Dawn found the KOE high above the Kashkun mountains (80,000 feet above sea level). The instruments onboard picked up on extra radiation from the Sun and space, and as soon as the Sun came up, Ylin had to adjust the gloine-phol system to filter out the harmful radiation and UV light.
The sonar system produced confusing images and maps of the mountains, and they had to change the flight path several times to avoid cities and towns. Right now they were flying past Kashkun City.
“The Justice Arrow owned a storage building down there,” Jango explained. “Guys from Kashkun were the first to ship magicians from the Haktzku base near Perion, and they tried to run the magic market themselves but the Kashkun guards shut them down pretty quick,”
Ylin, Whiskey and Meeka were in the cockpit too.
“Then what happened?” Whiskey demanded.
“The JA set up a hard-negotiated deal with the guys who owned the army base at Cold Death Pass. In return for a fee of 60% of our profits, they let the JA drive across ourselves and the bow masters took over what was left of the market in Kashkun City. Of course, the guild at the pass didn’t deny SEA Lander guys from coming and going, they paid them good money to get across, and so the JA had to compete.”
“How? What kind of competition?” Ylin asked.
“A magician sells for alot more in the SEA Lands, so the guys had to pay the JA big money for them. In Victoria, they don’t have to pay so much, so they always came. After the rangers took over the pass, the Arrow completely controlled the magician smuggling operation from Victoria all the way to Kashkun. And so they raised the prices.”
“Damn. What’s the going rates last time you checked?” Whiskey asked.
“Jonas Oppal of the Opsquatch family was appointed the boss at the market in Kashkun. The customers were mountain farmers, Yetis, and tribesmen. A dead magician would be used for food and fertilizer for mountain crops. Live magicians were used as slaves. Dead ones sold anywhere between 100K and 15 million. Live magicians sold anywhere between 150K and the highest price I heard of was 90 million.”
Ylin scowled. “And all the magicians were from Ellinia?”
“Most of them, yeah. Most of the cheap ones were from Kerning, though, and at times, the JA and their business partners in Kashkun used SEA Lander magicians too, but they were alot cheaper than Victoria ones,”
“How did the Justice Arrow expand their business into New Saskatchewan?”
“They just went to Border Town and set up. They took over the magic market down there and used that place to sell Victorian magicians. Apparently the further you go into the SEA Lands, the more valuable they sell. So around Year’s End, the JA moved to selling magicians at Border Town only, and yeah. Kashkun customers went back to buying local magicians until the guard destroyed their market. Then the JA took it over and used it as an outpost.”
“Any other connections the bowmen might have?” Ylin asked.
Jango thought. He remembered being aboard the airship Hyuit last week.
The commander bow master said that the JA ships magicians to other places in the SEA Lands or sold them to criminals in New Saskatchewan. All the bowmen on the Hyuit were being dispatched to the JA’s base in New Saskatchewan, and they were to escort shipments of magicians.
“Yeah, they did, and Jalonska was sending guys out to reinforce the connections.”
“Why were you out here?”
“It was by accident. I was forced to do cleaning onboard the ship when it suddenly took off. The commander looked at me and didn’t even think about letting me off. Everyone else was a seasoned bow master,”
“And the New Saskatchewan armed forces destroyed them,”
Jango nodded. That was when he hid, and after the battle and the brutal storm was over, he stole a truck and drove all the way to Ellinia. Looking back, Jango still couldn’t believe he got past Cold Death Pass and missed the JA patrolmen in Perion.
The flight was a smooth ride since they blasted their way out of Ellinia, but when the KOE passed the electromagnetic barrier and entered New Saskatchewan airspace, things got rough. As they were blasted with radiation, the magic shield had to be put at max and the gloine-phol system also had to be maxed, But to Ylin’s biggest surprise, the magic abosrbant system actually began converting the cosmic and solar rays into mana and the plane was almost overloaded again, so after the mana reserve tanks filled up, the rest of the excess magic had to be discharged. In the morning sky, the KOE emitted a tail of bright white light.
But then they met harsh turbulence as the KOE took on the fierce winds of New Saskatchwean’s living skies. To keep the ship from being wrenched to pieces, Ylin was forced to fly low and keep less than a hundred feet above the ground. Ylin could not slow the plane down because the excess magic being let out the back exhaust pipes would burn the plane.
Everyone held on tight in fear as the KOE flew almost out of control over the hostile grassy New Saskatchewan landscape. Out on the prairies dominated by steel strength-razor sharp grass, herds of gigantic rabbits, wombats, mastodons, giant hamsters, and other monsters thought to be extinct.
It didn’t take long for the archmages of New Saskatchewan to notice and persue the KOE. A pack of wind mages chased after the ship, ordering the KOE to land and for its occupants to surrendur immediantly.
Eventually the plane landed- slid along the grass and came to a stop by a river 40 miles north of Border Town. Ylin, Meeka, the ranger, and the Kerning City cops were all arrested and taken away. The arrest went smoothly. As visitors in the strange land, Ylin made everyone surrendur and they showed no resistance when the archmages tied their hands in wind woven handcuffs. The magic wove the air into super strong fibers, and the handcuffs were as strong as metal chains. The Sasko mages weren’t rough at all once they realized the Victorians showed no resistance, and they realized they were not an enemy.
So they got taken away for interrogation and debriefing.
In the days that followed, everyone gave the Sasko authorities a full summary of the situation in Victoria, the JA’s war against Ellinia and Kerning City, and the ranger who surrendured and made this trip possible. The plane was taken to a base to be examined.
This chapter sucks I know because I wasnt inspired when I wrote it i just wanted to get this crap out of the way and move on in the series. 87 is to be tweaked some other time.