PRESENTING CHAPTER 3:
Chapter 3: Scorched Earth
While the tension between the two national superpowers, Pandemonia and Azuria heighten, Queen Althena Fallonia and Airman Lucia Fallonia have been waiting in solitude for days at the holding cell in the Morridon National Laboratories. The holding cell is ironically reserved for spies and saboteurs so it feels very strange for the two royal sisters to be reduced to common criminals and be placed in such a drab and dank prison.
"We've been in here for days, and still the royal house has not attempted negotiation! I'm starting to feel that Dr. Morridon was right about our royal family being corrupt and inept." Lucia paces around the cell nervously while thinking about the shocking turn of events.
"Come, come, Lucia, let's not be so pessimistic. The royal house may be partially at fault for placing too much trust in Dr. Morridon and not regulating his activities more stringently but ultimately it is Dr. Morridon's fault for not using the tremendous trust and power that was placed in his hands responsibly." Queen Althena replies.
"Yes, I do suppose the royal house isn't left with any good options especially after Dr. Morridon has got his hands on the most powerful weapons ever devised." Lucia comments on the dire state of affairs.
"That's true, if we are released, the royal house would have to surrender state power to that madman and if they don't cooperate, we die. Although if worse comes to worse, I think Dr. Morridon is ruthless enough to use the Azuron missiles to get what he wants if things don't go his way."
"Yes, and if the royal house attempts to rescue us, he'd definitely launch the missiles! I shudder to think that we are both hostage to this man, either way it just seems inevitable that we are beaten."
"Yes, it seems we must embrace our end with dignity because we really do have little choice in this matter…" Before Queen Althena is able to continue speaking, a loud bang suddenly causes a section of wall in the holding cell to fall down.
"Don't make such a hasty conclusion Queen Althena!" A voice calls out from behind the cloud of dust kicked up by the fallen wall.
"Is that… Airman Ramius? You fool! How could you! You're going to agitate Dr. Morridon with this reckless behavior!" Lucia scolds the airman.
"Well… truth to be told, I have some good news and bad news. But I don't have time to explain that here. Come on! I'll explain everything on the airship, but first we have to get out of here!" Airman Ramius says as he motions for the two royal sisters to follow him out.
"Looks like you've brought company." Lucia comments upon seeing the royal enforcer robots escorting Airman Ramius.
"Yes, it would have been suicide for me to come in here alone." Airman Ramius replies, after all the idea of being surrounded and ripped to shreds by enemy robots is not a pleasant one.
"By the way, you're both going to need these I trust." Airman Ramius hands a black magic mace to Queen Althena and a black magic blaster wand to Airman Lucia.
The two royal sisters walk out of the gaping hole torn in one of the buildings in Dr. Morridon's research compound along with the enforcers and Airman Ramius. Their escape is fraught with danger as wave after wave of bronze enforcer robots give chase to them. The royal sisters, Airman Ramius and the two enforcer robot escorts occasionally turn around and shoot at the laboratory enforcers that give chase to them as they run through the field of the compound and make their way to the airship.
"Alright, we're within range. Airship captain, activate the short range teleportation beam!" Airman Ramius calls out to the captain while he and the two royal sisters step backwards until they are underneath the airship and while destroying enforcer robots that approach them with blasts of magic.
In a matter of seconds, the teleportation beam emerges from underneath the ship and the two royal sisters, Airman Ramius and their enforcer escorts are beamed into the ship. The jet engines of the ship then shoot out powerful streams of gas that propel the ship quickly out of the compound.
As they walk along the hull of the ship, Airman Ramius explains the situation. "Alright, now for my explanation, you see the reason we were able to rescue you both without the fear of being flattened to the ground by Dr. Morridon's missiles is that he was, uh… distracted when we broke into the laboratory compound."
"Distracted by what?" Lucia asks.
"You see, according to our military intelligence, the President of Pandemonia, Richard Garlyle is launching a counterattack on Dr. Morridon's lab with some new weapons apparently, which he believes can match the power of Dr. Morridon's missiles. And while Dr. Morridon was busy preparing to repel the counterstrike, we took advantage of his preoccupation by sneaking into his compound and breaking you two out. Now, we don't really need to worry about angering Dr. Morridon and provoking him into attacking us because he has no choice but to divert all of his resources into Pandemonia's retaliation."
"Alright, I know what to do. We may not have the kind of new weapons possessed by Dr. Morridon but we have got to do something, and that is to observe this battle and witness its outcome. Airman Fallonia, I am assigning you to lead a reconnaissance team to observe the battle from the air. You will be accompanied by a fleet of carrier airships ready to provide cover fire should anything happen. I trust you are up to the task?"
"I will succeed my mission or die trying! I could not imagine a world without my beloved sister or my nation for that matter." Lucia replies.
"The courage you both display is admirable but now I'm afraid I'm going to have to come out with the bad news. Our intelligence reports have noted that the new weapons built for the Pandemonian military were built by the alien who emerged from the second meteor that crashed into Pandemonia. In a few days, he has exerted great influence on the ruling party of that state so we believe his intentions to be very dubious. Also, intelligence reports have gathered that the battle between Dr. Morridon and Pandemonia could cause so much destruction that the clouds of smoke would cover the Earth for several days, starving all plant life of sunlight and basically killing all life on Earth."
"It just looks like things are going to get from bad to worse." Lucia comments and frowns.
"Do not worry about that Airman; we already have a backup plan." Airman Ramius replies.
"What plan?" Lucia asks.
"We're headed there right now."
In a few hours, the airship lands on an Azurian air force base. As Airman Lucia and Queen Althena step down from the airship that rescued them, they spot a massive, white tower shaped craft parked on the runway.
"What in the world is that?" Queen Althena comments on the vehicle that is so large that it occupies four runways.
"That Queen Althena is humanity's last hope. It is a craft powered by the mighty Azuron rockets and capable of defying the gravity of the Earth and flying into the vast emptiness of space. Dr. Morridon designed the craft and originally intended to use it to fly to our moon, Lunaria and colonize it, after all our astronomers have observed Lunaria's surface and found signs of life, even advanced civilization. We have named the ship 'Althena's Tower' in your honor, and by the way, it's good to see that you and your sister are alive and well."
"Hmmm… another civilization for that madman to bring down!" Lucia comments angrily at Dr. Morridon's insatiable lust for power.
"Premier Grover, it's good to see you." Queen Althena shakes hands with the Premier of Azuria, Baal Grover.
"We were able to build the craft thanks to plans stolen by our intelligence agents. It can seat 5,000 people whom we will have to notify and carefully handpick to follow us into our exodus from a destroyed Earth should worse come to worse. Also, since the environment of Lunaria is not completely compatible with our species, we have installed the terraformation machine also designed by Dr. Morridon which is also powered by the ship's onboard Azuron crystals. Part of its energy will be used to terraform half of Lunaria's surface while the rest has to be conserved to terraform the Earth back to its original state once it is destroyed." Premier Grover explains.
"Don't worry Premier, we won't allow the Earth to be destroyed! Send an order to the air fleet! We are moving in to observe the battle between Pandemonia and Dr. Morridon's forces. Airmen Fallonia and Ramius, report to your squadron commander and prepare for battle!"
"Yes your majesty!" Airmen Fallonia and Ramius both reply and salute the Queen before they head into their designated hangar.
Meanwhile, in the Morridon National Laboratories, Dr. Morridon prepares all of the missiles in his silos for launch against the approaching Pandemonian air fleet. In a few minutes, a visual confirmation of the fleet is made but surprises Dr. Morridon and his crew.
"Where are Pandemonia's airships? And what are those things?" Dr. Morridon stares anxiously at the green flying wings coming closer to the city with tails of light trailing from behind them as they fly through the air.
"I have no idea sir, but the airships are nowhere to be found!" The navigator replies.
"Well nonetheless nothing can compare in power to my Azuron missiles, now that the enemy is in range, prepare to fire the first wave!"
"Yes sir!" The launch controller fires the first Azuron missile at the approaching entities.
Meanwhile, the airships of the Azurian fleet which are a few kilometers away from the flying wings receive the command to sortie.
"All personnel to battle stations; prepare to launch fighter airships!" A voice from the carrier ships' intercoms call out.
Airman Lucia and Ramius immediately leave their barracks and board their designated fighter airships. The small airships are dropped from bay doors in the carriers and their jet engines instantly fire them off into the air.
"We're coming in close to the enemy and I am placed in charge of this reconnaissance mission! All other fighters are to remain in standby before I give permission to open fire, is that understood!" Airman Fallonia radios out to the other fighters.
Airman Fallonia is escorted by three other fighters while the others remain floating above the air, a safe distance from the upcoming battle. The reconnaissance fighters rush into the battle and observe the developments closely. In a few seconds, the Azuron missile shoots into the area covered by the squadron of the flying wings and as it nears them, the photon vacuum dishes of the robots begin to forcibly draw solar radiation from the sun. Once the vacuum dishes have drawn enough energy, the flying robots shoot beams of yellowish white solar radiation that fan out from the gels in the fore of their fuselages and shoot at the missile. The missile explodes in mid air with a large spherical bluish purple blast front that is so bright that it temporarily blots out the light of the sun.
"Ugghh!" Lucia moans painfully as she shields her eyes from the light and she and her fighter escort turn away from the explosion that is about to swallow them up.
Applause is heard in the command center of the Pandemonian air force base as they witness the destruction of Dr. Morridon's missile.
"Alright! Now we've finally got a chance at stopping those Azurians!" President Garlyle declares excitedly.
"President Garlyle! Watch out!" President Garlyle's bodyguard shouts as he pushes the president to the ground to prevent him from being vaporized by a laser beam that instead sears a hole through the wall.
"Dr. Astral! What is the meaning of this?" The President calls out to the doctor upon seeing the smoke emanating from one of the laser guns of Dr. Astral's bio robot escorts.
Dr. Astral laughs maniacally and to the President, he says. "Fool! You have played cleverly into my trap! With your assistance you have given me the materials necessary to build the weapons that will eradicate the only person powerful enough to stop me! Did you really believe my story about trying to preserve the heritage of my planet? Well, that part was correct, but there are some elements of the story that I needed leave out to earn your gullible trust! I am preserving a heritage indeed, and that is the heritage of my dictatorship! I was once the absolute ruler of Kepleria until a black hole swallowed up the planet and erased the dominion I worked hard to build! I have escaped certain destruction and scoured the galaxy for centuries so that I may one day find a planet where I can build my tyranny anew and enslave the populace!"
"I thought you were here to help!" The President replies.
"I am afraid not Mr. President! Your world's freedom is at an end and my absolute rule shall begin anew! As we speak, other attack robots are already overrunning all of your cities and eliminating all those that oppose me!" Dr. Astral replies as he mentally commands his robots to vaporize all the personnel in the room.
Violent screams are heard as all the people in the command center are reduced to gas.
"Dr. Morridon, those things have intercepted our missile!" The navigator reports.
"What? Prepare to fire a volley of missiles! Surely they will not be fast enough to intercept all of them!" Dr. Morridon commands, but before the command is executed, the face of Dr. Astral appears on the screen of the command center.
"Dr. Morridon, I am Zophar Astral, the one responsible for building the weapons that are going to attack your nation. I shall make this planet called Earth my new seat of power and I assure you that your missiles are powerless against my attack robots! Surrender now so that we can prevent any further destruction to this planet!"
"Never! I alone shall be the master of this Earth and I have no plans of backing down any time soon! Alien or not your weapons cannot stop what I am about to unleash!" Dr. Morridon answers back.
"We shall see about that!" Dr. Astral replies.
"Prepare to fire the missile volley!" Dr. Morridon commands.
"Yes sir!" One of the personnel replies as he opens all of the missile silos and fires the volley.
Multiple missiles launch into the air and fly towards the attack robots.
"I have a bad feeling about this." Airman Fallonia whispers to herself as the missiles approach and she sees them through the rangefinder screen built into the cockpit of her fighter airship.
"Airman Fallonia, I have an urgent report!" One of the ground crew at the air force base radios to her fighter ship.
"What is it?" Airman Fallonia asks.
"We were right about the alien's intention. The alien goes by the name of Zophar Astral and he has conspired to take over the Pandemonian government, he too has plans of using his own weapons to force the world to subject to his rule! We have it on record! We intercepted a conversation through video conference between him and Dr. Morridon! Queen Althena orders us to concentrate all our firepower into the missiles and the attack robots!"
To all the fighter airships, Airman Fallonia gives out her command. "All fighter airships are to move several kilometers away from the battle airspace and when I give the command they shall fire all their ether shells and ether magic rods at the flying wings and the incoming missiles! We shall receive cover fire from the cannons and rods on our airships so we can put as much firepower into our enemies as possible! I know that the weapons of our enemies may seem too powerful for us but this is our last chance as nation… no as a race to survive this war, so we have got to put all our effort into this attack, is that understood?"
"Aye!" All of the pilots of the fighter airships reply collectively as they turn back from the battle airspace and train their cannon pods and magic rods at the enemy.
The carrier airships further away do the same with their much larger cannon pods and magic rods as they await the missiles and the approaching flying wings to fall within target range. In a few minutes, the weapons sights of all the fighter and carrier airships turn red indicating that they are ready to fire. Airman Fallonia and the rest of the air fleet hold their breath as they pull the triggers that shoot out the ether shells from their pods and cast magic spells by holding handgrips connected to the ether magic rods that act as a spell casting conduit and shoot out streams of translucent brown ether gas. The ether shells explode on impact releasing blast waves of ether gas which are followed up by the streams of ether gas shot out from the magic rods. The dust clears and the approaching missiles and attack robots are left undamaged. Airman Fallonia and the rest of the air fleet stare at the missiles and attack robots in shock, their eyes wide at the seeming invincibility of the weapons built by the two scientists.
"How can this be real? God help us!" Lucia whispers to herself, the fear welling up inside her, making her almost unable to move.
"Airman Fallonia! We have orders to retreat back to base! They say they are to execute 'Plan Exodus' with our newly constructed starship!" The ground crew radios to Airman Fallonia's fighter ship.
"Alright! All fighters are to retreat back to the carriers!" Airman Fallonia commands and all the fighter airships hurriedly fly back into the hangars of the carrier ships.
The attack robots again shoot their beams of solar radiation but this time against a volley of Azuron Missiles. The missiles explode instantly but because there are so many of them, the resulting blast wave is so powerful that it destroys Dr. Astral's attack robots and envelops the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean, hitting the east coast of the North American continent where the Pandemonian air force base Dr. Astral is using to coordinate his attack is located and also the city of Azure in the west coast of Europe. Dr. Morridon can only stare at the explosion in shock as there is little time for him to do anything before he and the capital of Azuria are vaporized.I never expected Dr. Morridon's weapons to be so powerful! But nevertheless this is not the end! It is only the beginning!
Dr. Astral thinks as he teleports himself back to his spaceship staring contemptuously at the display screen as the robots he worked hard to build to take over the other cities of Pandemonia are also vaporized by the blast.
However, before he is completely teleported away from the base, the explosion vaporizes most of his body. Dr. Astral struggles with his magic to teleport the only intact part of his body, his head, into a regeneration chamber in his ship.It does not matter how long it takes for me to regenerate my body and recover my full strength because no matter what happens, my empire will be rebuilt!
Dr. Astral thinks before he falls into a coma and the bio machines in his spaceship insert tubes into his head that provide energy for the regeneration of his completely vaporized body.