Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:30 PM
"Yeah, I'm happy there are more people out there who don't mind her tail." Mandy replied with a smile. "I guess if you guys are leaving soon, I should go get Tali. She could just fly back if your ship isn't too far from port, but that's a little reckless. It's a shame you guys are leaving so soon, though. A day later and Tali and I might have tried buying a ride on this same ship. She looks pirate proof~"
They had been considered, but it also seemed like the cooks picked the quickest thing they could cook and then made as much as they could to save time and effort. "I'm not sure if a breakfast consisting entirely of bacon is very healthy, but if it's just this once ..." Raquel commented. Well, at least it's delicious.
"Alright. If I'm not here whenever you get back, speak to the quartermaster. We can spare a half hour if necessary, but I need to go and let Filat know that we'll be delayed or they'll leave without us." Bogdan explained. He then stepped out of his cabin and closed the door behind him, apparently ready to leave the ship himself.
Once the captains had arrived, Fox met them in his ship's war room and laid out his plan. Most of the captains were on board with the plan, several were hesitant, and two were opposed. "What are we going to do if the patrol fleet decides to take us on in force? We'll be throwing several ships away for a handful of dragons-" "Nine ... nine dragons, captain. And don't forget Cornelius' final report. One of them is a shadow dragon. Candidly, the lot of them are far more valuable than this entire fleet." Fox interrupted with a more in depth explanation.
"Now I see ... now I see why you're willing to go so far to secure them. Nine more dragons in the empire's arsenal would be painful in a decade or so, but nine more in our arsenal would be ..."
"You can't even imagine it, can you?" Fox asked. "I know some of you have doubts about this, and to be honest, so do I. I don't like coming so far out into the frontier with our backs to the war zone, but if we stand by and do nothing, the empire wins yet again."
"And what if they escape? What then?!"
Fox raised an eyebrow. "... define 'escape'."
"What if they get out of the blockade and make it out to sea? You can't just send interceptors after them. They'll be destroyed."
"Heh," Fox shook his head. "If that happens I'll be more than happy to show you how an interceptor is properly used. Well then, I've heard your most valid concerns, so enough of this. Hearing feedback is a courtesy, nothing more, now return to your ships and ready your men. Do your jobs well, and most of you will return home alive. That is all."
Fox soon returned to the deck and spotted his two dragons flying around the fleet almost skirting the waves while making all new ones during their flybys. We don't usually receive a challenge from anyone but the empire ... so why is my heart pounding ...? "Grabacr! Ofnir!"
The two dragons began to slow down and approached the carrier. Once they were close, they began beating down their wings as hard as they could to stay just in front of Fox who was standing near the edge of the nose of the carrier. Fox pointed his finger toward the island ahead of them. "... disarm it." he instructed. The phrase told them everything they needed to know, and the wind dragon Ofnir used his wind magic to propel both dragons up high above the fleet. They disappeared into the clouds and began their approach to Tremere port from the clouds.
Prelude to Disaster
Volya and Claudia were still flying high above the port city and despite Volya's fatigue, they were still going. Volya's occasional complaints didn't seem to sway Claudia much, and they eventually stopped, altogether. Volya was just enduring it, now, aiming to fly around for as long as he could, and that had her feeling incredibly guilty. "Volya ...?"
"What is it?"
"I'm sorry ..."
"I already told you that you don't have to apologize for that." he replied sharply.
"No, it's not that. I just ... I just didn't know it would turn out like this ..." She loosened her grip around his neck slightly and rested her head against his. "It's almost as if ... it's almost as if your wings have become my wings. That's what it feels like ... me using you like this, I mean."
"I said I'd do it ..."
"And I thank you for that, but I still must apologize. I didn't realize just what kind of little monster I was being until just a moment ago." she explained with a bittersweet smile. Volya was genuinely surprised. "Thank you for lending me your wings, Volya. Thank you so much." She could barely manage that much more without choking up.
"... it wasn't so bad. You could be a little less pushy, but I ... guess it was worth it in the end. You got to fly around, and I got some exercise I probably wouldn't be getting otherwise. We both win." he replied in an unusually soft tone.
"Wait ..." Volya flinched. "Claudia do you feel that?"
"I-I-I think it's above us!" Claudia quickly realized. Volya did a timely barrel roll while Claudia clung tightly to him, and they both narrowly avoided being clawed out of the sky by Ofnir as he dove past them. There was a lot of turbulence in his wake that Volya was almost unable to recover from. At first it looked like the wind dragon was going to fly down to the city, but it instead turned around to make another pass at them. "V-Volyaaaa ..."
"Don't worry, Claudia, you'll be alright ..." Volya assured her.
Meanwhile the alarms at the docks went off. There weren't any pirates to deal with, however. Instead they were being attacked by a fire dragon. In its very first pass it set almost every ballista ablaze. The soldiers resorted to grabbing firearms and tried to shoot it out of the air, but they didn't have enough time; the dragon would wipe out the defenses in one pass, and then move on to the next area avoiding the now prepared gunmen entirely. Some of them chased after it on foot, but the only potent weapons left after a couple of minutes were the cannons of the guard towers and the ships themselves, and none of them had the accuracy to bring the dragon down.