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United Nations, City of Falledge, City Hall

Titanna Rothschild twirled her hair with her fingers unconsciously as she sat on her desk reading the daily reports of the city. Her expression changed constantly, from frowning to wrinkling her nose as she pondered on the reports. Finally, she slapped the sheets of documents down on her desk and stretched her body in an unwomanly manner. 

"Ahem..." Miles cleared his throat as he stood at the half opened door, just nice catching Titanna stretching herself in an unglamorous pose. He gave a wink to the startled Governor and waved the assistants at the door away. "Wait a moment outside first..."

Titanna's face turned red as she quickly corrected her pose and glared at Miles. "Why can't you knock on the door before entering?"

"Hahaha!" Miles laughed cheerily. "Who would expect you to be doing something else other than working... Besides, it's just stretching..."

"But my assistants and aides saw me in an unglamorous pose!" Titanna grumbled as she directed all her embarrassment at Miles who kept grinning away. 

"Well... we are all huma-, I mean, people..." Miles said. "Nothing to be ashamed of."

Titanna sighed, "Sometimes, I just can't stand your logic..."

"Well, I grew up in a different culture," Miles grinned as he stood beside her and tried to kiss her.

"No! Behave yourself! Y- You barbarian!" Titanna blushed and pushed him away. "We are in the office! And there are people outside!"

"Haha!" Miles gave a wink before he went to open Titanna's office door. "Come on in!"

A small troop of ministers and aides entered and Titanna schooled her expression before gesturing them to the table with sofas on the side. She took the seat at the head of the table while Miles settled down on an armchair, yawning.

Titanna shot a look of warning at Miles before turning to her people. "Let's start the meeting."

One by one, the different heads of ministries gave their end of the month reports. Food was plentiful, money was flowing into the government's coffers and public satisfaction was at an all time high. Employment and homeless was almost none existent due to plentiful job offers on the market. 

But the crime rate was slowly climbing up since the population of Orwell's Point suddenly exploded to twice the pre war numbers. The city grew as well, as the need for housing went up. New industries were also popping up with the introduction of new technology and manufacturing methods. 

Fishery farming was introduced to the local fishermen whose livelihood relies on catching the freshwater snakefish which to Miles looked some kind of snake with fins. Other farms like potatoes and strawberries seedlings from Haven were also brought over and introduced to the local farmers. It helped increase the variety of the local diet of the city and provided jobs to anyone willing to work.

Large swaths of land were cultivated in the Great Ocean Plains, mostly fielded by ex slaves who had rich experience in farm work. There were several clashes with the scattered remnants of the nomadic Orekins who had survived the Night of the Great Devourer and returned to their nomadic roots. The SDF now turned Army units patrolled the farms aggressively, to prevent any incursion and raids from the Orekins that did not join with the UN. 

Trade has fallen, due to the ban of slaves, while immigration into the city was at an all time high. Thousands wished to enter the city but were stopped at checkpoints and rejected. The newly established Immigration and Customs had their hands full trying to prevent the illegal crossing of the borders until they were deporting hundreds of people each day while construction crews worked frantically to construct a doubled layered fence to protect the borders.

Titanna raised a hand up to stop the current speaker who was reporting about the situation outside the borders. "Try not to use to much excessive force... They are just trying to find a way to survive that's all."

"But, my Lady..." The Immigration and Customs representative spoke up. "The refugees keep attempting to cross the border. They know that even if they get caught they can a meal before we send them out of the nation..."

"They are abusing our kindness now..." The Immigration and Customs representative said. "If we don't take a tougher stance..."

"No..." Titanna shook her head. "I got direct orders from Haven's City Hall... Princess Sherene herself had stated that we are not to use force on those that try to close our borders illegally."

"We are not savages..." Titanna said. "Nor are we the Empire who treats their people... unkindly..."

"Yes, my Lady... We know..." The representation had an unpleasant expression on his face. "But our kindness to the refugees is making the situation worse!"

"Keep doing your job..." Titanna stared down at the representative. "Once the border fence is up, the refugees will know that they have no chance to try to cross illegally again."

The Immigration and Customs representative sighed before he gave a nod. "Yes... My Lady..."

"Now, there is something I want to point out..." Titanna picked up a document from the table and opened it. "Crime rate is going up."

She turned her attention to the Chief of Orwell's Point Police Department. "What is your excuse?"

The Chief of OPPD, a middle aged, quiet looking man, cleared his throat before replying in a soft voice, "My Lady, due to increase of population of the city, my department is currently short handed."

"I have already started recruitment but it will be another month before the recruits finish their training," The Chief said. "And my people have something more... worrying to handle."

"As you know, this city used to be a hotbed for cultists," The Chief pointed out. "There are still several cults running amok around the city, which my people are trying their best to apprehend."

"The S-, Army, have their hands full with border patrol," The Chief explained. "So we can not expect much help from them."

Titanna shook her head and raised her hand to stop the Chief from continuing. "I know these problems... But what I am worried about is this..."

She flipped out the document and tapped a long slender finger on a photograph. "This... drug called Happy..."

The Chief narrowed his eyes before he nodded. "Ahh... yes... Happy."

"This drug's origin comes from the feral goblins..." The Chief gave a brief summary. "We do not know yet who is supplying this drug and how it could to the city nor where did they make it from."

"This drug makes any user constantly feel happy," The Chief said. "It also makes them feel nothing else... No pain, no hunger, no fear..."

"We did narrow it down to a few goblins in the goblin community here but so far we have no luck," The Chief admitted. "There is no evidence we could find."

"This drug is starting to cause some problems among the population," Titanna said. "I want the source of this found and stopped!"

"Already, we are seeing dozens of cases among the refugees!" Titanna growled. "This drug is also finding its way into our city!"

Titanna gestured to the Immigration and Customs representation, "I am sure some of your men had arrested some refugees closing the border dosed on that drug, yes?"

The representation nodded, "It took us four men to stop one Happy user... That is why we can't be lenien-"

Titanna shook her head before turning to Miles and said, "You! I want to request a team of the best troops you can get. They will be assigned to the Police Chief to help combat this drug!"

"If it spreads into our city..." Titanna glanced at everyone with a serious expression. "I can tell you that all our efforts in building this city will go down the drain..."

----- 

The Isles, Port Sanctuary, UN Naval Command Center

Command Ford, Lt Tavor, Dr. Sharon, Chief Matt and few others in virtual space sat around the conference table. Ford tapped his fingers as he looked at everyone in attendance. All that was here both physically or virtually were members of the original crew, in other ways, they were all humans.

"You know now what has happened..." Ford said. "To the Captain and his wife..."

"Who the fuck are they?" Chief Gale of the Airforce growled. "They dare to fuck with us!"

"At this moment we only know they are some of religious nation," Lt Tavor said. "They worship an entity known as the one true god... The God of Creation and Justice, called Ramuh, also known as the Judge."

"Anyone that does not follow their teachings is deemed as heretics... Outlaws or lawless." Lt. Tavor explained. "They are from a fundamentalist theocracy, known as the Protectorate of Ramuh and their citizens are highly fanatical and law abiding."

"As for their military powers," Lt. Tavor shook his head. "We will not talk about it yet as we can't verify that information."

"What we do know is that they came from one corner of the Old World..." Lt. Tavor continued. "The Old World consists of seven Great Nations... Which one of them is the Protectorate."

"The group found in the wreck comes from the nation called the Iron Kingdom," Lt. Tavor said. "The other five nations are the Dragonshire, the Tri State, the Loose Confederation, the Cartel of Amon, and the Suujon Dynasty."

"The Iron Kingdom would be the closest point to the Isles," Lt. Tavor said. "While the Protectorate borders the north of the lands of the Iron Kingdom."

"I think that's enough geography for now," Ford spoke out. "Now, I have gathered everyone here is to come out with a solution to cross that End Zone..."

"What we do know is that the seas inside the End Zone are dangerous..." Ford said. "Whirlpools, water spurts, hurricanes, and even sea monsters are the norm inside."

"As for the skies, it is constantly covered in a thick layer of clouds which can form into a storm with a snap of your fingers," Ford said. "And for the distance between the End Zone to the Old World, we have no idea, except that it took our friends more than a month of blind travel."

"Our aircraft might be able to cross the zone, but they definitely will have no fuel to return back," Ford added. "While our current ships are too small to attempt the crossing without high risks."

"So, all of you here," Ford looked at everyone in the eye and said. "I need you all to come out with ideas that we can use to make a crossing over and back safely..."

"Well... we do have three Resource class cargo ship hulls laid down currently at Far Harbor," Chief Matt said. "We can stop work and retrofit them become small assault ships..."

"But the Resource class ships do not have the speed..." Ford pointed out. "They are too slow and clumsy at manoeuvring."

"Hmmm... supposed we upgrade the engines?" Chief Matt grinned. "We are starting to get crude oil and gas from Port Sanctuary. We can push out a gas turbine for the ships..."

Ford nodded, "Okay, that's something for a starter. What else?"

Air Force Commander Tommy's virtual image asked, "What about that... air crystal thingy? Can we make use of it?"

Chief Matt frowned as he answered, "We are still running tests, but I doubt we have salvaged enough Aetherium crystals off the wreck to be useful. Not to mention, the Isles wants some of it too."

"Maybe we can use what we have to make some kind of UAV?" Commander Tommy suggested. "We need eyes anyway on the other side..."

"Ahem..." Lt. Tavor suddenly cleared his throat. "I will like to propose something..."

"Since we need intel badly on the End Zone and the Old World," Lt. Tavor gave a cold grin and pointed towards the ceiling. 

"Why not we try to take back our survey probe that is still up there."

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Fell ill last week =/ *update dropped the wrong chapter... this is the correct one...


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