Airships of Marrakesh, Part 5

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Author’s note:  This is a rough, unedited version of something that’s been floating around in my head for a while.  I’m putting it up here as motivation to keep writing, and I’m aiming for an update every two days.  Sometimes the updates are shorter in length.  Feedback is awesome.  Parts 1-4 can be found earlier in the blog.


At the inn, the time passed slowly as the captain and Mellira waited for news.  Fahn dozed, and the woman paced.  The small room became uncomfortably warm, and the table acquired a collection of empty plates, half-filled cups, and empty bottles.  Captain Janus asked for paper and pens, and wrote slowly, eyes glazed in thought between each word.

“What are you writing?  You look like a poleaxed ox each time you take a break between words.  I know it’s not your strong suit, but don’t strain yourself more than you have to, cap’n,” Mellira said.  She grabbed a loaf of bread and tore off the heel, pacing again as she pulled off small pieces of bread between steps.  Half got eaten, and the rest littered the floor under her feet.

“Lists.  Of people I’ve managed to piss off over the last few years.  It can’t be coincidence that I got knifed today,” he said.  Another name went on the list.

“What if it is, though?  One of us should head to the Drake to make sure that things are in order.  I could be back in an hour if I left now.  It’s not far.  And the list can’t be that long, Janus.  You’re an insufferable oaf, but people like you for the most part.”

“Not everybody, Mell.  I’ve made enemies.”  He took a long drink from the tankard next to him.

“Oh yeah?  Give me a name.”  Mellira threw a piece of bread at Janus.

“Roberts.  He holds a grudge for that time we got the Kebel, Kebel, and Worthiss contract instead of him.”  Janus looked smug, as if Roberts’ name alone had won the argument.

“Roberts is dead.  The Flying Hare went down in that typhoon with all hands on deck, remember?  Dead men hold no grudges, Janus van Koonns.  I can’t fault him for that grudge, though.  You argued hard, and then worked us all to the bone to fulfill terms when it turned out that they’d snuck a few extra legalities in there without us realizing it.  We flew from here to the Americas more than once to earn that pay out, and I truly wish Roberts had gotten that duty instead.”

“Oh come on!  Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy the World’s Fair!  It’s not like we were stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Philadelphia is a beautiful city.  I saw you with that man, what was his name?”

Mellira coughed. “Wentworth.  John Wentworth.”

“That’s right.  He was an accountant, right?  And you got to enjoy one of the best hotels in the city while the rest of us slept in tents and the Drake got fixed up.  Don’t tell me that wasn’t nice, Mell.”  Janus grinned up at her.  Wentworth had bumped into Mellira, literally, spilling a drink all over her best blouse.  He’d been taken with what he called her “roguish charms”, and immediately offered to buy her a new blouse if she’d accept his dinner invitation.  The crew hadn’t seen her for six days, and lost a day in the air when it came time to pull anchors because she’d failed to make it back to the air-port on time.  Janus loved pulling out reminders of Philadelphia.

“Ok, fine.  Fine.  Philly was nice.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t want Roberts with the contract anyways.  Now, tell me again why it wasn’t coincidence that you got stabbed?  I’m sure the Drake is fine.  Slyne knows how to handle an airship, especially one docked safe and sound.”

“Slyne’s a dirty, belly crawling, backstabbing son of a whore,” Ibben said as the door flew open, “and I can prove it.”


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