As the wedding between the two leaders of the United Nations came closer, the atmosphere of the city of Haven turned into a celebratory mood as the citizens started decorating the city with colorful banners and flags all over the city.

News and radio stations were full of talk about the upcoming wedding, and the hype was everywhere on the streets. Representatives from UN outposts and even from friendly villages and merchants arrived from afar and lodged within the Hotel De Locus.

The new arrivals were shocked and surprised by the strange and wondrous city with all its magical yet not magic constructs. Many merchants new to the city started to reevaluate the potential of the UN as they started making plans to enrich themselves with the 'tek no logy' of the city.


UN Experimental Ordnance Divison

"So what are the new projects you wanted me to review?" Captain Blake asked as he sat down on the head of the conference table.

"Sir," Chief Engineer Matt, Director of the Experimental Ordnance Divison or 'Exordee' as they called themselves handed over several old fashioned paper folders to Blake. Each folder had large bold red fonts of 'TOP SECRET' stamped on the cover which featured the crest of the redesigned UN logo.

"And this," Chief Matt hesitatingly handed over another folder which instead of having a TOP SECRET stamped on it, it only merit a CLASSIFIED stamp.

Blake frowned as he picked up the new folder and flipped it open and his frown deepened as he read the introduction. "A walker?"

"Yes," Chief Matt replied. "Its... erm... a side project of those two otakus..."

"From my knowledge," Blake looked up from his reading and said. "Two legged walkers' weakness is its legs. Too fragile and easy a target. Take one out and it drops."

"Yes, Sir," Chief Matt sighed. "That is why I needed you to review this, Sir. I am not sure if we can push it to the military review committee."

"It might have a serious weakness, but if we put it onto the private sector?" Blake made a suggestion.

"Into the private sector?" Chief Matt frowned. "Which sector?"

"I can think of a few useful ways to use this walker," Blake said as he continued to read the report. "Logging comes into mind first. Next, exploration or construction, or even as a heavy lifter."

"Hmmm..." Chief Matt nodded as he considered the possibilities. "If it's used in the Uncharted Forest, it will be more effective compared to tracked or wheeled vehicles."

"Yup," Blake flipped over the last few pages of the report. "Walkers can navigate easier around the massive trees of the Forest better than tracked or wheeled. I can imagine equipping these guys with pincer claws and saw blades for logging. Their height advantage will make harvesting the massive trees easier and a lot lesser waste than using explosives to clear the Forest."

"Give a mounted MG onboard as a self defense weapon against feral goblins and monsters," Chief Matt grinned and rubbed his hands. "I'm sure the foresters and loggers will love it!"

"Ha!" Blake laughed and shook his head before he picked up the next folder. "New pistol for the military?"

"Yes," Chief Matt replied. "We have a new pistol and sub gun caliber production line setup. The Single Action Dragon revolvers have too much recoil due to them chambered in rifle cartridges and slow in reloading nor do we have a sub gun for personnel defense."

".45 caliber?" Blake continued reading.

"Yes Sir," Chief Matt confirmed. "With our technology and manufacturing capabilities now running at full steam, we are finally able to produce blowback actions for our weapons."

"We have tested several calibers against known creatures," Chief Matt added. "9mm and 10mm rounds without advanced tech are only capable to wound a Class 2 lifeform slightly."

Lifeforms on the planet Blake's World were classified according to classes from 1 to 10. 1 being the weakest and 6 the strongest. Humans, elves, goblins and other lesser creatures were on the Class 1 band, while Orcs, Muffalos, and the dino lizards were Class 2. Trolls, Orges, Wind Wolves were listed as Class 3.

Griffins and the twin tailed scorpion and giant beetle found in the dungeons were listed as Class 4 while Dragons like Blue Thunder were listed as Class 5. Monsters such as the T Rex Godzilla, Giant Squid Krarga and the Island Whales were placed under Class 6. The Hero and the Shadow Serpent Clone were Class 7 and the Gods were classed higher above.

"We found that with our current gunpowder tech, .45 caliber strikes the balance between weight per round and penetrating power that is capable of wounding up to a Class 3 lifeform.

"Our pistol design is borrowed off our current Glock 88," Chief Matt explained. "Chambered in .45 instead of 5mm. Also, it will be made out of full metal instead of composite materials."

"Also for our sub gun," Chief Matt continued. "We will be using a design similar to the old H&K's MP5K for compactness. It will also be chambered in .45 and will come along with a folding buttstock."

Blake nodded as he reviewed the contents of the report. "Good, I'm sure the military committee will approve of these."

"Next project," Chief Matt gestured to another file. "We plan to replace the Fighter / Attacker - 1 Cobras with FA - 2 Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft or Ahrlac for short."

"It will be a third larger than the Cobra and more than 3 times heavier and seats two, a pilot and copilot / observer" Chief Matt explained. "With the data taken from building the Cobra and its combat and flight behavior, we came out with a brand new redesign of the Cobra."

"The Ahrlac will come with a newly developed turboprop engine instead of the rotary engine currently used by the Cobras," said Chief Matt proudly as he and his team managed to design and produce the new turboprop engines successfully. "It will be 10 times more powerful than our current gen rotary engines!"

"10 times?" Blake whistled in admiration. "That is very impressive."

"In addition to the engine upgrades," Chief Matt smugly continued. "The aircraft hull will be full metal and better armored compared to the Cobras. It will also feature an internally mounted 20mm autocannon and magazine of 950 rounds and six hardpoints capable of carrying either the 250 kg All Purpose bombs or the 70 mm rocket pods."

"Range wise, it will have four times the range of the Cobras, meaning it can make the trip directly to Falledge without the need to refuel," Chief Matt said. "Speed wise, it will have at least twice the speed and maneuverability compared to the Cobras."

"Very nice," Blake nodded. "When can we expect a working prototype?"

"By mid winter," Chief Matt replied. "Also with the new gen engines, we plan to upgrade the existing fleet of FB - 1 Mariners. It will give them twice the range, speed and carrying weight."

"Also, a second all purpose transport plane based on the legendary C - 130 Hercules is being developed and prototyped," Chief Matt added. "We can expect the prototype to be out by next year, late spring."

"Good," Blake nodded and picked up the next folder and skimped through it. "This?"

"Upgrade plans for the Spider Tanks and a new 8x8 armored fighting vehicle armed with the new 88mm guns," Chief Matt said. "New armor plating, expanded turret that either house a single 88mm or dual 3" gun with a basic autoloading system which we copied off our main guns."

"Why AFVs and not main battle tanks?" Blake asked curiously. Despite learning ground combat, he was after all more of a Naval Officer rather than a Ground Commander hence he asked the question.

"We found that the terrain here barely gives the need for tracked vehicles," Chief Matt explained. "First, we are surrounded mostly by thick forest which barely allows vehicles to move. Next, we barely have any open ground more than two kilometers, which means our engagement range is pretty much knife fighting for tanks unless you planned to post tanks at Orwell's Point to fight in the Plains which basically are empty..."

"Third, barrel length," Chief Matt listed out the cons. "A typical 88mm long barrel's length is roughly 5 meter long. This makes traversing the turrets in the forest with a long barrel useless, we can equip the tanks with a snub nose 3" gun but it's just wasteful to put a 3" on the tank."

"Four, AFVs can fulfill the roles of MBTs easily," continued Chief Matt. "AFVs can travel faster, require lesser maintenance and fuel. Also, we do not need to spend time researching on building techniques and technology for MBTs. AFVs can be equipped with 20mm, or a 3" gun with rocket pods as support while carrying troops."

"Lastly," Chief Matt grinned. "We already have Manned Armored Walker spider tanks, why waste time and resources to research MBTs?"

"Point taken," Blake nodded.

"As I said, the 8x8 AFVs will either be mounted with a 20mm with rocket pods or a 3" gun turret and rockets," Chief Matt said. "It will also have the capability to carry a section of troops in the armored compartment at its rear."

"It will also be designed with urban combat in mind," Chief Matt added in view of the recent incident in Norshelm. "Prototyping will be started once the committee gives approval."

"Now, last item," Blake opened the last folder and frowned. "Really?"

"We noticed that a large amount of Marines has some affinity to magic," Chief Matt smirked. "But they can't draw upon their own powers without fatiguing themselves. This will be very bad in a combat situation."

"Hence, R&D came out with this idea of giving them... 'Power Fists'," Chief Matt shook his head. "Not my choice of naming, but it stuck..."

"Anyway, this Power Fist acts the same as how a mage would use a magic staff or wand to power his or her spells," explained Chief Matt. "Mana stones will be attached to the back of the glove which on usual, acts and works as a pair of normal combat gloves for the troops."

"When the spellcaster Marine wants to cast a spell," Chief Matt gestured to the image of the dark green gloves. "They can draw upon the power of the mana stones instead of using their own body reserves."

"It could mean the life and death of a soldier if they had such a tool in the battlefield," Chief Matt said. "Medics will be able to cast more healing spells, while combat troops will be able to cast spells to support himself and his section mates in times of need."

Blake nodded as he understands the implications of such a tool. "This is actually very useful..."

"Yes, Sir," Chief Matt agreed. "Most of our Elven Marines have the ability to use magic, but their innate powers are not very high, making it useless for them as the most they could only cast a spell or two per day. With such a tool, their magic abilities will improve, making them deadlier in battle."

"I will give my personnel approval on this Power Fist to the committee," Blake promised as he closed the folder.

"Keep up the good work and tell your guys they did well!" Blake praised Matt and his team.

"Thank you, Sir!" Chief Matt grinned and lead the way out for Blake.

"Say, I have been thinking," Blake suddenly said on the way to the parking lot. "I am thinking of recalling all humans from combat posts and putting them into desk jobs or instructor roles. What do you think?"

Chief Matt frowned, "Sir, this might cause some resentment from the locals..."

"They will think we are biased," Chief Matt pointed out.

Blake nodded, "Yes, I worried about that point."

"But we only have so much of us left," Blake said sadly.

"Any more of us die, we will truly become an endangered species on this planet..."

A note from neo Koh

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