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Flagship Fury

A knock on the door woke Sherene from her nap. She yawned and stretched and teasingly poked the cheeks of Kaga who was sprawled next to her. Takao answered the door and soon appeared next to Sherene.

"My lady," Takao said. "The Islanders appeared to have found a strange... shipwreck on the island here."

"Lord Dijon is inviting you up to the top to take a look," Takao relayed the messenger's words. "He is on the top waiting for you."

"Oh..." Sherene frowned. "A strange wreck? Alright, tell the messenger we will be up shortly!"

Takao nodded and left when Sherene started to pinched the cheeks of Kaga to wake her up, "Hey, you sleepy head! Wake up!"

"Noo.... my 'bur girls'... Don't... steal... my 'bur girls'..." Kaga mumbled while chewing a corner of the blanket. "Nyaaa..."

Sherene rolled her eyes in exasperation at the beast girl and shook her wildly, "Wake up!"

Kaga finally woke up and rubbed her sleepy eyes, "Where's my 'bur girls'?

"Rub your saliva off..." Sherene laughed at the confused looking beast girl. "Go wash your face and get changed!"

"Huh?" Kaga blinked her eyes and yawned while Takao dragged her off the bed. "Waaa?"

They finally left the cabin after changing and appeared at the top deck. The warm sun was a pleasant change from the couple days of cold stormy weather. Dijon stood aloof at the side of the ship and waved them over when he spotted their appearance.

"Greetings, Lord Dijon," The girls gave a curtsy to Dijon who impatiently gestured towards the horizon and hands a Haven made binoculars over to Sherene.

"Take a look," Dijon said in a serious tone. His expression was grim as he stood there eyeing the tiny figures moving about the wreck. "Is that one of your ships?"

Sherene adjusted the binoculars and shook her head, "No... I don't recognize it. We don't have ships like that..."

Despite the wreck was half beached on the sand, she could spot a few features, like the pointy prow of the ship, the unknown barrels like protrusions on both sides and spars that dangle out at an angle from the sides.

"Are there any survivors?" Sherene asked as she handed over the pair of binoculars to the eager Kaga hopping on the side.

"Yes," Dijon turned and looked deeply into the eyes of Sherene as if trying to find any falsehood in her words. He looked away after a short moment and said. "We are bringing them on board."

Sherene sighed and she placed her hand on Dijon's arm, "What is making you so worried?"

"I was hoping that ship belongs to you," Dijon said. "But I don't think you would lie to us, your allies, right?"

Sherene shook her head, "No, there is no point to lie to you."

"Than, that's the thing..." Dijon rubbed his beard. "I am feeling unease. I have never seen such a vessel before in my life, not counting those steel ships of yours."

"I have no idea where it came from," Dijon said. "And I have a bad feeling about this..."

"Look!" Kaga suddenly cried. "They found survivors!"

Dijon turned back and observed his crew bringing some survivors out from the wreck in silence. After a while, the rowboat returned with an additional four passengers on board and they quickly carried on board while the ship's healer fussed over them.

Sherene watched from a short distance, thinking about Dijon's words. She eyed the clothing of the four and found them strange, foreign in fact.

"They are severely dehydrated and weak from lack of food," The healer reported. "Also they are showing signs of gum rot!"

"Do what you can to heal them," Dijon ordered. "When any one of them is awake and able to speak, I want to know immediately!"

"Yes, Fleet Master!" The healer bowed and gestured to his assistants to carry the sick down into the hold.

"I will like to see the wreck," Sherene suddenly said. "Can you arrange a boat for me?"

Kaga and Takao both protested immediately, "It is too dangerous for you to climb up and down! What happens if you get injured? Your b-"

Sherene raised a hand to put a stop to the two girls, "I will be fine. I just want to take a look and snap a few pictures!"

"Are you sure?" Dijon asked. "The boat is ready to go anytime if you take a look."

Sherene nodded. Thankfully she was wearing jeans, allowing her to climb over the side of the ship easily. She hopped on board the rowboat with the two beast girls including Dijon who decided to follow along.

After the rowboat landed on the sandy beach, they had to walk a short distance to reach the other side of the island where the wreck was laid on its side. A couple of Dijon sailors were rummaging through the ship and they saluted Dijon when he climbed on board. "Found anything of use or clues of this ship's originals?"

"We found several tomes and these..." The senior sailor gestured to a pouch on the side together with a small pile of tomes.

Dijon picked up one of the tomes and filled through the pages and frowned when he looked at the foreign scribbles. He handed it over to Sherene, "Is this some language you know?"

Sherene took the book and glanced through its contents before she shook her head. "No... I never saw this language before!"

While Sherene was checking the books, Kaga took out a camera which was a gift and started snapping pictures of the wreck. "What is this?"

She carefully poured out the contents of the pouch on a flat surface, Several flat pieces of silver rolled out including a strange orb like object that had many etched faces on it. Everyone crowded around Kaga as she snapped a few more photos of the items before picking it up and admiring it.

"Looks like gold but doesn't weighs as heavy..." Kaga turned the object in her hand left and right. "Hmmm..."

"Fleet Master!" A sailor called out to Dijon. "You want to see what is this?"

Dijon left the girls alone and followed the sailor into the bowels of the ship. The sailor led him into a hold and saw a strange piece of contraption which he could roughly guess it was some kind of machinery from his knowledge with the United Nation's 'tek no lo gee'.

Pipes of various sized jutted out from the giant kettle like contraption. An opening with a trap door was located in the middle of the iron body. Dijon kneeled down and swept his fingers inside and rubbed his fingers together before taking a sniff. "Coal..."

"Is this some kind of heater?" The sailor asked as he scratched his head in confusion. "But why would they need a heater so big?"

Dijon looked around the hold and saw several empty sacks with crumbs of coal and a shovel on the side. He walked around the contraption, finding more pipes were leading out into various spots on the bulkhead.

"Hmmm... found any more strange things?" Dijon asked the sailor.

"Ahh, yes!" The sailor said excitedly. "The helm controls seem strange too! Very different from our arrangements!"

Dijon nodded and followed the sailor out of the dark and gloomy decks and into the sunlight. At the stern of the ship was a raised platform with a wheel. But other than the wheel control, there were several strange dials, which reminded Dijon of the gauges of the steam engines sold by the United Nations.

"A steamship?" Dijon wondered aloud. He made his way over the side of the ship and checked out the bottom stern, but he found nothing of a propeller or water wheel. "Could the water wheel broke off when they beached?"

"Lord Dijon?" Sherene called from the side of the ship, looking down at him. "Found anything?"

"Only more questions then answers!" Dijon replied. "And I do not know where to even start..."

Dijon climbed back on board the ship and tapped the hull with his knuckles. "I have never seen such a design before. The lines of this ship are all wrong, and not to mention the sails are all over the plac-"

"Fleet Master? My apologies..." The same sailor suddenly appeared, looking nervous. "But what is that?"

Dijon and Sherene followed the sailor's raised hand as he pointed out towards the skies over the seas. There were two large blobs in the air that were slowly descending down from the clouds and were growing larger as they neared.

"What in the heavens?" Dijon blinked his eyes at the sight. "Are those flying... ships?"

He could clearly see the rectangular sails that were extended out from the sides of the fat and squat looking oolong object. One of the flying objects remained in the air while the other descended even lower, its body blotting out the sun, and Dijon could even see sunlight shining off the windows at under the prow.

"Those are definitely not UN!" Sherene said as she stared up at the belly of the flying ship.

"Nope... Definitely not ours!"

-----

The Innocence, Flagship of the Clergy, Paladin Decks

"Ready the Paladins!" The Chief Paladin yelled as he stood next to the opening of the hatch. The Paladins in their heavy armor each lined up before the dozen of openings on the side of the hold and attached a line from their backpacks to the deck.

Each Paladin wore a set of heavy leathers and a backpack that has a spool of cable on the top and a helmet with bug like eye visors. A large cask was attached to the backpack and had a hose that was connected to a short lance on the right hip of the soldier and on their left hip, held a long sword in a scabbard.

Once each Paladin was standing before an opening and had secured a line, they hopped off the edge and a bubble like shield shimmered around them, protecting them from crosswinds. The spools of cable on their backpacks hissed as friction build up from the gearings that slowed the Paladins' descent from the airship.

As they neared the ground, the Paladins controlled their speed of descent and with a jerk, they hit the release for the cables and dropped with a splash on the shallow water. The Paladins whipped out their short lances that looked like a shortened version of a jousting lance and marched forward towards the wreck.

-----

"I think we should leave..." Kaga whispered as she peeked over the side of the wreck. "They don't look friendly!"

"Yes..." Dijon answered. "Go! Return to the ship!"

With that, everyone climbed off the wreck and ran as fast as they could from the approaching soldiers. But to their dismay, they saw the second flying ship hovered closer over them and with several sharp pops, they saw columns of water erupting up around the Fury.

"They... they are attacking my ship!" Dijon cried out in anger. "Damn you!"

A gout of black smoke burst out from the triple funnels as Fury's steam boilers were fired up to full. The paddle wheels on its sides started rotating as the upgraded ship started to back away from the cove under the sudden barrage of cannon fire from the flying ship.

"We can't get to the ship in time!" Sherene panted as she held her belly.

"Take this!" Dijon shoved a dagger, a revolver, and the pouch containing the strange orb to Sherene. "You girls hide in the forest! We will try to delay them as long as possible!"

"What?" Sherene cried out. "No! We all can hide together in the forest!"

"No time!" Dijon gave a cheerful smile. "By now, the Fury should have put the word out over the radio about the attack."

"If we all hide in the forest together," Dijon gestured to the approaching soldiers. "They don't need even a turn of a glass to find us all!"

"We need to delay them as long as possible... So that your Commander Ford can get here in time with his fastest ships..."

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The paladins' armor kinda looks like Kamen Rider Black RX if you wanna visualize how they look like roughly...


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