No steam punk novel is complete without an airship. So we’ll get our heroes to the airfield on an airship.
At the remote airfield, the wagons pulled up to small airship that was tethered and engines idling. Thomas Stewart walked down the gangplank. “You are late.”
Wynn smiled broadly, “Had to give Rupert a proper greeting.”
Behind Thomas, came Beatrice Monroe and Sergeant Harvey.
Abigail blurted out, “Beatrice, what are you doing here?”
Beatrice hefted the confiscated beam rifle while Harvey held a hunting rifle in his hands. She said, “Sergeant Harvey caught wind of some potential altercation. Being his new superior officer, I felt it was my responsibility to ensure he conducted himself properly whilst investigating.”
Sergeant Harvey spoke, “Mr. Stewart told me what them bastards had planned. Me brother’s dead because of them. I aim to show ‘em what’s what this time.”
Abigail sputtered, “But law and order and all…”
Beatrice looked at the rifle, “Half of Metro Police is on the take from one person or another. Those who aren’t corrupt, only see what they expect. Harvey and a few others excepted.” She aimed the rifle down the length of the airship, “I figure I am just helping out the right people tonight.”
Stephan shouted, “Are ye going to gab all night? We got a thousand pounds of equipment to move onto that beast and then get to Mildenhall. Shake a leg.”
The group moved to the wagons and started moving the rifles, ammo and other items onto the airship.
After people and weapons were loaded, Thomas lifted the airship off the ground. Wynn and Stephan moved to the engine room to help. Through the speaking tube Thomas said, “I’m going to run her fast and a little hot. She should be ok for the hour. Just make sure the needles stay below the red.” At that the engine noise got louder and a bit higher as the Barkclay Curle engines started to move faster.
Stephan looked at the gauges, adjusted some valves and then wiped his hands. He signaled Wynn to follow to a quieter portion of the engine room. They could watch the dark country side passing by. He asked Wynn, “Why is Thomas helping?”
Wynn scratched his chin, “Same reason Edward is, I suppose. He’s found that whole ‘duty and honor’ thing.” The engines changed tone slightly. He viewed some of the dials, tapped them with his knuckle and came back, “Probably doesn’t hurt that Abby’s wonder lawyer sprung his laddy boy.” He leaned on the rail, “Are we going to beat them?”
Stephan squinted at the passing countryside, “On our side, Five induction rifles, Three beam rifles, four beam guns and whatever artillery the British Air Brigade deigns to use with us. Their side, Three Uycarran merchant ships with defense systems, fifteen induction rifles and thirty beam rifles and enough beam hand guns to cause the Second Great London fire.” He spat out the port hole. “Smart money is on them.”
Wynn wrinkled his nose, “Yeah… I came up with the same. Never been big on suicide missions. So what’s our real goal?”
Stephan said, “I’d like to bloody their noses a bit and live to tell about it. I want to blow apart this bollocks by Chester and Cedric once and for all. England is going to have bigger fish to fry in a bit.”
Wynn looked at the gauges, tapped them once again, “Have to get to the airbase first.” He shouted into the speaking tube, “Engine 1 oil temperature is running in the red. Engine 2 exhaust is too hot as well.” The pitch of the engines lowered a bit. Wynn said, “Hope that third son of a lord knows what he is doing.”