Goblin Coast, Far Harbor
A long moanful wail of a foghorn blasted out from the lighthouse at the end of the pier, as a sailless ship approached. Workers paused in their work as they looked at the ship with two strange contraptions on its sides slowly came in to dock with the pier.
"Dead slow astern!" Chief Matt yelled as they approached parallel to the pier. "Keep her steady!"
The paddlewheels slowly came to a stop before they started to reverse directions, churning the sea with splashes of whitewash. The crews on the deck tossed out mooring ropes to the surprised looking workers on the pier, who quickly grabbed the ropes as the Harbor Master came panting down the pier, yelling happily, "They're ours! Our ship!"
"Stop all engines!" Chief Matt roared, as the ship's speed slowed to a crawl and the noisy rumbling engines died down and the turning paddle wheels stopped their movement.
The crew onboard yelled and cheered loudly as the ship came to rest against the pier. "We are home!"
"Good work, people!" Chief Matt grinned as he watched the men and women hugging each other and cheering. "Drop the gangway! Division leaders to ensure their areas are properly secured and equipment powered down and prepped for transportation!"
"Chief Matt! Permission to come onboard?" a voice called out from the lowered gangway and Matt saw Commander Ford standing there with his staff. He quickly came down the helm and saluted the Commander.
"Sir! Welcome onboard The Floating Wreck!" Chief Matt greeted the XO who returned his salute before saluting the flag tied to the mast. "Apologies for not having a welcome party, Sir!"
"It's ok, the Captain sent me over to take a look at how the Harbor was progressing when we receive word of your return," Ford grinned, "Looks good."
"Well, the Islanders do know how to build a ship," Chief Matt said, "It was built pretty solid, but we might need to rebrace certain portions of the ship."
He gestured to the paddle wheels, "While R and D are still coming out with a proper screw propulsion system, we have to make do with these first. And also better bracing for the engines and a more sturdy design for the paddle wheels. Luckily the sea is calm enough to not break the wheels. I will seriously advise till we have a steel frame for the wheels, not to go out to the deep sea."
Ford nodded as he looked at the busy crew carrying crates and containers of equipment out on the hold. A portable power crane on the pier was rumbling its way over on the tracks on the pier, to help unload the equipment. "I heard you guys had some breakthrough in so steam power system?"
"Oh yes!" Chief Matt grinned, "Well, the kids that Magister Thorn sent over are not bad at all, we managed to work out a simple system with their fog creation spell formation to create a sort of Seebeck power generator."
Matt led the party down the hatch and into the main decks where the original ballistas were removed and replaced by two occult looking shrines like contraptions. Magic runes covered a small area while a water tank stood on thin flimsy looking stands with two metal pipes looking like arms poked out from the tank. Dials and more runes covered the surface of the water tank while mana stones sat on certain points on the magic formation.
"What is this?" Ford looked at the strange design.
"Basically, this spell formation absorbs hot air, turning it into heat energy and transfers it into the water tank, boiling the water, and steam comes out of the pipes," Chief Matt explained, "Since we didn't have any turbines generators, we just let the steam out from the sides of the ship."
"The radial engines will overheat if we do not come out with something to cool them, and luckily, we managed to come out with something like this, that will allow us to not waste the heat energy," Chief Matt smiled at the ugly looking generator. "It's not pretty but it works and can also function as a generator and thermal sink, but its only good for areas with high temperature, if not the power output will be low."
"Nice, very nice," Ford nodded and patted Chief Matt on his back, "Always coming up with thing amazing, Chief!"
"Well, its either getting it to work or we are rowing home," Matt laughed. "It's design still needs to be properly refined, but once its up, we should be able to have a more efficient design that can work as air conditioning and thermal generator for engine rooms, which can also provide hot water, cool air, and power. It's like killing three birds with one mana stone!"
"Work on it," Ford replied, "Once the dry docks are properly constructed, we will move The Floating Wreck over for a full structural breakdown and check up before we get it repaired and refitted."
"Most likely we will plate the hull with a layer of steel, should increase her top speed by a few knots, rebrace the internal structure for steel paddle wheels and strengthen and up-armor the hull and structure for the new 3" guns that Ordinance is working on. Modernize the ship, slap in some proper navigation gear and steering, and we got our selves a nice little Corvette." Ford laid out the plans for the ship to Matt.
"The Islanders will also deliver a couple of their own ships to us, which we will do a for 3D scan, and we will try to reverse engineer them while putting in our own touches, hopefully, within six months we can learn how to build proper ships, either paddle powered or screw powered." Ford said, "And also have our own small fleet of mosquito boats ready in time for the Goblins annual sea festival!"
"Pretty ambitious don't you think?" Matt said as he listened to Ford's words. "Six months?"
"Captain wants to at least have another ship, at least a corvette size by end of this year's winter," Ford said, "But I told him unless he plans to scrap only one of the ships the Islanders are trading to us, then yes, we could have another ship to be retrofitted to at least more modern standards."
"But Intel gauges that the Islanders most likely will give us their oldest ships that most likely barely can float their way here," Ford said, "So depends on what we get, we see how it goes."
"The Floating Wreck definitely will not set sail alone," Ford continued, "Even with modern guns, there's no way a single ship can handle hundreds of goblin ships. so either we built a new ship out, or its gonna stay within range of the new coastal defenses we are planning along Far Harbor."
"The PT boats that we are designing wouldn't be able to handle the high seas, nor do they have the range to hit Goblin City," Ford added, "So till we have some experience building large ships, and tenders for them, the PT boats will be assigned to coastal defense and short-range patrols around Far Harbour."
"I see," Matt nodded, "Well, Sir, I think we better go top side, I need to check on my guys to make sure they are not slacking!"
"Alright, Let's go," Ford reclimb the steps back up the decks. "Good work bringing back this ship, Matt, tell your boys and girls that!"
The Colony, City Hall
Kaga felt her brain was functioning and not functioning at the same time. The past few hours were like an unlimited buffet of information dump and culture shock that overloaded her mind. She sat there on one of the chairs with her head leaning against the backrest, mentally drained.
"Kaga?" A soft voice called out, shaking her shoulder gently. "Are you okay?"
"Haa??" Kaga whimpered, "Nooo... my brain hurts!" Her ears flattened against her head and she squeezed her eyes closed while covering her ears with her hands. "No more information!"
Billy stood there confused, wondering what had happened to Kaga in the meeting room with the higher-ups that made her this way. "Erm... I was told to bring you to your apartment, we will be housemates from today onwards!"
"LALALALALAA...." Kaga mumbled to herself, "I can't hear you~ Lalalalalala~"
Billy frowned and shook Kaga again, "Hey wake up!"
A vein popped in Billy's head and she shook Kaga more vigorously, "HEY!"
"Ahhhh..." Kaga cried, "So giddy..."
"Heavens..." Billy sighed, "Am I gonna have someone like this as my roommate?" She lamented her luck.
"Why did you shake me..." Kaga rubbed her head and said in a hurt voice. "Wait, it's you!"
"Hmm?" Billy frowned, "You know me? Is it because I was your guide this morning?"
"No, no," Kaga hopped up from the chair, "I carried you in the forest when we were running away from the Hero!"
"Huh?" Billy rubbed her head, "I am sorry, I can't remember much of what happened in the forest when I woke up I was on the back of the little golem."
Kaga gave her a hurt look and she lowered her head sadly, sniffling, "... sob... I thought you would remember me...sob..."
"Eh..." Billy sighed, "Ok, ok, I am sorry, but thank you for saving me! And now we are housemates!"
"Housemates?" Kaga gave a confused look, "what is that?"
"Oh, we will be staying in the same apartment," Billy grinned, "They assigned you to be with me!"
"I see, but what is an 'a-pa-men'?" Kaga asked, her ears twitching in curiosity.
The Colony, Residental District 3
The red bus with a number 3 dropped both Kaga and Billy off at a bus stop with a sign that said, 'Street 13'.
"Remember. only bus number 3 comes in here, and press the bell when you see the sign 'Street 13'!" Billy explained to Kaga, "Now once you're off the bus, follow this street and the next block will be the apartment you be staying at!"
"Eh... okay," Kaga looked up, down, left, right at her surroundings curiously, constantly turning her head to stare at something strange and asking, "What's that?"
"That's the rubbish bins," Billy sighed, feeling mentally drained as she kept explaining things to her throughout the bus ride. "Later I teach you more."
Kaga craned her head up staring the large blocky stone buildings towering into the skies, there were dozens spread out with perfect streets and roads between them. Patches of blue-green grass patches covered the lawns while what appeared to be gardens or parks were placed here and there among the towers.
As the evening softly settled in and the sky turned purplish red, street lamps lit up, casting a bright orange glow around the area, and the towers lit up with lights, turning the whole scene like some wonderous mage city told in stories. Kaga stood still and took in her surroundings in wonder as she watched people walking around the streets, children running without care around the parks and gardens while heading home and the wondrous magic wagons driving up and down the streets.
"Come on, stop gawking like some country bumpkin!" Billy teased, "We are almost home!"
Kaga followed Billy to a stone tower, where a large rune sign was posted on the side of the tower's walls. "We are in Block 6A, the seventh floor, unit number is 0, 7, 0, 9! Please remember!"
Kaga followed Billy into the brightly lit entrance and saw a flight of stairs that lead up while a couple of double doors were facing them on the other end. Billy held Kaga's hand and pulled her along, leading her to one of the double doors and press a strange looking rune on the wall. "Press this if you want to go up," Billy explained.
"What is this?" Kaga asked as she bent over to observe the strange looking square rune that looks like an arrow pointing upwards.
"Its an 'air-le-vater'", Billy replied, "Look its here." A chime rang and the doors suddenly slid open with a soft rumble, surprising Kaga greatly, as a very small room appeared.
"Come on," Billy strolled in and pulled Kaga in, and press and rune on a surface filled with many others. "Remember this is the number 7!"
The doors slid close and Kaga shivered and felt trapped. The small room suddenly rumbled and shook slightly, making her jumped and hug Billy tightly.
"Are we going to die?"