The Isles, Port Sanctuary, Medical Tentage

Lt. Tavor sat on a folding chair with his legs crossed and holding a note pad in his hands. He occasionally scribbled something down as he watched the girl blabbering away on the hospital cot. Once and then, the girl cast a frightened glance at his direction before turning back to say something to Dr. Sharon on her side.

The universal translator Tavor was wearing hummed as its program ran algorithms to decipher the language spoken by the girl. Already after two hours of hearing her speak and with a simple picture and word comparison, the universal translator was able to translate at least half of her words.

With the universal translator's help and some guesswork, he roughly has gotten the picture of what happened. Now all he needed was for the rest of the survivors to awaken so that he could tally their story.

Dr. Sharon gave a reassuring pat on the frightened girl before she left the bedside. She gave Lt. Tavor a jerk of her head and Tavor smiled as he stood up and followed her out of the tent. "At times like this, I wish I have a smoke."

Lt. Tavor grinned and reached into his coat and retrieved a pack out. He patted it and handed a stick to Dr. Sharon who looked surprised. "I didn't take it that you are someone who smokes?"

"Once in a while, like you," Lt. Tavor took out a lighter and lit the stick in Dr. Sharon's mouth. "Smokeleaf, as they called it. All locally made, not as good as Earth made, but it will suffice."

Dr. Sharon took a deep draw and coughed, "It's been quite some time since I had a smoke..."

"Takes some time to get used to this taste," Lt. Tavor blew out a bluish smoke ring into the cold night air. "Still... it manages to scratch some itch. How's the voice in your head?"

"Since the same," Dr. Sharon sighed. "Quieter but still speaking gibberish, thou there are some words I can understand but... its mostly nonsense."

"Watch yourself," Lt. Tavor said. "Anyway, how is the girl's condition? And the rest?"

"Well, for starters, let the poor girl rest for now. She's still in a state of shock. Let her sleep it off," Dr. Sharon responded. "All four of them are suffering from malnutrition and scurvy. As for the three male survivors, they should be able to make it through. Hopefully they will be awake by tomorrow."

Lt. Tavor gave a nod. "Sure, I post some guards around them just in case."

Dr. Sharon took another puff of the cigarette and nodded, "By the way. Did you know that the Captain's wife is pregnant?"

Lt. Tavor froze and nearly dropped his cigarette. "What?"

"She's is at least two months into her pregnancy..." Dr. Sharon sighed.

"Wait... Does the Captain know?" Lt. Tavor asked.

Dr. Sharon shook her head. "Nope... She wanted to surprise him when she returned..."

"Oh... Fuck..." Lt. Tavor felt a headache coming. "Who else knows?"

"I think only her close aides know... and me?" Dr. Sharon said. "We need to find her fast... and safe..."

"Do you plan to inform the Captain about his wife's pregnancy?" Lt. Tavor asked. "Do you think it will affect his decision making process?"

"I think it's wiser to inform him," Dr. Sharon said after a moment of silence. "It is his family after all..."

Lt. Tavor nodded and dropped his half smoked cigarette on the drop before grinding it with his boot and waved his notepad. "Damn... This changes a lot of things! I better go and get this to my people to look through. Hopefully, by tomorrow morning, the Universal Translator can translate at least 80% of her language!"

Dr. Sharon watched Lt. Tavor rush off and she continued smoking, tilting her head to one side as if she was listening to someone.

"Well, it will be nice if we can have her back with her baby... I really like to do run some... tests! Hehehee..."


The Isles, Port Sanctuary, Officer Apartments

Blake leaned on the railings of the balcony as he looked out towards the star filled skies. "Where are you... Are you safe?"

He pushed back his worries and returned into the room, and poured himself a glass of cococane wine. He poured its contents down his throat, feeling the fiery burning sensation all the way to his stomach. The information he has now was dire, especially on the End Zone. Blake was not confident that his current navy has the ability to cross that chasm of dangerous seas nor if his planes could even fly across with knowing how far the End Zone stretches.

He picked up the entire bottle and placed it next to his pile of documents on the work desk as he went through them again. He picked up his tablet where the screensaver showed a wedding photo of him and Sherene and he whispered. "Wait for me! I will find you and bring you home!"


The Isles, Port Sanctuary, Airfield

The C - 1 Skyfreighter's four turbo prop engines whined down as it parked on the side of the tarmac, the hatch opened up and Magister Thorn climbed down and stretched his old body. "Ooo... I am getting too old for this!"

"You are already old before this!" Chief Engineer Matt joked as he came down next. "I wonder why did they call like every senior head over here for..."

"Must be something urgent, I guess?" Magister Thorn replied. "And wait till you are my age! See if your bones will be like mine!"

"Hahaha!" Matt laughed as he handed his duffle bag over to a porter. "Come on, let's go."

"Yes... yes!" Magister Thorn kept an eagle eye on his belongings which consisted of several chests and he warned the porters who came to help carry them. "Be careful with those! There are many precious potions and scrolls inside!"

"Do you have to bring your whole... lab... along?" Matt asked as he entered the Jeep.

"Well, you will never know if you need something till you need it!" Thorn replied. "So best to bring everything!"

"You and your logic!" The two bickered over the trip and was greeted by an Ensign who led them through security and into the command center.

There they were briefed of the situation and Magister Thorn was furious when he found out. "Who are they? Who dares to lay their hands on the Princess!"

"We do not know yet," Blake sighed. "But we might have some clues and will need all your help."

"Just say it, Boss!" Chief Matt patted his chest. "Engineering is behind you all the way!"

"Yes!" Magister Thorn nodded too, his face flushed with anger. "I will help too!"

"Alight," Blake gave a thankful smile. "I will need Matt to go to Star Island while Magister Thorn, I need you to find all information regarding the End Zone and the lands beyond it."

As they were discussing their work scope, a knock came from the door and Lt. Tavor entered with Dr. Sharon. "Sir, we managed to get some information which I think everyone here should hear."

"Go on" Blake gestured to the seats.

"The girl's name is called Claire or sounds something similar," Lt. Tavor said. "She and two of the young ones are students of some sort of school while the elder still unconscious is their teacher or professor."

"She said something about being chased by a... priesthood or church," Lt. Tavor checked his notes. "Due to them digging around some ruins and finding a golden ball or stone?"

"An artifact?" Chief Matt groaned. "Another god?"

"Very likely, I guess," Lt. Tavor said. "Their language when compared to the Common Tongue does bear some basic root resemblance. If the story involving your ancestors and how they got stranded here from the failed expedition is true..."

"This means they might be from your ancestral lands..." Tavor conducted. "That is why their language bears some resemblance to the Common Tongue."

"Interesting!" Magister Thorn's curiosity was triggered. "I will look into the old journals to see if I can find anything in regards to this!"

"What we do know is that they spent a considerable amount of time drifting through 'an ocean of clouds'," Tavor added. "She said she lost count but she did mark the days on the ship."

"Wait..." Chief Matt looked visibly excited. "Does this means... the wreck is some kind of airship?"

"Yes..." Tavor nodded and looked towards Commander Ford. "Hence, I think it will be wise if we can secure all rights to the wreck."

Ford nodded, "I will do what I can."

Blake leaned forward and said, "Ignore the Islanders for now. Grab the wreck first. We give an apology to the Fleet Masters later on."

"Matt, depart immediately on the next flying boat and take possession of the wreck," Blake ordered. "Ford, send a salvage ship and crew to bring the wreck back for study."

"Also, fly the R & D guys over here," Blake continued. "I want them to start working on the wreck once it is recovered and brought here."

"Tavor, continue to gather intelligence from the survivors," Blake said. "See if you find out who we are facing or will be facing on the other side."

"All clear with their duties?" Blake asked sternly.

"Yes, Sir!" The room chorused.

"Captain?" Dr. Sharon remained behind the conference room and called Blake as he was about to leave. "A word please?"

Tavor gave an eye to Dr. Sharon before he left with the rest.

"What is it?" Blake leaned back on the chair.

"Sherene is two months pregnant," Dr. Sharon said. "She's carrying your child."

"What?" Blake rosed from his seat in delight and shock. "Is it true?"

"Yes..." Dr. Sharon confirmed. "I did the tests."

"Than..." Blake looked confused and worried. "But..."

"She wanted to surprise you..." Dr. Sharon sighed. "We all did not expect something like this to happen..."

"Oh, my gods..." Blake slumped back on the chair. "A child..."

Blake suddenly looked up, making Dr. Sharon feel a sense of dread at the look of anger in Blake's eyes. "If they harm her or my child... I will destroy them all!"


United Nations, Sawtooth Mountain Airbase

Rows of new generation fighter aircraft were being wheeled out from their hangars as techs and service crew busied themselves over them. Trucks and trucks of ordnance were also driven to the hangars where they were offloaded and secured onto pallets for transport on board the cargo planes.

Blue Thunder leaned his head out of his covered pen and eyed the ongoings with excitement. "Are we going for another war?"

"Is war all you think about?" Rastraz called out from inside the pen where she was lazing away watching CSI dramas. She glued her eyes on the projection on the watch and waved her tail lazily. "Please close the doors! The outside light is too glaring!"

Blue Thunder's tail twitched as he looked at Rastraz procrastinating away while munching on pizzas and sighed, "You are getting fat! That is why a war will be great for you to lose some weight!"

"What did you say? Care to repeat that again?" Rastraz growled dangerously as she whipped her head to fix Blue Thunder with a deadly glare, daring Blue Thunder to repeat what he had said.

"N- no! Nothing!" Blue Thunder gulped and hurriedly said, waving his claws "I meant you have nice curves!"

"Hmmph!" Rastraz tilted her head high and returned to her movie. "Stop thinking about going to war!"

"But... it's boring..." Blue Thunder sighed and dragged the pen doors closed before making his way next to Rastraz. "You keep watching these crime dramas... I wanna watch my korean dramas..."

"What's so nice about those love shows?" Rastraz grumbled. "CSI is so interesting! I like how they solve the crimes!"

Blue Thunder sighed and he curled up into a ball, but he still kept his eyes on the projection. "Hais... I'm bored..."

A note from neo Koh

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