A visitor arrives
Here is the second part of the serial tale from our Role Play group.
Part I is here.
A serial story from The Messdeck.
Collected and edited by Kevin Jepson
*After an uneventful, but very cold, trip following the railway lines up to York, the Doris is tied up to the top of a commercial mooring tower on the edge of town. Below her on the tower is a very sleek looking Navy Airship, her hull is flat black with no markings visible at all.*
|The very cold and cramped control car|
of HMAS Doris*
"Very good, well done Simpson."
"Thank you Sir"
Max sets the engine telegraph to "finished with engine" and then taking the voice tube he yells into it "Watkins! Secure the engines and get yerself forward we are going ashore."
*A tinny "Aye aye Sir!" comes back and soon the steady thumping of the old engine stops. Max then knocks on the door of the single cabin at the back of the control car before entering.*
"We are moored and it's time to get off this icy balloon and have us some warm food by a fire eh?"
*Miss BB and Iveta are seated on either side of a table top, which Iveta's charts and Miss BB's Aetherwave set are vainly trying to share. Iveta is wearing her uniform greatcoat and cap but seems unperturbed by the cold, the only concession to comfort being her half gloves. Miss BB, however; is swathed head to toe in a bizarre and very colourful mix of scarves, sweaters, and cloaks, with only her face and uniform cap to mark her as an airship officer.*
"Will you be able to climb down the mooring tower in all that Lieutenant?"
"Oh, I will take them off before I do." then almost as an afterthought "Sir".
Turning to the Navigator Max says "How long will it take to plot a course North from here? The railway lines don't go where we are heading."
"I have it already Sir, also the diversion is plotted too if the weather permits Sir."
"Very good, now let us be about getting warm shall we?"
"Aye aye Sir!"
*A dockyard worker unrolls a rope bridge like structure from the tower out to the control car. The crew start to carefully cross the windswept gap to the platform on the tower. As the Sun is setting it is getting increasingly cold. Already the ground below is in darkness. Max is the last to leave and as he makes his way carefully across he sees Sgt Fraser and Cpl Cooke engaged in an intense bout of Rock Paper Scissors. Sgt Fraser soundly beats the Corporal and with a wide grin waits at the end of the bridge as Max comes across.*
"And what was all that about Sergeant?"
"Sir, we were deciding who gets to stay up here on ship watch Sir. I won Sir, so I get to stay."
"Ah, however 'rank hath its privileges' Sgt and no you don't!"
"We is a hundred feet in the freezing Yorkshire sky Sergeant, and the dockyard tells me they haven't got a lift so I will be staying on ship watch, you go get yerself some hot food and warm drink. Send Cooke back up with something hot."
"Aye aye Sir!" and with a salute Fraser turns and heads toward the tower ladder.
*Watkins and Simpson are busy helping Miss BB negotiate the top of the ladder. Iveta watches for a moment and then with a slight smile simply swings herself out over the side of the tower and disappears into the darkness down the OUTSIDE.*
Cooke shakes his head "Jeezus Sergeant did ya see that!"
"Aye I did, that one is happier on the outside of an airship than she is on the inside."
*Max waits till everyone has begun the long descent and then crosses back to the control car. The wind has strengthened so he carefully checks the mooring lines and then climbs laboriously up to the open keelwalk and goes back to check on the cargo and the engine. By the time he returns to the control car he is very cold and is having trouble holding the rungs of the ladder when he climbs back down into the control car.*
Well Max, you'll be solid ice in an hour if you don't get out of this wind!
*Max goes into the little cabin and taking up some of the scarves and blankets from Miss BB's pile he sits in her chair at the table. Soon he is dozing off as he gets slightly warmer. An hour or so later Max is startled awake by a change in the feel of the control car.*
Ah we got a visitor must be Cooke with a toddy. That'll go down well about now.
A strange voice calls out "Ahoy the Doris! Permission to come aboard."
Part III is here.
*The painting is of the control car of a WWI German Zeppelin painted by Felix Schwormstadt in 1917