United Nations. City of Orwell's Point, Penal Holding Compound
Gunshots echoed out from the back of the compound while prisoners sat around in defeat, uncertain of their future. They only looked up in surprise at the gunshots before minding their own business.
The black cladded officer strolled up to the two hooded bodies leaking blood and fired his pistol, the bullet jerking the hood and a dark stain appeared. He repeated his actions to the next body before holstering his weapon and gestured to the group of prisoners to remove the bodies.
Once the bodies were carried away, he waved to his men and they marched off, leaving bloodstains on the ground behind.
Titanna sighed as she watched the disappearing backs of the soldiers from the viewing gallery. "It's finally over..."
"Yes," Mills placed his arm over her shoulder to comfort her. "Are you alright?"
"I... I don't know..." Titanna said in a low voice. "I don't know how I feel about this..."
"I know it's hard," Mills said in a soft voice. "They were, after all, your brothers..."
"Yes..." Titanna nodded. "I thought they would find something better in the Empire's Capital... I just did not expect them to return... with an army and under the Emperor's banner... Just for revenge..."
"So people's heart is black..." Mills comforted Titanna. "Look, you had already given them a chance to live, but they did not take it. Nor did they change for the better."
"There's isn't any point to feel sad over them," Mill stated. "You should just forget about them."
"I- I know..." Titanna nodded.
"Come on," Mills pulled Titanna away from the viewing stand. "Let's go back... We still got a lot of work to do, now that the war is over."
United Nations, City of Haven, City Hall
Sherene rubbed her temples as she viewed the stack of documents on her desk. She sighed as she picked the top document up and briefly flipped through it. It was something to do with the reconstruction of destroyed property and money was needed.
She let out a deep sigh again as she placed the document back to the table and leaned her head back against her chair. "Money... money... When can I get more money!"
"Did I hear you need money?" A voice suddenly spoke and startled her, nearly making her fall off her chair.
"BLAKE!" Sherene growled as she placed a hand over her racing heart. "Why didn't you knock?"
"I did," Blake gave a smile at his flustered wife. "You just didn't hear me..."
Sherene sighed deeply as she must have been too engrossed with her thoughts. "Well... we need money for everything! And we do not have enough of it!"
Blake massaged the shoulders of Sherene and kissed the top of her head. "Post war reconstruction and economy?"
"Yes!" Sherene replied as she picked up another document. "We have to support a standing army, reconstruction, replenish our weapons, medical payouts, civilian contractors payments..."
"All these need money..." Sherene said. "And the prisoners of war? That cost us money to hold them too!"
"I know," Blake smiled. "The POWs will be released within the week. As for the money we need, we might need to get a loan from the Isles to recover our economy."
Sherene shook her head. "Getting a loan from those money grubbing merchants? It's not so easy..."
"I know," Blake replied. "I am planning on selling them some old tech or offering certain... perks to them in exchange for money or a loan."
"We can't afford another war, Blake..." Sherene said in a serious voice. "Another war will bankrupt the treasury especially since the laws you laid down do not allow the troops to plunder the cities..."
"I know," Blake bent down and kissed Sherene on the lips. "We have won already, the Empire will fragment into smaller states in a year or so, since no one is capable enough to hold the entire Empire."
"Didn't you send that child who supposed to be a prince of the Empire back to take the throne?" Sherene narrowed her eyes unhappily at Blake. "Won't he be able to unite the Lords and keep the Empire together?"
"Haha, I purposely had Tavor release him," Blake grinned. "I want to stir the pot more, and with a supposed heir to the throne popping up..."
"The Empire will be too busy trying to vie for the throne and recovering from their losses," Blake pet Sherene's head. "With at least half of the Imperial army dead or wounded, and supplies for a three month campaign for almost three hundred thousand troops captured or destroyed."
"They will need a lot of time to recover from that..." Blake said. "And add on with the Empire nobles eyeing the throne, they won't disturb us for some time."
"I won't be surprised if some of the nobles break off from the Empire to form their own nations or even uprisings among the population," Blake smiled. "The more messy the Empire is, the better for us!"
"But... many will die if that happens!" Sherene frowned.
"Yes, many will die," Blake hugged Sherene from behind and spoke in her ear. "But it will not be our people."
Goblin Sea, Goblin Sea Fleet
Commander Ford stood at the bridge of the corvette UNS Goblin and watched the white stones of Far Harbor appearing over the horizon. The UNS Goblin's sister ship, UNS Slayer kept in formation behind as they approached the harbor to dock after they completed their patrol of the Goblin Sea.
The annual Goblin migration fleet was so badly trounced at sea that they barely even came within sight of the coast. The two purpose built warships had exceeded the expectations of Ford as they have proven themselves in a baptism of fire against the goblin ships.
Supported by the Navy's fighters, the nimble Sea Cobras helped spot the enemy ships and did their rocket runs, sending at least a third of the fleet under while the rest was taken care of by the new corvettes.
As they out fighting the goblins raiders, word came in through the radio about the defeat of the Imperial Emperor. The navy crew, hearing the news broken out in cheers and morale was at all time high. The crew performed exceptionally well against the goblin fleet, the guns engaging the goblins well beyond their visual range.
Commander Ford smiled as the ship slowed as it neared the harbor, a small pilot boat directing the warship to dock at the Naval section. "Finally we can really relax for a while without the worry of some insane Emperor coming for us!"
The Isles, Council of Masters
The group of Fleet Masters sat around the table and silently listened to the report being given by one of their retainers. "The forces of the United Nations has pulled back from the city by those flying machines of theirs before the Imperial 2nd and 3rd Army returned."
"There is still no word of the Emperor," The retainer said. "It is highly believed he is killed when the cliff collapsed, burying him under all the rock."
"And what is the United Nations doing now?" Fleet Master Megan asked as she leaned to one side, showing off her voluptuous figure.
"Ahem..." The First Fleet Master cleared his throat and the retainer blushed and quickly took his eyes off the female Fleet Master and flipped through the scrolls in his hands.
"They have sent their forces to chase down any remaining Imperial troops still in their territory," The retainer said. "And appears to be starting the rebuilding of their cities."
"Just two short months..." First Fleet Master Kose said. "A force of barely ten thousand against three hundred thousand Imperial troops..."
"And they won against all odds..." said Kose. "They are too powerful..."
Dijon nodded, "That is why I keep pushing to the Council for us to be allies!"
"Oh? And I thought it is to impress that sweetheart of yours?" Megan threw a snide comment. "Too bad... someone is married now..."
Dijon eyes narrowed dangerously as he glared at Megan who covered her smile with a feathered fan. "If you don't open your mouth... No one will think you are dumb!"
"Enough!" Kose hammered the table with his fist and glared at the two Fleet Masters. "Behave yourselves!"
"After this incident," Kose said. "I am more inclined to what Fleet Master Dijon had proposed. Especially with their 'tek no logee' of their sailless ships!"
"It will be good to have those ships," Dijon smiled. "Imagine the ability to sail into the wind!"
"But the most important point is, they have a godly magic weapon that can strike great distances away with a high level spell!" Kose spoke in a serious tone. "We do not fully know what kind of power they even possessed!"
"It is better to be friends than foe with such an opponent..." The Fourth Fleet Master, Akon commented. "Their thunder weapons or 'Gans' as they called them, already exceeded our expectations."
"If just a handful of their troops could defeat the Empire's armies..." Akon's voice lowered. "What can we do against them if we ever start a war with the United Nations?"
The Fleet Masters all nodded in agreement. They had read the reports and was even willing to discard it as fake, but too many of their spies reported the same thing, hence they had to believe the reports.
"So all in favor of an alliance with the United Nations?" Dijon asked excitedly.
The people around the table looked at each other before they gave their assent, even Megan gave a slight tilt of her head in agreement. Dijon laughed happily "Good!"
"And what of the Imperials who surrendered?" Kose asked next. "What of their fate?"
"They have held those that surrendered or wounded as prisoners in several locations," The retainer continued. "We still do not know what the United Nations plans to do with them."
"Holding them as ransom or a bargaining chip?" Dijon asked while rubbing his chin. "Will the Empire without an Emperor do that?"
Akon, adjusted his monocule before crossing his hands on the table spoke, "Ransom of the sons and scions of the Nobility has never been part of the Emperor's duties... I am sure the United Nations will send a demand to the Empire's Nobility to start ransom discussions."
"They should be able to make a tidy sum off the prisoners," Akon said. "What a p-?"
"My Lords!" The door swung open and an aide hurried in. "We got word that the United Nations is releasing all the prisoners!"
United Nations, City of Orwell's Point, Penal Holding Compound
Justze stood at the gates of the female prisoner compound trying to spot his Ciel who had separated from him when they were caught by the rebel troops. The surprised prisoners including him were released and told to go home. They were handed a bundle of rations and a small dagger before being pointed towards the direction of the Empire.
After his release, Justze ran over to the other camp where the females were held. He was worried that the rebels might hold the females as slaves instead. He waited nervously and finally saw a crowd of females approaching the closed gates. The guards swung the gate open and the prisoners stumbled out, some happy, some in confusion and others wary of a trick.
As before, several guards started yelling at the prisoners, before handing over a bundle of supplies before telling them to leave. Justze finally spotted Ciel within the crowd and waited till she has gotten her share of supplies before he called out to her.
Ciel's eyes teared up at seeing Justze and she rushed over and hugged him in relief, crying and laughing at the same time. After they calmed down, Ciel wiped her tears away and asked. "So what now?"
"Magister Zinoga is planning to return home," Justze said. "He said something about freeing his people."
"For me... I plan to stay here for a while," Justze said as he looked towards the city in the distance. "I... I want to find news about my sister!"
"Than I shall stay here with you!"
- - - - - End of Book Two - - - - -