The Isles, Anchor Island Fleet Docks
The creaking of wooden planks and cries of sea wyverns were mixed together with the chorus and clamor of voices and raucous yells of sailors and porters as the ships in the Fleet Docks were being loaded up with supplies and being prepared for sea, making the whole Port busy and bustling.
Wagons carrying supplies of grounded up flour, and barrels of salted meat were unloaded by porters who carried the cargo down the slippery and wet wooden planks of the docks nimbly, while coopers at the dock workshops labored to make barrels and casks to store water and rations.
Dozens and dozens of long boats ladened with supplies were rowed out further into the sea, where other three-masted ships were anchored, transferring supplies onboard. Crews onboard the ships spent their time, manning the pumps, coating and painting the wood hull and making repairs to areas were rot had seeped into the planks. Rigging was being coated with tar and spliced and replaced as the crew ensured that the rigging was all ship shape.
Others patched and replaced the sails while cabin boys polished brass fixtures and chipped away at rusted iron parts and painting them over. The decks were swabbed and cleaned and supplies were tallied and carefully stored into the ships' holds. The deck and under deck ballistas were checked and the iron-tipped bolts were polished and painted while the mechanisms of the ballistas were oiled carefully.
Third Fleet Master Dijon stood next to a pair of heavy ballistas that were sited facing the entrance into the Fleet Docks of Anchor Island, his sea dragon leather boot braced on top of one of the stone battlements as he observed the bustling scene from the stone fort protecting the anchorage.
"Fleet Master," A white coated sailor with lesser braiding on his coat stood respectfully several steps behind Dijon, and in his arms held a silver tray with several scrolls stacked neatly tied with different colored ribbons, "The daily fleet report is here."
Dijon watched the activity going on down in the harbor for a while more before stepping down and picking up the topmost scroll. His gold braided long coat flapped in the wind as he slung it over his shoulders while wearing a dark blue pea coat with a white cravat and loose white pants and high boots. He unfurled the scroll after ripping off the red ribbon and quickly glanced through the report and snorted.
"The Fearless, Outrunner, and Ironwill had sprung a leak?" He tossed the scroll back onto the pile, "They need three days to fix those leaks? Those idiots, I should remove their captains for not properly maintaining their ships!"
"Fleet Master, it will not be wise to change the captains with the date of departure so soon," His aide advised, "If we reallocate the other ship carpenters over to help out, we can complete repairs faster and still be within the schedule to depart."
"Do it," Dijon growled and gave a dismissal glance at the remaining reports, "Give a summarized rundown of the rest of the reports." He turned back to watch the ongoing fleet preparations.
"Ship of the line, Boar, Talon, and your flagship Fury, all reports their ships are ship shape and ready to sail once supplies have all being loaded," The aide summarized as he read the reports. "They estimate to be ready within the day."
"Escorts Falcon, Justice, Striker, and Dauntless reports the same, ready to sail once supplies are loaded," The aide continued. "Other than the three escorts ships reported a leak, the transport Fastwind is also awaiting supplies."
"All ship's Captains have reported that the chandlers supplying food and water to the ships appeared to be dragging their feet," The aide rerolled the last scroll, and tying it up with a blue ribbon. "Supplies were supposed to be delivered were either late or lacking in quantity or quality."
"What?" Dijon turned his head, "Light a fire under the quartermasters, make sure the chandlers are not shortchanging us!"
"My Lord, the chandlers appeared to be prioritizing the merchants' ships first," The aide raised his eyebrow as he gave a word of warning.
"To the thirteen hells with the merchants, Fleet comes first!" Dijon spun around and glared angrily, "They know better than to push this point! Send the quartermasters with armed sailors, and see what those chandlers have to say!"
"Yes, my Lord," His aide bowed, "I will advise the men to put in a few good words and it should ease the problems of the supplies."
"Good!" Dijon grinned, "Show those money loving grubbers what it means to play the fool with me!"
Sawtooth Mountain Airbase, Dragon Pen One
Blue Thunder stretched his serpentine body out, his hindquarters pointed towards the sky with his tail erect like how a dog stretched its back. As several loud bone poppings cracks could be heard. "Ahhh..." He ended the stretch with a large yawn, showing off his impressive array of sword length teeth.
"Ewww," The ground crew coughed, "Blue, you need to properly wash your mouth and brush your teeth! It stinks like a cesspool!"
Blue Thunder gave a toothed grinned and a wink, "Will you do the honors for me?"
"Hell no!" The ground crew wearing a yellow jacket backed off, shaking his head. "Your teeth are gonna decay if you not gonna do anything about it at the rate you eat those sugary snacks!"
"Hehehe," Blue Thunder just laughed, "Snacks yummy! Especially fried potatoes with ketchup and cheeeeeze!"
"Yeah, yeah, ok now hold still!" The yellow jacket ground crew stood in front of him and raised both arms holding a light wand in each hand. "Alright, bring it up!" He yelled and waved the light wands.
Blue Thunder laid still with his limbs folded underneath his body and closed his eyes as a loading crane hovered over his back and lowered pallets of equipment and supplies down onto his back, and a small team of yellow jackets started to swarm over his harness and started to secure the items onto his back.
"All good?" The ground crew officer yelled at the rest who raised a thumbs up from their positions and scrambled off Blue Thunder's back after releasing the cables to the crane. The ground crew officer pointed his light wand at the crane operator who nodded and backed the crane away, and another crew at the back raised his thumb up when the crane reached the safety zone.
"Alright Blue, you're up!" The ground crew officer yelled, waving his wands at Blue Thunder who cracked open his eyes and stood up, "Check left!"
Blue Thunder obediently shook his left limbs out and flared out his left wing. "Good! Check right!" He repeated the same steps but with the right side of his body, rattling the supplies on his back. "All secured! Blue! You are good!"
Blue Thunder nodded and craned his head over to see a small crew of four aviators suited up in fully covered cold weather gear started to climb up onto his back, and secured themselves on top of his back, trying to settle down as comfortable as they could while more yellow jackets double checked their rigging and harnesses. "All green!" Good to go!"
"Roger that!" Blue Thunder replied and started to crawl out of the dragon pen, following the yellow markings on the ground.
The loudspeaker secured next to his harness near his ears blared out, "Comms check, comms check!"
"I hear you!" Blue Thunder replied and the crude looking jury-rigged throat mike on his harness transmitted his draconic voiceover to his flight crew and to the control tower. "Loud and clear!"
"Mother to Dragon One, read you loud and clear too! Proceed to Runway Two, the wind is currently heading in from the North-East-East direction, at 30 knots per hour. Weather is clear with a spot of clouds and zero chances of rain." The loudspeaker blared out with the information.
Blue Thunder bobbed his head, feeling that the hoomans take things too detailed, which of course to him made him feel assured that they care for his safety, unlike the Empire who only cared for his fighting strength. "Copy that! Mission to resupply and support the Marines at Rendevous Point Yellow will proceed as planned. Over."
"Mother copies, godspeed Dragon One. You are cleared for launch."
"Dragon One taking off!" Blue Thunder bunched up his wing muscles and took off at a run, while keeping his wings flat out, and he flapped their strongly, filling his wings with air and he leaped off the ground with a mighty leap, his limbs kept straight pointing to the rear while flapping his wings furiously, and the wind carried him up into the air.
The crew secured at the back of Blue Thunder yelled and cheered wildly as they were jostled around during the takeoff, watched the ground dropped away from their feet and they soared into the air. "Heee haaw!"
"Alright, its gonna be a long flight," The crew chief yelled over the wind, "Navigator! Check the heading of Blue, give him directions as usual!"
The rest of the crew unbuckled out from the harness and attached a movable safety line to Blue Thunder's harness and started to check on the tied down supplies, double checking if any of the items had come loose from the take off, while the Navigator opened up his maps and compass, and started to plot their course and giving instructions and directions to Blue.
The crew consisted of a Crew Chief who is in charge of the rest of the crew, a Navigator who plots the course, a radio operator who handles the communications and a single flight crew who provides support to everyone else and also works on the riggings.
Blue Thunder gently tilted his massive body to face North East, and flapped his wings, giving a constant speed as they headed towards the Rendevous Point Yellow where the Marines of 2nd Battalion, Eagle Company, Platoon 1 and members of the 101st Arcane Tactics and Intervention, Claymore One escorting over 200 freed slaves were heading to.
Falledge, Town Garrison
Vice Knight Captain Utho stood pale faced before the smiling face of the Hero, trying his best to keep his legs from showing their trembling. "Y-yes my L-Lord! The m-men has been g-gathered!"
"Good! See? That was so easy!" Dante smiled as he sat on the desk of the previous commander, the blood dried to a sticky paste on its surface and the headless body of the commander still sat on the chair while the second body of Sub Commander Month laid headless on the side, his blood turning the rich thick carpet dark red mixing together with the blood of the dead commander.
"Now let's go hunt ourselves some rebels and runaway slaves, shall we?" Dante cordially invited Vice Knight Captain Utho who swallowed back his fear and nodded hurriedly and quickly left the room with Dante following behind.
As they exit the keep, the mustering grounds were filled with soldiers grumbling among themselves, wondering why they had been mustered. Six medium weight dragons and a single heavy weight dragon sat on their hindquarters with their crews gathered before the dragons, turned their attention to Utho and Dante as they stood before everyone at the mustering field.
"Form up men!" Utho yelled in his best parade voice, thankful that his voice did not sound funny under the pressure of the Hero. "U-Under the order of our great Emperor, we have been called to our oath to serve the Emperor's command! We are to move out in pursuit of a band of dangerous rebels and runaway slaves who had ambushed and k-killed three hundred of our brothers in arms just the day before!"
Hearing that news, the men growled as anger grew against the rebels and slaves rose. "But fear not, our great Emperor has sent us the Hero, Dante to lead us to victory!"
The men roared and yelled out after hearing the Hero was here, "DANTE! DANTE! DANTE!" They chanted, their fighting spirits raised by the fact the Hero was leading them. "DANTE! DANTE! DANTE!"
Dante smiled and stood forward, "Let's the Sun show us the way to victory!"
"DANTE! DANTE! DANTE!"