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Wings of Steel [Airship]

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Airship Acquisition Thread for: Paradise Rise

 


Predator's Keep

 

Ever since the fall of Atlas, Lieutenant Phil thought he had lost it all. His country, his family, everything he had worked to keep safe and sound. He drank heavily and often passed out from intoxication. Eventually, he wondered if he'd some day end up like Camelot Koven. Lucky woman. She never had to see the apocalypse with her own two eyes.

After having drifted between wanting to die and wanting to live, Phil realised that if he did not find himself something to do, he would eventually descend into madness. This fear haunted him for days on end as he took day after day of medical leave in the Final Bastion's barracks, spending every twilight drinking himself to sleep. Eventually he ran out of money. And then, everything changed.

The existence of a new world, that brought with it not only a whole new plethora of new technologies, but the promise that one could safely traverse and navigate between alternate worlds.

Phil had heard rumors amid the higher ups, ideas being tossed around about potentially reverse engineering the waygate which had taken Atlas away. And from the rumors, hope began to burst forth like a saltwater spring.

When the remaining loyal Atlesians breached the new world, Phil was at the forefront, leading every engagement, charging the Blackpool when it was beached on the shoreline of Marrow and leading the first group of marines who set foot on the foundation of New Acheron. In his spare time, he read. He explored the new world with his mind as he exhausted his body day to day. And he drank. Some habits were tough to curb once acquired.

And finally, he had been given the opportunity to receive long time comrade Mathias Houghton, who had all this time remained behind in their old world to keep the peace and monitor Grandian politics. He knew that as a latecomer, his old comrade would likely feel lost and dwarfed by the titanic accomplishments around him, just as Phil had once felt himself. Thus, he took it upon himself to make the best of this mission to fully bring forth the brilliance of the General who had led them all when the SSU came crashing down on Erenian soil, when the Zones returned fire on their men, and when the fires of hell consumed the city of Herograd.

 


 

As Houghton emerged from the portal in Predator's Keep, he was met by an armed escort of soldiers in Atlesian uniform. The unit of eight men stood in salute as Order of Force Majeure custodes stared on in curiosity. positioned at their very front was none other than Lieutenant Phil himself.

"Good morning, Sir!" he shouted.

Visibly behind him were a pair of jeeps; technology from the new world. Houghton would be pleased.

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@Toast

Edited by Phoebe

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" Good morning lads... seems you haven't aged a day since Atlas... "  He shot up with a smile as he recognized the men before him, fixing the charcoal black tricorn hat he wore over his sliver colored hair.

Houghton stood tall among the men, gazing around at the new world he had found himself within.  He caught notice of the mechanical wonders before him, studying them from wheel to wheel in all their glory.  Having never seen anything like this he wondered what else there was in a world like this.  He returned his gaze back to the men however, mostly focusing on the lieutenant and how he had changed since their last encounter.  He noticed the changes in the uniforms and even weaponry.  Marveled by everything before him he took in a slight breath, trying not to take in too much at one time.

" Well then.. I guess I have some catching up to do with you boys.. "  He slightly chucked this remark under his breath, still just marveled as he gazed between the men and everything else that was around them.  Resting his mechanical arm on top of his head as he slightly spun on his heel, continuing to look around for anything that could be more interesting.

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Aye aye,” Phil responded, dropping his arm sharply to the side and leading the way to the vehicles. “This way, sir. There is much to be seen and done.


After a brief struggle getting the General into the passenger’s seat of the car, Phil finally taught him how to put on his safety belt before stepping into the driver’s seat himself.

Marshal Hawk’s Fort Solitude is an eight hour drive. We have plenty to catch up on,” he remarked before stepping his foot into the peddle. The engine roared to life as mud began to spurt out from the rear wheels. Turning the steering wheel sharply, the Lieutenant made a full hundred and eighty degree turn before speeding off down a paved dirt road. Behind them, the city of Predator’s Keep loomed over their heads.

While we’re waiting, feel free to ask anything, General. I’ve been tasked to answer all of your questions. All this must be quite confusing for you. I hope to shed some light on it.

The trees whisked by in a blur as the jeep tore down the road, followed from behind by a secondary escort containing the other four men. Two armed Atlesian soldiers remained vigilant in the back of the first car, remaining silent as both of their superiors exchanged words.

. . . You aren’t still using dynamite, are you?

@Toast

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" Fort Solitude... sounds like Hawk- and well dynamite is still the best explosives back home... No ones bothered to attempt anything better so that is what I've been stuck with forever... "

Houghton took the hat off his head, laying it on his lap as they drove.  His smile continuing as they past trees faster than he ever could on any of his few horses.  However one thing had surprisingly changed about Houghton as he wasn't wearing his usual eye-patch which revealed a seemingly normal eye.  His smile didn't fade for the entire trip, enjoying every second he spent in the jeep as well this would be his first time and certainly not his last.  His metal arm rested on top of the door which faintly shimmered in the sunlight through the trees as it bounced off the slightly dirtied steel.

" So.. I'd presume you have something better than dynamite here since you have whatever I'm currently sitting in. "  He looked over his shoulder to the lieutenant, trying to look over the interior of the Jeep to match it with the outside.  Still marveling as they passed through the forest, after the question he began wondering how this machine worked beneath him.

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This vehicle is a jeep. We acquired them from our manufacturer, Blackblood Corporations. Lady Addison made contact with a man named Thurgood who helped us to communicate our orders to the company. They’ve helped us make a lot of things!

Taking one hand off the steering wheel, Phil reaches into his belt and unclasped a grenade before handing it to Houghton.

This is the type of explosive which we’re using now. Manufactured by Aurelium Incorporated. It contains a magic element, so it’s slightly more destructive and a little more effective against the weird shit in this world.

He gestured vaguely to the grenade without taking his eyes off the road.

This is the pin. To activate the grenade, you pull it and then throw it. It has a fuse which takes seven to eight seconds to burn out before it triggers a large explosion.

He smiled in a crooked toothed way that only a man who had killed would be able to appreciate.

Does far more damage and is much safer to use than dynamite. Also, there’s no need to generate a spark to light it, which is very convenient.

As they reached the last stretch of the woods, large green meadows came into view, disrupted by the occasional tree. In the distance, a herd of cows was moving through the fields, chased by what appeared to be a canine creature of sorts and a man on a horse.

Got any other questions? The Marshal and the Admiral have been up to a lot. In fact, everyone has been very busy in the last few months. It’s the most united I’ve ever seen the people of our world. Heck it, even Lord Kyoku is here.

@Toast

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" Well that is helpful to keep in mind.. "  He turned his head to look straight out the windshield, slightly cracking his neck as he did so.

He grasped the grenade within his metallic arm, gazing over the small yet seemingly effective piece of weaponry.  He looked at the pin and was tempted to pull it, however he did have his decency around his friends of war and decided not to.  He continued his small smile, gazing about at the cows and the man riding the horse.  His smile only grew as he now knew the fact horses were here and are somewhat used, having grown up where a horse was needed most of his life helped him before but not entirely now.

" Well then.. Addison, Hawk, Howard and Kyoku all within one region... certainly a rare occurrence for people of their nature... "  He had one last thing he wished to say but held his tongue, the question wasn't really one for the lieutenant but one for someone who could give one of two answers.

Edited by Toast

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"Oh? Why's that strange?" Phil responded curiously as a large settlement came into view up ahead. Seemingly built into the ground was a large earthen wall; further reinforced on top by large slabs of stonebrick in a curved parameter around the settlement itself. There were several openings in the wall, each actively patrolled by men in Bloodlust uniform.

"Welcome to Fort Solitude," Phil vocalised loudly over the roar of the engine, driving right up to the front of the nearest entryway. Stopping right in front of a Bloodlust soldier, he took out a signed document by Marshal Ryder Hawk, Admiral Jack Howard, and Addison.

"Here to bring General Houghton to New Acheron. Please let us through."

The Bloodlust soldier took a brief look at the document before immediately recognising the general. Straightening into a salute, the entire line of men followed in suit as the vehicle began a slow trot through the encampment.

"Marshal Hawk was absent the last time I was here. I believe he's taken the new girl, Wren Locke, out for a drive."

@Toast

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" I just never would have imagined this under these circumstances.. Everyone's been wrong before however.. "

He muttered gently beneath his breath, looking at the fortress in all of its glory.  It reminded him of Atlas for a moment before snapping back within his new reality, looking around at the soldiers by the gate.  He returned the salute formally for once since the fall of Atlas.  He gazed around at the interior of the fortress and was amazed by it in all of its wonders, this truly was something new and wondrous he would most likely end up exploring in the near future.  Yet, now is the time to continue with his escort to wherever their destination in mind was.  He got a few thoughts in his mind hearing the remark with his former friend and friend of war, he followed the last remark with a faint chuckle.  Continuing to gaze about the interior of the titanic structure as the jeep continued moving throughout the settlement.

" Well then.. surely will be a surprise for Hawk when he finds out I'm still alive.. not to mention that I'm even here in his fortress... "

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"Oh- Not in the least. You were certainly expected," Phil responded. "Lord Kyoku speaks very fondly of you and your exploits in Grandia."

Turning a corner and down a long pathway lined by barracks and milling with Bloodlust soldiers, Houghton was given a look at the livelihood which had been built from nothing. Right at the end of the road was a dock at which a small ferry had been prepared.

Grinding the vehicle to a halt, Phil switched the engine off before reaching over to the other side of the vehicle and undoing Houghton's safety belt.

"Come on, Sir. We have a ferry to catch."

Half jogging and half walking, Phil ran around to the back of the vehicle to carry Houghton's belongings before leading him onto the ferry. The remainder of the Atlesian escort remained at the camp and returned to report to their commanding officer. On the ferry, a small group of Howardian sailors was at the ready to escort them to New Acheron.

"It's a good thing you're early, Sir!" Phil remarked. "Addison and Howard aren't expecting you for another three days."

Once the group had embarked onto the ferry, it took off with its escort of six men, tearing through the ocean and leaving the continent of Lagrimosa in the distance.

Bringing a small piece of laminated paper over to the General, Phil laid out the world map before Houghton.

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"The continent of Lagrimosa is where we are currently at. We will be travelling west to avoid the vortex before heading straight south and along the coastline of Genesaris. If we continue to follow it, we will eventually arrive at New Acheron."

@Toast

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" So I'm early... perfect, for once I will not be late to something of importance "

He took his metallic hand and took the paper, using his real finger he began tracing over both the path and the shape of the continents.  It certainly was not Atlas so some mental work would need to be done to remember landmarks and continents.  He began briefly memorizing both continents and names, occasionally mumbling the word aloud and quickly silencing himself.  He had taken his charcoal colored tricorn hat and adjusted it with its small yet noticeable red feather sticking out from behind it, covering most of his hair and head with the hat.

" Of course Kyoku would speak of me... poor soul doesn't know how to silence himself when he's around home about this place "  He muttered with a faint grin, continuing to focus more on the map and not even the wondrous ship he had boarded.

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Minutes drew on into hours as the vessel bobbed steadily in the waves. At first, nothing out of the ordinary seemed to be going on. Then, in the corner of his eye, Phil spotted something just above the horizon, coming from far behind them.

"Is that another ferry?" he stood up and observed the craft which began to draw into sight. It was at least a good five kilometres away, but with each passing second, he was able to get a clearer view.

The vehicle wasn't resting on the surface of the water. It was flying far above it.

It soon occurred to Phil that it was travelling at a speed quick enough to catch up to their ferry in seconds.

"Hard to port!" he yelled at the cabin crew before sounding the shipwide alarm. "Prepare for enemy contact!"

Whipping out his rifle, Phil stared down the vehicle as it soared towards their ship. As it neared closer than ever before, it became apparent that it was. . . On fire.

Large chunks of debris fell away from it as it hurtled over them, leaving large plumes of smoke in its wake. Whirling around, Phil rushed up to the upper deck to have a better look at the aircraft, which had begun to disappear off into the distance. As the men waited in anticipation for an attack that never came, the sea dissolved into silence, only the soft lapping of the waves against the hull making the slightest sound.

@Toast

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" Well then.. would you look at that.. "

Houghton remained unusually calm throughout the entire miniature skirmish with an enemy that never existed, gazing above at the giant titan as it seems to slowly rip itself apart with the fire.  To stop the faint panic from spreading further he continued his calm as he watched the structure disappear in a seemingly matter of seconds.  Watching as the smoke slowly dispersed into the air and the behemoth that had flown above them left nearly without a trace of any sorts.  He took roughly three steps to the edge of the boat, looking over the railing at the small waves assaulting the side of the ship.  Ironically peaceful from the matter that had happened moments before.

" Seems warfare is abundant here by the looks of whatever just passed over my damn head a few moments ago "  He leaned back over the railing and moved his gaze from the water to the lieutenant.  Houghton shot the lieutenant a semi-dead stare as his faint oceanic-like blue eyes attempted to lock onto the lieutenants for the moment.

Edited by Toast

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"Yeah. . ." Phil responded, his thoughts brought back to the battle of Marrow. "Pirates, cutthroats and all are in abundance. I reckon it could've been a stray aircraft trying to escape from something else, hence the damage taken."

He turned to Houghton.

"If they're innocents, we should help them. If they're convicts escaping the law, we should help bring them in. What do you think?"


As they continued down their charted path to the continent of Genesaris, land soon became visible in the distance. A tall mountain covered in a thick layer of forest was covered with large winding rivers bringing water down from reservoirs higher up. But most disturbingly, was the wreckage. At somewhere around the three-quarter mark of the mountain's full height, a small forest fire had broken out. The smoke was billowing upward into the sky like a beacon. Surely someone would come to investigate, no? But according to the map, the area they were in was highly secluded.

"I wonder what that is," Phil pointed to the forest fire, his gut sinking when he knew very well what it could have been.

@Toast

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" Let's continue the course for now.. "

He then returned to the map, running his finger along the outlines and names.  Continuing to memorize the names and such before him as he attempted to ignore the feeling within his gut and the guilt he had slowly built up from his remark.


" No need for lying... we know what that is do we not? "

He gazed up upon the mountain, taking his slightly sore finger off of the damned parchment as he looked to the smoke billowing off the side of the mountain.  The guilt slowly started to fade as he wondered about the few options he had currently to do about the fire.  He looked to his lieutenant with a faint smirk, trying to lighten up the mood from the fire before them.

" Lieutenant,  you said I am roughly three days early.. correct?  Well if so we surely have time to check out the crash before us do we not? "

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"Exactly what I was thinking," Phil responded before turning to give instructions to the cabin crew. "Dock at the shoreline! The General and I will be going up to investigate the crash."


As the pair disembarked, Phil offered a belt of grenades to Houghton.

"These might come in handy."

The woodland grew thick with trees sprouting up left and right, prompting Phil to draw his revolver, clasping it tightly with both hands as they ascended the mountain.

"How long has it been since your last mission?" he inquired in a low voice as they traversed through the leaf covered hillside.

@Toast

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