarter of our mechanics and techs are goblins... Seriously, I don't really mind, I mean we are desperately short handed for mechanics and technicians!"

"Recruit who you need," Blake finally said. "But don't take too much away manpower away from our heavy industries, we still need some skilled hands there!"

"Anything else that's urgent?" Blake asked around the table. "No? Then the meeting is done."

"Well, next month's your wedding!" Commander Ford grinned. "How everything?"

"Ah..." Blake rubbed his face and gave a sly grin. "Well... I got wedding planners doing the work for me! I just need to turn up in time! Haha!"

"Well, we planned a bachelor's party for you," The officers all gave out a wicked smile. "Before you get tied down, we gonna party hard!"

"Ha!" Blake shook his head. "We are kind lacking in the entertainment department here..."

"No worries!" Colonel Frank laughed. "Marines know how to make a good party!"

"I am kinda worried about that..." Blake looked at the expressions of the rest and felt he was going to get pranked badly by them. "I think it's safer not to go..."

"Don't be a chicken!"


United Nations, City of Haven, City Hall

Sherene stood still before several wall mirrors and was secretly pleased with her dress and looks. She tilt left and right, looking at her own reflection in the mirrors wearing her custom made wedding dress.

"It's a little too loose on the waist," The matronly looking seamstress commented as she poked a few needles here and there, tightening the dress. "Better!"

"Hmmm..." Sherene turned her body to see in the mirror. "I think so too!"

After the fitting of her dress, her assistants barraged her with a whole lot of questions, like if this color matches that, or if the guest seatings were correct.

Finally, after an hour of intense discussions with the wedding planners and her assistants, they finally left satisfied and her alone in her office nesting a headache and sore shoulders. She did not know that there were so many details to handle for a wedding and was glad that she followed Blake's advice to get some wedding planners to do everything.

She took a sip of her tepid tea and returned to her work, seeing the charts and reports of the city, no nation. Now the United Nations not only consists of a single growing city, but two and had several small farming communities, resource outposts and the newly annexed town of Falledge to govern.

Not counting the population in Falledge, the total population of the UN has jumped from twelve thousand to over sixty thousand. But only the population in Haven has some of the advanced skills and knowledge to work the science and technology of the Hoomans while all the rest barely even has any basic knowledge or skills of the Hoomans.

"I need more primary schools and technical schools to be built in Orwell's Point and Falledge," She mumbled to herself. "And Falledge can be classified as a city instead of a town, judging by its population size!"

Sherene ticked off her fingers as she counted what she needed to kick start the industrial might of the Hoomans. Education for the masses, work, and personal experience, culture integration, and laws. At least four items, for now, to get the new population to understand the new changes.

And not only that, she thought. We need to improve the standard of living for the people in those places. Basic sanitation, clean water, housing, schools, medicine, electricity, radio communications, and proper roads. Ohh... also an airfield for both military and civil use!

But the problem was how to get electric power to Orwell's Point and Falledge? Sherene wondered for a while, unable to think of a solution before she picked up the 'telly phone' and consulting a list of numbers, she dialed for Chief Engineer Matt.

Barely half an hour which Sherene brewed a new pot of hot tea when her assistant knocked on the door and Chief Engineer Matt walked in. "Some tea?"

"Oh, that will be great, Princess!" Matt grinned as he removed his coat. "Weather is getting colder and colder."

She poured a mug of tea and passed it over to Matt who sat down in front of her work desk. "As said over the phone, I have some issues with power generation that I need to discuss with you."

"Sure go ahead," Matt warmed his hands with the mug before taking a sip.

"We need to provide power to the new cities we took, especially Orwell's Point," Sherene said. "Now the military is using portable power generations for their needs. We need something more permanent and enough output for the city's needs."

"Hmmm..." Matt frowned as he tried to recall the geography of the terrain around Orwell's Point. "I would need the land survey data report to see what could be done."

"We could run a basic coal power plant first," said Matt. "And find other alternatives later if we really need the power now."

"Coal?" Sherene frowned. "But it's going to be winter in a few months and there is no proper heaters for the people. Coal will be in great demand for heating their houses."

"True..." Matt nodded. "Well, we can do solar and wind power, but its gonna be a hell of expensive to ship all the parts and technology over. Not to mention we need to station skilled people there to manage all the tech."

"Yes, we need something simple and easy for the city," Sherene said. "And our coffers are not exactly overflowing..."

"Ok, I think of something up once I see the land survey report," Matt sighed. "Something good, cheap and fast to learn..."

Sherene gave Matt an impish smile, "I knew I can count on you!"

"Arghh... please don't try to charm me! It only works on the Captain!"


United Nations Ordnance Research Divison Facility, Hangar 4

Spaceman Senior Tae Joon Park and his Japanese buddy, Spaceman Hideo Koichi were hunched over a mechanical contraption inside one corner of the hangar. Four 5 meters tall protective sheets formed a stall blocked all view from any spying eyes while surrounded by several large crates further hid it from view.

Caught up in their work, both men did not notice the side of the sheets being dragged back and Chief Engineer Matt came in. Matt sucked in a deep breath as he saw what mischief the two were up to.

The three meter mechanical contraption with a pair of backward bending legs was surrounded by scaffolding and its body internals exposed as both men fussed over it. It looked like half the body of a combat helo matted with a pair of chicken legs at the bottom.

Cables, machinery parts were all over the place as Matt walked around the clearly bipedal walker while shaking his head. He stood below both men who were still tinkering away at some part of the mecha and yelled, "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?"

Both men jumped in surprise and even Hideo banged his head hard against the frame of the mecha as he ducked his head out. Both men quickly snapped to attention and reported back in unison, "Nothing, Chief!"

"Nothing?" Matt sneered as he rapped his knuckles against the metal rods on the side of the legs. "YOU CALL THIS NOTHING?"

"It's not a Gundam, Chief..." Tae Joon replied stiffly.

"What?" Matt felt a headache coming. "I don't what it is, but both of you are working on an unauthorized project, using unauthorized funds and parts for your own use!"

"But Chief!" Hideo protested. "If we can get this working, it will be useful to us all!"

"And pray... Please... tell me before I wrangle your necks like chickens... what chicken shit is this?" Matt glowed as he climbed up the ladder and stood before the two Asians.

"Erm... it's kinda like an AT ST Walker from Star Wars?"

A note from neo Koh

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neo Koh


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