Vol 2 – Chapter 34: Double Trouble
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Madeline was sitting at her chair on the bridge when a tall, muscular handsome man calmly walked on to the bridge. He gave her a fist over chest salute. He has a quiet confidence that just radiated out from him. It was hard not to look at him because of it. On top of that, he had the kind of build that just made women notice him no matter what he was wearing. He spoke in a deep warm voice, "Major Jürgen Fuchs, I have been assigned as your XO through the officer exchange program from the School of Wizardry."

Madeline nodded and said, "Welcome Major, follow Luetinent Dan there to your quarters. Once you are settled come back to the bridge." She took a sip from her tea and then turned her head and said, "Major Fuchs. Due to the nature of the Muffin being the Flag Ship, we require officers to be in their formal uniform at all times. We have VIPs on the bridge regularly. Also, we never know when they will decide to drop in."

"Yes, your Excellency. I will make the adjustment to my uniform." He saluted and followed the Luetinent out of the room.

Madeline found herself staring at him as he left. When she brought her eyes back to the gages she frowned and then called out, "Ensign Robert, number four is in the red line again, do we have a problem?"

Ensign Robert quickly pulled a few levers and turned a pressure relief valve causing the ship's horn to sound, she replied in an anxious voice, "Number four vented, your Excellency."

Another crewman next to her giggled and whispered to her, "That's what you get for staring at his backside, Aileen." Ensign Robert blushed bright red and busily maintained her station.

Fifteen minutes later Major Fuchs returned to the bridge in the formal uniform of a Wütendes Menschenreich officer. It had black pants with a white stripe down the side coupled with a white jacket with long black striping on the top. On his chest were several medals. Somehow everyone on the bridge couldn't help but think the man looked even more handsome with this uniform on. Madeline was watching out the window when she noticed that all of the female crew members weren't looking at their duty stations but had turned their heads to look at something behind them. Madeline turned her head and saw that Major Fuchs was leaned over being given a rundown on what a crewman's duty was behind her. For some reason, she found herself also staring at the man as if she was trying to figure out what the other women were looking at. That's when she realized his body was perfectly shaped.

"Is something wrong, your Excellency?" He asked in that deep warm voice.

Madeline turned bright red and shook her head, she quickly turned around and grabbed her telescope looking out the window. That was when she noticed them, she called out, "Battle stations, set course one four zero, full speed ahead." She put her hand on the control panel and infused mana into the forcefield. Then she turned and called out, "Get me a bearing and distance to the incoming air units, take us up to 1200 and charge tanks one through four for cannon use. Main guns load Canister Shot." She turned to Major Fuchs and said, "Major, check their location, I need to know if we have a treaty violation."

Major Fuchs and then Navigator poured over the map and then Major Fuchs called out, "Enemy units are in the DMZ."

The spotter called out, "Enemy units at 1500 and still climbing. 2000, 2500!"

Madeline frowned and said, "We can't go up that high." They had to watch as the enemy aircraft circled around them finally they noticed something drop from one of the planes and then one after another drops were made. All at once the ship lurched violently as something exploded to the port side of the ship. One by one the charges exploded. The sounds of metal twisting and breaking rang out through the ship. The ship began to lurch over and over again, steam pipes ruptured and members of the crew were slammed all over. Madeline found herself disoriented. She felt something warm and wet on her face when she touched it her hand was covered in blood. She turned and called out, "All wounded get to the gate, Major Fuchs, you take command."

As she tried to take a step she fell forward. Just before she fell to the deck the strong arms of Major Fuchs wrapped her up and he said calmly, "Careful, you're injured." She looked up at him and everything went black.

*****

Madeline woke up and found herself back in her bed at the Palace. Her maid sat by her bed smiling, "Lady d'Aumont, you're awake!"

Madeline felt like her head was full of cotton. She looked around in a daze, "Is my husb... Is Prince Montfort here?"

The maid shook her head, "Prince Montfort is still in Odinslund meeting with Princess Huitfeldt." Madeline suddenly remembered the tall blond woman with a great body. Her deep blue eyes that caused many men to fall deeply in love with her. She remembered how Guy used to stare at the woman's body when he thought she wasn't looking. Madeline found herself mildly annoyed.

She sighed and asked, "Is my ship still in danger? What happened?"

The maid said, "A Major Fuchs has been by to see you the last few days, he said to tell you that the ship was damaged but they were able to get clear of danger."

She sighed again and said, "I see. Has Prince Montfort been by to see me as well?"

The maid shook her head and said, "The Prince has been in Odinslund since last Friday."

Madeline frowned and said, "Thank you, can you get my uniform, I need to get back to my ship."

The maid shook her head and said, "The doctor said that you still need two days of rest. You suffered a head injury."

Madeline frowned again and said, "Very well. Would you get me some water, and the reports from my ship that the major should have left." Madeline suddenly felt very lonely, was this what being the Queen would be like? She didn't want a life like this at all.

*****

Guy was seated at the table across from Princess Huitfeldt who was wearing a low cut dress, each time she bent over to pour tea or to get a document he couldn't help being able to see down her dress. His eyes were riveted to her chest. Each time she talked he had a hard time understanding her it was like he was slowly losing focus. She giggled and then asked him, "Do you like them?" She cupped her breasts.

Guy felt the heat rising in his body and then he finally understood what had happened, he tried to call out a spell to cure his poison but found that his voice no longer worked. He tried to stand and draw his sword but fell over with a crash, the Princess laughed and clapped her hands excitedly. Guy saw a silver tray on the ground that he knocked off the table and threw it as hard as he could. It very nearly hit the Princess but missed her and only caused her to let out a shriek, which turned to laughter. Guy's last image was her foot coming down on his face.

*****

Madeline was slowly becoming more and more annoyed with Guy. He hadn't even sent anyone to check on her the whole time she was stuck in the Palace. When she was finally cleared to return to duty she stomped off to the gate that led to the Muffin in an angry mood. Once on board, she found that Major Fuchs had organized the crew and had battle damages mostly repaired. He went through the list with her pointing to several items, "The enemy is using timed charges that explode around the ship. The forcefield protects against everything but the shock wave from the blast. The engineers say we are at a severe disadvantage as long as the ship can't gain enough altitude to avoid them."

Madeline noticed how close he was and blushed she backed away slightly clearing her throat, "Yes, for now, we'll have to take more aggressive action when we see them. That trick worked the first time because we weren't prepared for it." She looked over the checklist he had given her and she asked, "How long before we can return to action?"

He pointed at the list and said, "The Engineers requested two more hours for the main steam line repair. They also made a few changes to the design in order to avoid future ruptures."

Madeline nodded and then said, "The sooner the better. We need to get out of here and back to where we can do the most good."

*****

Guy woke up and found that he was compressed in an iron cast. He had no leverage to move at all. He was still suffering from the poison that took his voice. Across from him, he saw Princess Huitfeldt wearing a tight black leather outfit. She walked over to him in a sultry manner and licked the side of his face. She whispered in his ear, "Did you sleep well, handsome?" She giggled and then whispered again, her lips lightly brushing his ear, "Do you know why the Wizards disappeared from the world, Prince Montfort? It was because they had too much power. Regular men grew jealous of their power and invented ways to deal with them. Special poisons specifically made to take away the voice needed for their spells." 

She walked away from him and then grabbed a book off the shelf and flipped to a page and read aloud, "When you find a wizard, you must not provoke them, instead, appeal to their baser instincts. Just like men, Wizards love a strong drink and beautiful women." She laughed and then walked back to him and brushed her fingers over his face, "Wizards can't be allowed to exist with regular men, Prince Montfort. When the Wizards were last in this world it was a dark time. We fought too long and too hard to eliminate them from the world. We can't have you reigniting that flame and burning the world down again."

She smiled at him and said, "We'll be keeping you alive, temporarily. We need to have you here as bait to get more of you to come. Once the rest arrive, we'll simply poison the rest. and then..." she dragged her finger over her neck and laughed, "Don't worry, I will show you something nice before you go. I'll peel the skin from your friends right in front of you."

Guy closed his eyes and started to think of ways to escape.

7