United Nations, Haven, First General Hospital
Commander Ford knocked on the office door of Dr. Sharon and waited for a moment till a voice answered him. He pushed the door open and found Dr. Sharon seated behind her work desk, her attention focused on the computer.
"Hey," Ford called out as he closed the door. "Busy?"
"Always!" Dr. Sharon replied and saved her work before turning her attention to Ford. "What brings you here today? Sick? You need a medical cert for a couple of days rest?"
"No..." Ford replied as he sat down. "I... want to talk about... the Captain..."
"Blake?" Dr. Sharon frowned. "What about him?"
"His mental state..." Ford sighed. "He... seemed to be a changed man... The loss of his wife and kid had changed him a lot... His actions might lead to a downfall of the UN..."
Dr. Sharon looked down to her desk as she contemplated her answer. "Military decisions wise, I have no say as I am not a fighting officer. As for his mental state, I can only do so much too."
"I am not a psychologist," Dr. Sharon continued on. "But personally, I would prefer Blake to use his energy in pursuit of vengeance rather than shutting himself in."
"As to the right or wrong decisions he makes," Dr. Sharon stared deep into Ford's eyes. "Isn't it, your job and duty to guide him to the correct decisions as XO?"
United Nations, Fortress Singapore, Naval Intelligence Department
The static on the screen flickered as a 'No Connection Link' remained blinking on the centre of the screen. "Probe entering communication range in... 3... 2... 1..."
A bar appeared next to the triangle icon on the right corner of the operator's screen before the signal strength filled up to the max as the text on the screen changed.
<<< Establishing Connection. . . >>>
<<< Handshake Established. . . >>>
"Sir, we have a connection with the probe," The operator replied. "T minus Four Hours and Twenty Eight minutes and counting down before the probe exits our signal range."
"Alright! I want eyes over sectors L2, L3, N2 and N3 now!" Tavor ordered as he stood behind the row of operators.
After a short moment, the main display on the wall flickered and the green blue and browns of the top geographical view of the continent of the New World appeared. The camera panned as operators commanded the probe's sensors and the view zoomed in more and more. Undefined masses of green blue turned into forests and browns and greys turned into mountains and hills.
Finally, the image was clear enough for man made structures to be seen. Tavor frowned he looked at the image. "There, that city along the edge of the coast! Zoom in more!"
The camera panned and the view zoomed in, turned the image into rough pixels for a moment before the high powered lenses onboard the probe adjusted and the pixels cleared up. "That's their main base... just where the Navy has reported them..."
Tavor straightened up and clapped his hands sharply to gather everyone's attention. "Alright, people! I want eyes on that city and everything up to a hundred klick mark!"
"Start gathering intel on the enemy's movement's, airships, areas of interests, their logistics, supply storage, barracks and so on!" Tavor ordered. "Find out everything you can! Even better if you pinpoint out their commanders or command centres! Dig everything out! Find out everything!"
United Nations, Port of Hope, Dry Dock 01
Blake stood at the edge of the dock, looking up at the chopped up section of the towering hull covered in red anti rust primer. Eye searing sparks of welding torches blazed all over the hulls as workers welded metal together.
"How long more before it is ready for sea trials?" Blake asked without turning.
The shipyard master checked the clipboard of the schedules and replied. "If all goes according to the schedules, in two months."
"Block A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 are already in the finishing stages," The shipyard master said. "Once Block A3, B3, and C3 have finished the installation of the upper decks, assembly of the supercarrier will then begin."
"Once the three hulls have been assembled together," The shipyard master continued. "The power reactors will be filled in and then the top decks and superstructures will be installed, followed by weapon systems, and outfitting the interior of the ship."
The trimaran supercarrier's hull was designated A, B and C and further divided into three sections or blocks for construction. The main dry dock is large enough that it can accommodate the entire supercarrier but at the moment it was partition off into three areas, with the massive blocks of hulls being constructed inside.
Further behind the main dry dock, was three smaller dry docks, each with a section of the supercarrier inside. Once the section of hull was completed, gates that linked to the main dry dock will open up and the completed section of the hull will be rolled forward and join up with the completed hull sections.
Once all nine main blocks of the supercarrier were completed, the partitions dividing up the main dry dock will be removed and the hulls will be assembled together. The installation of the top deck and superstructure of the supercarrier will be carried out last with the help of massive cranes that will lift up the top decks and superstructures that were being constructed in Far Harbour before getting shipped over.
Blake gave a nod before he turned around, "What is the expected lifespan of the hull?"
"Erm... five years," The shipyard master replied. "Best case scenario... Eight years before their condition deteriorate to the point that expected maintenance costs will be too high to justify keeping the ship."
"Five years?" Blake mused.
"Due to the urgency of the project..." The shipyard assumed that Blake was unhappy with the news. "It is the best we can do with most of the new workers, unfamiliar construction techniques, and manufacturing methods..."
"But with the experience gained from this project..." The shipyard master hurried assured Blake. "The next ships we can build will not only have a longer life span but we will also be able to build them faster and more efficiently!"
Blake gave another nod, "That's good enough... for now..."
The New Kingdom of Mecca, Reachfield, UN Forward Operating Base
Sawblades whined and trees cracked as they toppled down with a mighty crash. Over a dozen of quad legged tree harvesters of the Army's Combat Engineers were hard at work cutting down trees and using the logs as materials for building the camp's perimeter walls and buildings.
Other Combat Engineers were both flattening and compacting the terrain for the usage of aircraft while teams of goblins carried metal mesh mats to carpet the ground for the runways. Soldiers dugs trenches and pits to store ammunition and fighting positions for the IFVs to go hull down.
Further out the perimeter of the base, more soldiers patrolled the area and one group had stopped the approach of curious local farmers who came to investigate the activity.
Cork shook his head as he pointed in the opposite direction, "No! Go back to where you came from!"
The farmer with bad teeth and breath instead gave a wink and held up a clay jug of sorts, "Sir soldier, I got me here some sweet wine! Share me some news will you in return for some of this wine?"
"No!" Cork replied the same word for the fourth time. "Go away! This place is dangerous!"
"You boys from the... Oh or Uh.. An?" Another farmer asked as he turned to peer over Cork's men shoulders. "Is there war again? We heard something bad has happened up north!"
Cork sighed inwardly and he gestured to his men, "Get them away from here! No one is to cross over this area!"
The farmers started protesting as Cork walked away, leaving the troublesome handling of the locals to his men. Command had long known that their presence will incur the curiosity of the locals and even the local lord's investigation. There was even a high chance that they might have to fight off the local forces here as they were unlawfully occupying the land which amounted to an act of war.
So far, only the nearby farmers had come to investigate but it was just a matter of time before the word was passed on to the local lord here. And once the runway was up and running, their presence will also no longer be a secret as it was hard to miss and ignore the flight of aircraft.
Cork walked around a mound of dirt that was covered with twigs and leaves. The lowered hull of the IFV came to almost his head as the vehicle had rolled into a fighting position dug out by the engineers. The turret with the stubby gun barrel poked out just beyond the mound of dirt that covered it front and sides.
"Hey, Rich," Cork called out to the vehicle commander of Hunter Two Two as he climbed up the sides of the IFV and joined the short elf inside the gun turret. "The boys have set up a checkpoint just up the road. You see anyone else further away?"
The concealed position of the IFV was dug next to the slope of a gentle hill, its firing arc covering the thickets of forest and rolling fields. A checkpoint roughly sixty metres away was set up and on the crest of the hill, the section's light machine team had dug in and set up their weapons overlooking the area before them.
Roughly two hundred metres away on their left and right flanks, the other sections and IFVs had dug in too and watching their sectors. The short vehicle commander wearing a head protector over a set of oval shaped headset that just barely managed to cover his long ears punched a few keys into the turret controls before him.
The turret whined and the elf flicked a switch and the small display before him jumped, bringing the view closer. He held the twin stick controllers and turn left and right, rotating the turret as he scanned the horizon. "Nothing except for that group of farmers still with your boys!"
"Got it," Cork replied as he climbed back off the vehicle. "Keep watching! Pretty sure the local knights will come checking in soon!"
He next climbed up the slope of the hill and found the remainder of his section busy fortifying their position. A large pit had been dug out and some of the men were filling burlap sacks with earth to reinforce the walls of the fighting pit. Over the pit, camo netting had been raised up, covering the pit from eyes in the sky and provide some form of shade and shelter from the elements.
A small table and chair were placed at one corner with a radio set and boxes of ammunition and other supplies were stack at another. The sections' automatic weapons were placed at the corners of the pit, which allowed them to provide sweeping fire against any enemy that attempted to break through their lines.
Looking out of the position, Cork could see a river glittering under the sun rays half hidden by thick forests. Tiny farms that looked like toys dotted the landscape amongst fields of unripened grain, made the whole scene seemed so relaxed and peaceful.
"Nice view we have here," Krew said as he joined Cork. "Doesn't seem like they are having a famine here."
Cork was about to reply when the loud roaring of rotor engines broke over their position and four sleek looking attack helicopters charged overhead. The long slim olive green bodies of the attack helicopters did a loop around the base before one by one they came to a hover over a completed section of the helipads and landed.
"Yea..." Cork replied. "Nice view here... better enjoy the view while it lasts..."