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UNS Vengeance, Forward Main Gun One, Projectile Handling Floor

The biceps of the Seaman Broken Tooth bugled as he and the other Oerkin manhandled the massive shell that was almost as tall as the goblin hoist operator in the hoist. The shell weighed as much as over five times his weight, at five hundred eighty kilograms, was harnessed to a chain and pulley system which he and his buddy was pulling to transfer the high explosive shell into the waiting jaws of the elevator hoist.

Once in place and secured in the sectioned elevator hoist, the goblin hoist operator gleefully pulled the lever and the shell was pushed up into the waiting gun crews above. The Projectile Handling Floor was packed with sweat bodies and Oerkin, goblins and elves moved shells endlessly into the hoists to feed the three guns above.

The goblin hoist operator stuck his head after the shell went up the hoist chute and yelled after it, "The faithful send their regards!"

-----

UNS Vengeance, Observation Deck

The powerful thump and aftershock of the forward two main guns slammed into the unsuspecting Imperials as they were totally unprepared for the effects of the 14" guns firing, despite being warned by the UN aides. Some of the Imperials even disdained the offer of ear protection and just stood there impatiently looking at the long spars pointing to the island.

The salvo buzzer blared out a warning and the UN aides quickly covered their ears and opened their mouths. Emperor Aslan had a set of ear mufflers and he stood surrounded by a loose ring of his Life Guards. He mimicked the actions of the UN aides curiously, just as the main guns roared.

The blastwave slammed into the Imperials without warning and the thunderous roar was like hundreds of times more powerful compared to the dragon cannons, that Aslan had witnessed many moons back. For a moment, he nearly bit his own tongue in fright and he could literally feel his inside shake.

His Head Eunuch had let out a cry of shock and fell down on his butt including some of the Imperials when the thunder and shockwave rolled over them. The Imperial Life Guards was stunned momentarily by the blast but they quickly recovered and closed in around their young Emperor.

Emperor Aslan blinked his eyes rapidly, as a botch of white covered his vision and tears threatened to leak out. He took a deep calming breath and pressed his hand against his heaving chest as he felt like someone had hammered a drum inside his body! His Head Eunuch had quickly climbed up to his feet and felt all over Aslan, making sure he was unharmed.

Yelling could be heard from outside the tight ring of his Life Guards and Aslan impatiently ordered his Life Guards to loosen up. When his Life Guards reluctantly opened up their ranks, he saw the members of his Court were threatening the UN aides who were desperately trying to explain the situation.

"Enough!" Aslan yelled, working his jaw as he felt his ears were blocked. "Where is your dignity as an Imperial Noble? You all are like a bunch of market wives!"

"Your Majesty!" Lord Dietrich hurriedly stepped forward. His clothes were messed up and his complex was pale. He rubbed his ears and yelled, "Treachery! They planned to murder us all here!"

"This is a trap!" Lord Dietrich pointed a finger at the small group of UN aides. "They -"

A loud buzzing noise blared again and cut off Lord Dietrich's accusations. The UN aides quickly yelled for everyone to cover their ears and open their mouths and Aslan followed, including everyone else and just in time when the second powerful roar of the main guns went off again. This time around, the Imperials were better prepared and did not embarrass themselves too much.

The UN aides seeing the group of Imperials were more or less in a better shape compared to the first firing, quickly ushered everyone back into the Flag Bridge where the short eared hooman had an amused expression plastered on his face. As Aslan sat down, he realised that the demonstration just now was just a warning of telling them that the UN has weapons that far exceeded their expectations.

He cast a glance at the red faced Lord Dietrich who was clutching his chest and working his jaw. Should he let Lord Dietrich continue to edge the United Nationers on and see how would they respond or should he reprimand him? Hmmm...

-----

Deep inside the bowels of the UNS Vengeance, a heartbeat echoed after the thumping of the main guns.

Da dum... Da dum...

-----

Area of Operations over Exile Island, UN Navy 7th Strike Fighter Squadron, Black Knights

Black Knight Six had recently been posted onboard the UNS Vengeance, he and his squadron having shipped over from Fortress Singapore. The journey was pretty much just flying drills, flying patrols, and more drills and lessons.

One day, by chance, he was wandering around the ship, exploring the maze like deck ways and he came upon a large gathering in the central crew decks. Curious, he joined the crowd and found a short goblin giving a speech of sorts. At first, he dismissed the words of the yapping goblin but to his surprise, the more he listened, the more the felt the words of the goblins made sense!

Not long after, the Faith of Superior Firepower! found a new convert. Now, Black Knight Six flipped his master arm switch and thumbed down firmly on the firing button. Streaks of burning rocket fuel shot out from under his Viper's wings, the contrails headed strike for the slow moving Outlander airship that was turning to face the sudden threat.

"For superior firepower!"

-----

Dozens and dozens of white smoke exhaust in the skies were drawn upon the skies and at the end of their journey, they turned in balls of flames and inky black smoke. The ring of airships that patrol the perimeter of the island dropped from the skies as if they were toys with their strings were cut.

The airstrike punched through the unsuspecting western cordon easily as the Captains of the picket airships maintained the usual protocol of not leaving their shields powered up to save their stores of magic crystals. Even when the airships now has a massive stockpile of magic crystals, old habits and doctrines were hard to forget.

The result of their doctrine cost the Combined Fleet four frigates, two destroyers and two light cruisers in the opening attack. The rest of the picket powered up their magic barriers and alert flares were fired into the skies, but it was too late a twelve shot 14" gun salvo came screaming over the UN aerial strike group.

The 14" shells bracketed over the packed airships that were being scrambled into action. The bombardment caught most of the crew in the open as they rushed to board their ships. The airships of both the Iron Kingdom and Tri State were built, designed and armoured against solid mushroom projectiles and ballista bolts.

The high velocity 14" HE shells simply ignored their wood and metal laminate armour, which quality was considered subpar when compared to the ironworks of the UN. Each shell weighing at 580 kg and filled with high explosive composite fillings, blew massive holes into the ground, the shockwaves snapped the backs of the nearby airships and their service towers like twigs.

Direct hits on an airship, just simply gouged out a massive portion of the airship as well as crumpling its remaining structure like paper. Bodies dozens of meters away from the blasts were flatten or blown away from the shockwaves.

A ringing silence descended upon the Combined Fleet base as the survivors stared in shock at the sudden violence. Moments later, whistles and cries started to ring out, as people regained their wits. Officers and NCOs yelled at the shellshocked men to help the wounded while others continued to board and ready the rest of the airships for combat.

Unknown to the base, a second salvo was on its way, twelve more 580 kilograms of pure destruction was screaming across the skies, the 14" shells slowly spinning in the air, and at one of the leading 14" shell's nose, a message was scribbled in chalk.

"IF YA KAN READ TIS... YA AR FARKED!! HAW HA!!! LOVE FROM GOBS AN AW HAIL FIREPAWER!"

-----

DA DUM! DA DUM!! DA DUM!!!

-----

UNS Vengeance, Battleship Central, Magic Converter Array Room

"Heavens!" A mage tech yelled out in shock as the dials and magic loadouts started to go crazy on the board. "It's happening again!"

"Disengage it out from the main array!" Another mage tech hurried yelled as he ran out. "Rip it out now!"

The dungeon core's pulsing suddenly became stronger and stronger, the radiance grew from a weak glow to a bright almost eye searing light inside the containment unit. Hisses came from nozzles as fire retardants were activated as the temperature inside the containment unit started spiking.

Conduits connecting the Magic Converter Array started splitting away from the Array as the mage techs yanked the emergency levers that broke the magic circuits of the Array. The glowing Magic Converter Array instantly dimmed down until it became inert, but the dungeon core set in the middle of the Array continued to pulse brightly.

DA DUM! DA DUM!! DA DUMM!!!

The mage techs could only helplessly stare into the containment unit that was covered in fire retardants as they had no idea what to do. They all could feel the thumping of a heart as they stood there, making goosebumps and fear tingle down their spines.

DA DUM! DA DUM!! DA DUMM!!!

-----

Area of Operations over Exile Island, UN Navy 7th Strike Fighter Squadron, Black Knights

"GUNS GUNS GUNS!" Black Knight Six cried out as he held down on the trigger. Bolts of fiery tracers flickered out in an arc and impacted against the iridescence barrier of the airship in his sights. Following behind his strafing run was the rest of Black Knight Squadron which hammered the airship with more gunfire.

 

Calls of brevity codes informing friendlies of live ordnance in the air were traded to and fore between the pilots and radioed back to the UNS Vengeance's Flight Ops. The pilots trusted their machines and weapons to perform as it should as their lives depended on it, called out brevity codes as if they were chanting.

In return to the pilots' faith and trust, the F/A - 1N Cobras and F/A - 2 Vipers performed splendidly, the aircrafts responded to touch of the pilots as if they were of one mind. Weapons functioned without jams and shots landed accurately at where it was aimed at.

"GUNS GUNS GUNS!"

-----

DA DUM! DA DUM!! DA DUMM!!!"

-----

UNS Vengeance, Flag Bridge

"Sir?" An aide suddenly appeared next to Commander Ford's elbow and he spoke in a low voice. "Occult Divison is reporting irregularities down at the MCA containment unit again..."

"What's the problem now?" Commander Ford stepped away from the Imperials bickering with Captain Nimo and his staff.

"The dungeon core is reacting strangely by itself..." The aide replied. "The tech mages have cut it off the main array systems."

"Will it be a threat to the ship?" Commander Ford asked as he kept one eye on the Imperials. "What is Magister Thorn's recommendations?"

"The Magister has no idea, Sir..." The aide had a concerned look on his face. "He... is still observing the situation."

"Tell him, if he thinks the dungeon core at any point threatens this ship and all its crew, to dump it into the sea immediately!" Commander Ford ordered. The reason why the Occult Divison's MCA containment unit was constructed deep inside the bowels of the Vengeance was that there was a trap door mechanism that allowed the mage techs to eject the entire containment unit into the sea if it became a danger to the ship and its crew.

"Tell him not to fool around with everyone's lives!"

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