Desert Conflict is an article presented and written by KingAtum00

Navigating through the seas, a current of warm dry air blew gently through the Marine Ship. The crew's navigator rushed to recently fixed door but despite his hurried movements he gently flicked his wrist in attempt to my soften the blow between his knuckles and the door. After three gentle knocks, he anxiously waited for a response.

"Enter!" a feminine voice announced from the inside of the room. After paying his respects, the Marine cadet began to relay his message. "Dry winds have made contact with the ship, we should be reaching the island by sundown, ma'am." he relayed, somewhat nervous as he was new on the ship.

Leaning back in her seat, she swiftly placed her right leg over her left. An awkward silence filled the room as she stared deep into the eyes of her subordinate. Sweat slowly began to drip from his back and chill were sent through his spine. Despite her beauty, she had this ominous look that petrified her subordinates. "Dismissed!" she said, only moments afterwards.

Several hours later, the ship docked on the islands harbor. Even though the sun departed, the air was still humid. Exiting from her cabin, she was welcomed by four Marines based on the island. "Welcome to Al-Shams, home to the Sun Branch Madam Vice-Admiral Takeko!" the four chanted in unison. Noticing the conditions were quite extreme, she instructed her crew to remain aboard the ship and keep guard in her absence.

As the five ventured through the desert, a decline in temperature emerged as darkness filled the sky. Walking for miles, the four marines found themselves needing to rest as usually this was a several hour excursion. While her face remained tranquil as the Sun Branch's men started panting from exhaustion, she was somewhat disappointed by these men who traveled through these deserts on the daily.

Surrounding themselves around a fire, the four marines carefully watched Takeko who was meditating several meters away from the camp. "A storm is coming.." she thought, unsure if her subordinates were even weary of this fact or possibly just weren't aware. Several minutes later, clouds of wind and sand came rushing towards their camp threatening to punish them for navigating through the desert.

"Madam Vice-Admiral, take these to protect your beautiful face and eyes." offering his own set of goggles and mask. Rather than accepting the man's kind token, she stood tall and slowly walked towards the force of nature. "What is she doing..?" one of them mumbled, struggling to put on his own protection gear. Placing her right hand on the hilt of her blade, she stopped only a few meters away from the storm engulfing her. At that moment, a massive path that divided the storm into two appeared before the group. "Let us continue." she instructed.

"Did she just cut through the sandstorm..." the four discussed, in awe of her masterful swordsmanship. They quickly rushed to her side, glad to have her in case any other disaster attempted to slow them down.