The New World, United Nations, Haven, Fortress Singapore, Command Bridge

Blake was standing with his hands clasped behind his back as he stood in the middle of the Command Bridge. A large screen was playing live imagery from a circling recon FB - 1S over the area of operations with smaller portraits of other senior Officers lined up on the side.

"How long until the naval strike group comes into contact with the Cartel air fleet?" Blake asked one of the portraits on the screen.

"Sir, another forty minutes and twenty... two seconds," Reported Captain Nimo of the Vengeance who had rushed back onboard. "Task Force Flag will also arrive at Point Gamma in ten minutes."

"Sir," Commander Ford's image spoke. "These events were most likely the results of Fleet Master Megan's ploy... Are we going to play into her hands?"

"Ignore her," Blake replied coldly. "Destroy the incoming Cartel air fleet."

"Are there no other options?" Commander Ford asked. "We could force their surrender..."

"Destruction or surrender," Blake shook his head. "Do what you wish, as long as they no longer pose any threat to us."

"Yes, Sir!" Commander Ford nodded. "And how should we deal with the Isles?"

"Have Dijon despatched to the Council," Blake said after a short moment. "He will know what to do!"


The New World, The Isles, First City of the Fleet, UN Convoy

Two Magic Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, followed by an armoured truck towing a cargo trailer and finally a MAW Mk VI spider tank with its turret facing the rear was rolling slowly along the cobbled streets. Many carriages and people had to stop to give way for the huge menacing vehicles and the pedestrians stared curiously at the rumoured magic carriages of the United Nations rolling pass.

Mills rode on the vehicle commander seat of the second MRAP of the convoy headed along the coastal road towards the city proper. The ride and scenery would have been enjoyable if not for the fact they were most likely trying to create a coup with a super small force of Marines. Behind him, seated in the passenger compartments were filled armed and armoured Marines bantering among themselves.

Mills leaned out of the window and yelled into his radio at his sergeant in the lead MRAP as they slowed down behind a particularly slow land dragon carriage hogging the road. "Get those people out of the way! We are moving at a damn slow pace! Hell! Slow's grandma can walk faster than this shit!"

The sergeant in the lead MRAP hopped out of the vehicle with a couple of Marines and they ran up to the ornate carriage, startling the occupants inside. By then the whole convoy had halted and everyone was sticking their heads out trying to see what was the hole up. The occupants of the ornate carriage were clearly not amused by the choice of colourful words spewed by the Marine sergeant as evidenced by their facial expressions.

But soon under the loud horns of the lead MRAP and the cussing of the sergeant, the cowed driver of the carriage moved the carriage to the side and the convoy hurriedly squeezed through the street and overtook the carriage with its angry occupants. The convoy paused again to pick up the sergeant and his men before continuing on at a faster pace.

The convoy made faster speed along the coastal road and soon came up to the outer walls of the city. As the paved road, they were using was the main street leading to a wealthier district, there was not much traffic at the gates. The carriages and wagons belonging to the lower classes would enter another gate, and word of the Marines arrival had long spread to the city and its guards.

Their arrival at the gates seemed to have knocked a hornet's nest as guards in the livery of the Isles came pouring out from somewhere. They formed a shield wall at the gates, blocking the way as several guards with more fluff on their uniforms came over. Mills let out a sigh and he hopped off the MRAP with his platoon leaders.

"State your reason for entry!" One of Isles' officer guardsman demanded as he glared at the Mills and his men suspiciously.

"We are from the United Nations," Mills put on his best boyish smile as he dug out a letter. "We are headed to Fleet Master Dijon's docks on behalf of a request from his family."

"Fleet Master Dijon?" The Isles' officer guardsman frowned as he took the tied up scroll and unfurled it. Mills leaned over slightly and took a peek, seeing lots of elaborate writing and impressive looking seals stamps here and there. The officer's frown deepened as he retreated back a few steps to consult with the rest of his party before he cleared his throat and said in a stern voice.

"This document appears to be in order! But be known that the late Lord Dijon is no longer a Fleet Master!" The officer then made a gesture to the company of guardsman at the gate who parted to make way for the vehicles and handed the scroll back to a grinning Mills. "Your... your magic wagons are not to enter the market streets nor the side roads! Head straight to the docks and conduct your business! Do not block the road!"

"Thank you, Sir!" Mills's grin widened and he pressed a gold crown into the officer's palm. Immediately, the officer's stern expression changed to one of happiness before returning to normal. The coin also disappeared as fast as it appeared and the officer gave an understanding nod to Mills and waved them forward.

Mills walked up to the lead MRAP and banged the side before he returned to his vehicle and climbed in. The convoy shook out as the vehicles rolled slowly forward through the gates that were just wide enough for the width of the MAW Mk VI spider tank to pass through. The pilot of the spider tank had to contract its legs down so that its height was able to clear the gate's ceiling.

Once through the gates, they passed through a plaza lined with fruit trees and the terraces of the city lining the mountainsides could be seen. The First City of the Fleet was constructed around the fertile slopes of a dead volcano. The terraces grew a variety of crops including their regional speciality, cococane grass.

The convoy passed through the plaza and reached the inner wall where they passed through another gate before entering the city. Immediately, all eyes on the street were on the convoy as they rolled slowly through the packed streets filled with people, wagons, and beasts of burden.

The Islanders had known of the marvels of the United Nations' 'tek no lo gee' magic for years. Yet, it was the first time for many of its citizens to lay their eyes on the magical wagons that required no land dragons to pull! They had heard and even seen steam engines and steamships but wagons moving on their own power without the aid of steam engines was something new for many.

There were some merchants who had seen such vehicles in their dealings with the United Nations before and they started to brag about what they know. Soon crowds gathered another of those merchants as they proudly brag of their tales. On the other hand, crowds pushed closer to the convoy, many reaching out to touch the mystical magic wagons while some of the naughtier children even tried to climb up on the sides.

Seeing the situation getting out of hand and their progression halted, Mills popped out from the top hatch of the cab and started ordered his men to deploy to keep the crowds away. Marines climbed out of the passenger compartments and started yelling and shoving people back to keep them away from the convoy.

Mills felt a sense of deja vu as he watched the excited crowd surging around the convoy. It recalled him of the time he was in the city of Norshelm where he led a convoy in to rescue Titanna from the spell crazed citizens of the city. For a moment, he almost yelled out for the gunners to open fire before catching himself. Taking deep breaths, he mentally counted to ten before he picked up the radio and spoke in a surprisingly calm voice.

"Maw Three Seven, this is Raider Actual" He turned to face the spider tank. "See if you scare the crowd a bit."

"Roger that, Raider Actual," The spider tank commander replied and the spider tank bringing up the rear suddenly gave out a loud whine of machinery as its legs extended outwards, pushing the MAW to its full height.

Its sudden movement shocked the crowd and they pushed back away from the spider tank flexing its armoured legs. The rectangular turret whirled to the left and right as if tracking the crowd and its height and alienness intimidated the crowd more. The crowd backed away from the mechanoid tank, giving space for the deployed Marines to clear the way for the vehicles to move.

The MAW followed behind the convoy using its mechanized legs instead of deploying its wheels. Each stomp of its rubber lined feet could be felt by the paralysed crowd as they watched in awe at the mighty 'tek no lo gee' wonders of the United Nations.

Shortly after, squads of Isles' guardsman came to help restore order and they cast looks of envy and wonderment at the Marines as they continued their way to the private docks belonging to Dijon's family. Their speed through the streets increased with the help of the Isles' guardsman and soon the convoy found themselves before an ancient gateway.

A grated moss covered wall sectioned off a part of the docks at the western side of the city. A crest bearing the coat of arms of a kind of sea monster imposed over three harpoons hang over the low gateway that was the entrance into Dijon's family dock and estate. The house guards of Dijon's family quickly stopped the convoy and Mills had to come out again to present the letter before the guards allowed them entry except for the spider tank as it was too large to past through the gates.

Mills passed on his orders to the MAW Three Seven's commander before he joined the rest of the convoy, leaving the spider tank to take up position next to the gate and folding its frame down and turning into a sort of gun bunker. After passing through the gate, they came into a stone causeway that was connected to another small island.

The height and pillars between the causeway were enough for a sailing ship to pass unhindered under the causeway as witnessed by Mills. The waters underneath the causeway had several ships of all sizes slowly paddling past as the convoy drove over the bridge, taking up both lanes.

Another ancient looking gate appeared at the end of the bridge, which Mills gauged to be over half a kilometre long. He could see an island surrounded by a stone wall and facing the open sea, was a port and shipyard that appeared to be quite empty, judging by the number of empty slips. The convoy rolled through the gate and came to a halt in the middle of a huge plaza that was by walls on all sides.

A group of people came forward as Mills and his platoon leaders hopped out of their vehicles. He took a glance around the three story high walls that surrounded them and judged that they were on some kind of parade ground that was large enough to hold over two to three thousand soldiers.

"Sir!" A Lieutenant called out to Mills, "Someone wants to see you!"

Mills turned his attention away from his surroundings and rested his eyes on the leading figure of the group waiting at the side. His eyes were immediately caught by a middle age woman dressed all in black mourning colours.

"Her Ladyship of House Portia welcomes you."

A note from neo Koh

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