Author Topic: [Fan Story] The Lockehart  (Read 1278 times)

Offline Adrian Locke

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[Fan Story] The Lockehart
« on: April 30, 2013, 01:54:19 pm »
The Lockehart

Prologue

The straps were fastened, the ropes tightened in their knots and the balloon didn’t drift right off the top of the ship. All in all we seemed to lift off the ground with ease. Freeman was coming up from the hold to check the engines, as planned. I killed our ascent around fifty metres, and moved back to chat with him.

“Siph, take the helm and hold us steady a moment!” 

“Aye Cap’n” She called back, hopping the railing and sliding around to take the wheel from me. Once the wheel was firmly in her grasp, I stepped down the stairs to the steering engines, where Freeman was but a pair of legs sticking out of the engine. He had stuck his upper body almost entirely inside the engine, in his efforts to fix some issue he’d spotted.

“You doing alright in there Freeman?”  I called, and after a few grunts at whatever bolt he was adjusting, he responded.

“Yeah, could you just grab my legs and pull me out? Gotta finish this then check on dinner!” After a quick tug he was on his feet, and the amount of oil that spotted his body, made me think twice about having an engineer that doubles as a cook..

“Righto, steering engines should both work now..” He grinned “You got Siph on the wheel?” I nodded. “Hey Siph!” He shouted “Give the wheel a full turn to the left!”

“Gotcha!” She called back, and the engines whirred to steer in place. Nothing was broken immediately so Freeman shouted again,

“Now a full to the right!” and Siph did so. No engine failures, the turning was functional, so we called Siph off the helm and went down to the hold for dinner. The hold was spacious enough for a four-man crew, beneath the main engine and the main deck, complete with our sleeping hammocks along the walls, a table at the back of the ship and in the centre of the room was a gas stove, pulling from the main engine’s fuel line.


The Ship and her Crew


The ship, when I found it was a junked pyramidion, without a balloon, without a hold, only a single, severely damaged, flamer on the front, that was completely out of fuel. Once I’d buried the charred corpses of the previous crew in the sands, I went and found an old friend of mine, Elberon.

Elberon was the sort who knew his way around all airships, his knowledge of their functioning was unparalleled, despite that he had never actually flown aboard one. From town, it was a day’s trek out to the wreck, which meant if we intended to visit it, we’d be spending the night. Not a big deal, it was a quiet area, and there was a few planks and boards around that we could make a fire. But being away from towns in the arid desert at night, was still eerie as ever. After a few weeks of work, piecing fallen scrap from all sorts of ships together onto this pyramidion, Elberon found the jackpot. In town, some captain had sold his old balloon! Elberon was quick to snatch it up, and the shopkeep, Roger, became suspicious that we might have an old wreck that we’re piecing together. He informed Elberon’s father, who was the only family that Elberon had around anymore, but Mr. Darkshadow didn’t pursue him on it. If his son was to risk his life aboard an airship, he’d do nothing but honour the family name.

With the balloon in place, we rigged a stove from a larger ship into our hold. In a wrecked Squid I found the corpse of a pilot, shot through the heart. He was wearing a nice outfit though, plenty of gauges and equipment on a white, formal looking suit. There was a bullet hole through the heart, and a large red stain, but bloodstains come free eventually and a nice outfit is a rare find for free. I cleaned it up and patched it with material from the gloves that I would refuse to wear.

I walked back to town one day. I was dressed to the nines, and because of my long absence, my friends assumed I’d made my way to Anvala and become an airship pilot. I rolled with it, and pretended to be some hot-shot pilot. I’d always been a bit of a show-off so faking it was a natural instinct for me. That all changed when I met Siph.


Working as a store’s assistant under Roger, Siph heard that a pilot had rolled into town. She had flown in a month earlier and had been booted off a captain’s ship for refusing to force prisoners off the ship to their deaths. The prisoners were killed regardless, and she was abandoned for her efforts. An airship captain was her ticket out of here.


Making Acquaintance

The tavern door swung open, a large crowd was gathered around a small table. Siph knew why the crowd was there. It’s not every day a man from Fallow returns as a noble airship pilot from Anvala! Siph smirked, noting the attention-whorish nature of most pilots. She could hear the loud drunken laughter of the pilot. But when she approached and punched through the crowd she was surprised by the sight. He was dressed like a pilot, he had the attitude of a pilot, but he had the look of a very young boy. Certainly not trained at the helm, and most assuredly not an experienced pilot.


Well I wasn’t an experienced pilot, but most of the townsfolk couldn’t tell the difference. That red-haired lass however; could see right through my faked confidence. The moment my eyes met hers, I realized that she knew. She knew this was all a mask I’d put on to soak in the praise of my peers, and enjoy a few free drinks. The look in her eyes told me also that if I did not leave with her and explain myself, she’d reveal my ruse to the crowd. I stood abruptly.

“Please excuse myself and this miss for a moment!” I waved my arms and the crowd dissipated. Siph and I moved out the door and around beside the pub.

“Let me explain.” I started, “I found a ship. I’ve nearly got her completely patched up. We just need to fix up the engines.” I tried to tell her, but she was retaining little, and that was obvious.

“So, rather than fix your engines, you come into town and act a drunken buffoon while your friends all gawk at the success story, that is totally made up?” She look at me with accusatory eyes.

“No!” I paused before realizing. “Yes.. I suppose I did... Well I intended to get the engine help I need come morning.” I explained. She smiled.

“And when your ship takes off, I will be aboard.” She stated.

“Just why do you believe I would take you aboard my ship?”

“Have you ever fired a gun? Have you ever repaired a bullet hole? Do you know how quickly amateur pilots die at the hands of pirates? Hell, that’s probably why your ship ended up crashed in the sands in the first place!” She scoffed.

“Oh and I’m sure you’d be so much better to fly in my place, woman!” I spat, using her gender against her.

“If the drunken boastings at that table were any evidence, you’re most certainly a better pilot than Gabriel himself!” She mocked me openly “I’d bet you’ve never stood behind the wheel of a ship in flight. Never navigated the canyon’s spires, never outrun a thunderhead or had to hold steady in a sandstorm!” She raged, the frustration from my attitude clearly showing in her face.

“Right then. I’ll see you here, first thing in the morning, Helmsman.” I nodded, before turning the corner and back into the tavern. I didn’t care to catch her reaction, but I knew that it will have been priceless.


The next morning I awoke just before sunrise to prepare to face the red-haired lady of the past night. In truth I hadn’t well prioritized the engine repairs. Elberon and I had hit a wall in our repair abilities, in the fact that we’d found a broken piece of engine that neither of us could identify. I washed my hair and greased it back to position, washed the stains from my jacket and buttoned it on. By the time I’d finished my morning routine, the sun was sitting gently on the great dune to the east. Like a child’s ball that refused to roll down the great hill.


I stumbled out into the streets with about half of what I’d intended to bring. Every time I remembered something, I was forced into debate with myself whether or not it was worth turning back over. Every time, I decided it wasn’t. So by the time I got to the pub, I knew I was missing: My journal, my pistol, my spyglass, my handkerchief and my comb. But I had the essentials, my pocketwatch and my wallet. I opened the door to the pub to see the lady sat over  at a table by herself, not drinking. I approached the barkeep and got an ale before joining her. Sad to admit I had no idea where to start looking for the engine work, but she nodded happily and seemed in a cheery mood. She described an old friend of hers who would be equally eager to get out of here, and he was an engineer! The deal seemed too great to refuse, and with a few bits of copper tossed to the barkeep, I kept the glass as we went out into the street.


A brief walk to a ruined automobile garage that somebody had clearly made into a home. She rapped on the garage door thrice and it rolled open. inside we were greeted with a wall of diesel smoke.

“Freeman!” she called over the sound of a roaring diesel engine.After a moment the engine turned off and a small head popped up over it.

“Siph my dear!” he grinned and came around to greet her properly. He was an older man, perhaps his late forties or early fifties. Grey hair mixed in amongst the black. They embraced each other in a hug before turning to face me.

“I’ve brought with me an airship Captain. He’s lost his crew and needs a new engineer. I offered him your services.” She smiled, allowing my continued lie of being a captain.

“Siph, you can’t go offering me to every captain that blows through! My old bones aren’t as eager to see the skies as they once were! And an airship is probably the mightiest of tasks you could propose.” He complained, nodding his apologies to me, as though he meant this to mean he wouldn’t help.

“I can pay.” I smiled to him, “Generously.” That was no lie either, when my father passed, I was left with an enormous inheritance in solid gold bars stashed in a bunker under my old home. The sound of coins clearly peaked his interest too, because he looked into my eyes directly. “Enough that you could retire permanently.” I grinned to him.

“And how long would I be indebted to service for it. The proposition of retirement is only good if I’m alive to see it, and on the skies that’s not terribly likely.” He retorted.

“You would fly with me only as long as it takes for me to find a more adventure driven engineer to replace you.” I said confidently, though his face soured at the words.

“There are none more adventure-loving than myself. You will show me your ship. I will perform what repairs I can, and decide then whether I’m flying with you or not. If not, you will pay me for the repairs and I will be off. Deal?” He seemed too set in this for me to deny. So I simply nodded and we were off. We suited up and grabbed what supplies we needed, including everything I’d left at home the night before. I filled my backpack with as many gold bars as I could carry, but kept that discreet.  We set off for the ship, to meet Elberon.


End of Part 1

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: [Fan Story] The Lockehart
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 04:00:03 pm »
Awesome, I need to spend some time to read this but a salute to you for making a story of considerable length!  As I know we who write may make a mistake just ask me to edit anything you may need and I'll do what I can!

Offline Adrian Locke

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Re: [Fan Story] The Lockehart
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 09:26:59 pm »
Feel free to point out any errors you see my man. I've got about half as much for part 2 done already. But I've got some real life stuff to take care of...

By the way, ElberonDarkshadow, OldmanFreeman and Siph are actual players that I've flown with, and agreed to have some writing done for em.

Offline Elberon Darkshadow

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Re: [Fan Story] The Lockehart
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 11:45:58 pm »
Great story! Can't wait to see where it goes.