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The New Kingdom of Mecca, Frontier City

The stout city gates erupted into flames and shattered pieces as a barrage of 70 mm rockets slammed into it. The city guards knocked off their feet could only watch with stunned fear at the metal wagons rolling into the city as if they owned it. Ballista towers and dragon cannons that tried to return fire were hit with explosions, turning them into ciders and mangled metal.

Strangely enough the metal wagons did not stop to attack anyone. They ignored the guards and city folk in their path and instead headed straight for the castle and the estates of the nobles. There, the rear of the boxy wagons opened up and soldiers in strange and ugly multi colors stormed into the estates and castles, subduing the guards. What further shocked the people was that these soldiers started to carry out chests of gold, silver and other valuables.

But despite their protests, the people could only kept quiet as they watch these strange soldiers with their powerful thunder weapons loot the city treasury and the manors of their lords.

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United Nations, City of Haven, Fortress Singapore

Ford was angry as he glared at Blake's image on the display, "With all respect Sir, this is daylight robbery! How could you approve such measures!"

"You said we needed money," Blake's tone was cold and uncaring. "Now you have the money to fund everything you needed."

"Not by robbing others and killing people!" Ford growled. "Captain... Richard! Stop this madness!"

"Madness?" Blake shook his head, his tone soft. "We had been kind enough to these... people..."

"This world has taken too many of our people away already!" Blake spoke forcefully. "No more... enough is enough!"

"They want war? I shall grant them their wishes!" Blake said. "And besides, I am only taking the wealth from those corrupted nobles who squeezed the common people dry! And since the nobles are already dead... I see no reason why not to take over their wealth and land."

"Under our rule," Blake's eyes glittered with steel. "This world will be a better place! Famine... war... sickness... inequality... All... shall... be... gone!"

"But Richard!" Ford shook his head. "There are better ways in doing this!"

"I agree there are better ways," Blake ceded the point. "But it takes too much time!"

"Understand this, Commander!" Blake said. "We are at war! The enemy beyond the End Zone is right here in our yard! The nations and kingdoms of this continent are still fractured and in conflict!"

"You want to be Emperor?" Ford hissed. "Just like that Bluewood Emperor? Is that it?"

"If becoming an Emperor can solve all these problems we face..." Blake softly replied. "Than I shall raise up to be the Emperor..."

"Richard!" Ford was shocked. "Do you realized what you are saying? Are you even hearing your own words? You want to be a despot? A military dictator?"

"What happened to your values?" Ford snapped. "Your integrity? Your honor? How will Sherene felt if she knew how you changed?"

"ENOUGH!" Blake roared. "Do not speak of her name! They took her away from me! THEY SHALL PAY IN BLOOD!"

"CAPTAIN!" Ford yelled back. "You are breaking the code! Come to your goddamn senses!"

"Kevin..." Blake closed his eyes as he spoke in a mild voice. "Either you stand with me, or... you can step down from your position."

"This is something that I need to do..." Blake continued on. "Don't worry... Either way, I will see this through to the end!"

Ford glared silently at the display as Blake terminated the connection. He slammed his fist down hard at the table top, "FUCK! He has gone mad!"

-----

New Kingdom of Mecca, Reachfield, United Nations Forward Operating Base

Blake slumped back into the field chair and closed his tired eyes. He reached down to his boots and slipped a hold out revolver from his ankle holster. He opened his eyes and flipped the revolver chamber out and dumped out all five rounds onto the folding table. Slowly, he picked up one round and inserted into the chamber and spun it before flicking his wrist to snap the chamber back and placed the muzzle into his mouth.

He took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger. There was a sharp snap as the hammer hit the empty chamber. "ARGHhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Blake flung the revolver away as he bent down over his knees in frustration and pain. It was another day, and yet another failed attempt to die. He remained bent over his knees until he gotten his emotions in order before he straightened up and packed away his weapon.

"If luck does not want me dead..." Blake whispered to himself as he put on his coat. "Then others shall die in my place... till I die..."

-----

The Old World, At the edge of the Sea of Cloud

A massive shape blotted out the sun, casting a deep shadow across the lands. The people in towns and villages, toiling in fields and forests, all paused their work to stare up at the object covering the skies. The simple folk started cheering as they recognized the banners trailing underneath the flying object while excited children tried to chase the flying island.

Dozens of fish shaped airships escorted the flying island that span almost a kilometre in length and four hundred meters in width. Jagged upside down mountains poked down from the island base with banners and flags fluttering from the sharp points. While on the topside, an iron castle with walls and even clumps of forest took up the entire surface. The castle and the walls were made up of riveted armor plating and steam cannon turrets were all over the place, their barrels pointed out at an angle. Even underneath the island were turrets mounted all over.

At the rear end of the flying island, there were over a dozen giant air screws that provided the needed propulsion to push the island. Giant smoke stack puffed out steam as the flying island and its convoy slowly made their way towards the Sea of Clouds.

Scores of colorful sky fisherships surrounded the flying island, the fishermen and crew cheering and waving colorful flags in pride. The fisherships broke off when the escort ships started landing on the flying island as it approached the Sea of Clouds. The fishermen and their families watched and prayed from the brave men and women onboard the flying island as it disappeared into the thick clouds.

-----

Half a day later, in another region of the Sea of Clouds, dozens of grey fat teardrop hull shaped airships with smoke puffing out from funnels mounted along the topside of the airships. Rectangular armor skirting covered most of it sides including the vulnerable air screws. Circular view ports lined the sides while the noses of the airships had drill like protrusions jutting out.

The group of airships silently disappeared into the clouds and very quickly, all traces of the Cartel of Amon disappeared with the wind.

-----

Several hours later, another group of airships appeared, this time in two distinctive fleets. One of the fleets had dragons dragging long slender hulls that designs looked ancient. Some of the slender hulls even have row wings, that were muscle and steam powered. The colors of the hulls were mainly in a mix of white and black, making the dragon ships of the Dragon Lords look grim.

The other fleet was the total opposite of the dragon ships. Vibrant colors and banners covered the rakish open totaled ships that looked similar to the sky fisher ships. Cheerful music and laughter could be heard from the ships of the Loose Federation as their ships formed up in a hap hazardous manner.

On the other hand, the dragon ships were like a funeral, as they silently beat their wings to enter the cloud wall. The ships of the Loose Federation happily followed behind the dragon ships as the two allies ventured to cross the Sea of Clouds.

-----

At roughly the same time, at another location of the Sea of Clouds. A fleet of resplendent looking airships of iron grey and silver appeared. The new arrivals have ornate aesthetic designs and decor covering their hulls. Motifs of beasts, monsters and plants covered almost every inch of the ships.

Blue flags fluttered all along the vessels, each displaying a crest of three downward pointing silver triangles on a field of blue. The Tri State's airships maintained perfect formation as they wheeled as one and entered the Sea of Clouds.

-----

Two days later at another region of the Sea of Clouds, another group of airships appeared. This group of airships were large and were in segments. The hull were segmented, the blockish body slowly taping out, creating an look like a pagoda on its side.

The air ships of the Suunjon Dynasty were the last to depart from the Old World and into the New World. Unlike the rest of the Seven Great Nations, the Suunjon Dynasty were sited at the East most regions of the Old World. Hence their fleet did not join the rest in entering the Sea of Clouds from the West borders but instead, the Suunjon Fleet reached the Sea of Clouds from the eastern side,

Same as everyone else, the Suunjon Fleet took a moment to gather its courage, but the airships dove straight into the clouds.

-----

The Isles, First City of the Fleet

Fleet Master Megan smiled like cat as she clinked glasses with Fleet Master Akron and Fleet Master Tediore. Fleet Master Tediore's face was turning red from the alcohol he had consumed, "I did not expect you to be so far sighted, Megan!"

"The price of food had since tripled from this month!" Tediore laughed joyously. "We are rich!"

"Of course!" Megan snorted as she sipped her wine. "The price will go up higher now that this new religious faction that was said to have appear from the Old World keeps the war going!"

"Yes..." Fleet Master Akron nodded. "But the UN seemed not to care about this... I am surprised that they send their troops up to help the New Kingdom of Mecca..."

"Doesn't matter," Megan replied. "In fact, they help prolong the war!"

"Gentlemen," Megan stood up and said. "Now is the time for us to make money!"

"With the UN putting troops into Mecca," Megan had a sly smile. "War will bring up prices of all goods!"

"This time, we will make gold like we had never do so before!" Megan declared. "Wood, metal, oil, grains, and many others... We have plenty stockpiled away for such a moment!"

"But the religious fanatics?" Tediore suddenly asked. "What if the UN can't stop them?"

"If the UN can't stop those fanatics..." Megan sighed, "Than there is no place we can run away to..."

Tediore red face stared at Megan in surprise. Megan gave a laugh and shook her head. "Do not worry about the religious fanatics... We have a surprise of our own if they dare to set their eyes on us!"

"What surprise?" Tediore asked curiously.

Megan gave a nod to Akron who stood up and disappeared behind a curtained room. Shortly after he returned with a long wooden box. After placing the box down on the table, Akron opened the lid and Tediore gasped in shocked happiness. "You found out their secrets?"

"Of course!" Megan started smiling like a cat again as she picked up the long barrel rifle cast in steel and polished wood. "We had our eye on their thunder weapons for years!"

"We managed to... persuade some of those people in the UN to sell us their thunder sticks over a year ago..." Megan's smile deepened as she expertly worked the bolt of the rifle. "Our smiths had long since learn the secrets of their thunder sticks!"

"Incredible!" Tediore stared in wonder at the rifle in Megan's hands.

"Not only these type of thunder sticks..." Akron added. "We can make those larger weapons... called cannons!"

"We can now make thunder weapons on our own!"

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