Emperor Aslan had an uneasy feeling in his chest as he looked around the dimmed room. He was seated on a very comfortable chair before a magical table which surfaces were glowing. White lines and runes of some sort glowed and changed constantly on the table's surface. More similar magic covered the rest of the room's walls and tables in front of a group of United Nations soldiers.
His Court stood behind him, the nobles hurdled together unconsciously as they stared around their surroundings in awe and dread of the unknown magic. Soft hums and voices came from the soldiers seated with strange devices covering their ears as if they were chanting some kind of magic. Aslan wondered if these were the source of all their 'demonic magic' as he looked around.
The tall short eared hooman and the Captain of the ship were conversing in low tones in front of the magic table with some of their staff before the short eared hooman turned around to face them. The glow of the table reflected upon his face appeared to give him a demonic visage as he leaned over the table and smiled.
"Your majesty," The face of the hooman Ford, appeared to be leering evilly from the shadows cast by the soft glow of the table. "As we had agreed, the UN, will provide military aid against the Sky Raiders that appeared on the island of Exile."
A huge black surface behind the hooman suddenly lit up, and for a moment, Emperor Aslan and his Court blinked their eyes as they adjusted to the images that appeared. Aslan frowned as he tried to figure out how and what he was seeing and the hooman Ford stepped to the side to allow everyone to view the magical images.
"This is the enemy camp we are seeing," He said as he gestured to the screen. He snapped something to one of the seated soldiers and the view suddenly zoomed in, and the images became clearer. Rows of strange looking ships appeared to be beached along the shores of a lake mixed together with wooden buildings. "Those parked ships are all airships of the sky raiders."
The image zoomed in again, and to Emperor Aslan and his Court, they could clearly see the views of people, moving around transporting goods while others half naked were logging at the side of a forest. Emperor Aslan sat upright in the chair and spoke out the thought that was in everyone's minds. "What kind of magic is this?"
"A... far scrying... spell..." The hooman Ford said after a moment of thought. "It allows us to see what is happening far away."
"Is... this happening now?" Emperor Aslan asked as his Court mumbled in shock and appreciation of such magic. His mind raced as he thought back. Was this how the United Nations defeated the Imperial Armies?
"Yes, this is in real time," The hooman Ford said a strange phrase which Emperor Aslan did not understand fully. "Everything is happening as we speak."
"Now, moving on," The hooman Ford gestured to the screen again and the view rolled outwards, and soon turned into a dragon eye's view of the lake and the Sky Raider's base. "Your Majesty's troops were supposed to have landed on the south eastern portion of the Exile Island to advance into the enemy base."
"But... so far, we have not seen any of your troops' movements at all," The hooman Ford's tone seemed to turn cold. "Hence, we decided to invite your Majesty here, as a sign of friendship and also to discuss a plan of attack."
"The troops will come where they come!" A rude voice came from behind Emperor Aslan. He did not need to turn around to know it belonged to Lord Dietrich. "We are not in a rush, why are you, just supporting our attack to be so impatient!"
"Impatient?" The Captain growled at the side. "We have already given you enough respect and face to help you in this attack against the Sky Raiders!"
"Do you really think we need your help?" Lord Dietrich argued back. "If it wasn't for the benevolence of the Emperor, your ship will not even be able allowed into our waters!"
Emperor Aslan felt a pair of eyes on him and he looked up to see the hooman Ford watching him with a small smile on his lips, yet his eyes did not much the smile on his face. Feeling a tinge of cold down his spine, he raised his hand up to cut off Lord Dietrich before saying, "So what are your plans now? My troops still need time to gather ships to make the crossing, are you proposing to use your... ship to ferry my troops across?"
"No, no..." The hooman Ford shook his head before he continued. "It will be wasting our time."
His words made Emperor Aslan and his Court frown as it indicted that the UN's time was more precious compared to theirs. Lord Dietrich growled as he said, "If you think that is the case, then you can leave! We do not need your support now that we have dragon cannons!"
"Dragon cannons?" The hooman Ford and the Captain looked at each other with a confused expression on their face before they gave a shrug. Seeing their actions, made Emperor Aslan and his Court feel a sense of accomplishment and pride as they had something the United Nations did not know of.
"Well, to be frank, we do not really want to be here," The hooman Ford confessed with a tight smile. "But since we are here, we might as well help you as... good neighbours!"
Lord Dietrich made a snort of disdain when he heard what Ford said. The hooman Ford continued on as if he did not notice Lord Dietrich's disdain and said, "We will attack the enemy now, right this moment."
"Now?" Emperor Aslan was as surprised as the rest when he heard it. "How? We are days of travel away from the enemy base! Even with your flying cro- ar kaft... they will not be enough to defeat a force of that size!
"Oh, don't worry about it, we will be destroying all the aerial units of the Sky Raiders and leave the ground forces for you!"
The New World, Exile Island, Combined Fleet Base
Duchess Manarva was frowning as she looked down on the crudely drawn map of the surrounding areas. She traced her finger along the drawn coastline of the mainland and paused her finger on a fingernail sized piece of red magic crystal that marked the location of a particularly stubborn city that had fended off several attacks and even successfully caused the destruction of two Iron Kingdom airships.
Around her stood the various airship commanders and captains as they waited for her commands. She tapped her finger on the red crystal before she straightened up, and tossed her braided up hair behind her back. "Has our patrols picked up anything around this city?"
"Reporting to the Duchess," A slim officer in Iron Kingdom uniform stepped forward and said, "There has been an increase of ground troops moving around the city. Also, we observed them working on several sailing ships."
"So they planned to sail across the waters to land their troops here?" Duchess Manarva mused as she continued to stare at the map. "Well, if that is the case... 5th Squadron Commander, you shall take your ships and prepare a welcoming party when they make the crossing."
"If there are any prizes of opportunity," Duchess Manarva tapped on the map where she wanted 4th Squadron to be posted at. "Use your own discretion."
"Yes, my Lady!" The commander of the 5th Squadron saluted before leaving the room to carry out his orders.
"My Lady, should we continue to raid the mainland for more supplies and slaves?" One of the Captains asked. "We need more people to process the magic crystals and clearing of the forests."
"Hmmm..." Duchess Manarva shook her head. "We have already raided the coast clean, there isn't any point in wasting fuel for scant pickings. I am only concerned with this city here."
"It is just a barbarian nation," The captain sneered. "What can they do to us?"
"This barbarian city has managed to take down two of our airships!" Manarva frowned. "Even if the weapons they use are crude, but it is still deadly if we fall into their tricks!"
"My Lady, let me lead a force over!" Another captain hollered. "I will take the city!"
"No point now," Duchess Manarva shook her head again. "There will be nothing of value there by this point. What we want is nice and easy picking..."
She traced her finger downwards beyond the coast and into the mainland. "I am pretty sure the cities and towns inland will be fat for the picking, yes?"
The parked F/A - 2 Viper jerked and accelerated across the flight deck as the steam catapult fired, sending the second generation fighter into the air in a rush of screaming steam and rubber. Seconds later, another Viper was tossed into the air and the aircraft joined the massive air formation lazily circling around the task force in the air.
Finally, the last aircraft roared off the flight decks and six squadrons of Vipers and Cobras wheeled around task force for one last time before they headed towards Exile Island. 72 aircraft carrying ship killer loads and cannons swiftly disappeared into the horizon.
The Emperor and his party were subdued as they were ushed back into the flag bridge after witnessing the launching of the Vengeance's air power. There they watched in silence as a staff briefly explained what was happening.
"Captain Nimo, activate Plan Alpha," Commander Ford said in a formal tone. "Weigh anchor and take us within firing range!"
"Aye! Activate Plan Alpha!" Captain Nimo echoed with a grin on his face. "Weigh anchor! Helm! Take us to waypoint Charlie!"
Echoes of confirmation came back from the crew as the ship's hull groaned when the engines started up. Orders were transferred over to the escorts and the entire task force slowly and majestically started sailing closer towards the dark blotch in the horizon.
Shortly after, reports started filtering in from Carrier Ops. "Enemy air patrol at E4 destroyed!"
"E6 air sentry destroyed!"
"F2 patrol destroyed!"
"Attack Squadron on approach to G5!"
"F4 air patrol down! New heading F5!"
"Captain! Point Charlie reached!" Helm reported as the fleet reached the designated location.
"Helm, stop all engines!" Captain Nimo ordered before he relayed their position to the Flag Bridge. "Commander Ford, the Task Force has arrived at Point Charlie."
"Go for Fire Plan Alpha!" Commander Ford replied.
"Aye aye! Fire Plan Alpha!" Captain Nimo replied and hang up the call. "Weapons! Plan Alpha!"
More commands were relayed down and the massive four 14" gun turrets clanked cheerily as they turned they're facing towards the island on the flank. Sirens blared, warning of imminent main gun firing and the flight deck beneath the guns were quickly cleared for action.
"Captain! Decks cleared and guns ready for firing!" The weapons officer at his station reported. "All green! Sir!"
Captain Nimo picked up the phone and said, "Commander, weapons all green and awaiting your command!"
Commander Ford inside the Flag Bridge gestured to his aide to shepherd the guests out to the observation deck for a live fire viewing and waited until his aide gave him a thumbs up before he said, "Give them hell!"
"Aye aye!" Captain Nimo's grin went wide and he turned to his eagerly awaiting bridge crew and snapped. "ALL GUNS... OPEN FIRE!"
The salvo buzzer for the guns went off like a loud angry creature. For a moment, the gun barrels appeared to be taking a collective breath before erupting mightly in flames and smoke. Dark dots of the shells could briefly be seen for a moment before vanishing towards the island as they went screaming happily towards death and destruction.