Fluttering blue flags and banners followed the snaking lines of marching soldiers and cavalry as they crossed the plains towards the only landmark in the area. Their appearance had long been observed by the inhabitants of the city and the defences were manned days before. The Imperial forces halted in a small distance away from the border and started setting up camps while the other stared at them.
Similarly, on the other side of the kingdom, an army in orange trappings moved and set up camp beyond the walls of the southern border cities and forts as the Kingdom of Foral dispatched their troops to the border, their motives unclear.
United Nations, City of Haven, Fortress Singapore
Intel officer Lieutenant Tavor was having a field day, as intel after intel came flooding into his In tray. Every several minutes, he would call for one of his operatives in and hand over a report to be dispatched out immediately to the indicated department.
Once he sorted out the reports, he left his office and stood before a wall where a massive strategic map of the New World that included the End Zone ring around it. Coloured magnetic tokens were placed all over the map, some representing UN troops, others representing other kingdoms and nations troops positions, types and numbers. Intel staff members constantly updated the tokens and markers on the map
This allowed Tavor and other senior officers to have an understanding of their situation on the New World, enabling them to make plans and counter plans. Now, two new red markers had appeared, one marker over Goblin City, another just at the east of the Isles. He ignored the recently updated movements of the Empire of Bluewood and the Kingdom of Foral along the borders of the New Kingdom of Mecca which was going to be part of the UN.
He gestured to a comms tech and ordered him to connect him a secure line to the Captain. After a moment, the image of Captain Blake appeared at the display. The comms tech made way for Tavor and stepped aside to allow the two officers to have a private talk.
"Sir," Tavor greeted Blake. "Have you received the latest intel report?"
Blake's image nodded after a second, "Yes, I was just about to read it. Is there something important I need to know?"
"Yes, Sir," Tavor replied. "We have two unknown contacts appearing, one over the Goblin City, the other just at the edge of the End Zone, east of the Isles."
A second later, Blake's image replied, "Do we have any idea who are they?"
"I suspect that they are most likely one nation or another from the Old World," said Tavor. "The probe just dumped a couple of days of surveillance data before it went out of range and our data analysts just spotted them."
"Hmmm..." Blake's image flickered slightly as the connection lagged. "Ignore the unknowns nearest to the Isles and focus on those at the Goblin City. What the estimated time of arrival to our borders and projected course?"
Tavor picked up a copy of the report he forwarded over to Blake and said, "Sir, if you look at page four, we have three estimated course projections for that unknown force. Estimated time of arrival to our borders is between three days to one week."
Blake's image looked down as he read the indicated document. "Have Haven and Far Harbor on DEFCON Orange and the rest on Yellow. We shall see what is their course of action before deciding to raise the DEFCON or lower it."
"Yes, Sir," Tavor nodded and he gestured to one of his staff as he quickly scribbled down orders. He handed the slip of paper to the staff who read the note and her face paled slightly before professionalism took over and she hurried off to High Command with the orders.
"And the other unknown?" Tavor asked. "What do we do? Shall I inform my counterpart in the Isles?"
Blake's image seemed to freeze for a moment before Blake spoke in a soft voice, "No... Do not inform them of anything... yet... Keep tracking the newcomers, inform me when they reached the borders of the Isles."
Tavor nodded again before he asked, "What of the movement of troops at the borders of Mecca?"
"Let them be," Blake replied. "We have a couple of companies of Army units garrisoning the border cities. They won't dare to make any moves as long as they see our troops unless they wished to be wiped out..."
"Understood, Sir," replied Tavor. "Will you be back in time for the first of the super carrier trials?"
"Shit, is it time already?" Blake sighed as he checked the date. "I will try to make it back in time if possible... But no guarantees..."
"It would be good for the people to see... you again," Tavor hinted. "You know, morale and all..."
"I will try," Blake sighed again. "Once things in the northeast have settled down I will return immediately."
"Sir, the trials are in two days time..." reminded Tavor. "I doubt things would settle down so fast up there..."
Blake shook his head and gave a small wave of goodbye before he cut off the connection, leaving Tavor staring at a blank screen. He stood up from the comms console and turned to his staff and clapped to get their attention. "Alright, people! The boss wants eyes on both the unknown contacts that appeared in the past twenty eight hours! DEFCON Orange has been declared for Haven and Far Harbor! The rest of the United Nations are to remain in DEFCON Yellow till further notice!"
"Now, I want our scout planes up and running recon ops over this area here and here!" Tavor stepped up before the strategic map and used a pointer to tap the sections he wanted eyes on. "Satelite team! Double check the map data downloaded from the probe! Make sure we did not miss anything coming through the End Zone! Clear?"
The New World, Suugon Exploration Fleet, 17th Suugon Royal Wing Warriors
Nhak Tong spat out the foul tasting water he found inside a ramshackle hut with a loud curse, earning him laughter from the rest of the soldiers. He sighed as he looked at the meagre scraps of food he had salvaged was barely even edible. Finding no other loot or useable, he gave up his search inside the hut.
He exited the hut with the rest and wrinkled his nose at the smell of unwashed bodies, death, and voided bowels. The goblins here were nastier and crazier, unlike the more cowardly cousins of their kind found in the Suugon Dynasty and the rest of the Old World. These goblins here seemed not to fear death, as they giggled and rushed in massive numbers into the waiting maws of the frenzied drakes.
His flame talisman, a long metal staff that was covered in runes, hung over his back as he joined his mount which was still feasting on the mound of goblin bodies. He flinched from the grisly sight and turned to join the other Warriors when suddenly a war horn blew again followed by the telltale giggles and shrill laughter of the goblins as they poured out from another unknown hiding space.
The Warriors quickly formed up into a semi circle, facing the direction of the goblins charge. Nhak raised his flame talisman and injected a silver of mana into his hands which carried the magic charge into the runes of the staff. The magic crystal slotted at the end of the staff flickered slightly and the rune engraved at the tip of the staff flared up, and two magic circle forming out of thin air and created a fist sized ball of flames, while the other magic circle created a sudden burst of air half a second later, which spat the ball of flames out towards the screaming goblins.
His fireball slammed into the face of one of the many screaming goblins which one did not have to aim to hit. The spell exploded with a small boom and incinerated the entire face and half the remaining head of the goblin away. The corpse of the goblin flopped down and immediately disappeared under the stampede of many green grey feet.
More fireballs spat out from the Suugon Warriors' flame talismans, each fireball claiming a life easily. As the distance closed to melee range, the Suugon Warriors armed with shields stepped forward with a loud roar and tanked the charge, their curved sabres slashing and chopping.
The Warriors fought in a formation of ten men in three ranks. Three Warriors armed with shields was the vanguard and behind them were four spearmen who took the opportunity to stab over the shoulders or shields of the warriors in front while at the rear, were three ranged supporters which Nhak was positioned at.
His role was to soften up the enemy first with ranged attacks and cover the flanks of the formation. His flame talisman was versatile enough to help cover the spearmen flanks in front of him. The formation leader was positioned between Nhak and another ranged Warrior. He too carried a flame talisman and directed the entire squad as they fought off the goblin charge.
The drakes, about half the size of a New World light weight dragon, stood up on their two stubby hind legs as they smell fresh blood. Their winged arms spread out and waddled forward in a frenzy to join in the fight with their riders, their long necks easily reaching out to snatch up a giggling goblin before snapping and swallowing the remains of the laughing morsel.
Suddenly, just as the charge appeared, there were no more goblins before Nhak and his squad. Hundreds of dead goblins laid all around the Suugon Warriors. Someone started cheering and soon, all the Warriors including Nhak cheered as well. The drakes ignored the cheers and continued to happily nose around the goblin dead and snack on them.
Nhak let out a deep breath after the yelling all his frustrations away. He wondered why did they come to such a godawful place when suddenly there was a ruckus coming from the entrance into the flaming mountain. He made a sign of the fire god before he followed the rest towards the entrance where he saw a huge grotesque goblin tied up like an animal to be slaughter being rolled out of the entrance.
The giant and fat tied up goblin squeaked painfully in its own language as it rolled down the uneven ground and the watching Warriors laughed at its plight. There were more shouts and some Warriors carried out leather bags filled with glittering magic crystals of all sizes! The sight of the magic crystals made the Warriors stared wide eye with astonishment and greed.
"There's more!" Someone yelled and the Warriors all roared out as one as they surged forward to rush into the flaming mountain to make themselves rich. Even Nhak was affected as he jousted with the rest, laughing madly along as they were all going to be rich if they present these spoils to the Court which will greatly reward them for their merits!
Officers yelled angrily at the rowdy men who lost all discipline, their whips cracking and leaving behind torn flesh. Yet the majority of the Warriors ignored the officers as they knew that if they can achieve enough merits, they too could be promoted to be an officer too!
The poor forgotten fat goblin rolled unsteadily on his fat tummy, tried to jerk himself to a sitting position but failed miserably could only squeak for help.
"H- Help me! I am... S- Strurruilk, the.. Mighty King of All Things Under My F- Feeeet... and... and... R- Ruler From The Throne of The Burning Hill... huff huff... and Sea Master of T- Thieves... ahh... G- Giver of... Aaaa... Goblin Life and Conquer- er of All Lands... and... and... Grand Lord of Magic and Happiness! and... th- the... Only C- Chief of Love and... D- Destruction and.. and... Favoured by the G- Gods!... Pheew..."
"A- Anyone? Help?"