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Offline Lord Palatine

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Airship Empress (Shae)
« on: February 19, 2010, 01:08:30 PM »
Nine ships at a total weight of 76,595 tons supporting, protecting and sustaining 1,400 men rode at anchor in Steel Harbor.  This was the escort fleet, it would honor the commitments that he held to Palto Riaga and Queen Jeseranna.  27 ships in all would serve as the navy of Nova Caledonia, a third out to sea in the High Seas Squadron, a third protecting the home waters and a third watching over their ally and the shipping lanes between them.  He had that many cargo steamers already and that many more that would be built after the last few ships of the home fleet would be built.

He was moody though, because he needed to make a final decision, and he didn
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 05:05:49 PM by Lord Palatine »

Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 02:23:59 PM »
Captain Blackwood had been conducting battle drills when the transmission came in.  After four years in command of her ship, she had finally created the crew she wanted and found the officers she needed to keep the Rampage running smoothly.  She trained her crew often and trained them hard; there was no exaggeration in the stories that made her name and that of her ship strike fear into the hearts of her enemies.  Germany had thrown her away for the failure of her commanding officer.  Jack had given her purpose again.  And now, the seas feared her name.  Germany had learned to regret.

Blackwood currently ran close combat drills with her crew, going blade to blade with them on the deck while the other officers oversaw the other drills.  Behind the small mob, the captain's steward waited impatiently, but quietly.  The girl huffed with long-suffering agony.  Despite her best attempts to turn her captain into a proper lady of land and sea, the woman insisted on behaving like a pirate!  But she could grudgingly understand.  After all, the crew were loyal to a fault to her, and they had never lost a battle.

At last this round was finished, and Aerion stalked over, replacing her well serviced katana and taking up the message her steward held.  Her sharp gaze danced across the words, and nodded her consent to the rendezvous.  The radios they used were still a bit of a novelty to her; she was a product of the old world, and trusted the tried and true.  In recent years, however, she had to grudgingly admit that technology was catching up to the skill of her crew.  The best trained engineers and marines could do little against the airships that were beginning to populate the skies if they could not reach their enemy.



"Transmission received, mum.  The rendezvous has spotted us, request we reduce speed and maintain bearing."
"The hell?"  Her eyes scanned the horizon, but there was no ship approaching.  "From which direction?"
The message was relayed, and a short time later, the comms officer answered with an incredulous, "...up..."
She turned to stare hard at him, but all he could do was shrug, just as baffled as she was.  She picked up her own receiver down to the transmissions room, but they confirmed what her bridge officer had relayed.
"Airship ho!"  The cry came down from the lookout, and all eyes turned to where he pointed.
"Jack, you old sonuvabitch," she growled, but there was a faint grin pulling at her lips.  Of course.  Who else would it be?  She at once delighted and despised his visits.  While the man often had good news for her and her ship, there would be no end of hell from her steward if she didn't 'dress herself properly' and behave like a 'proper captain'.  "Tell that old bastard we see him, and will maintain bearing."  She gave her second the bridge and made her way below decks to prepare to receive company.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 02:52:38 PM »
Commander Kielley crisply gave instructions to settle the airship over the water.  "Request Captain Blackwood join us," Jack asked the wireless operator.  "We'll await their boat, I'm going aft to meet her at the door in the tail fin."

He walked back, looking quite spiffy in his formal cut black suit.  Simple but elegant.  As he walked back the gunnery section deployed the smoke signals for the day in proper sequence to insure that Rampage knew they were friendly.  He paused top peek into the new captain's cabin and smiled to see a proper meal laid out and continued aft through the keel passage.  That was one minor disadvantage, 800 feet of ship could take a while to walk through.  Finally he took the two ladders down to the lower control gondola, cursing that they hadn't pit in a lift, and back to the door that opened in the lower fin.  He looked out of the small window and saw the surface of the ocean rising to meet them, the crewman drew the door open and fixed a safety net across it.  Jack stepped forward and waved to the crew assembling on deck.

"She'll rip a strip from somebody for letting them stand around gawking," he chuckled as they hovered above the water, waiting for the boat to come across before coming down further.



Aboard Rampage the wireless operator listened to the dits and dahs and grimaced as she took up the telephone.  "Ma'am, Mister Turnbull wishes for you to come over by boat."

Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 10:13:17 PM »
She scowled hard at the receiver in her hand, her steward impatiently holding her jacket.  "Like hell he does," she grumbled.  It was a chore to bite back her initial retort, and to tell the operator that Jack could swim his ass over or jump down, and she'd play at entertaining whatever survived the trip.  "Tell him unless he's got a damned good reason for interrupting my hunting and the profit I'm earning him, he can inconvenience me in the comfort of my own cabin."  She dropped the phone back into its cradle and pointedly ignored the disapproving look from her aide.  She didn't care if it was the Kaiser himself, come to offer his head on a silver platter to her, she wasn't going up in that damned balloon.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 01:37:51 AM »
Jack read the reply and chuckled.  "Again, my compliments to Captain Blackwood, 'The main boat will wait for you then return to the Empress.  Please bring Mister Porras and Lieutenant Leah Peccedine with you.  Can't move many of the items that we'll need to discuss, they are attached to the ship.  I have a five-star meal that will be ready to serve in twenty minutes and an empty chair with your name on it."  Then he rattled off a few word in the captain's code.  They translated to: "Decommissioning, care for a new job?  Come Over."
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 01:40:27 AM by Lord Palatine »

Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 02:29:57 AM »
The flurry of vile oaths in a violent mixture of German, English and Japanese sent the steward racing from the captain's cabin, and she barely managed to dart to safety behind the marine on duty before a mostly empty brandy bottle sailed through the still open door and shattered against the opposite wall.  Both stared in wide-eyed shock at the mess, hesitant to move an inch.  While the captain was known to be a hard ass at times, her temper was seldom seen, saved for only the most deserving of situations.  So, it was clear that whatever had come through the line had sent her into a rare fury.  And the only thing that could do that was Germany, Russia, or a threat to the Rampage.
"Get me Porras and Peccedine!  They're to meet me topside in ten minutes!"  While she technically had no command over him, no doubt the vampire would appreciate her mood, if he hadn't sensed it himself already.

When she emerged topside again, her mood had tempered itself, though fury still danced in her eyes.  She was decked out in her dress uniform, and bore her katana and favored pistol, one on each hip, and sent the airship a withering look that would have sent men looking for their balls.  It was fortunate that steel was not so susceptible.  The oarsmen and helmsman of the longboat were wisely silent as they left the safety of the Rampage, and not even Porras' gentle influences could ease her mood.  Peccadine wore her amusement silently.  It was a shame that they were going to meet an ally, otherwise this might have turned into a lovely evening.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 03:10:32 AM »
Porras hated to wear the daysuit, but he wasn't really all that enthusiastic to fight off the sun's rays unless necessary.  He was curious to see what had her in such an interesting mood, for that matter he wondered what had Peccedine in such an interesting mood, he could sense certain stirrings in her.  Not unusual, the Lieutenant was an interesting young officer.  As they approached the airship settled lower and a strange-looking set of stairs locked in place and Jack himself stepped out and easily boosted Aerion into the tall tailfin.  The sideboys were in place and the bosun's whistles piped her aboard in proper form.

When they were all in place Jack led them through the control room. "My compliments to Mister Kielley," he said on his way through.  "Resume station and signal Rampage to increase speed, we'll keep her in sight."  Then he led them up the ladders to the keel passage.  They passed through the chief's quarters and it was obvious that these grizzled old veterans were studying them carefully. 

"New engine class," Jack said as they passed through.  "Good and strong, and rather quiet."  Then he stopped at the racks.  "One hundred pound aerial bombs," he pointed to them, "we can put them right in the decks if we need to, and we have the new power launch," he indicated a vertical tube.  "That can punch one through a foot of steel if we hit it right."

He continued to lead them forward.  "Sorry there's no windows," he said as they passed through, "but the crew section has some, mainly the gunnery sections.  "Mister Porras and Miss Peccedine, if you will follow Mister Kielley to the officer's mess, I'm sure the Captain would like to direct several words in my direction."  When they followed him into the room across the corridor Jack led her into a large room with a desk and of course the set captain's table.  But, to the right was a wall-sized map to the left of a door to somewhere.

"You read right," he said when the door was closed.  "I'm going to have to step down the Rampage from a line ship to a training and port defense ship.  I know this will irritate you, but she's showing her age.  He showed her a series of photographs.  American, British, Danish, German and Russian," he said as he set them out.  "Steel ships, with guns far larger and more powerful than we can mount on Rampage."  Then he showed her the map.  "They've gotten bored in Europe," he pointed out all of the locations receiving new dreadnought style ships.  But, the airships are coming now too.  The Germans, the British and the Russian's mainly, but the Americans aren't far behind them.  Palto Riaga is about to be ringed in, and the first airships, made by the German fellow Zeppelin, is leaving German East Africa and will be in place within a week."

He then grinned and kept talking to keep her cut off.  "But we have counters to this, the new Escort Squadron is steaming for Palto Riaga now," he laid out pictures of the ships they'd taken from the air.  "And we have the Empress," and he laid out a photograph of two more similar to her in a vast building in various states of construction.  "I have two choices, promote you into the High Seas Squadron as commodore with a captain serving under you as ship's commander, or name you commodore of the World Squadron of airships.  The Excaliber can take you all the way to San Francisco, it will take you ten days and then you'll have to refuel.  The Empress can get you there in two days and eight hours, and still have the fuel for a return trip."

He poured two tall whiskeys.  "There, I've made my opening broadside, now its your turn."

Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 02:23:26 PM »
It was a supreme feat of will power and clenching her jaw to not rip into the man as soon as she saw him.  And staring holes in the back of his head, coupled with the lack of windows, helped to distract her from the fact that she was floating in the air and being separated from her ship.  She heard the specs he called out only absently.  The longer he made her wait, the more likely it was that she would bite through her own cheek to give him her mind.

She was taking in her first breath as the door was closing, and didn't even wait for it to fully latch, speaking over him for the first moments.  "You god damned cock sucking spawn of a pestilent cunt!"  She wanted to take a swing at him, and her arm shook from the restraint to withhold it.  "What the fuck is the meaning of this?"  She was silent as he explained, still furious, but looked at the images he presented to her.

For a moment after he finished, she remained silent, letting everything register in her mind.  She took the first whiskey and tipped it back quickly, and slammed the glass back down.  That bastard.  He knew exactly what he was doing.  By taking away the Rampage, he cold funnel her wherever he liked.  She knew he wanted her here, on the airship.  While protecting Palto Riaga would no doubt be an eventful post, at least for a little while, she would be bound there, like a dog on a leash.  Her vengeful tendencies towards the countries that had ruined her would fester there.  He knew she would go for the post that gave her the freedom and range to hunt freely.  "You wretched sunovabitch," she growled at him at last. "How long have you been plotting this?"

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 02:43:11 PM »
Jack endured patiently, he'd expected this.  "That was better than I expected," he said as he topped off her glass again.  "First of all, look at this from my position, I have to send you to sea knowing that you'll be sailing into harm's way, and for me to do that with a clear conscience I must make sure that I'm giving you the best that I can.  The Rampage was the best when she put to sea, but do you know how fast those little bastard scientists and engineers are improving things?  There are already ships sailing from Europe and America that have nearly triple your gunnery range with shells up to ten times your destructive force.  They carry far more armor plating, and they can run circles around you.  The odds are that they could put shell completely through your ship, from miles outside of your range and tou could never close the range to do damage back to them, I've given you all of the time that I can.  Now, knowing that, can you blame me for bringing the Rampage home?"

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 06:09:54 PM »
"Don't give me any of that altruistic bullshit.  We both know you'd send me out naked with a target on my back if it suited your ends," she sneered at him.  But damn it all, he was right.  Being so far removed from the homelands, they were shielded a bit from the rapid advancements, advancements that were probably spurred on by her own mayhem.  So she understood his reasoning, but she still hated him for it.  She took the glass again, but only sipped this time, still glaring at the pictures before her for making her vessel obsolete. 
"What's your game?" she finally looked up at him.  "You know I don't know a damn thing about flying balloons.  Are your options so limited that you have to pluck me from the sea?"

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2010, 06:33:30 PM »
"I have people that know the sky," he replied.  "But I don't have anyone with your combat experience and leadership.  You can learn the sky from them, and they can learn how to lead from you.  Look what you did with your current crew.  Throckmorton will get his own cruiser. Peccedine will be your first officer when Kielley takes his own airship, then she'll get the third.  Hammerlock, Keene and Cloister will each get destroyers.  That's what you're best at, kicking the living shit out of everything in your path and making officers into command material."  He tossed the rest of his own drink.  "How do you like the office by the way?" He grinned at her.  "The captain used to have a closet in the bow," he pushed open a door beside the map wall.  Nice sized bedroom, your own head, which is rare on the Empress, your steward is also your clerk, his room is the door on the other side of your room, but if you like you can put your cabin girl in there and move Willynok, Petty Officer Wilhelm Nokamura, is the captain's steward, he'll be serving dinner up soon.  You have a damned fine chef too, Beano McWheaties."  He grinned.  "Nicknames can be a real mystery, can't they?"

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2010, 09:43:37 PM »
She narrowed her eyes somewhat at him over the rim of her glass.  She hadn't actually said yes yet...  But, again, she didn't have as much choice as he liked to pretend she did.  "Fine.  I'll keep Mickie.  And Quin.  A training vessel doesn't need a surgeon of her skills."  There was no way her friend would sit back quietly on the island after having been out adventuring for the last four years, anyway.  "And I want to know my surviving crew will be taken good care of."  It was no secret who she was speaking of.  After Jack had taken her on, and she had brought along all of her remaining crew from the destroyed Dawn Blaze, she had sworn that so lng as she was living she would do right by them.  She wasn't about to abandon them now, even if she couldn't take them all up into the floating death trap with her.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 10:22:44 PM »
Jack smiled at her and lifted the phone on her desk.  "Notify the Rampage that Quin and Mickey will be transferred over to the Empress, have my gear packed out so I can transfer off, and send in Lieutenant Peccadine and Captain Porras."  He set the phone back down.  "You won't be disappointed, this is a damned good ship, and you'll never think you were free before after you see how far and fast you can roam."  Then he patted a large binder on the desk.  "The officers have compiled reports on all aspects of the ship, I'm sure you'll turn it into a manual that I'll be able to train the crews of the next ships by.  And, your crew will be well taken care of.  I have posts on ships with the officers transferring off reserved for them all."

There was a tap at the door and a short Asian man entered.  His hair was light colored and his eyes a startling green.  "Petty Officer Nokamura," he introduced himself.  "I'm your clerk"  He closed the door after Peccadine and Porras entered.

"This thing is amazing," her eyes nearly glowed with excitement.  "They let me go up and walk around on the very top!"

Porras looked at Aerion, the natural feeling of calm seemed to radiate from him.  "I'm told I'll be moving into Quarters here," he said with a faint smile.  "Apparently I'll get the old captain's quarters way up front, they have no windows."

At the mention of the word windows Peccadine perked up and walked to the row of windows and looked out.  "The Rampage looks beautiful from up here," she said and made a little noise that sounded like a 'squee,' "You have an amazing view captain!"

Willynok returned a second later and laid out a large tray with hors d'oeuvres.  "Sorry, Sir," he looked at Jack.  "There is sushi mixed in here."

"Bait you mean," Jack fixed him with a gimlet state.

Porras checked the the second tray and smiled a little wider, he shielded the view from the rest as he mixed red wine and blood.  "It seems I was expected."

"Of course," Jack shrugged.

"What is sushi?" Peccadine asked when she stepped back from the other side of the curtains.

"Raw fish, rice and weeds," Jack glowered.  "Its a Japanese dish."

"I learned it from my mother," Willynok added.  "From my father I learned to make sausage and pretzels."

"Those are good." Jack added.

Porras wandered by and stood to allow his body to shield her from the rest of the room.  "And how do you like your new command?" He asked Aerion.

Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 10:47:29 PM »
Her stomach lurched at Peccadine's excitement to have been outside, and her grip tightened on her glass.  She was momentarily jealous of Porras' quarters, closet or not.  At least the damn thing didn't have a bank of windows, and she gave a silent thanks that, due to the Riagan Ambassador's presence, her windows remained dutifully covered.  Just hearing her officer remark on the view was enough to remind her that they were, in fact, very high up.  Her pulse quickened, despite Porras' influence, though she did remarkably well to refrain from any overt reactions.

"I like it about as much as a rat cornered by a hungry cat," she grumbled to him, and tipped back the glass to take a large drink.  At least the cook knew how to make proper food.  Unfortunately, she didn't know if her stomach could handle it just yet.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2010, 11:04:07 PM »
Porras surreptitiously clasped her hand and gave it a squeeze, he smiled faintly and flashed the tip of a fang.  "I think in this case the cat is cornered, but I try not to bite hard."  He looked past her.  "Leah certainly seems excited, I've never seen anyone that tall and thin jiggle quite so much."

The door opened at that point and Mickey walked in slowly, she was testing her footing with each step, she looked behind her and waved to the men behind her to follow, they fought back grins as they slowly walked behind her with the chests from Aerion's former cabin.  Finally she reached the bedroom door and disappeared.  The men came back through a few moments later, nodding respectfully to their new captain and back out.  Then Quin came through and spotted the food, and the wine and dashed for the table with a happy little noise.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2010, 11:23:37 PM »
The familiar faces helped put her at ease, and the girl's uncertainly actually brought a small smile to her lips.  At least someone on this god forsaken ship had some sense to be concerned about the floor giving way and sending them all plummeting miles to their doom.  But it was Quin who put her most at ease, and the small smile grew into a proper smirk.  "Lt. Peccadine finds no end of joy in the strangest things, and delights in sharing it with everyone."

Aerion tipped back her glass once more to finish off the liquid.  "Alright Jack, I'm here, and so are my people.  Now hurry up and eat so I can graciously kick you ass first off my ship."

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2010, 11:29:58 PM »
"It could be worse," Porras shrugged.  "Keane would already have all of the secluded areas mapped out."

Jack looked over and grinned at her.  "Right after dinner, I brought the lobster special and I'm not going to miss it."

"How can you eat those?" Porras wondered.  "They look like bugs.  You don't suppose Jack's real name is Renfield do you?"

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2010, 11:48:54 PM »
Aerion chuckled, and experimented with the sushi.  Thus far, her stomach seemed to be accepting food.  "Sea bugs, more or less.  But cockroaches don't melt in your mouth with butter," she smirked with a wink.  "Just as your people have become creative with their food, so have we.  In all our countless millennia of development, someone at some point has eaten something at least once.  I'm certain even you have bitten into something strange on a dare," she grinned up at him.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2010, 12:07:47 AM »
"Now that you mention it," he agreed thoughtfully, but let that subject drop.  He stopped and cocked his head to the side.  "Apparently you're going to be fitted for something leather.  That could be an interesting look."

Across the room Jack had opened a cabinet with a selection of weapons in it, Peccedine saw it and made a beeline across the room.  "The arsenal is doing good work, double action pistols in .44 caliber that also fits the lever action carbine.  The shotguns are both twelve gauge, one pump and one semi-automatic, so you can pull the trigger till the well runs dry, and then is the rifle, good for long range, bolt action and all of the designs have been tested for a few years before we started issuing them out."

"Everything is so new and shiny," the young lieutenant made a couple of little bounces.  "Its all amazing."

"You must be fun to give presents to," Jack observed with a snarky grin.

"So about this leather," Porras grinned as he returned his attention back to Aerion, "what's that about?"

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2010, 01:00:10 PM »
"Harness and kit," she waved a hand dismissively at him.  "Not that I ever intend to be anywhere where such is needed," she added under her breath.  Aerion could stand out on decks in a raging storm tethered in by nothing more than a rope 'til the cows came home.  But she'd be damned if she ever step foot one inch outside of the hull here.

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2010, 01:18:14 PM »
"Damn," Porras grinned.  "I saw a crewman in leather trousers and was hoping those were in your future as well."  He indicated the table and the food being placed among the place settings.  "I believe it is time to eat."

An amazing German potato soup led the procession, followed closely by delicately broiled swordfish and steamed vegetables, then lobster, and finally chocolate fondue.  A different wine was served with each course and finally brandy and cigars, for those who imbibed.  Porras had excused himself for a few minutes and returned to enjoy wine and conversation.

"I'm off," Jack said at last, they'll be bringing over the last of the dunnage and I can take the boat back.  Good voyage to you all," he took them each by the hand on his way out.  Then Willynok offered to show Quin and Peccedine to her quarters as the evening ended very early.

"The music is currently Dixieland Jazz," Willynok informed her.  "And Commander Kielley sends his respects and he is ready, at your convenience, to brief you fully on shipboard operations, and Master Chief Polamalu has offered a complete tour of the ship."  He bowed slightly and closed the door behind him on his way out.

"Cigars are quite stinky," Porras observed.  "But the wine is commendable."

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2010, 08:17:29 PM »
"God help me, what have I agreed to?" she asked herself out loud after she and Porras were alone once more, and set a hand against her face.  "This is madness."  Even the warmth and fuzziness of drink wasn't helping, and she currently swirled the remnants of her wine around the glass, staring at it as if it would provide her with answers.  "What the hell am I doing here?"

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2010, 10:41:15 AM »
"If I know you," Porras thought aloud.  "You're about to start a whole new career in making life hell for somebody."  He pointed to the wall map.  We have German possessions to our west, and they have an airship on the way, and to the northwest we have Russia, and I've heard that they have stolen plans for airships from Russia and Germany, and they've bought five from Italy, they have to put at least one in the Pacific.  But, if I were an airship captain with a penchant for making trouble, I'd circle the German Island possessions before their airships arrive to remind them that they aren't the only power so consider."

He took her hand and felt the cold of her fingers, "but for now maybe we need to see if we can ease your fear of heights."

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2010, 02:08:01 PM »
Her hand shook faintly in his grasp, a testament to just how deeply her fear ran.  "Sure.  Then afterward we'll start working on your fear of sunlight," she quipped back with a tight grin.  She sighed, and sipped at the wine again.  "Heaven help me, someone's gonna bleed.  All the better if it's Germany or Russia.  Hell, I'll even accept British blood.  Americans, too, if they get in my way."

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Re: Airship Empress (Game Thread)
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2010, 02:19:02 PM »
"A subtle difference," he grinned.  "if I look out of the window in full sunlight I'll start scorched and end a cinder, you'll turn green, but once you turn away you'll start to settle.  Come with me," he said quietly, that odd note of compulsion in his voice again.  He led her to the window and opened the curtains, the sky was darn now but the moon lit the water far below the downward angled windows.  "I cannot take your fear," he said again in that choice that seemed to flow deep into her.  "But I cannot take the fear that comes over you in battle either, but your body and mind use that natural fear, it becomes a strength to you, it tempers the boldness and schools your caution, equal and opposite reactions that help you remain in complete balance."  He squeezed her hand softly.  "Respect what you see, let it school your enthusiasms.  You may never come to enjoy the heights, but it is like your sword, your pistols, it is a weapon to you, it is like the sea for you to wrest the advantages from and use to your own needs and service.  even from here, isn't the moonlight on water beautiful?"

 

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