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United Nations, Fortress Singapore, Command Bridge

Captain Blake stood before the armored viewports of the bridge, staring out at the city frowning. He turned and looked at the tactical plot table which had the map of their current ongoing conflict being displayed.

Several red icons were blinking currently, which indicated areas that his troops were engaged with the Imperials. The entire UN ground forces had only a single Marine Divison, including all the artillery and support staff, plus another Divison of Self Defense Force trained only in fixed defenses.

For the strength of the Air Force, there were 110 biplanes, the F/A - 1 Cobra, which meant ten squadrons, and a third of the fighters still undergoing upgrades to the Super Cobra model. They had double the numbers of the multi role flying boats, the FB - 1 Mariners, from the original four to eight units now.

As for their helo units, they now had twenty of those beasts, all stationed at the reserve Battalions' holding area on standby to rapidly deploy the Marines to any hot spot. The highly anticipated cargo planes were still in the trial phase and not in mass production line yet. Several problems had come up over the trials, such as overheating of the engines and heavy vibrations of the airframe.

The Navy was in a worse position. Manpower was primarily assigned to the Marines first, then the Air Force. The Navy got the remaining dregs and it showed as their presence was weaker compared to the rest.

Due to lack of manpower, Commander Ford has asked for permission to hire civilian contractors to offset the lack of manpower which also helped to provide jobs to the population. But it was just a temporary stopgap measure for the Navy.

With spring here and the seas once again calm enough, the goblin pirates and raiders will be out in full force. This was the time the Navy was greatly needed to provide a safe zone as the trading season kicks in and they have to protect the Isles merchant ships coming to conduct trade with the UN to provide the Blake the much needed gold and silver for all the projects and government policies.

And because of the lack of manpower for the Navy, they got blindsided by the Imperials in the inland sea. Their only floating service tender in the Source Sea came under attack was almost captured if not for the timely arrival of the fighter squadrons from Orwell's Point.

Thankfully, the Imperial Fleet got beaten back and they retreated off, while PT Boats tow the fixed tender to safety. It also had caused the Navy to gain good will between the naval and civilian crew who bravely defended the service tender.

This incident had forced Commander Ford to reassign his already small fleet to the Source Sea. Meaning he had to transfer a few of his PT boats and transfer them overland to Orwell's Point and deploy them in the Source Sea, to provide some naval support.

The Navy's sole seaplane tender was already in a bad shape and it now serves as a floating seaplane base based off the Goblin Sea for the Navy's entire two squadrons of Sea Cobras that had yet to receive any upgrades to the 'Super' model.

Shall he ask the Isles for support to hold off the Goblin pirates? Wondered Blake as he tapped his fingers on the side of the plot table. He cast his eyes back to the thick blue dotted lines that depicted the Northern Front.

So far the Marines were holding firm, but the sheer number of Imperials kept slipping through the 285 km long Front. One Divison of Marines, over twelve thousand men of seven Battalions with their backs to the Uncharted Forest was covering the 285 km long defensive line with another two Battalions in reserve were just overstretching the troops.

Nova Command, lead by Colonel Frank had given a plan, that ignored any leakers. The Marines will hit any massed concentrated Imperial troops while letting small numbers to leak past the Front and into the Uncharted Forest.

Blake had given his approval for the plan, which he knew that any small unit of Imperial troops unluckily enough to wander into the Uncharted Forest was very certain to eat up in the cooking pots of some of the monsters that came out of hibernation.

Even the Marines' own supply lines were run by armored gun trucks or done by air. They were all too well versed with the horrors of the Uncharted Forest. As for any Imperials that managed to survive and come within a distance of any settlements or city, the SDF will take care of them. If they were unable too, they have the options of either an airstrike, artillery strike or even the Marine reserve force.

And thinking of the SDF, Blake's expression turned sour. There were too many disciplinary actions among the SDF. Most of the personnel in the Self Defense Force were remnants of the old City Watch, ex Imperial soldiers, mercenaries, cutthroats, thieves and even adventurers. Oh, there might be a few righteous youngsters wanting to protect their homes, but most of the scum were in the SDF.

With barely a season to train the SDF, and no time to even filter anyone, the SDF had too many issues once they were deployed. There were some good seeds in the SDF but they were overshadowed by the bad.

Blake frowned as he pondered very hard at the thought of assigning hardcore officers to ensure strict discipline among the ranks of the SDF, kinda like Judge Dredd or Commissar of old. Hell, the rules of wartime allow officers to execute anyone for cowardly conduct, which barely anyone in the UNMMC does. But if he wants to do this hard line tact, he needs to use non SDF officers, incorruptible to really ensure discipline.

He sighed as he recalled the amount of corruption, abuse of authority, insubordination and many other disciplinary problems that popped up not even two months after the SDF was founded. The worse been the selling of weapons and desertion.

He really needed to deal with the SDF now before the problems take root and affect the SDF for the future. Blake rubbed his face as he wondered who to get to be the bad guy of the UN, "Fuck... Intel has already been doing some shady stuff, I might as well let them be the bad guys..."

-----

The Imperial City of Silverton, City Citadel, Great Hall

Emperor Varacen frowned as he glanced at the map filled with colorful flags and wooden tokens. "Why has the First, and Second Army retreated so far back?"

"My Emperor," A general with his head uncovered by armor stood forward and bowed. "Both Armies have encountered the enemies demonic weapons that fell like rain, killing many of our soldiers. It was till they retreated back to till this far, did the rain of demonic spells ceased."

Varacen's frown deepened, "And yet there is no sight of the enemy?"

"Yes and no, my Emperor," The staff general replied and pointed to the map. "Here, here and here, our soldiers and knights had encountered the enemy. And here, the Grand Fleet too has encountered the enemy."

"And the results? Why are our troops still not advancing forward?" Varacen asked.

"Ahem, unfortunately," The staff general rubbed the sweat beading on his forehead and said bravely. "Our forces were repelled by the enemy's demonic spells and weapons."

"But we found a flaw in the enemy's defenses!" The staff general quickly added before his Emperor could speak. "We found that the enemy was unable to spot small units of our men slipping pass their defenses!"

"Any large force that was gathered," The staff general quickly explained as he saw the raised questioning eyebrow of his Emperor. "was hit by a large number of demonic spells."

"But we found that if we split our forces into small groups of roughly a hundred, they can slip past the notice of the enemy!" The staff general said. "The commanders have already sent word that they are splitting their troops into small units and try to sneak past the defenses and after gathering together, will send a signal to the frontline soldiers and they will make a pincer attack at the enemy."

The Emperor nodded in understanding before he gave out a peat of laughter, "Good, good! At least you all are using your brains! If not, you won't need any brains at all!"

The staff officers all looked at each other and broke out in uneasy laughter with the Emperor's attempt at a joke. Just at this moment, a young noble in ornate armor spoke out, "My Emperor, so far we witnessed the rebel's use of their demon weapons mostly targeted our soldiers on the ground."

"I suggest we make use of our dragons and fly our soldiers across," The young noble said. "This way, we can avoid much of the demonic spells."

Emperor Varacen paused in his laughter as he considered the suggestion given. "Hmm.. yes, that does make some sense! What do all of you think?"

The rest of the staff officers looked at each other again before nodded and agreeing. Emperor Varacen nodded and said. "Good, you, whatever your name is, I shall grant command of all the Dragon Corps and the Third Army! I want you to move the Third across and within the walls of Orwell's Point by the end of the month!"

"Your Emperor, this lowly one is named, Alberto, Alberto Rothschild! You command and I obey!"

-----

United Nations, Far Harbour, Naval HQ, Chief of Naval Ops office

Commander Ford had a deep crease on his forehead as he had been frowning a lot these past few weeks. Reports after reports of operations readiness were piled on his desk, most of them with problems like not enough crew to full man the ships or this and that ship had sprung a leak or an engine failure.

He doubled checked the calculated cost of transporting four PT boats from Far Harbour all the way to Orwell's Point and sighed deeply, as the numbers looked to be cutting into his already very limited budget.

His Goblin Sea Fleet now had only five PT boats in operation with another two down for an overhaul of their engines. The two supposedly ready gunboat corvettes were three weeks late for their sea trials and commissioning.

The UNS Floatin' Wreck, was literally a wreck now, due to its structural beam was not even rated for the use of modern engines and worse, 3" guns! The sail boat converted gunboat could no longer withstand any more stresses to its beam and will literally shake itself apart if the ship ever engages in combat again.

As for the seaplane tender, UNS Matador which the hulls were sold by the bloody Islanders were already old and rotten. It too no longer rated capable to handle the high seas and has to retire as a floating base for the Navy's seaplanes.

Now without the UNS Floatin' Wreck and the transfer of four PT boats, the Goblin Sea Fleet doesn't even have a proper surface ship. It only has five PT boats that couldn't even hit the high seas, only enabling them to operate near the coastline and only supported by two squadrons of old model Cobras to cover a coastline so vast, Ford didn't even want to think about it.

Ford leaned back on his chair and puff out a deep breath. "Without the two corvettes... how the fuck am I going to protect the coast?"

"Fuck it!" Ford stood up and left his office. He nodded to the naval sentries as he walked towards the shipyards where the two corvettes were sitting uselessly on the dry docks. He found the Chief Shipwright arguing with a crowd of goblins at the ramp of one of the corvettes.

"Get back to work you green scums!" The Chief Shipwright yelled. "You do as I say!"

"Toopid Chief!" The goblins yelled back.

"We want pay increase! Or we go strike!"

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I'm back from CNY holidays! Plenty of bad news around the world, eps the Wuhan Virus! Keep safe people!


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