The Isles, Port Sanctuary, UN Naval Base, Worker Dorms, Canteen

Claire cried as she rushed over to the smiling Professor as he walked into the dining room and hugged him tightly. Professor Hamlot patted her gently, "How are you, child?"

She sobbed into his clothes and after a while, she calmed down and answered, "I was alone all the time but I am fine..."

"They did not hurt you?" The Professor asked in concern. "Or ill treated you in any way?"

Claire shook her head, "No... they only kept asking me questions..."

Professor Hamlot nodded in relief, "It is good that you are unharmed. I wonder how is the other two doing..."

Just as he finished his sentence, the door of the empty canteen opened and the two boys, Uwen and Berringer came in before the guards closed the door. Berringer, his eyes red, cried out in happiness, "Professor! Claire! You all are alright?"

"Berringer!" Claire gave the once plump boy a hug as he ran over to join them. "You are fine too?"

Berringer nodded enthusiastically, "I wasn't hurt by these strange people... But they kept asking me questions."

Uwen walked over and gave a sarcastic smile at Claire before taking a seat at one of the long tables. Berringer frowned at Uwen's behaviour, "Hey Uwen... Aren't you glad to see Claire and the Professor?"

"Blah!" Uwen sneered. "She got us into this mess in the first place! Why should I be glad?"

"Now we are in some unknown place..." Uwen folded his arms. "We don't even know if we ever be able to return home! Or... even if they will let us live!"

"We might even be turned into slaves," Uwen continued his rant. "I heard some places even eat the brains of their captives... Well, she might be better off, since they make her into a sex slav-"

"Enough!" Professor Hamlot glared at Uwen. "Stop your tantrum, boy!"

Uwen gave snorted indignantly as he turned away from the Professor. Professor Hamlot sighed and said, "The important thing now is everyone is safe. We will find out what our... saviours and captors want from us soon enough..."

"We are all in this together..." Professor Hamlot glared at Uwen. "We need to stick together or whoever these people are will break us one by one!"

"Professor, do you know who these people are?" Claire asked. "They... seemed to treat us not too badly..."

"Not too bad?" Uwen snorted as he rolled his eyes. "So what did you do? Spread your legs?"

A sudden sharp smack surprised everyone in the room. Uwen's face had a red handprint while Claire gripped her hands into fists. She pointed a finger at Uwen's whose mouth was opened and said, "I had enough of you! Y- you spoiled brat!"

She raised her hand again to give Uwen another slap when Professor Hamlot quickly intervened by grabbing her hand. "That is enough... I think he learnt his lesson..."

Claire sat down with her head lowered and covered her face with her hands. Berringer looked left and right, wondering who should he comfort while Uwen had tears forming on his eyes as he massaged his swollen cheek.

Professor Hamlot turned to Uwen and said sternly, "Boy... You have crossed a line there with your words! I don't care if you are an Iron Noble's son! There is something that you should never do or say!"

"Th- that lowborn bitch d- dared to hit me!" Uwen shook with anger, pain, and humiliation. "I will break you!"

Professor Hamlot suddenly reached out with surprising strength and gripped the collar of Uwen and pulled him close. "Listen, you stupid boy! This is not the place nor time for your stupid noble games!"

"We are all in this together!" Professor Hamlot repeated his earlier words. "She is your ally here in this unknown place! Do you want to kill us all with your stupidity? Huh?"

He shoved Uwen back down on his seat and jabbed a boney finger against his chest, "Be a man and do something useful instead of being conceited! The next time this happens again, I will not stop her from beating you up! Do you understand, boy?"

Uwen turned his glaze to the Professor and reluctantly gave a nod. Yet the anger in his eyes did not fade and Professor Hamlot knew that he might give concede now but if they ever return to the Iron Kingdom, he will take revenge on Claire. Yet, there is nothing he can do for now as they were all captives in a strange place.

Berringer gave a weak smile and hoping to change the tense atmosphere of the room, asked the Professor, "Professor, they questioned me a lot on the geography of our lands and even customs."

"Did they asked the same of everyone?" Berringer tried to get everyone involved. "They asked me about how we came here and even how our flying ship worked."

Professor Hamlot nodded, "Yes, I was asked similar questions too. They could be trying to find out our identities."

"Could this place be the Loose Confederation?" Berringer asked. "I heard that their understanding of steam works are cruder and lower than the rest of the Seven."

"I do not know," Professor Hamlot frowned. "But I do know they seemed to speak some sort of archaic language..."

"Yes..." Claire suddenly spoke. She rubbed her face and ignored the hatred look from Uwen and said, "When I first woke up, they spoke in some sort of strange language. There were one or two words I think I heard before but... I just can't place it."

"Hmmm..." Professor Hamlot nodded in agreement. "I too seemed to find some of their words familiar..."

"Of course, you all will find their language familiar," Uwen worked his jaw, wincing in pain. "They are speaking the old tongue. High Elstimar to be exact."

"Hmmm... yes... Yes!" The Professor bobbed his head in excitement as he thought back to the language used. "You are right! Amazing! High Elstimar hasn't been used for over... a hundred and fifty years!"

"Wait... this is impossible!" Berringer scratched his head. "Uwen, how can you be so sure they are using High Elstimar?"

"I'm the son of an Iron Noble," Uwen tilted his head smugly. "I have private tutors who taught me the ancient languages and history!"

Claire rolled her eyes at Uwen's words and mumbled under her breath. "And I don't see you studying so hard in school..."

"If they truly are speaking High Elstimar..." Berringer's eyes turned wide. "Could... Could we have gone back in time when we crossed the Sea of Clouds? Is that why ships that entered the Sea of Clouds never returned?"

"That... might be possible..." Professor Hamlot bobbed his head again as he pondered on the implications. "We might have entered some kind of space magic that carried us to another dimension across time!"

"How can there be such a thing as time travel?" Claire cried out. "This... This is madness!"


The Isles, Port Sanctuary, UN Naval Base, Security

Lt. Tavor laughed as he watched them from behind a camera. "The old guy is pretty smart... Guess that is why he's a professor. But the kids are hilarious. Time travel! Hahaha!"

"Sir, why are we putting them together?" Lt. Tavor's aide asked. "If they choose to plan to collaborate their story...?"

"No, they are not that smart. We have already questioned them as much as we wanted," Lt. Tavor replied. "The one I want the most to open up is the old man."

"But..." Lt. Tavor smiled and tapped on the screen of the seated boy. "Now we know who is the weakest link among them. I am sure we can make use of that emo kid somehow..."


United Nations, Far Harbor, Naval Docks, Office

Chief Matt watched his team of engineers, techs and... goblins argue over the set of blueprints. He let them yell at each other for another while more before he banged the table, bringing some order to the room.

The humans, elves, and goblins stopped their heated argument and stared at Chief Matt who folded his arms at the head of the table as he glared at everyone. "This is not a market!"

"I want ideas!" He growled at his team. "Not arguments!"

"But Big Chief Boss!" A goblin with a pair of oversized goggles on his bulbous head spoke up in a respectful tone. "Dumb hoomans and elves just wan to put more engines on ships!"

The goblin's long pointy ears wobbled wildly as he shook his head, "If water sucker comes... ship too small... ship still gets suck into salty water!"

Chief Matt had to internally translate the goblin's words, "You are saying unless we build a larger ship, it won't survive the whirlpools?"

"Yes, Big Chief Boss!" The goblin smiled happily and started to hop on his seat in excitement. "Not just bigger... Many many size bigger!"

Chief Matt narrowed his eyes suspiciously at the goblins were showing much enthusiasm while the rest of the engineering team groaned. The goblin hopped onto the table top with a roll of paper and spread it in front of Chief Matt. The other goblins ignored the protests from the rest of the team and helped hold down the corners of the blueprints.

"Looky here!" The goblin with the goggles said as he straightened his back and placed both hands behind his back in an imitation of someone giving a serious talk. He grabbed a long thin stick handed over by another giggling goblin and used it as a pointer as he tapped its point to the drawing on the paper.

Chief Matt frowned as he looked at the drawings which were surprising drawn quite well. He knew the goblins were quick witted and very dextrous with their hands but he did not know they could draw this well. "Did you all drew this?"

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" The goblins chanted in a sing song voice. "We dubbed thy The Super Duper Greg!"

"Oh my god..." The rest of the team moaned and groaned at the goblins who booed them back. "Please stop with the crazy ideas!"

Chief Matt gave a sigh inwardly, feeling like he was running a class of kindergarten kids instead of some of the brightest minds in the UN. He toned out the noise and focused on the drawings instead.

"The Super Duper Greg will have three hulls!" The goggled goblin declared proudly. "One here at each side and one forward! It also has nice... water deck at its butt! We can deploy those fun speedy boats from the butt and butt rape the enemy! Hehehehehee!"

The corner's of Chief Matt's mouth twitched slightly as he controlled his urge to laugh. He gave a cough to cover his smile and asked, "How much tonnage and what is the size?"

The goblin raised up two fingers proudly, "Two hundred thousand tons!"

"What the fuck?" Chief Matts blinked his eyes in shock while the rest of the engineering team shook their heads. "How big you guys are planning this?"

"Biggest and baddest floating base!" The goblins chanted again before the goblin giving the presentation waved for them to quieten down to allow him to continue his presentation. "Sea too dangerous for anything smaller!"

"Super Duper Greg designed to ignore bad weather, water suckers, and monsters!" The goblin grinned, showing off his surprisingly white sharp teeth. He tapped his pointer to one spot on the drawing and said. "God killing cannon can be placed here too so that Super Duper Greg can kill Gods!"

"This... This is madness..." Chief Matt whispered as he looked at the plans which were basically a giant floating city with everything from runways to barracks, to even shopping malls, judging by the big red arrows and text pointing here and there. There was even a supposed figurehead of the goblin Greg at the pow.

"Madness?" The goblins laughed and they chorused together.


A note from neo Koh

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