Renée flipped through the book and then started to read, "We have recently discovered that we are now in the distant past of our own world. We have considered just returning to our own time and stopping the chain of events that lead to us being here, but now that we have been interacting with this timeline and have the lives of our children to consider, we have all decided it is best that we stay and live in this world. We will start to pass legends and myths to our families and neighbors in order to blur our existence here."
Olivier and Algernon were looking at each other and then up at the floating landmass back and forth waiting for the other to say it, when Guy and Madeline walked out from behind them. Guy grinned and said, "You guys want to come up and see it?"
Everyone turned and looked at Guy. Olivier said, "I'll get Ella."
Algernon nodded and said, "I should get Doreen too."
Renée sighed and said, "I'll get Claude, I think he was with Alicia and Wolter, they will want to see it too." Renée went back inside the meeting room and set the book down before creating a gate to visit Claude and the others.
A Bromanian biplane was flying its normal patrol route over the Ocean when the pilot saw a glint of metal in the clouds. He was worried it could be an airship from the north staying in the clouds so he carefully flew a pass by above it. As he looked down he was shocked, there was an entire city in the clouds. He carefully charted his position and then sent a radio message back to his base. Thanks to his sharp eye catching this discovery, he would later earn his country's highest honor.
The Council of Magic were all standing on the ground they have been on many times before and yet they were all completely in awe of what Guy had accomplished. Wolter seemed the most excited, "You mean this is our area from up north? You just lightened it and raised it out of the ground? This is incredible!"
Guy had his chest puffed out his chin held high as he nodded in satisfaction. Alicia calmly asked, "It's so large, how was it possible to contain it together as one piece?"
Guy explained, "This wasn't possible until Algernon invented the last piece. His nodes. With his nodes, it was possible to have many spells redundantly covering each other, held together by nodes that power nodes." He grinned and then said, "I had wanted to build this for a while, but I couldn't think of a way to keep the spells powered in order to keep the land in the air. If I built it like an airship, it would have too many problems. For one, a land mass needed a way to keep the air under pressure, a water source, it had to be completely stable." He grinned and then added, "It was too complex, but with Algernon's ideas and inventions it suddenly clicked together for me. I managed to get all the spells written and placed while the Mage students set up the nodes. Once we activated the whole set, it lifted off the ground."
Algernon grinned and then asked, "What are you going to call it?"
Guy replied, "I have just been calling it the floating city."
Everyone groaned and then Doreen spoke up, "We should call it Laputa, just like in Gulliver's Travels."
Olivier and Algernon suddenly looked worried.
Dick Jones looked at a pile of photographs taken by his pilots of the floating city. He sucked in a breath and tapped on one of the photos. "We have to land our people here, have them parachute to the island with radio equipment. This island is the key to magic we have been looking for. With this, we can finally build our own airship using our superior firepower. "
The other members of the original twenty passed the photos around and then one of them spoke up, "The men we send here, how will we get them back if they can't find anything?"
One of the others spoke up, "We'll drop extra chutes with them, they can parachute back down to the ocean underneath the city. We'll have one of our ships pick them up."
A tall gaunt man cleared his throat and then asked, "How do we know that this city in the clouds isn't populated by the people from the North?"
Dick Jones nodded and then said seriously, "We don't. The men who are going to undertake this mission will be putting their lives on the line. But we need that secret, we have to take this chance."
Sir Évreux looked around the bridge of his ship as his crew members busied themselves with their duties. He smiled and then picked up his telescope. They were on the southern border of Pays Des Abrutis near the Ocean when he spotted a strange group of aircraft from Bromania heading out to the ocean. Fearing they may be an attack force trying to loop around to the unprotected coast he called out, "Messanger, take a hand delivered message to the command of the Fenrir and the Muffin, Tomato spotted large air group off the coast of Bromania, Tomato to pursue. Watch for a northbound invasion force. Tomato will be out of position temporarily, regards, Sir Charles Évreux, Baron of Évreux."
Once the messenger sped out of the bridge Sir Évreux called out, "Set course two three five, half ahead revolutions fourteen hundred." He turned his head and called out, "Spotters watch for those high altitude aircraft that hit the Muffin."
One of the crewmen called out, "Spotters report that enemy aircraft are changing course to return to the mainland."
The captain of the Bromanian air group called in over the radio, "Alpha One, this is Jasper Leader, we have encountered the Red Baron. Can we abort?"
The captain waited for a few minutes for a reply but didn't get it fast enough so he ordered, "Jasper Group, this is Jasper Leader, abort the mission, we're turning back."
A few minutes after his group had turned back for the mainland he heard over the radio, "Jasper Leader, this is Alpha One, negative on abort. Repeat you are negative to abort."
He frowned and then uttered a curse to his superiors. He turned his head and saw that the ominous red ship in the distance started to turn back toward the mainland. He called over his radio once again, "Jasper Group, this is Jasper Leader, resume course to target, repeat resume course to the target."
He watched the red baron's ship expecting it to turn and match his course again.
Sir Évreux frowned as the air group once again changed course, turned to his XO and asked, "What do you think, this looks fishy?"
His executive officer was a pretty young woman in a properly fit all red formal military uniform. She had her hair pulled back into a tight bun. She had large hazel eyes which blinked as she thought, she answered in a soft warm voice, "I think we should pursue, your Excellency, Even if we are pulled off the defensive line the Fenrir and the Muffin can handle a large invasion force."
He nodded and rubbed his chin, "This would have been so much easier on a horse with a troop, I could send scouts and maintain my position relative to both dangers. Alright, let's follow at a distance. Set course two six five half ahead revolutions thirteen hundred."
He took out his telescope and watched the enemy aircraft.
"Jasper Group, this is Jasper leader. The enemy airship has turned around but isn't following. Let's get to the drop zone make the drop and head for home." He kept his eye on the large airship which was getting smaller and smaller in the distance.
Onboard the large drop plane the jumpers prepared for their mission. The leader walked down the cramped aisle of the large four-engine biplane he yelled over the sound of the motors, "We don't know what we are going to find down there, it could be a populated enemy city or it could be an abandoned ghost town. Be ready for anything. Our priority is to establish a base of operations. Get that radio set up and establish communications. We'll reevaluate on the ground once we have an idea of what we are up against."
"Jasper Four, this is Jasper Leader. We have eyes on the target, five minutes to the drop zone." The Group Leader called out.
Guy was showing off the new propulsion system created using Algernon's idea when the sky suddenly began to grow overcast, streaks of lightning began to hit the taller trees and the lightning rods on the tallest buildings of the factory. The once clear sky suddenly turned into dense fog and then everything went silent and turned pitch black.
Once again, Madeline found herself to be the first one to awaken she ran over to the side and looked down to where the capital should be only to find that it was all unclaimed land aside from a small village. As far as she could see with her enhanced vision was nothing but unclaimed land. The farms, the towns, the villages that surrounded the capital of Pays Des Abrutis were missing. Soon the others made their way to the side, including the workers and mage students who lived on the city. One man walked over and said, "The Gate's not working anymore."
Olivier and Algernon took off to the Gate to check. Guy frowned and said, "We could be in a different world right now. We know the men from Bromania were brought from my world."
Alicia asked, "Should we all just use the return spell, and go back to before we gathered here on Laputa?"
Doreen shook her head and said, "We can't do that to the people here who don't know magic. We'd be leaving them behind to die."
Madeline spoke up, "We'll start researching magic in order to create or control that black cloud and bring us to our rightful time. In the meantime, we should find out where we are and make contact with the people who live here. Without support from the ground, the people here will starve."
Guy nodded and said, "Our first priority will be to establish a food source. We have a magic based freshwater system in place here, but the food is going to have to be a priority for us. After that, we should consider gathering enough resources to build an airship. We don't know what kind of world we are in, we should give the people here a means of self-defense if we leave to investigate the world."
Sir Évreux was looking through his telescope at the enemy planes. He watched them start to circle something that was in the clouds but he couldn't quite tell what it was. A messenger came running up to the bridge and called out, "Your Excellency, priority message from the Palace!"
Sir Évreux turned and grabbed a parchment from the messenger and started to read it. He called out, "Set course four five full speed ahead!"
The executive officer walked closer to him and asked softly, "Are we returning to the capital?"
He nodded and looked very anxious, he turned and leaned close to her and whispered, "The Council of Magic has disappeared. Including Prince Guy de Montfort and Prince Wolter von Plettenberg. There is a slight possibility this could ignite a war with Wütendes Menschenreich. We are being called back to investigate since I am a member of the Council."