The New World, United Nations, Haven, Fortress Singapore, Med Bay
Captain Blake entered the dimly lit room and waved away the medical attendant inside. The attendant left and Blake remained alone with the figure floating inside a tank filled with medical fluids. He eyed the figure inside the tank and let out a deep sigh, before reaching out to tap against the glass.
The figure tilted his head slightly to the side and a dismembered voice came from a set of speakers on the side table, "Ca- Captain... B- Blake..."
Blake picked up a handset on the side of the tank and replied to the figure inside. "I'm here, as you requested."
"I- I am... so- sorry," A hoarse trembling voice came from the speaker which was connected into the tank and attached to the figure's scarred vocal cords. His empty eye sockets appeared to be staring directly at Blake through the medical fluid. "I... did... not keep... her... safe..."
Blake shook his head as he did not want to comment on anything. Instead, he said, "Keep your strength, you still have a long road to recovery."
"I- I know... my body... condition..." Dijon sub vocalized slowly as he stared at Blake. His lips still as his tongue was removed and vocal cords were badly damaged. He could only hum onto the vocalizer attached to his throat to make words. "I... will not... be... able... to recover..."
"I said... nothing to... them..." Dijon's voice grew heated. "No... matter... what... they did... to me..."
"You done great," Blake comforted Dijon. "You should rest..."
"No... no rest..." Dijon's voice dropped. "I... I want... to... fight... I want... revenge... a- against... those... who did... th- this... to... me!"
"You are in no condition to do anything now," Blake said as he shook his head again. "Rest and recover and we will talk about this later!"
"N- NO!" Dijon's voice trembled loudly. "I- know... you ho- hoomans... have... great ma- magic... and tek- no... log lee..."
"He- help... me!" Dijon's voice cried desperately from the speaker. "P- Please!"
"We are already destroying all the Protectorate that landed on the New World," Blake replied coldly. "There is no more revenge to take!"
"No..." Dijon's voice replied quickly. "She... is still... not found... On... my honor... I will... find her... for you and... return her... to you..."
"Even so, you are still in no condition to do anything!" Blake snapped impatiently. "You can't even speak without a device in your throat and you eat and shit out of a tube in your belly!"
"I... kn- know..." Dijon's tone turned sorrowful. "But... I know... you hoomans... have... the ability... to help me! Make... me... into... a weapon..."
"If... not... kill me..." Dijon added in a determined voice. "I would... rather... die... than... live... like th- this..."
Blake remained silent as he stared back at into the empty eye sockets of Dijon through the glass and fluids. After a moment, Blake nodded and before he returned the handset, he said, "I shall see what I can do..."
"Th- thank... you..."
Blake left the medical room and leaned against the door as a storm of emotions raged within his heart. He had wanted to blame Dijon for not protecting Sherene and yet after seeing his current state, all his anger and resentment have disappeared.
He took a moment to compose himself before he headed towards Dr. Sharon's office that was at the same level. Blake found her busy buried in her work and he waited at her door until she noticed him. "Captain! What wind blew you over?"
"I just visited Dijon," Blake said as he took a seat while Dr. Sharon cleared her messy table. "And... He wants us to help him..."
"Help him?" Dr. Sharon paused in her cleaning and frowned. "Aren't we helping him now?"
"He wants revenge," Blake explained. "He wants to fight the Protectorate."
"Fight? In his condition?" Dr. Sharon shook her head as she mumbled. "War addicts!"
"Didn't you say that we can cobble together some suit for him using those Protectorate's War Jacks?" Blake asked.
"Well, yes, we have it..." Dr. Sharon replied. "But, it's for him to function as a person again... Not to go off into war or some personal vendetta!"
"And he needs constant pain medication or he might go mad from the pain!" Dr. Sharon added. "It's too dangerous for his condition! We might as well kill him now if he wants to go running off to be robocop or something!"
"How about this?" Blake took out a small pouch and placed it gently on the cleared table.
"What is this?" Dr. Sharon picked up the pouch with curiosity and opened the drawstrings to find a glittering green white powdery substance inside. "This... this drug is Happy!"
"Yes," Blake admitted as he took the pouch back from her hands. "This will take the pain off his mind."
"But this is highly addictive and damaging to health!" Dr. Sharon was shocked. "How-"
"We have ample stocks of this drug in locked storage," Blake brushed away Dr. Sharon's words. "Dilute this drug and let Dijon take it to manage his pain. And he will be able to function on the field!"
"But this is unethical!" Dr. Sharon protested. "It's..."
"It's his wish," Blake cut Dr. Sharon off. "He requested for this... He would rather die than live like that... And I... Am willing to grant him his wish!"
The New World, Mecca, Fort Hensink
Stamford had a frown on his face as he observed the terrain around Fort Hensink from his vantage point on the roof of the barracks. Fields filled with mud filled craters carpeted the surroundings and dozens of large mass burial mounds occupied a field on the other far side of the base.
He let out a soft sigh and turned to spot Blue Thunder and Saphia huddled up to some mischief inside a sandbagged pit next to the runway with the rest of the crew. And towards the sea, he spotted the colossal silhouette of the tri hull battle carrier anchored offshore.
Fort Hensink had a festive feeling as the soldiers manning the base had not only successfully smashed the enemy apart but there were also rumours of a holy being granting its favour to the United Nations. In a sparse couple of days since Stamford and his team has arrived, he has heard dozens of rumours floating around regarding a saint, a goddess or a holy spirit appearing onboard the UNS Vengeance.
As such the troops in the fort seemed to have gained a new belief as Stamford could see the half completed temple of sorts that was being built by volunteers with donated or reappropriated materials on one quiet corner of the base.
But to Stamford's eyes, the temple seemed to look more like a heavily fortified ammunition dump as evidenced by the plentiful amount of spent artillery shells stacked neatly around the site. There was even a couple of aircraft drop tanks laying there to be part of the construction.
Stamford shook his head, feeling the locals were too enthusiastic with their hands and time. He climbed down the roof hatch and went down to find out what mischief the two dragons and his crew were up to.
Blue Thunder had put on expression mimicking that of a wise person, as he strolled his chin with his claws. Saphia at the side was staring wide eyed at him with anticipation while the rest of the crew were fussing over a large oil drum over a small bonfire.
Steam rose up into the air in the cold autumn air and Blue Thunder took in a deep breath before letting out a soft 'ahhh'. His eye widened and glowed excitedly and he said in a serious tone, "It's... Ready!"
Barkley stopped smashing the potatoes in the barrel and Dek and Luth carried a bucket of locally made butter and lard, before tipping it into the barrel. Barkley continued to stir and mix the fast melting butter and lard into the mashed potatoes while Blue Thunder loomed over head and let out a satisfied hum.
Saphia also leaned over to sniff at curiously at the steam and found the smell to be very exotic and enticing. Her belly let out an uncontrolled growl and she embarrassingly rubbed her belly. Blue Thunder put on a large smile as he too rubbed his belly and laughed, "I'm hungry too!"
"Yes, yes, I know!" Barkley let out a snort. "You are always hungry!"
"What is going on?" Stamford suddenly appeared and stared at them with a frown on his face, yet his eyes had a hint of laughter in them. "What is this? A mash potato party?"
"Erm..." Blue Thunder quickly used his wing to try to block Stamford's line of sight to the ad hoc cook pot. "It's just... normal rations!"
"Do you know how many complaints I got just now?" Stamford stated in a fierce tone. "I got quartermasters and even the damn MPs telling me that some dragon was sighted stealing and threatening cooks for potatoes!"
"FOR GODDAMN SACKS OF POTATOES!" Stamford roared loudly and the two dragons flinched back in fright while the crew held back their giggles. "And you three should know better to let this... overgrown lizard with the brains of a three year to run amok around!"
Dek, Barkley and Luth quickly chorused, "Sir... He outranked us!"
"And I outrank you all!" Stamford shook his head in despair at his team. "My orders trump over his!"
"But... we haven't had any potatoes for weeks!" Blue Thunder moaned. "And... like they say... Once the rice is cooked, it's already been done!"
"Which goddamn drama did you get this from?" Stamford let out a sigh. "Do you even know what that shit means?"
"I think its some asian drama..." Blue Thunder frowned. "I can't remember the name..."
"Oh you damn lizard!" Stamford smacked the side of Blue Thunder. "You are beyond hope!"
"So does means we can eat already?" Blue Thunder smacked his lips. "There are already done! While these are not as good as cheese fries... But as field rations...They will do!"
Saphia sniffed cautiously at the steaming pile of golden yellow gooey mess offered to her on a round metal lid by one of the 'crew' called Dek. She raised her eyes just to see Blue Thunder wolfing down his share with gusto and she timidly took a small lick at one corner.
Her eyes went wide at the rich, buttery flavor and creamy texture which was something she did not expect. It was unlike anything she had ever eaten and she had tried a lot of food in her life. She took the next lick before savoring the taste again and started to take larger bites and before long she was licking the remains off the metal plate.
Blue Thunder had long finished his share and was holding the hot barrel and licking out the remains before he put down the barrel and rubbed his belly. He looked a little forlorn as he eyed the rest still eating their own share of mash potatoes in their tiny mess tin and he let out a sigh, "Aww... Wish we had more potatoes..."
"You better not go steal or coerce any more cooks for potatoes!" Stamford sternly warned. "MPs have their eye on you already!"
"Damn..." Blue Thunder did not even had a trace of remorse. Instead, he rubbed his chin, thinking of ways to get his claws on more potatoes. "Hmmm..."
"Don't bother trying anything funny!" Stamford remained Blue Thunder. "Mecca is now facing both a shortage of food and destruction of land from the floods!"
"The amount you eat per meals is enough to feed an entire village for a day!" Stamford said. "You two dragons are more of a liability now, rather than a help!"
"What you need to do now is to interrogating the prisoners and finish our mission and return ASAP," Stamford added. "This way, we won't drain the disaster efforts in this region! This means no more potatoes for now!"
Saphia finally finished cleaning her plate and she looked up with shock as she heard their conversation. "No... more potatoes?"