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The New Kingdom of Mecca, Reachfield, United Nation Forward Operating Base

Captain Blake silently stood staring at the large screen set up with his hands clasped behind his back. His once form fitting uniform now slightly loose on his frame as he lost several kilos over the months. The display showed a greenish top down view taken from a circling reconnaissance FB - 1 Marine over the area of operations.

Blops of bright luminous glare occasionally colored the grainy greenish display and brought the outline of the focused image clearer. Flashes of light sprinkled on and off along the sides of the fat oval shape of the Protectorate flagship as the Marine helicopter gunships strafed the hull with their guns destroying any exposed weapon ports to disarm its teeth.

Bright streaks of tracer fire flickered all over the airship while several transport helicopters with blinking infrared beacons came hovering over the deck of the Protectorate airship. Blake watched the grainy images of Marines storming out of the transports and formed up before they headed into the ship through hatches.

"Sir, Marine Ops reports the second wave of Marines has landed," An operator gave his report. "They have a full company of Marines on board the enemy airship including one company of 101st. Wounded and the... dead are been transferred onboard..."

Blake nodded in acknowledgement as he kept his eyes on the screen. "Sir, the Marine Griffins will be after the loading of wounded and returning for the third wave of reinforcement. ETA of third wave... forty five mikes!"

"CNO further reports all enemy airships destroyed," The operated continued. "Remaining enemy cargo airships are disabled too. Fleet is switching over to rescue and recovery operations. CNO is asking if there any further instructions in regards to any prisoner taken?"

Blake's eyes twitched slightly as he heard the report. He closed his eyes as he took a deep breath to compose himself as a surge of anger rose from the depths of his soul before he answered in a coarse voice. "Let... Commander Ford... decide how he wants to deal with any... prisoners... he has taken..."

"... Yes sir..."

-----

Protectorate Flagship Aggression, Upper Decks

Slow drained the whole packet of fruit juice before slipping it back into his pant's pocket. "Ahh... I am healed!"

The medic rolled his eyes and replied, "You lost some blood and the good thing about you green skins is that you recover fast! I gave you a minor healing spell already so you should be more than able to get back in the fight."

"Thanks, doc!" Slow grinned, happy to go back into the fight. But his smile soon faltered as he gestured around the cabin turned temporary aid station where several bodies were laid out on ponchos and stretchers. "How about my guys?"

"Danner lost his right hand, but with some high level healing he should be able to get his arm put back with a minor lost of function, hopefully..." The medic replied without looking up as tied up the loose ends of the bandage on Slow's thigh. The medic paused for a moment before sighing and said in a low voice, "Potae has gone to the gates. Ten is in critical condition... he might or might not make it"

"And all the guys from Section Three," The medic added in a grim voice. "Those farking Beetle Head's weapons are farking cruel... The stabs and cuts are bad enough... but still... they had to cook and burn the internal organs up..."

"Without getting any of the critically wounded to a high level doctor," The medic clenched his fists in helpless anger. "We can't do much for them... except to end their suffering..."

"The bloody Blue Boys weren't even as cruel as these farking Beetle Heads!" The medic cursed. "And you were lucky! Your wounds weren't anywhere near any of your critical organs! And damn green skins always heal fast!'

Slow let out a deep breath and gave a heavy assuring pat on the medic's shoulder. He stood up and collected his weapon and said, "They will be avenged."

With that said, Slow walked out of the cabin and past the Marine guards who helpfully pointed the way to the sounds of battle. Slow gave a nod and made his way down the passageway his blood lust up. The sounds of gunfire grew louder and louder and bodies of red coated bodies were piled up along the passageway the closer Slow reached the front.

Slow saw the backs of his fellow Marines holding an intersection of the passageway. One group was laying suppressing fire into a hatchway where bodies were piled up like cordwood, yet there was no sign of the enemy's attack lessening as the fanatical enemy kept attempting to rush out.

After getting directions from the group of Marines holding the intersection, he continued deeper into the airship, looking for the rest of his men. Soon he found himself entering an area that looked vastly different with the remainder of the airship. The bulkheads were no longer in the ugly grey metal or wood and dimly lit.

Instead, the bulkheads in the new area were covered in polished dark wood panels, the decks were covered in a deep crimson carpet and glow lamps in crystal holders lit the way brightly. Slow was certain he has entered what they called 'officer land' as the decor was rich and beautiful, unlike the gloomy decks of the enlisted.

His footsteps were muffled by the soft carpet and because of his intent to reach the sounds of battle, he unexpectedly slammed into a body just as he turned around the corner. He was barely shaken by the impact as he weighed almost twice as heavy as the person who went sprawling back on the carpet.

In his surprise, he spotted a white masked Protectorate in a fancy looking long red coat. The white masked elf shook his head as he recovered from the impact and scrambled straight for his fallen blade. Slow recognizing the cruel sword was similar to the red Beetle Heads that dealt horrific wounds to himself and his fellow Marines, let out an angry growl.

He quickly stormed forward and stamped down hard with his size seventeen Made in Haven combat boots onto the wrist of the masked elf. The weight of over a hundred and fifty kilos of pure muscles made a loud snap of broken bones and a cry of pain followed next.

The screaming Protectorate curled up in pain and suddenly he shot out his good hand and tossed out a spell. A loud thunderous crack of lightning burst fore and slammed into Slow, sending the shocked Oerkin flying backwards and slamming into the bulkheads, smashing the wooden panels.

Slow coughed as the thick smell of ozone, burnt flesh and charred fibres overwhelmed him. He got on to his feet groggily, shaking his head and waving away the smoke around him and stepped forward shakily. Waves of searing pain rippled through his body and he felt some of his old wounds reopening and turning his vision red and hazy.

As he stepped out from the smoke, he endured the pain that was threatening to shut down his body. In his red vision, he saw the cursed masked elf struggling to his feet while cradling his broken hand. Slow let out a growl of pure anger and pain and he forced himself to take one step after another forward.

The masked elf seemed to sense danger and he turned his head around. Despite the mask on, Slow could feel that the masked eyes were actually wide in fear and shock. The masked elf quickly scrambled to his feet to escape but Slow was not going to let him run away. He hoisted his LMG up one handedly and let the light machine gun loose.

The 8.6 mm rounds spat out from the muzzle of the MG - 1 'Mage Breaker' at 500 rounds per minute at a speed travelling at 807 meters per second did not even take a second to slam into the running Protectorate's back.

In barely nine seconds, the 75 rounds drum magazine ran dry and the weapon lived up to its name of Mage Breaker as the masked elf's magical shields barely held up at all. The surrounding carpet and wooden panelled bulkheads were totally shredded by the fierce barrage of gunfire.

Slow limped forward heavily, dropping the spent drum mag and slapping in a fresh mag. He grunted in pain and stood over the masked elf who had curled up with his arms protectively over his head. A small pooch of shiny mana stones had scattered out on the ring of undamaged carpet around the masked elf.

Despite not having any visible injuries, other than the broken hand, blood seeped out from under the chin of the masked elf, the blood merging with the same blood red color of his red coat. Without another word, Slow planted his size 17 boots into the mask of the elf, sending him slamming onto the carpeted decks like a broken doll.

The mask cracked and Slow decided to vent his anger and pain on the limp body a few more by kicking and storming before pain and exhaustion overtook him. He spat out a mouth of blood and slumped down against the destroyed wooden panelled bulkheads and cursed again. "I hate... mages..."

-----

Tyrier stepped out from the corner of the passageway smoothly, his weapon covering his sector while Altied did the same on the other side who gave report. "Clear!"

"Medic!" Tyrier called out as he spotted the destruction of the passageway and the two bodies, one broken on the floor, clearly, the masked elf which they were tracking and a blood covered familiar looking Oerkin in Marine fatigues.

They cleared the passageway before Young rushed forward with his medical satchel out and checking the condition of the Oerkin. "He still got a weak pulse."

Young started treatment of the Oerkin while Tyrier and the Claymore Six team lead crouch over the broken body of the masked elf. They could see the lumbered rising and falling of the masked elf chest as they bent over him. "Still alive, I see..."

Tyrier shook his head, thinking of how much firepower and bodies they had spent to try take down this masked elf and in the end, it just took one Oerkin at the right time and place to take all the credit. Releasing a deep sigh, he just let out a smile as he saw how messed up the masked elf's condition was and said, "Don't screw with the Oerkin... especially a Marine!"

-----

Dawn broke out over the horizon, the warm rays of the sun slowly covered the smoke shrouded city that had suffered a night of bombardment and brought a new day. The massive fat Protectorate airship remained floating in the air a fair distance away from the besieged city with few of the disabled escorts and transports meekly clustered around its hull under the watchful guns of circling Unicorn gunships.

Dozens of smaller blue water ships surrounded the floating airships on the ocean's surface while a frenzy of activity of flying transport helicopters moved up and down among the ships in the air and water. Further away, a couple of ships and small watercraft scoured the water surfaces and floating debris and wrecks for any more survivors.

Commander Ford stepped off the ramp of the Griffin, the powerful whopping helicopter blades forcing him to bend his body to remain stable on his feet. The flight to the airship rework some sense of nostalgia of the UNM's space ships as he ordered the pilot to circle around the Protectorate's flagship for him to take in the sights.

Now stepping out of the downwash of the rotors, a couple of Marine commanders including General Frank approached him with a wide smile on his face. "Sir! Welcome onboard the Aggression. We are now officially sky pirates!"

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