Blake sat silently in his seat as he half listened to the members of the Council argue their points and views. Some were against becoming a member of the UN, while others pushed for it. Finally, the time to cast their votes came, several officials, wearing some fancy red yellow coat carried in a large wooden box together with a tray filled with wood tokens and Lady Gloria announced the voting to begin.
One by one, the Council members came up to the box placed on the table in the middle of the Chamber and put in their votes. Each member selected a piece of the wooden token on the tray and dropped it into the ballot box. Once the last member of the Council placed his vote in, the officials stepped forward again and in front of the whole Chamber, they started counting the votes by placing each token that had been marked with a simple 'For' or 'Against' on the table.
The Chamber was quiet as everyone stared at the counting, the only noise was made by the clicking of the wooden tokens as they were taken out from the box and placed on the table. Even Blake was affected by the tense mood in the Chambers as he glanced at the counting.
Finally, the last token was removed and the officials in charge of the counting declared, "With a vote thirty one to twenty eight... The majority of the Council voted for in joining the Un An as a member nation!"
A chorus of excitement and disappointment came from the Council members. Those who voted for the move, congratulated themselves while those against the vote cast dark looks at Blake who smiled politely at Lady Gloria who came over who said, "From today onwards, we will be under your care!"
Blake nodded, "Representatives from the central government will meet your governing council at a later time to introduce the new form of governance."
"Also, UN troops will take over security and your current military forces and militia will be disbanded once the transfer of duties is completed," Blake added. "Anyone wishing to continue their military service will be welcomed and undergo training."
Lady Gloria nodded as she let out a soft sigh, "I truly wish that our decision is correct in entrusting the future of the Isles to your hands..."
"Don't worry about the future," Blake replied with a grim smile. "I promise to make this world a place where everyone has a future!"
UNS Vengeance, off the Coast of the First City of the Fleet
"Officer on deck!" The Marine guard snapped to attention and saluted as Blake entered the command bridge. The bridge crew all came to attention at once as Blake returned their salutes.
"At ease, people," He replied as he walked over to the admiral's bridge and joined Commander Ford at the map table.
"Good morning, Sir," Ford greeted Blake as he joined him. "You look terrible... Did you not sleep last night?"
"Not really," Blake replied as he gratefully accepted a mug of hot tea from an aide. "Was up working on the merger of the Isles into the UN structure."
"You should leave it to your subordinates to do it," Ford shook his head. "You need the rest."
"Can't sleep, so I decided not to waste time," Blake replied as he sipped his tea. "And I want to get this over with so that we can move on to... the Old World."
"Alright," Ford said as he knew what Blake wanted to do. "Well, the Isles has voted to join us, but how many will be willing to follow? And we have yet to find Megan, I fear the more conservative members of the Isles would join up with her once she crawls out from whatever hole she is hiding in..."
"That is why I am moving troops into the Isles," Blake replied. "They will be here to keep public order and take over the duties of the local troops."
"And once the local troops get retrained in our combat standards," Blake gestured out to the city in the distance. "They will here to resume duty."
"But that is gonna take plenty of time, months of training and the cost..." Ford frowned as he imagined how much resources were needed to train tens of thousands of troops to modern combat standards. "How are we gonna support this many troops?"
"Don't worry," Blake said as he patted Ford's shoulder. "The Isles will pay for some and also... I will be calling for volunteers soon... When the time comes, there would be no need to worry about the cost..."
Ford took a deep breath as he asked cautiously, "Richard, you are really dead set on this path?"
"Yes," Blake nodded. "Once the Vengeance gets refitted, I will call for volunteers and I will cross the End Zone into the Old World..."
"You do know it has been over a year and a half since she was taken..." Ford reminded Blake. "She could be..."
"One year, seven months, and eleven days," Blake said softly. "And I know the chances... But even if it is just a tiny chance, I still wish to find out what happened to her and my son!"
"And if you do find her..." Ford asked. "What will you do if she is no longer in this world?"
"Then, the Vengeance shall live up her name, yes?" Blake whispered coldly in reply, sending a chill down Ford's spine.
"Sir... I..." Ford hesitated before he gave up. He felt guilty as at that time he had failed in his duty. "I understand, I will expedite the refitting of the Vengeance once we depart these waters."
Blake nodded as he stared quietly out of the viewport at the city. Ford let out a soft sigh and changed the subject, "Sir, would you like to meet the God Girl and the black dragon since you are here?"
Blake turned his attention away from the viewport before he gave a nod, "Sure, why not? I have never seen a God in the flesh before."
Ford quickly made some arrangements to his command staff before he led Blake out of the bridge and down into the belly of the Vengeance. They crossed the connecting corridor that linked the central battleship hull to the carrier 'A' hull and entered the hangar deck. Inside the spacious hangar deck, aircraft were parked diagonally in their bays and many of them were being serviced by the deck crews.
As they walked down the rows of parked aircraft, the deck crews paused at their work to render salutes to Blake and Ford. At the end of the hangar bay, Blake spotted a dragon tail sticking out from one of the aircraft bays, swishing around the deck. Ford sighed as he too spotted the tail, and said, "They must be watching some kind of movie or drama again..."
Blake smiled as he recalled the dragons being movie buffs and he carefully pushed aside the camo netting covering the aircraft bay and stared inside. He saw Blue Thunder and the black dragon, called Sophia curled up against the corner of the bay, while a small girl which looked around ten or twelve seated on a cushion and leaning against the belly of Blue Thunder.
And surrounding the group, was over a dozen crew members with the majority being goblins. Their attention was all fixed to the moving images projected by a projector on the bulkhead of the bay. A speaker was blaring out some audio from the movie which was showing a huge dinosaur chasing a green yellow car, much to the excitement of the audience.
"Ahem!" Ford cleared his throat to catch the attention of the crowd but they were too engrossed in watching the movie to notice them. In the end, Ford gave a light kick against the nearest seated elf who turned around to glare at the person who kicked him.
The elf's glare turned to horror when he recognized who kicked him and the person beside Ford. He quickly shot to his feet like an arrow and yelled, "ATTEN- SHUN ON DECK!"
The other crewmembers hearing the yell turned around and spotted the two highest ranked officers in the whole of the United Nations standing there, their expressions of confusion turned to horror and they all leapt to attention.
Blue Thunder seeing who came was shocked as well, as he scrambled to attention too and in his haste, he knocked Sophia against the bulkheads with a loud groan of metal and sent Plee bouncing off his belly. "Woops..."
Ford closed his eyes as he heard the metal bulkheads groaning under the impact of a ten over ton dragon as a dazed Sophia tried to get back on her feet after denting the walls. She copied Blue Thunder's stance and looked curiously at the person next to Ford who she has not met before and was wondering why everyone seemed both excited and afraid at the same time.
Plee grumbled as she dusted her backside after being sent flying by Blue Thunder. She gave a withering glare at Blue Thunder but found him staring pointedly at a spot in the air and she wondered what happened. She then noticed Ford and another tall cold looking short eared hooman standing quietly at the entrance of the bay.
"At ease," Blake said before dismissing the crew. "Carry on with your duties. I need a word with the dragons and... the Girl..."
"Aye aye, Sir!" The crew members saluted before they hurried out of the aircraft bay, casting apologetic looks towards Plee who was shocked.
"Who are ya?" Plee curiously asked as she was a bit unhappy that her followers seemed to fear and admired him more than her and she wanted to know his identity.
"I am Captain Blake," Blake simply replied. "And you are the divine being, called Plee?"
Plee nodded as she haughtily crossed her arms across her chest. "Yes! It is I, Plee!"
Blake entered the bay and looked around, seeing articles of comfort decorating the bay, making the place cosier. "So how have you been settling in?"
Plee frowned as she glanced at a nervous looking Blue Thunder who quickly gave her several fast one eyed blinks as if hinting at something. But she did not understand Blue Thunder and she replied, "Me good! But sad now... no burgers for me..."
Blake gave an amused look to Ford who grinned back. "Well, you did something without asking for permission and injured... your friends..."
Plee pouted as she replied, "But I God! Offerings is a must!"
"Even if you are a God," Blake's voice suddenly turned cold as he stared sharply at Plee. "Even if a God makes an offence, that God must be punished too!"
Plee felt a sudden stifling presence emitting out from Blake as she stared wide eyed with fear at the words of Blake. She gulped nervously and shyly stepped back from Blake and hid behind the arms of Blue Thunder. She mimicked the responses she has constantly seen the people around do and replied in a trembling voice, "A- aye Sir!"
"Blue Thunder!" Blake turned his attention to the dragon who visibly seemed to grow even straighter.
"YES SIR!" Blue Thunder replied smartly as he kept his head straight and eyes up in a parade square worthy pose.
"I have heard quite a lot of complaints on you..." Blake said as he stared at the dragon who was supposed to be known as fearsome creatures but was now like a mouse. Blake shook his head as he continued, "I do not want to hear more complaints about you! Or I bust your ass back to a private!"
Blue Thunder trembled at the thought of getting de promoted which meant his pay would be cut, meaning that he would no longer be able to afford his cheese fries! It would be like cutting his flesh out!
"Oh- NO, SIR! I- I mean, YES SIR!"