The battle between the two fleets was fully viewed by thousands of people. The fantastic display of firepower and magic was so intense that the people were totally absorbed by the light show and fireworks that they had did not even felt fear or any danger as they cheered on the sidelines, totally blissful of the fact that the lives were lost and that whoever won would have control of their fates and future.
The New World, United Nations, Haven, Fortress Singapore, Command Bridge
"Captain..." Lieutenant Tavor appeared beside Captain Blake who was standing in the middle of the bridge staring at the main display. "Are you sure we are not to inform the Commander about..."
"No," Blake replied without turning around as he continued to stare at the screen. "There is no need to."
"It would not change anything at this point of time," Blake added after a pause. "Dijon will handle Megan and Akron's plans. He just has to focus on fighting his fleet."
The Head of Intelligence gave a nod before he said, "Megan is one tight lipped person... Even with the bugs we have in her estate and the Council Chambers, we couldn't get much intel..."
Ever since the first trade contact with the Isles, Intel had long inserted listening devices within the Isles. The bugs were hidden inside specially made clocks that were gifted to powerful individuals of the Isles. And one of such clock was currently decorating the insides of the Isles' Council of Masters' Chambers.
The planted bugs gave Naval Intel many insights to the Isles' plans and agendas with credit going to the hardworking intel analysts who had to suffer through the constant ticking of the clock's mechanism and filter out important information from thousands of conversations.
Yet despite that, Intel only managed to gather hints and rumors of Megan's plans as she did not share much information to her subordinates. But still enough data was collected for Intel to conclude some part of her plans, one which was to pit the UN against the Cartel and claim all the credit for Cartel's defeat.
As for disputing the UN's credit, it would be easy as information would be controlled solely by her own people. She could spread what news or lies as she wanted especially if certain members of the Council were not around to challenge her claims and it would greatly increase her standing among the people of the Isles.
"Let's Dijon handle it," Blake said. "He has been briefed on what we know of Megan's plans and also the cause of Fleet Master Kose's death."
"Sir, we could had prevent Fleet Master Kose's death if we sent a task force over," said Tavor. "Than we would have another supporter on the Council on our side."
Blake shook his head before he answered, "No... This way would be the best..."
UNS Vengeance, Hangar A
The ship shuddered constantly as dull thuds of cannon fire echoed through the cavernous hangar. Seated at one empty aircraft bay, was two dragons and a god girl. All around them was organized chaos as goblins in red munition jackets moved bombs and ammunition out from the bunkers to the waiting elevators.
"What happening?" Plee asked curiously as she looked around at the commotion around them. "Why they busy?"
Blue Thunder stretched his body out on the cold metal decks and mumbled sleepily, "Just some fighting... Yaaaawn..."
"R- ready?" Saphia poked her head out and looked around. "Don't we need to be worried?"
"Nah..." Blue Thunder replied confidently as he closed his eyes. "It will be over soon."
"Oh there you are!" Dr. Sharon and Magister Thorn suddenly appeared and she smiled at the god girl who had a confusion expression on her face. "What is the matter?"
"What fight here?" Plee asked in a clumsy manner as she sat down before Dr. Sharon and Magister Thorn with Blue Thunder and Saphia clustered behind. "Many many boom booms ah hear!"
"It's... a battle," Dr. Sharon replied. "Some... bad people are out there..."
"Bad people?" Plee's eyes widened. "What bad people? Why they bad?"
"They want to take... things from us..." Dr. Sharon explained as simple as she could. "Like... if you have... burgers and I take it away from you without permission..."
"Will you like that?" Dr. Sharon asked with a smile at the cute pained expression displayed on Plee's face.
"No!" Plee quickly replied. "My burger!"
"They... are doing something like that to us..." Dr. Sharon said while Magister Thorn half laughed and coughed into his beard. She glared at Magister Thorn who covered his mouth but did not hide the grin shown on his face and eyes.
"Ooo... I see..." She bobbed her head before she asked again. "So they want take burgers from us?"
"Eh... yes... and also we want to protect the other people's... burgers... here..." Dr. Sharon said lamely.
"Yes yes! We protect people and their burgers... and cheese fries!" Blue Thunder cracked an eye open and said in a very smug tone. "We are protectors of burgers and cheese fries!"
"And freedom!" Saphia butted in shyly from the corner.
"Are you sure you are teaching the right... things?" Magister Thorn asked in a low tone from the side to Dr. Sharon.
"It's more or less correct... right?" Dr. Sharon said weakly. "I mean... I... don't know..."
"Hahaha," Magister Thorn laughed before he turned to Plee and said in a gentle tone. "Plee?"
"What Dr. Sharon here was teaching you was about right and wrong..." He started his lecture mode. "Stealing is not good as we had explained."
"When people come to steal something from others that is not theirs, it is not right," Magister Thorn eyed Blue Thunder when he said that. Blue Thunder quickly averted his eyes away to stare at the bulkheads and whistled innocently. "In this case, these people are coming to take lands and property that do not belong to them and we are here to help protect those too weak to protect themselves and their property. Do you understand?"
"Hmmm..." Plee frowned hard as she tried to understand Magister Thorn's words. "Steal other people burgers bad? Protect other people burgers?"
Dr. Sharon laughed in glee as she saw Magister Thorn's face turned red. "Hahaha!"
"Anyway," Dr. Sharon said before Magister Thorn could put in another word. "We do our best to help people in need. But sometimes, peace can't be achieved without war..."
"Bad people want steal burgers?" Plee frowned as she tried to understand the situation. "Bad people want steal our burgers?"
"Bad people no steal burgers!" Plee growled. "Plee protect burgers!"
Her eyes suddenly lit up with an orange glow. surprising Dr. Sharon and Magister Thorn. Plee jerked her head around and stared off into the side of the hangar bulkheads as if she could see through them. She raised one hand and pointed off to the bulkhead and the air suddenly seemed to crackle as the surrounding magic surged.
"What the?" Dr. Sharon felt the hairs on her body raising as she stared in shock at the serious expression on the god girl. "What are you doing?"
"Stop the bad people!" Plee hissed as she suddenly clenched her fist and the Vengeance trembled as the heavy boom of its main guns shook the entire ship.
"BIM BAM BOOM!"
UNS Vengeance, Bridge
"Sir!" The Vengeance weapons' officer suddenly called out. "Gun One, Two, and Three are reporting loss of control of the turrets!"
"What?" Captain Nimo shot out of his chair as he joined his XO at the weapons station. He glanced the weapons display before he rushed forward to the forward view ports and saw the heavily armored box shaped turrets of Gun One and Two rotating and the gun barrels pointing towards the enemy air fleet in the distance. "Cut all controls to manual!"
"Sir! Guns are on manual but the gun captains are reporting they have no control over them!" The weapons officer replied in a panicked tone. "The guns... they are moving by themselves! No one is controlling them, Sir!"
"Cut all power from those guns!" Captain Nimo ordered. "Are they loaded?"
"Yes, Sir!" The weapons officer hurried replied. "Guns are loaded!"
"Wha-" Commander Ford entered the bridge and was about to ask what was happening when all three 14" gun turrets fired simultaneously with a mighty boom. The ship rocked from the force and there was a moment of silence before the comms started ringing as the other departments called in to find out what was happening.
"Damage report!" The XO called out as he held against a headset to his ear. "Flight Deck B reporting several injuries from the unannounced main gun firing!"
"Shut the main guns down!" Captain Nimo yelled. "Find out who stole control over the weapons now!"
Commander Ford stepped over to the forward view ports and watched the wisps of gun smoke ejecting out from the 14" gun barrels. "What the hell just happened?"
Nine 14" shells spun slowing as they cut through the air, joining many of its smaller caliber brothers and sisters shells already in the air, heading towards the approaching Cartel air fleet. The impacts of the 3" shells were tiny compared to the monstrous 14" shells as all the shells were intercepted by a screen of lightning arcs as they attempted to slam themselves against the Cartel's hulls.
The 3" shells upon contact with the magical lightning screen exploded as the lightning ignited their fuzes, regardless if the shells were armor piercing or high explosive. Holes temporarily were created in the lightning screen but were quickly closed up again. A few unlucky explosions managed to knock down the projecting apparatus and holes appeared in the screen, allowing a very small handful of 3" shells to slipped pass.
But the Cartel's magical barrier held against the 3" shells that managed to slip through the holes. The sporadic shelling was not powerful enough to overwhelm the magic barrier thus the Cartel air fleet advanced with more confidence.
When all nine 14" shells impacted precisely right in the center of the lightning screen put up by Cartel airships, the force of the resulting explosion was something no one could ever imagine, at least not by the Cartel. The five airships creating the lightning screen disappeared under a massive black cloud of smoke and flames.
The lightning screen simply vanished and 0.07 seconds later, the combined shock wave of nine 14" shells each containing almost half a ton worth of high explosives slammed into the magic barriers of the airships and the magic barriers barely held for half a breathe and the shock waves continued on to slam into the metal and wood of the airships, snapping them like twigs.
Broken airships dropped like a rock from the skies trailing smoke and flames. Many died without even knowing what killed them and those that survived the initial attack could only scream as gravity claimed their lives.
Grand Lord Hammerfall and his entire bridge crew stared with wide eye horror at the spectacular explosion that wiped out Lord Copperstone's entire force faster than a heartbeat. "D- Di- Disperse the fleet now!"
His sudden yelled shook the shocked crew awake and they hurried to carry out his orders. Slowly one by one, the remaining eight airships broke their tight formation and they emerged out of the giant drifting smoke cloud that claimed so much of their brethren only to come under fire again.
"Grand Lord! The Sulkier reports her engines are overheating! She is losing power and altitude fast!"
"Falchion reports heavy damage to its lower decks and is requesting permission to retreat!"
Grand Lord Hammerfall cursed under his breath as more and more requests for retreat came from his surviving captains. "Cursed Mountains! All ships to fall back! Produce smoke to cover our retreat!"
As he yelled out the commands, an panicked cry came from the observation deck, "Gra- Grand Lord!"
"What is it?" He growled at the frightened observer who pointed off to the distance. He followed his arm and looked out of the view ports and his face paled as he saw a swarm of tiny black dots approaching their flank rapidly.
"By the Mountains..."