Goblin Coast, UNS Vengeance, En route to Far Harbor
"Good FUCKING morning gentlemen!" Master Sergeant, 'Top', Pike yelled at the assembled troops that had formed up on open decks of Flight Deck 'A'. "Seems like you boys have been having a good time of your lives, yes?"
"NO, MASTER SERGEANT!" The Marines roared out as Pike walked down the line doing an inspection.
"Holy fuck, boys!" Pike shook his head dramatically. "You lot look like you need some exercise to trim those beer bellies!"
Pike glanced up to the sky and broke into a nasty grin. "We got clear blue skies, nice sea breeze and even a fucking fantastic view of the ocean! So give me two laps around the flight deck! MOVE!"
The Marines groaned inwardly as the platoon leaders faced them to the side and they started jogging in step with Pike running along with the Marines and singing cadence in step. On the flying bridge, Commander Ford smiled at the sight of the fearsome orcs turned into little mice under Top. But his smile faded as his thoughts turned grim, that how many of these 'men' were going to die in the coming weeks.
"Sir!" A naval aide appeared behind him and handed him a report. "The captain says the schedule is proceeding as planned. The Vengeance will dock on time on Far Harbor within two hours."
Ford nodded, "Tell the captain to have the crew pickup the cargo once we docked."
He turned back to watching the Marines running around the flight deck and despite his misgivings, he felt a sense of pride at the men and women putting in their best in their jobs.
The Kingdom of Foral, East Coast, Caster Castle
"What a wonderful specimen this is!" The Duke of Caster said admiringly at the chained up dragon inside the sand pit. His thin frame was dressed in a luscious dark blue coat that shimmered under the sun rays as paced around the dragon. "Look at its scales! Such a rare black color! Just the color I like!"
"What breed is this?" He paused in his examination as he turned around to the Knight down on one knee. "Where did you find this creature?"
"My Duke," The Knight Captain quickly replied in a respectful tone. "This creature was fished up by villagers along the East Coast of your lands. "Seeing its color, I was certain that you Excellency will be delighted by it. Hence, I took the liberty of bringing this creature to you!"
"Well done!" The Duke reached out to touch the dragon which reared back as far as the chains allowed it to and hissed fiercely through the iron muzzle attached over its snout. Fiery sparks hissed out from the gaps of its teeth but the iron muzzle prevented its mouth from opening fully to breathe flames out. "You will be greatly rewarded!"
"Thank you, my Lord!" The Knight Captain hid a satisfied smile as he bowed his head and only when he was out of sight did he break into a big smile.
"Such a magnificent color!" The Duke stared hungrily at the glossy midnight black scales of the dragon, which reflected his own image. "I wonder how will I look wearing it..."
The chained down black dragon suddenly felt a chill down her spine as she saw the hungry look reflected in her captor's eyes and a deep fear griped her heart despite not understanding the words spoken by her captor.
"Don't worry, my beauty," The Duke continued as he eyed various parts of the dragon like a butcher eyeing a slab of meat. "I will turn you into something of such beauty that all across the lands will know of it! Hahahahaha!"
Off the Coastal Waters of Fortress Hensink, UN CorRon Two, UNS Rambo
"Foxtrot Hotel, Foxtrot Hotel, this is UNS Rambo!" The comms specialist on the bridge called out. "We are engaged with the enemy! Requesting aerial support!"
"Foxtrot Hotel, copy. Stand by!"
"Flank speed!" The Captain of the Rambo ordered. "Tell the rest of CorRon to pull open the range as well!"
The corvette's twin screws spun madly, digging deep in the water and kicking up foam as the whole vessel charged forward, its single 3" gun mounts belching flames and smoke out, sending shells shrieking across the skies and detonating in an air burst over the flock of airships and dragons.
The other two sister ships of the UNS Rambo, followed its lead, their engines pushed to their endurance as they put a distance between the rapidly approaching fleet of air ships that they were trailing.
Group Bravo, the designation given by High Command on the unknown enemy contacts had been quiet even after the fiasco with the night raid. The large fleet of airships hovered over a couple of islet and seemed to be contend to just float around when suddenly, there was a hive of activity.
The entire Group Bravo suddenly seemed like a stirred up beehive as the air ships started moving and heading towards CorRon Two rapidly. Using some kind of magic or devices, the colorful airships of Group Bravo suddenly accelerated to speeds that were on par with the fastest aircraft of the United Nations Air Force.
The three ships of CorRon Two immediately turned and put out as much speed as possible to keep the distance. Urgent radio messages started transmitting to and fore from the small flotilla to Fortress Hensink and other naval ships at the fortress lit their boilers and scrambled to sail in support of CorRon Two.
Alert aircraft standing by at the airstrip of Fortress Hensink were rolled out of their protective hangars and launched off into the skies. The sleek pusher prop monoplanes formed up before charging over to CorRon Two's reported positions.
The order to engage soon came down from the very top through the radio and the Captain of the Rambo let out a relieved sigh as he ordered his crew and the squadron to engage. Almost immediately, the tense of the crew lessened as the four 3" dual purpose guns in single mount roared, as if the guns released their pent up tension.
Puffs of black grey smoke carpeted the fast approaching colorful airships while the large and more solemn looking black and white air ships hang at the back, trying to keep pace with the faster ships. The 3" dual purpose guns spat shells fuzed to explode in the air, that upon exploding, shattered out a cloud of deadly shrapnel.
The three UN ships were putting out flak into the air at a rate of 15 rounds per minute, at four guns for each ship. The result was for each minute Group Bravo was chasing the three UN ships, 180 smoke puffs covered the air fleet and thousands of deadly shrapnel slashed into Group Bravo.
Flying ships without magic protection soon felt the toil of damages accumulating as crew, not under protective cover were cut down by clouds of shrapnel. Sails were ripped and air paddles crawling the air were shattered together with unprotected air screws.
One by one, airships started falling out of formation or too crippled to maintain their mad headlong rush. Brightly colored debris and blood twinkled under the reflection of the bright sun rays as they trailed down behind Group Bravo like some sort of morbid celebration confetti.
The airships spread out which reduced the effectiveness of the flak thrown by the CorRon Two which in turn, the corvettes started independent targeting, spamming their guns at one target until it retired or was shot down. Yet, the air ships showed no signs of stopping their mad charge, infact it seemed they were even more determined as they controlled to weather the punishing AA fire from the three UN ships.
"Have they gone mad?" The captain of the Rambo hissed as he watched another two burning air ships dropped down onto the waves, the black inky smoke spewed out from their hulls looked like someone drew a couple of black lines down on the horizon.
"Sir!" The comms specialist called out, "Inbound fighters! ETA two minutes!"
The captain nodded as he turned back out of the armoured window shutters of his bridge to observe Group Bravo chasing them through a pair of powerful binoculars. He shook his head as he saw another colourful dot shuddered through several black puffs before seemingly coming apart at its seams. Bits and pieces and what looked like cartwheeling figures rained down from the shattered ship as it lost aerial buoyancy.
"Poor farking bastards..."
The one sided battle last barely three hours and the surface of the ocean was littered with debris and bodies. Monstrous sea monsters reached from beneath the ink depths of the ocean with their tentacles to drag the dead and sometimes still screaming bodies down into their maws.
The captain of the UNS Rambo shuddered as he saw the carcass of a blackish dragon being drag under by tentacles that were thicker than the dragon's neck and the carcass disappeared from the sight soon after.
Recovery and rescue were well underway at the moment, as the ships and sailors of the UN Navy combed the debris coated ocean for any sights of life or scrap worth salvaging. But the blood from the dead had roused the appetites of the surrounding sea monsters and predators, making recovery and rescue difficult.
A loud muffled roared broke out some distance away and a large spray of water jetted up into the air, as one of the corvettes dropped a depth charge off the side to scared away the ocean predators, to allow the small motor launches to rescue a couple of people hanging on to their lives on some debris.
Overhead, a flight of the Air Force's Vipers roared by, their grey fuselage glittering under the sun. CorRon Two had been reinforced by CorRon Three and Five, including an two entire squadron of Airforce Vipers dispatched from Fortress Hensink. The Vipers came in first, fast and hard, their 20 mm guns easily chewing up the flock of dragons that swarmed out from the slower black and white air ships.
By the time CorRon Three and Four linked up with CorRon Two, most of the dragons were down, and the nine ships' AA fire fired from beyond Group Bravo's engagement range was its doom. Group Bravo's remaining air ships suddenly split in all directions as they sought to escape destruction.
But the UN Air Force and Navy did not let them go as they too split up and hunted down all the ships one by one. The colorful air ships seemed to have depleted whatever ability that allowed them to achieve sprinting speeds. Like exhausted animals, some surrendered while others remained headstrong, trying their best to evade and run, but only to get shot down by rocket barrages loosened off by the Air Force F/A - 2 Vipers.
Now, UN ships, once enemies with Group Bravo, scoured the waves for any signs of survivors to be rescued. The captain shook his head as a small cheer floated over the breeze as a motor launch picked up half a dozen shaken and sodden survivors off a wreck. He found the whole scene strangely ironic as just a couple of hours ago, they had been trying so hard to kill those people, yet now, they were trying so hard to save them.
"What a strange time we live in," The captain mumbled under his breath as he watched a dozen air ships were clustered together and being lead away by CorRon Four like some kind of floating pet. A flight of Vipers buzzed over them like flies, keeping an eagle eye out for any signs of mischief.
A volley of cannon fire roared and the captain turned just in time to see a large tentacle vanishing under the waters, nearly dragging a nearby motor launch and its crew under in its angry retreat. A dark slimy substance oozed up to the surface and the water bubbled as the sea monster was injured.
"Farking strange times indeed..."