Davis and May
The Cliffs on Clonna were so close. The red sandstone canyon, carved by a river so vast and strong it was known as the Mighty Roaring Powerful River by locals, was within reach of November’s March. The two rapidly approaching bi-planes, originating from the mysterious spires at the entryway of the canyon, were keeping the Cliffs so very far away.
As the biplanes came closer and closer, the crew readied for a hostile boarding. The Woolf Crew, the lumbering giant humans that they were, lined up along the side of the ship and slammed fist into palm trying to intimidate the incoming pilots.
“If I were flying toward that, I’d turn around,” Davis said, leaning into May.
The planes were not slowing. May admired the machinery. Wings at the back of the chassis, itself flowing with pipes pumping with steam, the pilot sitting in a domed cabin. If she could make a small airplane, this is the model she would copy.
The hum of the engines grew louder.
“Ok,” Davis said, loading his blade-pistol, “we do not surrender this ship. Is that understood?”
The Woolf Crew cheered.
The biplanes were within striking distance now, but to the surprise of everyone aboard November’s March, there was no attack.
The incoming craft zipped over the zeppelin and began circling. A third craft appeared where once only two could be seen. It was kept aloft by a series of blades twirling above the pilot’s cabin. May had never seen anything like it.
The third craft’s pilot drew closer to November’s March and hovered for what felt like an eternity before extended a boarding plank. Out of the craft stepped a a figure clad in a tarnished and torn brown jacket. The pilot’s face was covered with a makeshift breathing apparatus, brass filters adorned the contraption. As the pilot stepped onto the airship, he lifted his flight goggles and nodded to the crew before looking at his glove.
May adored the glove. She saw a number of devices that would help make her own airship a better place to be. The unknown pilot had an altimeter, a compass and a watch all attached to his mitt. If she survived the day, May was heading straight to work on wardrobe upgrades.
“My apologies for this intrusion,” the pilot spoke finally.
Davis put away his pistol and the Woolf siblings stepped away.
“My name is Winston Sapp, I am here to make sure you are not carrying any contraband into Villa Clonna,” the pilot continued.
“Villa Clonna? Since when does the trading post have a name?” Davis asked.
“Been awhile, eh?” Winston said with a chuckle.
“Some time, yes. I can tell you now we are not carrying anything illegal. Just trying to get to the post for some goods and then making our way east,” May explained.
“Oh you’ll want to stick around the Villa, I can you tell you now. I would like to check below deck though, if you don’t mind.” Winston led himself to the stairwell.
Davis followed him. “Why does the trading post have a name now?” He asked, ducking his head to avoid the stairwell’s suddenly drooping ceiling.
“You ever hear of magnesite? Turns out the Cliffs are filthy with it. Some prospectors came through and now we have quite a boom town,” Winston said. He looked over the the room half heartily and turned back Davis.
“You really didn’t know about the Villa?” He asked.
“Our maps are outdated,” Davis replied.
“Well, I guess you didn’t come to do hurt the town then. I’ll get out of your hair,” Winston said. He walked back upstairs.
The crew was chatting, loudly, about what the new status of the trading post meant for the mission. Cooper very much wanted to investigate the new town, his siblings were more interested in getting their share of the supposed treasure they were hunting and getting home. May was not taking part in the conversation.
She was busy watching the circling biplanes. She took in every detail. The yellow pipes, the short propeller blades, the intricate designs carved into the wings; the ships that terrified just moments earlier were simply stunning.
Davis and Winston returned to the top deck and made their way to May.
“You are the helmsman, miss?” Winston asked.
“Pilot, designer, architect, mechanic, navigator; this is my ship through and through. Welcome aboard November’s March,” May said, shaking Winston’s hand.
“She’s nice. We have some very good wainwrights in town that can help armor the decks a bit more, should you be interested,” Winston said. He squinted as the sun hit his eyes.
“Armor?” May was curious, “why would we need armored decks?”
“Well, if you folks are heading east you’ll be running out of my airspace and into bandit country,” Winston said.
As he spoke the circling biplanes broke their pattern. In the distance a speeding dirigible was heading straight to the canyon.
“Oh this is,” Winston said, turning to watch the biplanes head to the airship, “this is going to be good. Watch. When you come to Villa Clonna, you have to be checked. This ship came through a week ago just loaded with contraband. Weapons, booze; you name it. They tried to sneak by, but my guys stopped them. They look to be a bit more bold this time around.”
The biplanes flanked the dirigible. Flares were being fired in an attempt to slow the situation.
“They’re losing time,” Winston said.
“Time?” Davis asked.
“You’ll see,” Winston said. His smirk was ear to ear.
The biplanes broke away from their position and ended their chase. The spires at the top of the cliffs began to glow. They were a blinding white within seconds. Energy pulsed, and arced from the tops of the buildings and all at once each spire shot a beam of light straight into the criminal dirigible. The airship was gone in the blink of an eye.
“That, my new friends, is how we keep contraband out of Villa Clonna. To top it off, now you know what magnesite is for!” Winston was quite excited by the event.
May, Davis, Cooper, Vera and Horace stood still, staring at the spot that once contained a well functioning airship.
“Dear, I think we should get out of Villa Clonna as quickly as possible,” Davis said, clutching May’s hand.
“Agreed,” May said.
Winston put his goggles back on and stepped onto the boarding plank.
“Why don’t you folks follow me. I know a great docking spot for you,” he said as he pulled his breathing apparatus back on.
Thanks for reading! If you like this, check out where the story started right here: Part 1
Or check out the Steampunk Superhero The Gear here
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