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The New World, United Nations, City of Hope, Hope Naval Station, Super Dock One

A trio of the latest F/A - 2 Vipers screamed overhead the sea of cheering people. Smoke trails of white, red and blue followed behind each of the second generation aircraft and the formation split off into three directions and spitting flares to the enjoyment of the crowds.

The massive triple hull of the newly completed supercarrier took up the entire length of the super docks which was almost half a kilometre long. Crowds thronged the side of the docks, waving flags and cheering at the fireworks and aerobatic show put up by the UN Airforce.

Sailors in white uniforms lined up in ranks all along the bulwark of the supercarrier waving back at the excited cheering crowd. For most of the people who did not work on the supercarrier was stupefied by the sheer size of the ship that was made almost entirely out of iron and steel. The sense of pride in seeing such a vessel that came out of their nation made the people wild with ecstasy, hope, and confidence in the small growing nation they were part of.

As the crowd enjoyed the entertainment and sights of the launch ceremony, a trio of helicopters came in low over from the other side of the docks. A CH - 1 Griffin came flaring up, cutting off its airspeed as it slowed to a hover over the central flat top of the supercarrier while its two AH - 1 Unicorn escorts peeled off.

A green jacketed flight deck crew directed the Griffin down with his light wands and the heavy lifter helicopter landed. Before the dual rotors of the helicopter even start to power down, the rear ramp hatch swung down and Captain Blake strolled off the transport copter.

"Sir!" Commander Ford threw a salute and lead Blake towards the central island, where the bridge, flight control tower was located. The superstructure was shaped like pagoda mast, a resemblance of old World War Two Japanese battleships.

The island sat in the middle hull overlooking the entire vessel with two forward facing turrets and another two at the facing the rear. The main guns were the largest calibre ever built by the United Nations at this point, at 14", the supercarrier mounted twelve of these on four triple gun turrets, each capable of firing a shell weighing 673.5 kg that has an effective range of up to 35 kilometres. Connected on its sides were the flat flight decks with aircraft elevators and rows of 20 mm point defence turrets and dual 3" all purpose secondary gun turrets.

All in all, the supercarrier looked like a battleship with two carriers glued together on its sides. Blake looked out from the bridge at the crowd thronged along the docks before he turned to Ford, "Is the ceremony starting?"

Ford nodded, "Chief Matt rushed back from the north yesterday just to oversee everything is going smoothly."

"Than, let's get it started!"

-----

A famous celebrity singer sang a native song of love and war which the crowd chorused along. Once the song was over, a motorcade drove off the cargo ramp from the side of the supercarrier and stopped before the raised platform where the celebrity welcomed the arrivals.

Blake and Commander Ford stepped out under the thunderous cheering roars of the crowd. Blake nodded while Ford made a small wave with his hands before they walked up the platform. Ford took over the microphone from the pretty singer and addressed the waiting crowd. "Hello, everybody!"

"HELLOOOO!" The crowd roared back. Many had come from other parts of the UN to attend this momentous event.

"I'm glad everyone is so excited about this!" Ford spoke over the laughing crowd. "As you can see behind me... that's where all your tax money is at..."

The crowd cheered, clapped and started chanting, "UOO ANN! UOOO ANNN!"

Ford raised his hands to quiet down the crowd, his image being broadcast across dozens of large projector screens across the docks and all over the nation, where others sat in front of their televisions or watched the event through large displays on storefronts.

"It has taken us many months, of sweat, tears and... money to build this ship," Ford continued, this tone turning serious. "And as you all can recall, the reason this ship was built... Was to find news of our missing Princess."

The crowd turned silent as the mood turned heavy. Blake lowered his head down, the feelings of anguish threatening to spill out. Ford looked over the silent crowd and said, "As you all know, the enemy that took the Princess has returned here, and we recently won an overwhelming victory over them..."

"But still... They will be back!" said Ford. "Already we have word of a fleet of flying ships just days away from our borders!"

"This ship might seem like a waste of time and resources..." Ford made a confession. "I had spoken against the building of it, as I think our resources and time could have gone into something else!"

"But... yet, this ship is something this nation needs!" Ford's voice rosed. "This ship is built by not one or two of us! It is built by every one of you! This ship is the symbol of our Unity! Our Might! OUR VENGEANCE!"

The crowd being roused up by Ford's words roared out their support. Ford gave a nod before he turned to Blake who took over the microphone. The crowd was hushed as they looked upon Blake with awe, for he was the man who seemed to make everything possible in this harsh land.

"I thank you all, first for your support, and efforts both physically and mentally," Blake said in a cold tone. "The Princess... My wife... my child... who was taken away... and many many others that gave their lives for the UN..."

"Their efforts and sacrifice shall not be forgotten," Blake promised. "I shall make this land... this world a better place. A peaceful place for you and your future generations. A world where children and the elderly do not starve or freeze in the cold. A place where wars were a thing of a past, and injustice a myth!"

"A world where people are not toys for the Gods' whims," declared Blake with a fierce glow in his eyes as he glanced over the hot blooded crowd. "A land of freedom, peace, and prosperity!"

"UOO ANN! UOOO ANNN!" The crowd roared. "BLAKE! BLAKE! BLAKE! UOO ANN! UOOO ANNN!"

"But before we get to that stage..." Blake's voice full of steel rolled over the roaring crowd. "We must destroy those who want to destroy our ideals and peace!"

"I give you... the supercarrier UNS Vengence!"

-----

"HELLLOOOO!" Blue Thunder happily hugged the two eggs that were each secured in a specially designed pouch on his body harness as he cheered along with the chanting crowd. Rastraz, on the other hand, was more interested in the food stalls lining the corner of the warehouses.

The crowd gave way for the two dragons who watched the ceremony at a specially designated area for Creatures of Exception Sizes, so as not to accidentally trample someone to death. Rastraz hissed at Blue Thunder, her eyes narrowed as she berated him. "Stop drumming your claws on my babies! And your claws are so dirty!"

"Oh?" Blue Thunder froze as he stopped his claws from twitching to the tune of the music. He looked down at his claws and gave them a good sniff before he rubbed his claws along his flanks. "Hmmm... Sorry... Tee hee!"

Rastraz growled and shook her serpentine head, wondering why did she ever do such a stupid thing to bore his bloodline. She prayed silently to the dragon gods that hopefully her children will not inherit the dumb genes of their father.

"Ooo! Raz! Raz!" Blue Thunder gestured to the supercarrier. "Do you think we should apply to serve onboard the ship?"

"Why would you want to do that?" Rastraz stared at Blue Thunder in shock. "We are doing fine on land, why do you want to go out to sea?"

"Ohh... I just want to see what is it like on the other side," Blue Thunder confessed. "You know, the sense of adventure... I can smell it in the air!"

Rastraz suppressed the urge to give Blue Thunder a good mighty wack on his head, due to him carrying their eggs. "Do you want the children to grow up without a father figure?"

"No! no no!" Blue Thunder quickly replied sheepishly. "I did not mean it that way. Just saying! Just saying..."

-----

The pretty celebrity released the large bottle of champagne which swung down a rope and struck against the prow of the UNS Vengence in a shower of shattered glass and foamy alcohol. Blake stared at the grotesque figurehead of a goblin welded at the prow of the middle hull and a rare smile appeared on his lips.

"Haven't seen you smiled for quite some time," Commander Ford commented as he stood beside Blake looking at the figurehead. "That is the ugliest representation of Greg the goblin..."

Blake's smile vanished just as quickly as it appeared and he handed over a stack of sealed documents. "Here are your new orders."

"So fast?" Ford frowned as he took the thick envelope and ripped the seals off. His frown deepened as he read the documents. "The Vengence hasn't even started its ship trials!"

"Do it together," Blake said. "The unknowns are setting up shop over at Goblin City. Which Intel has reported that yesterday the Goblin City were totally defeated."

"Commander Tommy will be delivering three squadrons of Vipers to supplement the current naval complement of fighter craft you have now," Blake added. "It should bring you up to sixty birds."

"That's not the issue!" Ford sighed. "We have two thirds of the crew green and an experimental power plant using the heart of a fire elemental, for god's sake! Not to mention a thousand and one other things that could go wrong either!"

"Good," Blake replied with a change of expression. "Trial under combat conditions, which is even better."

"I kinda am getting the feeling that you are trying to get me killed..." Ford rubbed his eyes tiredly.

"No, I am not," Blake replied coldly. "You are very useful, why do I wanna have you killed?"

-----

Blue Thunder's eyes were glistering with tears and excitement as the speech ended and the supercarrier was named. "The Vengence!! How... Exciting!"

"You... Will... Not... Run... Off... To... Some... Stupid... Adventure... And... Leave... Me... And... The... Kids... Alone!" Rastraz snapped each word fierce and pinched Blue Thunder's wing, making him squeak in pain and causing the crowd around them to laugh at their lover's antics. "Do... You... UNDERSTAND IN THAT SMALL BRAIN OF YOURS?"

"YES! YES! OW! YES MADAM!" Blue Thunder moved out of reach from Rastraz sharp claws and curled his pinched wing protectively over and he blew gently on the spot that was starting to swell and turn red. "Violence is not good..."

"Grrrrrrr..." Rastraz bared her teeth threatening at Blue Thunder who flinched back in horror.

He thrust his chest out and used the eggs he was carrying on his chest rig as a deterrent against Rastraz. "Look, kids! Your, mommy, is so fierce! When you two grow up, you must not learn to be like her!"

"Oh?" Rastraz's eyes glowed and the temperature around her started to rise as she stared angrily at Blue Thunder. "How do you want to die? I can fulfil your death wish right here, RIGHT NOW!"

"Peace! peace!" Blue Thunder gulped nervously, thinking that maybe his joke has gone too far. "I was just teasing you!"

"Hmph!" Rastraz turned her head away in angry before she said in a low voice. "If you want to go see the other land, you better bring us along!"

"Huh? What did you just say?" Blue Thunder blinked his eyes innocently. "I did not catch it."

"GO AND DIEEE!"

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Blue Thunder has unlocked a new skill! < Courting Death - Level 1 >


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