Fleet Master Akron, Tediore and the rest of the Council sucked in a collective breath as they witnessed the side of the Un An giant ship belched flames and smoke. Several heartbeats later, the boom of the explosion rolled over and a shocked outburst of conversation erupted from the Council members as they discussed what just happened.

"What happened to the Un An ship?"

"Did they blew up?"

"The Cartel won?"

Akron ignored the snippets of debates around him as he frowned in confusion wondering if the Cartel had some unknown powerful weapon or spell. Suddenly a cry of surprise came out and everyone's attention was caught by a massive shockwave expanding out from the leading flying ships of the Cartel. The boom and rumble like thunder followed shortly after and they all could clearly see ships falling off the sky like kites with their string cut.

Akron's face paled as he realised that the Un An was actually the ones with a super thunder weapon that was powerful enough to destroy several ships with a single attack! How could Megan ever hoped to even ambush such a ship was beyond his understanding. He stepped back from the balcony railings and pushed his way through the crowd to leave the place as Megan's schemes involving the United Nations had all failed.

First, the plan for the Un An fleet to be defeating the Cartel out of sight of the city did not happen. Secondly, the Un An fleet was not where it was supposed to be and they defeated the Cartel fleet not even within half the turn of a sandglass! Thirdly, with the own city witnessing the might of the Un An's power, Megan could not take the credit for defeating the Cartel and rally the citizens behind her.

And finally, without Megan able to claim any credit for the Cartel's defeat, the discontent among the families of the sailors and soldiers lost to the Cartel will spill over and many would question the Council and the Fleet Masters for not requesting help from their allies, the United Nations!

He wasn't so worried about the last point as gold could easily cover up the discontentment, but it would set them back for several years. At least the secret of the underwater ship must be kept and in the future, if a fleet of such ships were further improved and built to sail these waters, the Un An might in the oceans would be overshadowed by the Isles!

As he pushed his way through the balcony's double doors, he sensed the ground tremoring. A heavy thud followed by another grew louder and louder while the floor trembled with such heavy thud. The guards at the Chambers appeared to be on alert as they held their polearms nervously as shouting could be heard beyond the heavy double doors leading into the Chambers.

The guardsmen stepped away from the barred double doors and readied their long halberds. Those carrying shields took up position in front and linked their shields together, creating a shield wall facing the barred doors.

At this point, the Council members had noticed the commotion and they edged away from the main doors, finding spots to hide among the furniture and viewing gallery of the Chambers. Others tried to squeeze into the side chambers, offices, and document rooms and barred the doors from inside.

The noise coming from outside the main doors suddenly disappeared and the moment of sudden silence made the guardsmen nervous. Akron hissed at the captain of the guards," Go find out what is happening!"

The captain of the guards shoved two of his troops forward, "Go see what's going on!"

The nervous guards stepped towards the ornate gilded double doors and leaned their ears against it, trying to hear if anything was outside. The guards shook their heads at their captain, indicating they did not hear anything when the doors sudden lunged backwards with a loud bang and the wood and metal groaned.

The iron bar held but the wood of the main doors started cracking and splintering by the force of whatever was behind it. The frightened guards scrambled back as the doors were attacked again, the hinges around the stone of the walls cracked and popping rock dust. Another loud bang shook the doors and the iron bar groaned, its once straight shape now slightly bent.

The brackets holding the iron bar finally was unable to weight the force of the attack, broke off as the wood around it splintered and the securing nails were ripped off from the wood. The heavy iron bar hit the marble floor with a loud crack as the edge broke the polished floor.

A crack appeared between the double doors and those insides could see a dark crimson shadow before it vanished and the doors were slammed ajar by a mighty force, sending one part of the door flying off its hinges to crash onto the floor.

Akron stared at the hulky shape standing at the doorway and when the dust settled, its shape was more evident. "A golem?"

"A Warjack!" Someone suddenly cried out as it was recognized by those who had seen the Outsiders' Warjacks before. "The Cartel is here!"

Akron frowned as he eyed the looming golem pushing its way through the ruins of the once beautiful and expensive doors. It was unlike any he had ever seen from the Cartel whose Warjacks looked more roundish while the one leaving cracked marble tiles before him was more box shaped and was coloured in crimson red instead of the Cartel's silver and gold scheme.

Instead, the crimson red of the golem reminded him of the Protectorate instead. By now, the massive Warjack had cleared the doorway and Akron frowned deeply when he saw several figures stepped through the doorway behind the golem.

"Ah... Greetings and salutations?" The hooman wearing the mix patched coloured combat uniform of the Un An said as his face broke into a wide smile. "I think that is how it goes right?"


Fifteen Minutes Ago,

"Ai, you!" A trio of Isles guardsmen came over to the side of the truck parked in the middle of the underground silos that were filled with grains, water, and other preserved food. "What is this?"

Mills let out a sigh as he leaned out from the corner of the vehicle and saw the trio carrying glow lamps walking over. He turned to his small force of Marine Raiders and ordered, "Knock them out fast!"

The men nodded and Mills stepped out into view, his hands out showing that he was unarmed and he smiled, "Greetings gentlemen!"

"Ai! What are you doing here? This place isn't for such like you!" The lead guardsman demanded he stood before Mills and shone the glow lamp at him and frowning. "You... What is this thing?"

"Ah... It's carrying grains, donated by Lady Portia to the Council!" Mills lied easily while taking a scroll out to show the guard. "All signed and stamped! The guards outside let us in here and told us to unload here!"

"What?" The guard frowned as he eyed the important looking scroll. "No unloading here! You need to go to the quartermaster! He will tally the grains and get workers to move the grai-?!"

The eyes of the guard bulged out as a shadowy figure appeared behind him and held him in a chokehold. He struggled while staring terrified at a smiling Mills who stood before him calmly rolling up the scroll as if nothing was happening. Slowly, the sight of the guard grew darker and darker as oxygen was cut off to his brain and he passed out.

The Marine Raider released his chokehold and dragged the unconscious guard off to one hidden corner and dumped him together with the rest of the guards. Mills picked up the dropped glow lamp and waved it around before saying, "Alright! Unload PAC Man and let's get the show on the road!"

Seconds later, outriggers were deployed from the trailer and the sidewall of the trailer hummed as hydraulics folded the sidewall up and exposed the Power Armour, Cybernetic, or PAC for short, waiting patiently in its cradle. Servos whined as the cradle extended out the combat walker before latches were released and the PAC walker lumbered out from its crouched pose.

Mills stood before the PAC and stared into the sensory slits on the upper part of the blank chassis. The troops nicknamed Dijon as PAC Man from its classification acronym, drawing the name from some ancient game about some round ball eating pills and ghosts. "Good to go?"

Dijon gave a bare nod, which the gesture barely showed up in the armoured carapace. He moved forward, each step ending with a heavy crunch on the rock floor. The mission planners had chosen the underground silos to insert in as the place was used to handle large cargo, meaning there were ramps and passageways large enough for the PAC to manoeuvre.

It was hard to conceal the appearance and the noise of a multi ton monster makes when it was moving. Workers and guardsmen could only stare wide eyed in shock and confusion as Dijon controlling the PAC made its way through the underground storage and appeared in the courtyard on the side of the mountain.

Mills and his Marine Raiders followed closely, having to half run at times to keep up with the pace the PAC was moving. Despite its 2.8 meters tall height and weighing over four tons, the PAC could move rapidly with its two stubby feet in a lumbering gait.

Guardsmen finally responded in force against the unknown intruder and they formed up around the PAC and Marines, demanding their identity and surrender. Dijon ignored them as he cast his electronic eyes at the grated gate of the walled off courtyard where the lavishly decorated main concourse into the Council Hall could be seen.

With a thought, the legs of the PAC lumbered forward and the Isles' guardsmen fell back with fear. Bolts fired from crossbows bounced off harmlessly against its armour and barely scratched the heat resistant paint on its surface. Dijon walked past the guardsmen without raising a hand against them, the guardsmen could only helplessly allow him through if they did not want to get crushed under his weight.

The wrought iron gates barely provided any resistant against Dijon and it flew off the walls to land somewhere on the stone concourse with a loud clang. The guardsmen could only chase after Dijon and the Marines as they made their way up the wide steps of the Council Hall where its main doors too proved to be helpless in stopping Dijon's path.

Any foolish guardsmen were knocked out of the way by Dijon's bulk and even magic spells tossed by mages barely slowed his determined advance. Mills and his Marine Raiders quietly followed along while keeping their heads down, letting Dijon attract all the attention away while the helpless guards could only get out of his way.

Using footage recorded by UN state officials and Dijon's memory, they found their way through the Council Hall easily and came upon a set of huge double doors that were gilded in gold and had ornate carvings of trees and animals. Guards stationed outside attempted to stop Dijon but with a flick of his arm, the guardsmen were sent flying.

Dijon leaned forward and like a charging bull, he rammed the double doors, cracking the walls around the hinges with his first try. After several rams, the battered doors collapsed and he strolled into the Chambers with Mills and his men to face the Council.


Mills waved the dust away from his face as he stepped through the wrecked doorway behind Dijon and found a shield wall blistering with spears facing him. He gave a grin when he spotted two of the Fleet Masters standing at the rear and said, "Ah... Greetings and salutations?"

"I think that is how it goes right?"

A note from neo Koh

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neo Koh


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