It was pitch black in the streets after an uneasy peace that had settled over the First City of the Fleet after a chaotic day of rioting. The streets were sewn with litter and even a couple of naked bodies that had turned blue in the cold. None of the city workers dared to come out and light the glow lamps and even the rows of buildings along the streets did not even leak a sliver of light as they were all closed and shuttered up as the frightened inhabitants shut themselves in and hopefully the trouble out.
"Go!" The darkness seemed to come alive as figures flowed out from the street alley. Hitsu taking point crossed the street swiftly, his soft soles of his boots made no noise against the cobblestones of the street. He reached the other side of the street and he scanned his surroundings, his view under the night vision goggles turning his surroundings in a white green hue.
"Clear!" He mumbled into his throat mike and took up a holding position while the rest of the Claymore One of the 101st Arcane Tactics and Intervention team crossed the street silently.
"Claymore Two, this is Claymore One, what's your status?" Tyrier asked softly as his team had formed up next to the wall of the target building.
"Claymore Two, coming up on the rear," The comms replied after a short pause. "In position. Over."
"Claymore One, standby to breach!" Tyrier informed the other squad leader at the rear. He switched channels and ordered, "Form up and breach!"
The silent figures of Claymore One detached themselves from the shadows and stacked up next to the front door of the wood and stone building. Wolf quickly determined the hinges of the wooden door and slapped an explosive charge on them. He leaned back and raised his trigger hand up and waited for the order to come down.
"Claymore One, Claymore Two," The comms spoked. "Ready to breach to your command!"
"Claymore One, breach in three... two... one... now!" Tyrier counted down the timing and the silence of the night was shattered by a series of loud claps that echoed down the street and waking up the fretful people of the city.
The area around the hinges and the lock disintegrated into atoms as the charges blew, leaving the door dangling in its frame unsteadily. Wolf pulled the broken door out and the team charged in, their weapons up and scanning for threats in their area. "Clear!"
"Moving up!" Once the ground floor was cleared the two special forces team advanced up to the second floor. As they went up, a side door on the second floor opened and a confused middle aged male stepped out, only to be tasered on the spot without any warning. The tasered elf spasmed on the floor and was swiftly restrained and a gag forced into his mouth to prevent him from casting verbal spells or biting his tongue before a hood was slipped over his head.
Doors were kicked down and every inhabitant was restrained, gagged and hooded before they were led downstairs where a waiting truck had driven up to collect the prisoners. Following that, a team of Intelligence agents came over and canvased the entire building for intel and other useful things.
Throughout the night, similar raids were being conducted through the city and further creating fear and panic. Before long, the locals referred to the incident as the Night of the Restless.
United Nations, Have, Fortress Singapore
"Sixteen dead in total, with another forty two in critical condition," The cold tone of Lieutenant Tavor was the only sound in the room. "And seventy eight more with various degrees of injuries."
"Three hundred and ninety one rioters were arrested," Lt Tavor continued. "Fourteen suspected instigators of the riots and unrests were separately arrested by raids conducted by the 101st ATI."
"We suspect that these riots were conducted with the intent to distract and split our forces in the First City," Lt Tavor said as he showed a few images on the screen. "At fourteen hundred hours, a substantial mob advanced along the eastern city highway towards the location of the House of Law."
"This is the courthouse where a closed hearing involving the two former Fleet Masters of the Isles were being conducted that day," Lt Tavor switched the images, showing a top down photograph with coloured arrows indicating the direction of the mob. "The mob clashed with elements of Marines, Army and local guardsmen resulting in several civilian casualties."
"During the clash, a group of masked individuals lobbed firebombs at our forces, causing casualties and they attempted to force their way through the roadblocks," Lt Tavor once again switched the images on the screen, showing the aftermath of the action. "Our troops fell back to the perimeter of the House of Law and held it while enduring an attack which the unknown entity employed several magical creatures which was ultimately defeated with the timely arrival of Dijon."
"After which they counter assaulted through the mist and took out the spell caster which was the origin of the mist and dissipated it," Lt Tavor switched the image of a blown out building's facade before switching the image to a row of wagons. "They found five wagons that carried in the creatures that laid siege to the House of Law. My people are still working on it to find out who it belongs to."
"But all evidence shows that the masked assailants were there for Akron and Tediore," said Lt Tavor. "We had dispatched additional forces to watch over them and yesterday's night raids were to capture the instigators and ringleaders involved with the city's unrest."
"Further information will be updated and provided once our investigation has been completed," Lt Tavor finished.
Blake nodded absently as he was more engrossed with the stacks of maps on his table. He had been pouring through the maps and background information gathered by Intel on the Old World for weeks. "Hand over all the information to Commander Ford. He will be the one to handle it."
"Yes, Sir," Lt Tavor said with a hint of reluctance.
Blake paused at his work and looked up to Lt Tavor with a pair of tired eyes and said, "He is still your superior officer and the XO of this ship!"
"You will listen and advise him as you did to me!" Blake snapped. "Understood?"
"Yes, Sir!" Lt Tavor snapped to attention as he replied smartly.
"Good," Blake satisfied with Lt Tavor's reply, waved him away. "Go dig out all those loyalists of Megan's faction."
Lt Tavor gave a wordless salute before he exited Blake's office. Blake watched Lt Tavor's disappearing back and let out a sigh before he returned to the maps and documents on his desk. He had been familiarizing himself with what information they had of the Old World, from each nation's culture, technology, strengths, weaknesses, to politics.
Next on his mind was which location to establish a beachhead on the coast of the Old World. He toyed around with several ideas and ultimately chosen a landing point that was within the influence of the Cartel. There were several factors for his decision, some of which was the obscured location, the availability of resources, a deepwater shelter for the UNS Vengeance, and also the distance between the New World and the Old World.
He needed their presence to be hidden as much as possible until their base was firmly established before the UNS Vengeance sails away either to the Protectorate or back to the New World. Because of these factors, he had to review all the recommended landing locations that the Intel team had provided which included thousands of possible points as the continent of the Old World was so massive.
He dropped back on his chair sweating as a painful muscle spasm tore through his body. He took a bottle of pills from his drawer with some difficulty and popped one of the pills prescribed by Dr. Sharon to help him with his withdrawal symptoms. He forced back the pain and the urge to dose on Happy until the meds kicked in, which was barely enough to dull the withdrawal symptoms.
In the end, after what seemed to be an eternity, he poured himself a glass of cold water and drank it. Pale faced and his whole uniform was soaked with sweat, Blake entered the attached shower in his office and took a cold bath, letting the cold water shock his system. Once he changed back to a set of clean clothes, he returned to his desk and started pouring over the data again.
United Nations, Hope, Hope Naval Base, UNS Vengeance
Chief Matt bent over the exposed internals of the engine and checked the insides with a flashlight. Once he was satisfied with his inspection, he scribbled onto a notepad and handed it back to a grinning goblin wearing an oil stained work overalls. "Good work!"
"Thankee Chief!" The goblin gave a high pitched squeal and saluted before he scampered off. Chief Engineer Matt shook his head and headed to the next section of the Vengeance to continue his inspection tour. The UNS Vengeance would depart in the next few days once every inspection in all departments had been completed and signed off.
He returned the salutes of the crew who gave way to him along the narrow passageway as he went deeper into the ship. Stacks of crates filled with supplies or spares lined the passageways and even every nook and cranny making the already narrow passageways even narrower.
He crossed into the Alpha carrier deck and paused for a moment as he spotted a group of navy cadets doing callisthenics in the only available space between the parked and tied down aircraft. The drill instructor was standing on a ladder and staring at the cadets. The most eye catching cadet among the group was a tiny figure similar to the size of an adult goblin.
"Why I be damned," Chief Matt mumbled to himself as he watched the girl who was supposed to be a god, willing to be subjected to military discipline and training. "Never thought I see such a thing in my life! Ha!"
He shook his head before he headed off to inspect and certify the carrier decks' equipment and aircraft, leaving behind the sweating cadets in their workout.
Commander Ford was busy as document after document requiring his attention kept flooding into him. His office door was never closed as he gave up having to tell his secretary to let people in. Issues throughout the UN flooded him, the New Kingdom of Mecca needed more funds to combat the floods and requests for more food aid. Immigration policies from City Hall, military funding, insurgents from the Old World, expansion of resources, and even the unfolding situation within the Isles all took up his attention ever since Blake handed everything over to him.
After all that, he still has to oversee the affairs of the Navy, including the UNS Vengeance and even after that, he has to attend meetings with the regional leaders and city administrators to discuss and set their government policies.
Now, he reviewing the plans of a supergiant delta wing proposed by the UN Air Force's R & D department. The concept was to use aetherium to create a hybrid hi altitude long range multi role flyer that could carry everything from troops, aircraft, tanks to cargo. The Air Force was feeling salty as Project Icarus, the designed airship was deemed to be a ship and fell under the Navy.
Hence they came up with their own aetherium hybrid designs which approval of the project now rested solely on Commander Ford's shoulders who was also the Chief of Naval Operations. He broke into a rare smile and shook his head, wondering were those Air Force pukes tearing their hair off if they knew beforehand that he would be in charge of approving their project.
His smile slowly faded as he signed his approval on the project and whispered to himself, "Well as long as it can provide support to the Captain and the rest in the Old World... Anything is fine!"