Episode 74: Calm before Storm
11:24 SEA Time / 3:24 PM Victoria Time
15,000 feet above Kashkun, 17 miles south of the New Saskatchewan border
It was about an hour before the Sun set behind the towering Sinorean Mountains to the southwest, and already the clouds over Kashkun were tainting a beige-ish color.
The RKS Hyuit was one of Roika’s fastest of the large class airships. The main body looked like a sleek v-shaped missile like structure with a giant powerful jet in the back. The wooden body had decks and flat surfaces on the top like any ship, but attached to it were two giant jets, each 75 feet long. Giant sail like structures were attached to the body and jets pointing down, up, starboard (right), and port (left). Unlike most of Roika’s ships, the Hyuit did not feature a giant balloon of air to carry it; instead, the ship was built almost entirely out of “aansteker-chem-Luft” or ACL wood, which is harvested from the super tall thick trees in the Darkon-3 region. The heavy metal of the jets, engines, and everything else served as a counter balance to keep ACL ships from ‘falling’ into the sky.
The Hyuit was decomissioned after 75 years in service and to be scrapped when a dealer in Roika purchased the ship for the JA for 350 million penya or 800 million mesos.
The three powerful jets roared loudly as the Hyuit soared at 300 miles per hour over the mountains. The furious freezing winds were constantly causing turbulence and the ship ducked and jumpes as it hit bumps of thick air or pockets of thin air.
Inside, Bow Master Athlun Harrton, level 171, and commander of this operation, walked from his office inside the ship to the weather room. The WR had windows around so they had a clear view of the outside.
The crew of Roikans and Maplean noobs worked hard to keep as up-to-date as possible.
“The winds are settling down now that we are passing over the mountain” a level 28 archer said, looking at his computer screen, which showed incoming charts and data from the doppler crystals mounted outside.
“What about up north?”
“Nothing yet, sir. There seems to be some kind of magnetic barrier blocking our radar,”
“Hmph! Keep at it! Let me know of any change.” the Bow Master said as he walked out.
In the communication room, the guys working the radio equipment were alarmed from the transmissions they were recieving from Kashkun down below:
“…wierd mages…killed all of our guys!”
“…lit up like a giant sun! I’m blind!”
Captain Laini felt uneasy as she listened to the frantic calls for help echoing off the loudspeakers.
“…they…they killed all of them…and took the refugees…”
Harrton was here before and knew that the JA got decimated in Kashkun by alien mages. He decided not to land in Kashkun; he didn’t want to risk a fight with the Kashkun soldiers and lose the ship.
10 minutes later, the Hyuit was flying over Purpell Ridge- the long line of hills covered in reddish purple crystal plants.
The weather station people eagerly awaited data from the instruments on the giant toweing black clouds over the flat lands to the north. Under the bleak storm cloud, it was darker than night.
“I got something! Here it comes now!”
“it’s a storm cell, oh my gawd, it is more than 50 kilo feet high!”
“Electrical instability is high!”
After a while…
“The storm is approaching from the north. Winds are calm over the airea, but things are going to whip up soon!”
“Hey nooblet! Give this to Bow Master Harrton! Tell him we gotta land or turn back!”
“Don’t worry, guys, we got a base up here; we’ll be fine.”
“Not with that hellish storm approaching! I swear there are evil forces lurking about here!”
In the communications room..
“Hopkin Base, do you read me? Is anyone there?” a ranger spoke into the mic. “Hello? This is Harrton Team approaching, please respond!”
And then, static washed over the speakers, and a frantic, desperate voice echoed,
“…oyed everything. They–~…destroyed **_..the enti*e place!……”
“Identify yourself, mate,” the ranger ordered.
“Identified the messenger, it is Arrowboy, level 36. Alias name Wolf”
“What the hell is a level 36 doing here?!!”
“We have you now, what seems to be the problem?”
“…*-+=…..the entire place is destroyed. There’s no one left!…”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Saska mages broke in, destroyed everything and killed everyone, even our clients!”
An xbow mistress looked out the window and saw the destroyed base. The building was reduced to a rubble of burnt scraps. She sounded the alarm.
Harrton ordered the ship to slow down and back away from the city. He peered out the window with his telescope and examed the ruins. Nothing was left. He was enraged.
Harrton ordered the 35 bow masters and 75 rangers on board to prepare to fight. Their flying boards roared to life as they donned their armour, checked their bows and arrows. Harrton’s second in command, level 165 Bow Mistress Rachel Luka, walked around issuing commands to the ship’s crew and mob of angry bowmen.
She was very well aware of the disaster at Corazon and Cold Death Pass, and she even knew who destroyed Laini’s entire fighting force back in November. She had trained Owl Spirit since she was a little girl and Owl was an exceptional hunter. Luka was enraged when she heard Owl ditched the JA those many years ago, and she was bloody pissed and sought to personally destroy Owl.
The bowmen all climbed up onto the deck outside and prepared to jump. Their mission: to take revenge on the alien Saskoes and take out the damn Kerning refugees.
Then Harrton issued the command, and they all jumped. As the army of bowmen fell, they fired up their flying boards, and flew fast towards Border Town. Equipped with magic radar devices, they detected their targets.
The four giant Grasslander ACLC [AirCushionedLandingCraft] hovercrafts were parked two miles out of town in the Kawngaska Fields area, which was already covered by the black stormcloud’s shadow. They looked like the American hovercraft, but these ships were all painted yellow.
Owl stood on the back deck of the ‘Wheat-Hawk’ leaning against the railing and stared down at the trucks that drove in bringing the many refugees from Kerning City. The trucks kept to the clear cut dirt road between the fields of giant grass. Blades of New Saskatchewan grass were strong enough to support the weight of the Grasslanders, and trying to drive through them is like trying to drive through rebar. The Wheat Hawk and other ships rocked slowly, swayed by the grass as the winds blew through.
The crews barked orders in Saskwa, and using hand motions telling the refugees to climb the ladders aboard the Grasslanders. Owl scanned the crowd for Azure but didn’t see her. A couple wood-built ambulances drove up, loaded with injured people rejected by the hospital in town.
Eule came up and stood next to Owl. “Blasted bowmen shot so many locals!” she said.
“Yeah, I know, they tend to do that,” Owl said quietly. “They think anyone outside south Victoria is an alien!”
“How did you come back anyway?” Eule demanded.
Owl looked at her. Eule had long light blue hair that swung in the breeze. Owl had her hair tied back and covered by the hood of her tree-bark poncho. “I was with the refugees.” she said flatly.
“Well, we hope you don’t plan on going anywhere; Mama’s gone crazy over running into you today.”
“Where we going?” Owl asked.
“Probably nowhere because of this brewing storm. But eventually we might have to go to Saskatchewan City. That’s what the army said because of that Justice Arrow place. You speak Saskwa?”
“Oh. You gotta remedy that, then. Nobody speaks english out here, not even Singlish.”
“Good to know” Owl said.
In the radio room, the guy manning the equipment spoke into his mic in Saskwa:
“Kawngaska Post, how are things looking with the storm?”
“…Not good, Wheat Hawk. The storm is expected to activate in the next 35 minutes. Other posts under the storm is are reporting violent winds that could destroy you. Air sharpness level is 75, and there is heavy downpour of rain and snow. Baska Post is reporting severe temperature drops of 80 degrees.”
Air Sharpness was the measure of how swiftly the wind changed and how many directions the winds were blowing in.
0 represents a gentle steady breeze in one direction, and 75 represented tornado-speed winds but with currents so small, they served as knives of wind. at 100, these ‘knives of wind’ would rip an animal or building to shreads.
The NSWMO or New Saskatchewan Warning & Monitoring Organization, made up of thousands of major underground centers and posts up and down New Saskatchewan; all of them monitoring the hostile weather that threatened to do more damage than a nuclear bomb. The NSWMO was established in 1942 to warn the cities of Sino airships and planes and send the alarms to Singapura and other SEA Lands cities. Of course, the crews in the three small bunkers spread out around Border Town picked up signals from the strange airship and hundreds of smaller rocket like craft shooting through the sky into Border Town.
At each bunker, the men and women spoke rapidly in Saskwa as they examined the signals, checked readings, and spotted the bowmen. All were armed and attacking!
Mista wrapped her arms tightly around Owl. Tears streamed down from her eyes as she was over joyed to see her daughter again. They just had a dreamfast when Owl shook her hand thanking her for saving her from the rangers.
a dreamfast is a memory exchange between two people upon physical contact. Owl’s mind was swamped with her mother’s memories of her again….
(….the hackers had taken over Wystia and the entire floating island, and sought to destroy the residents who banned them. Aliana Mistawasis and her boyfriend Jackal Endymo were forced to flee their homes as the hacking fire mages burned it to the ground. Mista ran, with baby Owl in her arms, flanked by Jackal and her other two children. Suddenly more hackers landed and chased after them. Mista wanted to keep Owl desperately-
She tripped on a rock and fell. Twisting her body as she fell, Mista landed on her back, shielding her baby from the fall.
The hacker cheif bandit lunged at her, his blade up, ready to plunge it through the baby into Mista-
The blow was blocked by Jackal who kicked the hacker down with a roundhouse kick. He helped his woman up and they ran towards the docks where the last airship was about to take off. They tried to board, but the crewman pointed his gun at them and said, “No! We are full as it is! come on, fight them off!”
“I have a baby!” Mista cried. “…If you won’t take us, at least take her! She was just born! Give her a chance!”
After a pause, the crewman took the baby from her and walked inside, and slammed the door shut.
The zepplin’s engines fired as it fell away from the docks and made its way down to the land below, flying southbound for Victoria. Mista cried as she watched the ship fly away….)
During the first dreamfast when they shook hands, Owl’s mom saw all of her memories from leaving the Permanoobs in Kerning City to working as an adventure librarian. Mista hugged her daughter tight and cried with joy. Owl didn’t know how to act; this was all so…sudden.
“I..I thought that ship you were on was shot down by the army. I thought you died. All these years you were dead in my mind..”
Owl let go of her. “Have better faith than that, Mama, im here!”
“Kasa Mistawasis, Kommander Flowne requests your presence aboard the Hopper” a crewman said in Saskwa.
“Right. Owl, when we get back home, we’ll celebrate and you can tell me everything.”
Owl had a thousand questions all at once, and she got that feeling like she was never gonna see her again.
“She has to go!” Eule snapped. “Come with me to the first aid room, the healer wants to see your arm-“
“Attack warning red! Attack warning red! Many hostile aircraft over Border Town! Repeat: Hostile objects over Border Town!” the wall speakers blared in Saskwa.
“You, too come on!” the guys said in Saskwa, waving to Owl as they climbed the ladder to the deck above.
Owl followed them to the deck outside. The Beamoth soldiers and mages unfolded ans spread their winds and jumped into the sky and flew into town. The mighty engines of the Grasslander roared to life and the whole ship shook as it lurched forward.
Like the others, Owl jumped off and landed and climbed aboard the trucks which then sped down the road towards Border Town. Owl knew it was the Justice Arrow. As always.
The hovercraft in the pic is what the Grasslanders would look like, only they are painted yellow and slightly smaller.
The Flyff pic: The Hyuit ship looks like the one in the top left part of the picture