Guy knew that giving the secret of magic to Bromania would be problematic at best. Most likely leading to the type of war he most wanted to avoid in this world. The destruction of everything. A single mage had the power to destroy a country. A country of mages is unstoppable. Guy finally decided to put his foot down and instill total fear on the Bromanians. Guy 's face grew dark as he said in a low voice, "There seems to be some confusion in our talks today Mr. President. The way you have been speaking to me all this time is that of a man who holds the upper hand. You seem to think catching the ship from Wütendes Menschenreich unprepared for your type of arms has given you some kind of power of us. I think you have underestimated us if you think our ships of war are our most deadly weapons. The Council of Magic signed an agreement with the School of Wizardry to not use magic in war, so our Mages have merely been piloting our ships. Do you know what a single mage is capable of, Mr. President?"
President Jones frowned and said carefully, "If you plan to threaten me personally, you are crazy. I have an entire base full of men with rifles itching to put a bullet between your eyes you psychotic bastard."
Guy chuckled and said, "To me, this isn't a base full of threats, Mr. President. It's a base full of ants." Guy stood up and took back his armistice. He smiled and said, "I have shown you our terms and they were rejected. Since you decided that you are ready to continue this war, we shall oblige you."
President Jones decided to make one final offer, "We'll forego the war reparations in exchange for a trade agreement between our countries."
Guy thought for a minute and then said, "What type of agreement?"
President Jones decided to dangle a carrot and said, "We'll sell you arms for your soldiers. Rifles, and munitions in exchange you take one of my men to train in magic."
Guy shook his head and said, "I have already seen what this world looks like when countries using magic are at war, I have no desire to repeat that mistake. I have not seen any good will since I have been here, I can only assume that you are trying to trade pox blankets for alcohol. That's how your people do business isn't it?"
President Jones frowned hard and said, "Very well, Prince Montfort, let's just end this war." He brought up the map and drew a hard line at the Northern point of his nation, "We agree not to cross this line."
Guy smiled and then took the pen he used and drew his own line at the southern point between Pays Des Abrutis and the untamed lands, "We agree not to cross this line."
President Jones said, "Now that we know Magic exists in this world it's only a matter of time before we learn it on our own, Prince Montfort, once we do, our armed forces will obliterate your own. Keep that in mind."
Guy laughed and said, "The next time you threaten me, I'll show you the power of a single mage, Mr. President. For now, just sign the peace treaty and I'll get out of your hair."
President Jones signed the document with a flourish. Guy did the same. Once that was over Guy opened a gate and walked out the gate vanishing behind him. The President called out, "Did you get all that?"
A man in a suit came in from another room, "We recorded the whole thing. We aren't sure how he did it. We'll keep reviewing it and figure it out."
President Jones frowned and said, "We'll keep working on our new weapons. If we can't beat these bastards with what we have, we'll find a way to make them hurt."
Madeline felt so alive as she stood at her position on the bridge of the Muffin. She really started to worry about what life would be like as the Queen. Would it be what she wanted? She knew that she loved Guy with all of her heart and wanted to support him the way he had always been there for her in every darkest hour she faced, and yet in many ways being here flying above the world made her feel so free and so complete. She wasn't sure she could give this up to have children and run the palace. The Queen of the country being an airship's captain wouldn't be good for the ship, the crew or the country.
A crew member cleared her throat and asked again, "Your Excellency, would you like your dinner here on the bridge or in the officer's mess?"
Madeline blinked her eyes and said, "In the officer's mess with the others. Shift change is in twenty minutes." The crew member saluted and went back to the galley.
Madeline sighed and said out loud, "Who would ever want to give this up?"
A female crew member to the side of Madeline giggled and said, "I love to fly, but I want to have a family of my own someday. When I do, I'll have so many great memories from the Muffin to share with them. Excuse me, your Excellency, I just had to answer."
Madeline nodded and thought for a while, she loved being a ship's captain and flying, but what did she really want for the future?
Algernon presented his new magic powered technology to the rest of the Council of Magic. Madeline, Charles, and Wolter were absent as they were needed to maintain the southern border until there were enough airships in the fleet, but the rest of the Council was in awe of his creations. Guy, in particular, said with a shaky voice, "You're incredible Algernon. I love all of these. The sleep weapons and containment area are the highlights here. You've made weapons of war that are nonlethal yet perfectly capable of ending not just battles but the war itself without the usual fatalities that ruin a country's short term rebuilding."
Doreen grinned proudly and said, "I like the hover carriages the most. They travel over the ground without so much as a bump."
Alicia looked at the propulsion system and said, "Guy, can we get these on our existing ships in a timely manner? We'd be able to pull away from those Bromanian air units with this."
Guy looked it over carefully and then said, "Yes, I would think we could have this on a ship in a couple of days. My only concern is that the crew inside the ship could get hurt turning and accelerating this fast. We'll need to make some adjustments to the interiors and also, we'll need to modify the interiors of the ships to get air to the crew. I am thinking this retrofit will take a month at least per ship unless we figure out some ways to retrofit them on duty before we upgrade the propulsion."
Claude was looking through the designs and suddenly asked, "I am sorry for asking dumb questions here, Algernon, but how will non-Mages be able to use these?"
Algernon smiled and then said, "I have designed all of these to be powered from a central point or to need a Mage to operate. In other words, we'll be able to place limits on the effectiveness of these items. An airship, for instance, requires a Mage to periodically inject mana to keep the ship operational. With my new node system, we can eliminate that need in an area of our choosing. So, that way if someone decided to defect to Bromania, and stole a ship, it would simply cease operation once it passed the border."
Claude nodded and then asked, "And if they decided to shoot up a palace?"
Alicia shook her head and replied, "They would need a full crew to do that. Airships are purposely designed that way."
Alicia sifted through the designs and said, "Guy, I think this completely solves a number of our problems about the future. Algernon has devised a purpose for Mages and Wizards beyond military applications, created the perfect weapons of war and raised the level of technology for our world."
Guy nodded in agreement, "Algernon, these nodes you designed are fairly complex, how long would it take you to get them built and operational."
Algernon said, "I built a prototype that took me an hour to build and deploy. It has a radius of ten miles. The big ones I want to make with the thousand-mile radius would take me a day for each one. Most of these other gadgets and inventions would need the help of someone who could engineer them for us. They are only theoretical at the moment."
Alicia said, "You can use my team as needed. Guy, your team is behind schedule on ship construction, so we should let them work on the new battleships."
Guy nodded and said, "Yes, and the retrofits will take them some time as well. I'll have them start on that first. Your team should work with Algernon and get the Magic nodes online."
Ella asked as she was looking through the designs, "Can we put these nodes on the battleships?"
Everyone went dead silent. Algernon said, "No, they need to be touching the ground."
Ella smirked and then said, "Woulda made invasions easier though. What about battlefield nodes? Would those be possible?"
Guy cackled and then said in a strange voice, "You must construct additional pylons." Renée facepalmed while everyone else just looked confused.
Algernon cleared his throat and said, "Yes, my prototype is such a node. With a team of people working together, a ten-mile node that is prebuilt can be deployed in about fifteen minutes."
Doreen smiled and then asked, "Bromania, is that a country we will have to go to war with in the future?"
Guy thought about his meeting with their president, "Yes, I am positive that as long as we have magic, they will covet it. Eventually, they will get a spy into one of our Magic academies and then we will have to fight the kind of war we never wanted to fight again. I was tempted to kill them all while I was there. It was exactly the kind of thing all of us wanted to avoid. I felt for a minute that I should destroy their entire civilization rather than allow that future to come into existence but, I remembered the first Council of Magic and something the First Mage said. We have a responsibility to use this power for the people, not against them."
Everyone nodded and then Claude said, "Now that it's quiet, I have an announcement to make. Renée and I are going to be wed. We've set the date for two months from now. Both of our families have agreed and a dowry has been paid."
A round of applause sounded and everyone rushed over to give handshakes and hugs. Only Guy sat in his chair, his eyes boring a hole into Claude. Renée saw him and whispered to him, "I don't care about your issue with Claude, he is the man I love and we are going to be wed. I would hope that could be happy for me and treat him like your brother, rather than a competitor. I know you are a siscon, but there are limits to my patience. I won't have you at my wedding if you are going to act like this."
Guy looked at Renée and sighed, "I'm not a siscon, and you're right, I am acting childish about it. I can be there for you, little sister. I love you and support you. Even though you want to marry... Claude." Renée giggled and gave him a big hug.
Claude walked over and offered his hand to Guy, "I won't let her down, Guy. I promise you, I'll be a good husband to her."
Guy took a deep breath and then shook Claude's hand and said, "I know you will. You're a good man Claude." As Guy held his hand shaking it far longer than necessary, he went on in a soft almost whisper, "If I find out she is already pregnant, I'm coming after you with my sword."
Claude's face turned slightly pale and he said through clenched teeth, "You're hurting my hand, Guy."
Guy let it go and then smiled and said, "We should celebrate with some champagne, Renée you like champagne don't you?"