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April 17, 2021; 48 hours before the Summoning
“Mister President!” A frantic aide burst through the Oval Office.
President Thomas Lee looked up from the reports on his desk. Recently sworn into office, Thomas was still vibrant, full of life and excitement unlike his many predecessors, who seemed to have aged decades during their terms. He hoped the urgency of this particular aide didn’t signify the enlargement of his presidential responsibilities. “Yes? What’s the matter?”
“Sir, NASA just discovered a large storm developing over Hawaii! It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen!” The aide cried out.
“Woah, slow down there bud.” President Lee stood up, curious about the situation. “Why am I just hearing about this all of a sudden?”
“The storm seems to have spontaneously appeared. NASA should be giving you a call sometime around now; one of their meteorologists will tell you about the emergency.” As the aide finished his sentence, the phone on President Lee’s desk began to ring.
Thomas walked back to his desk and picked up the phone. “President Lee speaking.”
“Mister President,” a strangely calm voice replied. “I’m Dr. Jenny Pollan, meteorologist. I’m sure you’ve heard of the storm developing over Hawaii. We’re classifying it as a Category 2 and have urged local residents to take shelter. So far, the rate of growth has surpassed even the worst historical disasters, from Sandy to Katrina. It is also expanding at an unprecedented rate, covering a significant percentage of the globe’s surface. It is moving toward California and is expected to make landfall by tomorrow.”
“Goodness…” President Lee muttered. He sat down, resting his head on his left hand as he steeled himself for the coming disaster. “That doesn’t make any sense… how could a storm move so quickly?”
A short silence followed. “We don’t know, Mister President. It is by all means, anomalous. It still follows mathematical models, however and we can track and predict the storm’s path. We speculate that it may encompass the entire world within 48 hours. Given the current rate of growth, we expect to lose contact with Hawaii in just over four hours. The interference from the storm will likely cut that time down to two or three hours.”
President Lee closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then, finding himself to be sufficiently composed, he motioned for the aide. “Steven, we need to declare a national emergency. Get everyone here ASAP, and make sure to ground all flights. Oh, and tell Jan to ready my press team.”
“Right away, sir.” Steven rushed out of the room.
President Lee then returned his attention back to the meteorologist. “Doctor… Pollan, was it?”
“Hunker down and hope for the best, Mister President. Ever see ‘The Day After Tomorrow’?” Pollan asked.
“Damn… it can’t be that bad, can it?”
“I would hope not, but you should prepare for the worst. I advise that you prepare all emergency services and ready the national guard for disaster relief.”
“Noted. I’ll be making some calls now; let me know if anything new comes up, Dr.Pollan.”
“Will do Mister President. Good luck,” She ended the call.
Now alone, President Lee slumped back into his seat. “Why me…”
Principality of Qua Toyne
April 19, Central Calendar Year 1639, 8 A.M.
6th Wyvern Squadron
Marl Patima lazily looked down at the villages below from his wyvern mount as wind blew past him. The clear blue skies offered incredible visibility and added to the atmosphere of tranquility, ignoring the threats of conquest from the northern Lourian Kingdom. Marl sighed in relaxation, enjoying the scenery. He closed his eyes, allowing his wyvern to soar through the skies on their designated patrol path.
A faint droning noise entered his ears, but he dismissed it. The intensity of the noise increased, until it finally became an annoyance to Marl. He opened his eyes, scouring the skies around him in an attempt to find the source of the noise. Seeing nothing, he used his magi-comms to contact his wingman, who was flying ahead of him. “Oi, Grant! You hear something out of the ordinary?”
“Ah, are you talking about the buzzing sound?”
“Yes. Where is it coming from?”
“I’m not sure, but it’s getting louder up here.”
Before Marl could reply, a yelp of shock emanated from his magicomm device. “Grant! What happened?”
His wingman stammered a report, stuttering between breaths as he hyperventilated. “Strange object! Wings don’t flap! Headed your way!”
Marl squinted his eyes and saw the large winged object fast approaching. Grant was correct; whatever creature this might be had no flapping wings. The being’s gray hide bore nothing of significance, other than the stars adorned on its wings, an indecipherable typography spelling out “USAF”, and what appeared to be a flag or insignia on its tail: a mixture of red, white, and blue from what Marl could discern. “Grant, report back to HQ! The unidentified object is headed toward Maihark; I’m giving chase!”
“Yes, sir!” The reply came.
As the object sped past him, Marl was nearly blown away. His wyvern flapped its wings furiously, struggling to maintain balance and altitude after being pushed aside by the object’s current. Marl turned his steed around and directed it toward the strange object. “What the hell is that?” He asked himself. It was much larger than a wyvern, with a wingspan several times larger. On its wings, four windmill-like propellers spun rapidly. As he approached the object, the strange buzzing from a few minutes prior became louder, but before he could study the creature further, it pulled away. The object accelerated, pulling up slightly as it did so.
As Marl gawked at the tremendous acceleration of the immense object, he received a communication from HQ. “Knight Patima of the Sixth Wyvern Squadron, we have been informed about the current situation. We are scrambling the rest of Sixth Squadron to intercept!” The voice came over the line, clamoring and soaring wyverns audible in the background.
“HQ, the object is accelerating too fast for us. We cannot catch up to it!” He said, bewildered that his wyvern, which was traveling at top speed, was left in the dust by the object, which had shrunk into a gray speck in the distance.
“Acknowledged, Knight Patima. Can you give us the bearing of this object?”
“HQ, the object is approximately 20 miles from the outskirts of Maihark, and is traveling at least 200 miles per hour, based on how fast it got away from us!”
“We’re relaying your information now…”
Qua Toyne Wyvern Control Tower
“Damned object! It’s too fast; it will reach Maihark before any of our units can even deploy!” An operator slammed his fist on the desk.
“That is worrying… Have all available assets sent to Maihark at once. Even if we cannot make it in time, we must at least try,” an officer responded. “Maihark is the economical ichor of our nation. Should it fall… I cannot even think of the consequences of allowing such an event to occur!”
The operators nodded, returning to their devices. None wanted to show falterance to their duties, and so they continued working with nearby defensive installations to ensure the safety of Maihark. Outside, pairs of wyverns positioned themselves on the runway, their wings folded back as they ran forward. With a mighty flap, they pushed themselves off the ground, soaring into the air. Nearby workers viewed the deployment with pride, having faith that no foe could harm them as long as they were defended by wyvern knights.
Captain Inne looked up at the sky, squinting at the object that was reflecting the sun’s glint. It looked unnatural, with advanced geometries evident in the design of the object, suggesting the work of a more technologically advanced nation. Perhaps even a superpower? No, it couldn’t be. What would a superpower be doing in this part of the world?
Coming from behind, 12 wyverns from the Sixth Wyvern Squadron were moving to intercept the object. Quickly approaching the belly of the unidentified object, the 12 wyverns lined up for an attack run, fireballs forming within the mouths of the reptiles. To their surprise, however, the object ascended rapidly, quickly surpassing the wyverns’ maximum altitude. Having no way to reach their target, the Sixth Dragon Squadron simply circled Maihark in a defensive position, maintaining their altitude in order to ward off the object from descending.
“Captain, the Sixth Wyvern Squadron reports that they cannot engage the object,” a magicomm operator said.
“I see. Have them maintain a defensive perimeter and await further instructions,” she said as she watched the grey object flying above. Inne continued to observe the object with curiosity, analyzing what details she could make out from the ground.
The object certainly did not resemble any dragon she knew of, nor did it move naturally. A more fitting description of the object, she surmised, could be “craft” or “airship”. Then, considering that only Mu and the Holy Mirishial Empire could be capable of such technological achievements, that begs the question: why is a superpower conducting reconnaissance all the way out here? Everyone in Qua Toyne was already on edge due to increasing border hostilities from the Lourian Kingdom, and the sudden appearance of an unknown craft intruding into their airspace was not a reassurance of their security.
As more wyvern squadrons arrived to aid in the defense of Maihark, the object up above continued circling around the city. With none of the wyverns able to even challenge the object, it roamed freely above the skies, seemingly analyzing the city and its port. After a while, the object departed, heading out toward the open ocean. Inne watched it leave with curiosity and confusion; there was no land in that direction. With Louria to the southwest and Fenn up north, she wondered if there was a yet-undiscovered land toward the northeast.
Orange County, California
Samuel Anders stepped out of his home, sipping a cup of coffee as he overlooked the damage from the storm. Plastic bags and branches littered his front lawn. He frowned at the sight, shaking his head at the mess.
“Some storm, eh Sam?” A voice called out.
Samuel looked to his left. “Hey Greg,” he said, looking at the damage on Greg’s side. “Ooo… that’s a nasty one,” he remarked, pointing toward the smashed fence.
“Yeap, that’ll cost me a bit to get fixed up,” Greg sighed. “Speakin’ of which…” he gestured toward Samuel’s messy hair, which had a patch in the shape of a horn. “Storm get ya too?” He raised an eyebrow, “Or was it a wild night in bed?”
“Hah, get your mind out of the gutter, Mr. Kavilson.”
Greg chuckled. “So, how’s it going with work—”
He was interrupted by Samuel’s wife, who leaned out of the front door, calling to her husband. “Honey! Someone’s calling your work phone!”
Greg looked over. “Cell service back up already?”
Samuel shrugged. “Excuse me.” He walked over to his wife and headed inside, answering the phone. “Hello, Samuel Anders speaking.”
“Glad we were able to get through to you. I’m Steven Esker, calling you on behalf of the President of the United States. Are you alone right now?”
“No, let me get into my office really quick.”
After Samuel closed the door to his office, he returned to the call. “Alright. So, what can I do for the President?”
“You’re needed on a diplomatic mission to a new country.”
Samuel leaned forward in his seat, curious. “New country?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes. What I am about to disclose is currently classified information, but it will likely be announced in the next few days, so you will be able to tell your wife. You might want to jot some notes down.”
Samuel grabbed a notepad from his desk and clicked his pen, testing it on the paper. “Alright, I’m ready.”
“I’m sure you’ve got questions as to why the storm vanished so suddenly.”
“As of now, we know nothing about the phenomena, but one thing’s for certain: right after the storm disappeared and the clouds parted, we found ourselves in another world. The stars aren’t in the right place, we’ve lost communications with our satellites, we lost contact with every other country on Earth, folks up in Maine are seeing coastline where they should be seeing Canada, folks down in Texas seeing the ocean when they should be seeing Mexico, folks all around can’t see the moon anymore, and so on. Oh, and the horizon seems a bit off.”
Samuel put his hand to his mouth. “Oh? How fascinating. There’s no way this could ever be possible, but now that I look out into the horizon,” he said, looking out his window, “Things do seem a bit off. Looks like I can see more stuff than usual.”
“Yeah. Well, we’ve sent out several reconnaissance aircraft to survey the nearby region. Several weather balloons have identified land masses to our west and to the north, while only ocean has been seen out to the east. One of these recon flights just reported back, and it seems they’ve come into contact with an unknown civilization. The landmass does not resemble any known region on Earth, and the civilization inhabiting said landmass was reported to be of primitive nature. I’ll be sending some photographs to your email.”
Samuel checked his computer and tapped on his desk, refreshing the page. A bell sounded, signifying a notification. He opened the message and analyzed the photographs, staring in mild shock at the medieval architecture and layout of the city. He perused the folder, finding more images of medieval countryside and a walled city as he listened to Steven’s lecture.
“These photographs were taken an hour ago. Unfortunately, these are the only high-resolution images the pilot was able to obtain, as he was chased by what appeared to be dragons.” Sure enough, the dragons were clearly depicted in the folder. In the photo, a line of twelve of these winged reptiles had taken a position under the plane, their mouths open. Curiously, an orange glow pulsed from their mouths, as if preparing some sort of ranged attack.
“Hmm…” Samuel said. “Interesting… although they do seem more like wyverns than dragons, eh?”
“Beats me. I’m not aware of the classifications for fantasy species. Anyway, the reason why I’ve called you today is to tell you that you’ll be making first contact with this civilization. You’ll be rendezvousing with the Seventh Fleet and making your way over to the port city we’ve identified in the photos.”
“Seventh Fleet? Aren’t they in Japan? Does that mean Japan is here?”
“Umm, no,” Steven replied, uncertainty evident in his tone. “I don’t know why, but the Seventh Fleet found themselves and their naval bases on a new island off the coast of California. Same thing happened to our other bases in Europe and elsewhere. Popping up on new islands near our shores. Strange, huh?”
“Yeah, that’s pretty weird. So, what about Alaska and Hawaii? And the territories? Guam?”
“Turns out they’re here with us too. Alaska is directly north of us, like an island floating right above us. Hawaii is a bit closer to us, but seems like they’re in a spot where their climate is still the same.”
“Huh. Why in God’s name did this happen…?” Samuel muttered to himself.
“Part of His plan?” Steven suggested.
“Hmm, maybe. Anything else I should know about my upcoming mission?”
“Umm, we’re sending a few linguists and historians with you. Perhaps they’ll have some insights on their culture, to help you with your approach.”
“Hmm, okay. Where do you need me to go?”
“Pack your bags, Mister Ambassador. You’re going to San Diego. Be at the naval base by 1:00.”
“Alright. I’ll be there, and send my thanks to the President for choosing me to go along on this mission.”
“Sure thing, I’ll let him know. Have a nice trip, Mister Ambassador.”