The New World, Mecca, Fort Hensink

The storm shutters rattled hard against the windows from the typhoon raging outside the squat concrete towers and buildings. The off duty personnel of the UN fortress kept warm and dry inside the buildings playing cards games or watching shows while those unlucky enough to be on duty, worn ponchos and had to weather the heavy storm at their watch posts.

The storm had been raging for three days and yet still showed no signs of stopping but from what the locals had said, the storm would past soon and autumn will be here as the winds carried away the summer heat. The troops stationed at the fortress could only listen to the locals' advise and hunkered down until the storm has passed.

True to the local's knowledge, the rain and wind soon died down, leaving behind grey skies that sunlight slowly peeked out, creating rays of light shining down like some kind of heavenly oracle. The UN personnel cooped up far too long indoors, all came out to watch the beautiful scenery of the sun rays shining down through the clouds into the sea.

"Hey..." Someone suddenly called out as he pointed to the skies. "What is that coming out of the storm?"

The people nearby followed his gesture and they could spot dark dots scattered amongst the grey clouds from the direction of the ruined city. A ray of sunshine suddenly shone down on one of the black dots as if welcoming it, made those wielding binoculars to cry out in surprise. "Airships! Red airships! It's the goddamn Protectorate!"

Just as the person yelled out, sirens started wailing throughout the fortress. The startled personnel rushed off towards their duty stations as drilled. Army personnel donned their gear and weapons and scrambled out of their barracks to man fixed weapons platforms. The storm covers of the mounted weapons were ripped off and ammunition cans rammed into feeding trays,

Other soldiers carried the .50 calibre heavy machine guns out of the weapon lockers and armouries and set them up behind sodden sandbags. The fortress was located a short distance away from the ruined city of Hensink while a smaller and growing new town was being developed further down the coast. A small airstrip sat within the rectangular shaped fortress with towering bastions made out of sandbags and concrete surrounded the fortress.

At this point when the sirens were blaring away, the pilots on alert duty rushed out of their cosy barracks towards the protected hangars where their waiting aircraft was being spooled up. Ground crew hurriedly pushed open the hangar doors while others made last minute checks on their aircraft.

Further down the fortress's docks, the secured corvettes and PT boats were being manned and their boilers fired. Other personnel rushed out of armouries carrying ammunition for the defensive bunkers and AA sites along the docks and building roofs.

As the defences were being manned, the first group of the red airships came within the fortress's port limits and tracers started floating upwards towards the approaching airships.


The Protectorate 2nd Missionary Force, Flagship Lord Justice

Mathias was surprised as he saw the farseeing spell projection of the ruined city on the viewing crystal when they had come out of the storm. In fact, everyone on the bridge was surprised as well as they saw the image and the Captain of Mathias's Flagship Lord Justice mumbled out, "Its... impossible! Navigator! Check the sailing charts!"

"What is the meaning of this?" Mathias demanded in a cold voice to his Captain whose face turned pale. "Are we lost?"

"Reporting to my Lord Inquisitor!" The Captain bowed and his voice trailed off as he replied nervously. "There must be either a mistake in the charts... Or... or the New Lands had been... destroyed..."

"My Lords! Lookouts have spotted another settlement!" A cry came from a bridge officer.

"Let's see it!" Mathias turned his attention away from the pale faced Captain. "Put the view on the seeing crystal!"

A short moment later, the seeing crystal glowed gently before the view changed to that of another settlement. From the aerial view, the small settlement looked astonishingly neat, tiny grey white buildings and streets were laid out neatly in rows and there was even a very long and wide black road behind the rows of buildings and a port with several piers and ships jutted out from the coastal side of the small neat village.

The view changed again and Mathias found himself looking down with a wyvern eye view of the coast. The unknown village was further down south along the coast from the supposed captured city of the New Lands. The ruined city laid between his fleet and the strange village and what appeared to be another settlement further down south which was too far for their farseeing spells to pick up any details.

"My Lords!" A nervous looking navigator came saluting before Mathias and the Captain of the Lord Justice. "May you be worthy of-"

"Hurry up with your report!" Mathias gave an impatient wave of his hand, as he cut off the navigator's greetings.

"Erm... My Lords..." The navigator swallowed his fear back and said, "We consulted the charts multiple times and... we are at the correct course and position... This... is the City of the New Lands..."

The Captain wanted to curse out but with the Inquisitor seated before him, he kept his mouth shut and instead demanded the charts to be brought to him while he checked their position personally.

Mathias frowned as he heard the report and he tapped a finger against his white mask before he ordered, "Send in two squadrons of ships to that... village... to find out the situation here."

"As for the rest of the fleet, order them to prepare to disembark and unload everything here," Mathias commanded. "We set up a base here by the ruins!"

"At once, My Lord!" The Captain saluted and started relaying his commands out. Soon, two squadrons of frigates detached themselves from the fleet's formation and headed towards the strange settlement, flying over the ruins of the city that was supposed to be the New Lands.

As Mathias watched the airships leaving the formation, a shaft of sunlight broke out from the grey clouds as if His Lordship was blessing his airships. Underneath his mask, he broke into a smile at the thought but his smile froze shortly after when streaks of red yellow lights came arcing out from the strange settlement towards his airships.

Are they under attack?


"Reload! Reload!" The 20 mm gunner yelled at his assistants who ripped the large rectangular magazines off the feeding wells and another assistant slapped another giant magazine into place. The gunner racked the charging handle, loading in the 20 mm shells into the breech before he peered through the large double O gun sights and he squeezed the butterfly triggers.

The heavy cannon shook as it angrily spat out fiery shells into the air, the tracers flying in an arc that seemed to slow down the further they flew. With the overcast skies and a slight ongoing drizzle, the glow of the tracers were very easy to spot. The gunner made use of the tracers to readjust his aim and fired off the rest of the magazine at the incoming airships.

Elsewhere, other 20 mm cannons and .50 calibre guns were similarly spitting fire at the airships, turning the gloomy skies into a sort of fireworks show.


Mathias spun around as he snapped an order, "All airships are to start deploying their troops now!"

"Once the troops are unloaded, all ships except the transports are to engage the enemy!" Mathias added. "Transports are to hang back and unload everything off their hulls!"

The Captain nodded and soon his ordered were passed down through the entire fleet. Airships built for combat started to line up and form up into a fighting formation while the transports hang back and started to descent to the ground.

The warships including Mathias's Lord Justice, advanced in a massive inverted 'T' formation. They swept down low to the ground while the earlier two squadrons of frigates were keeping the village busy, and started deploying their troops.

Massive hatches swung open slowly from the sides of the airships as the ships slowed down and descended low over the ground and cables were rolled out. Protectorate Paladins fully ladened in combat gear and supplies lined up to the cables and attached special arrestors to the cables before an order was given. They stepped out of the hatches using the built in brakes in the arrestors, they slowed their descent once neared the ground.

The Paladins snapped off their arrestors from the cables and moved out of the way for the others to drop down. Soon, companies of Paladins were deployed onto the ground and next came the heavy War Jacks that required four cables to hold their weight as they too came sliding down.

Once the airships finished disgorging their complements of troops, they accelerated forward and reformed into combat lines, clearing the area for the other airships to take over their earlier positions to drop their troops. The emptied airships having reformed their lines started advancing forward towards the enemy that dared to defy the authority of the Protectorate.


"INCOMING!" An Army sergeant yelled as he ducked down behind the thick row of sandbags. A massive quake and roar rocked his position and a wave of heat rolled over. Second Sergeant Bock, a survivor of the Empire War and now a senior NCO of the UN Army 2nd Rifle Regiment stationed at Fort Hensink peeked up from over the sandbagged walls and saw the scorched ground just before him.

"Man that fifty!" He yelled at the men taking cover next to him. "Take out those flying wings!"

He looked up at the storm clouds that covered the skies and currently filled with tracers and 'flying wings', some kind of aircraft that had fluttering red wings like an insect buzzing around. The .50 calibre suddenly started firing, the thunderous bark still loud enough to hurt his ears despite the earplugs.

He watched the tracers chase after one of the flying wings and appeared to go through the machine before it burst into a cloud of white smoke and broke into pieces mid air. The men cheered loudly as they witnessed the kill, "YESSSS!"

"Keep firing!" Bock yelled as he took in the situation around them. It felt like it was some kind of apocalypse, as the skies were overcast with low storm clouds coloured red from raging fires of destroyed airships and buildings. Insect like aircraft buzzed around dropping or spitting out flaming bombs, while tracers from the ground defences were drawing fiery lines everywhere in the skies.

A massive boom shook the air and Bock whipped his head around, seeing another airship in Protectorate colours breaking apart into two pieces while a trio of Air Force Vipers screamed across the skies with rocket smoke trails underneath their wings as they volley fired at an airship in their sights.

Balls of flames covered the side of the targeted airship while its magic barrier shimmered brightly. The Air Force Vipers broke off the attack as they rolled away to dodge anti air fire before making a tight loop to reform their attack. The Protectorate airship tried desperately to shoot down the fast and nimble attackers in vain and in the second pass, another volley of rockets streaked out from the Vipers' wings and shortly after, the magic barrier of the airship crumble under the might of modern explosives.

The airship defenceless without its magic barrier, went down on the third rocket pass, the rockets leaving massive gaping holes in its side hull and leaking aetherium and steam, it slowly sank down to the ground, crash landing on the beach with a mighty crash.

"FIREPOWER FOR THE WIN!" Someone yelled out from the side. Bock turned to see one of Army soldiers punching a fist into the air. "HAIL FIREPOWER!"

Bock gave a small smile as he too whispered to himself, "Hail firepower!"

A note from neo Koh

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neo Koh


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