Dr. Sharon was listening to a progress report with several senior officers in a meeting room onboard the UNS Vengeance. The report was detailing the growth, interaction, behavior, and performance of the God Girl being who called herself as Plee.
She had done a full medical or as much as she could with her limited resources on the girl and unexpectedly, her health was top notched. The only thing that was beyond strange was her blood which appeared to possess some unidentifiable elements and properties.
She wondered if like in Dungeon and Dragons, the blood of Gods tend to be omnipotent, with the ability to change or modify a person or item's properties, would her blood be similar. Yet, to do tests with the blood of a Goddess felt like sacrilege to her.
And no one could tell if she was feigning memory loss and bidding her time to commit some kind of evil nor could one know what her alignment leaned to. The only guesswork here was that she most likely was Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes who was known for her temper. So far their experiences with Gods all did not end well, and now such a hot potato had landed in her hands.
Her first few interaction with Plee were interesting, and it was almost very certain that Plee had the mentality of a ten or twelve year old at the moment. Her curiosity was unbounded as her appetite for food, especially burgers and her ability to learn and pick up new knowledge and languages was extraordinary! If one were take away her divine identity, she could well be a someone's cute little genius sister.
The fanboys had their opportunity to have a meet and greet session with her and Dr. Sharon felt that Plee might have gotten corrupted by those fanboys as she seemed to start getting an interest in finding what anime was. And of course, the fanboys were more than willing to indulge in her interests. She turned her attention back to the meeting when they started talking about the dungeon core.
"After further tests on the inert dungeon core, we discovered some magical fluctuations that matches the magic signature given off the Goddess Plee," The officer doing the report said. "As we had earlier discovered, Goddess Plee appears to be bound to this ship, but that is not the case as we discovered wrongly."
"It would be more accurate to say, she is bounded to the dungeon core!" The officer stated. "This means that there is a high chance that the dungeon core is her weakness."
"How can be sure about this?" Captain Nimo asked. "Can we use it to control her?"
"More tests would be required at this point as we are still clueless with the workings of a dungeon core. As to controlling a divine being? It is something we have no experience or idea on," The officer replied frankly. "But to be safer at this point, a fail safe device has been installed onto the dungeon core and it is currently being held in the most secured location onboard the Vengeance."
"If she shows any signs of harming the ship or any member of the crew," The officer's expression turned grim. "The fail safe device can be remotely detonated from any command console even from Haven with the codes that would be held by certain senior officers."
"But can we be certain that destroying the core would disable Plee?" Commander Ford asked.
"We can't be sure as there this is first for us," The officer replied in a flustered tone. "But it is the best we can do to have some reassurance now..."
The rest of the officers in the meeting started mumbling their concerns among themselves while Commander Ford leaned back and rubbed his brows as he frowned worriedly. "Just... Do what we can for now..."
"Just keep observing her behaviour," Commander Ford said as he looked towards Dr. Sharon who nodded. "We will be handing her over to a more secure location once we return back to UN territory. But before that happens, she is our responsibility, and I do not want the ship and any crew members be threatened by her! Especially if the previous loss of control of the Vengeance is linked to her!"
"Yes, Sir!" The officers in the meeting chorused.
"Speaking of her," Commander Ford frowned as he asked. "What is she doing lately?"
"She has been hanging out with the dragons..." The officer replied.
"With the dragons?" Commander Ford was surprised. "What is she doing with them?"
"Last we heard... they are watching the ship's entertainment library of dramas and movies..."
The New World, Eastern Border of the Isles, No One's Island, Cartel's New World Outpost
The island was in a frenzy of activity as a dozen parked airships were all spooning up their aerial screws. Thick black ink smoke spewed out from the airships' funnels as boilers were fired up. On a viewing platform, the Cartel Lords and Grand Lord Hammerfall were watching the airships lifting off the docking towers.
Determination and fierce pride were shown on their faces as they saluted the airships forming up into formation before departing off into the skies. Grand Lord Hammerfall raised his mug up as he turned around to face the other Cartel Lords awaiting their turn to depart. "For rock and stone, brothers!"
"Rock and stone!" The rest replied with a salute with their mugs and downed the contents in one go before slamming their emptied mugs down on the ground. "The Islanders will learn not to play games with us!"
"To victory!" Grand Lord Hammerfall saluted the Lords who departed to board their waiting airships. Soon the roar of aerial screws and hiss of steam boilers grew louder and the second wave of airships took off into the skies.
A day earlier, the Cartel Lords had gathered and they voiced their approval of finding new land to colonize as the Islanders had ceased all forms of trade with them. Much needed resources like wood, coal, iron, food, water, and many others were needed to sustain the Outpost. Their current location barely has any of these resources, prompting them to push their forces out to find a better location for expansion.
"We need not fear these Islanders and their so called United Nation allies!" One of the Cartel Lords growled. "Strength is the only thing they know and fear! Once they witness our power, they will all fall in line under our banner!"
Grand Lord Hammerfall nodded in agreement and said, "From now onward, all ships out there is fair game for our fleet!"
Excited, almost all the Cartel Lords all volunteered to lead their own clan airships out, as they all want to gain riches. In the end, Grand Lord Hammerfall assigned them different missions, some were to raid along the coast, others to patrol certain routes and also to search for newer resource rich lands.
A small handful of the Cartel Lords and their airships were to remain behind to provide protection to the Outpost, much to their disappointment. But they knew they had their own roles and duties to perform. Among those left behind, Lord Copperstone was one of those that remained as he preferred to work on his inventions and prototypes.
In roughly a turn of the sand glass, the airship docking towers were deserted, only a few airships remained behind while the rest had taken off or were on a mission. Grand Lord Hammerfall descended down the viewing platform and soon found Lord Copperstone tinkering with some device in his workshop in the underground town they had dug on the island.
The underground town was dug in a very simple design. A central cave was dug and passageways linked to other rooms, from workshops, barracks to warehouses. As the island was not very big, they could only dig to a certain degree.
Much of the Cartel lived underground, only those working on the surface lived in crudely built huts or communal houses. Much of the Cartel industry was sited underground, while the surface was covered with wind towers that generate wind energy to power the billows and workshops underground.
The Dwarvans felt more at ease underground then having an open sky above their heads as they were used to living inside mountains. Those other races that were employed by the Dwarvans preferred to live on the surface instead, thus the Cartel Outpost occupied not only the surface of the island but also underneath the ground.
Grand Lord Hammerfall stood silently behind Lord Copperstone as he watched him work on a massive steam cannon that was almost twice the size of a regular steam cannon. Rows and rows of runes were etched on the surface of the barrel that had a muzzle large enough to fit a single dwarvan inside.
"You are still working on this project?" Grand Lord Hammerfall finally spoke as he eyed some of the rune works that Lord Copperstone had just finished engraving onto the barrel.
"Yes," Lord Copperstone nodded as he pushed his crystal magnifying goggles up and put down his engraving cutter. "Once it is finished, we would have no fear from any other fleets of the Great Nations!"
"If it works," Grand Lord Hammerfall grinned. "So far, it hasn't worked yet..."
"Ha!" Lord Copperstone let out a laugh. "That's the fun part of invention, right?"
"It's a waste of resources and time!" Grand Lord Hammerfall shook his head. "Still if this weapon of yours really works as you stated, our position within the Great Nations will be stronger!"
Lord Copperstone nodded, "We just need more magic crystals for the Aetherium Cannon to work! Thank the Mountain Gods that this land has an abundance of magic crystals!"
"Using aetherium to replace steam," Grand Lord Hammerfall let out a chuckle. "Who would have thought of it but you!"
"Hehe," Lord Copperstone smiled at the compliant. "It takes too much coal and time to heat and build up steam!"
"But with aetherium, it is faster and requires lesser time to heat it up!" Lord Copperstone said as he gestured to the breech at the rear. "My new breech loading design will also reduce the time needed to load the cannon, unlike the steam cannons which is muzzle loaded."
"The blaze rune etched at the breech just needs to be powered by magic crystals," Lord Copperstone excitedly explained his design. "It can produce enough heat that is hot enough to flash boil all the aetherium stored inside this capsule into gas in a heartbeat!"
He pointed to a shiny golden cylindrical tank on the side. "The aetherium gas will also not be wasted as it will be collected in this pipe here!"
A pipe could be seen running underneath the barrel of the cannon and into another large tank. "Water will cool the hot aetherium gas back to crystal and it will be reused to fire the cannon!"
"Compared to traditional steam cannons." Lord Copperstone proudly declared, "It should have four times the firing rate and twice the range, penetrating power, and accuracy with this fin projectiles!"
An coned shaped projectile sat next on the floor next to the aetherium capsule. The head was taped and the bottom had four stubby fins, looking almost like a bomb. He gestured to the fins and continued explaining, "Those fins will stabilize the projectile like how fins work on arrows and bolts."
"Interesting," Grand Lord Hammerfall nodded with some appreciation. "But will it work? All this is untested!"
"I know," Lord Copperstone let out a heavy sigh before his expression lightened. "Well, we will know once I completed the rune works on the Aetherium Cannon!"
"This will be a revolutionary weapon if it works," Lord Copperstone said excitedly. "It will turn warfare as we know, up side down!"
Grand Lord Hammerfall shook his head as he smiled at his friend's enthusiastic declaration. "Than I shall wish you the best!"
"The Gods of the Mountains be watching over you, brother!"