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Author Topic: Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]  (Read 904 times)

TractionEra

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Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]
« on: February 03, 2012, 02:28:10 PM »

[-A/N: I'm going to be editing a few things as I go. Mainly Alek's characterization.-]

Deryn stood at the base of the boarding ramp, momentarily frozen by a feeling she didn't get often. She was nervous, and about an airship. As daft as it might seem, she was more than a little scared. She'd flown aboard countless Darwinist ships of ever shape and size imaginable in her service to the London Zoological Society, but had somehow managed not to fly aboard a single Clanker airship. She looked up at the gondola of the SMS Ferdinand; its the unnatural angular shape, the lack of visible life, and the massive envelope hovering above all making her stomach feel more twisted than an airman's knot. "What's the matter, scared?" Alek teased from just inside the gondola. She gave him a dirty look before saying, "I'm not scared! I'm just examining the thing."

She quickly made her way up the ramp, ignoring the Clanker boffins that were whispering about her apparent fear of flight. "Like a good Middy, eh?" Alek asked jokingly. "Ay, like a good Middy." She agreed, keeping her voice steady and masculine. She was playing the part of a man on this mission. "Then lets make for our cabin, Mister Sharp." Alek began down the narrow, wood-lined, corridor that ran the length of the gondola. It was lit by small electric lights in fixtures made to look like candles. Deryn followed, not getting too far behind Alek, very thankful that they didn't have Bovril for this mission. The Clanker boffins that were aboard the ship were dead clever, and the little beasty may have given away more than intended.

Her and Alek were posing as engineers. While Alek's face was well known thanks to Eddie Malone, a fact that nearly got him ousted from the society, he remained in the society. He'd lost a bet and turned up dressed as a girl to a party once, and this gave someone or another the idea to have him pose as a girl. He was dressed in a lab coat over a worn cotton jumpsuit, a bowler hat, and a pair of leather boots. Deryn was dressed similarly. Alek had assumed similar roles dozens of times and this fact created a few odd in-jokes amongst those privy to the knowledge of Deryn's sex and quite a few more amongst those not.

They passed a dozen rooms, including the dining cabin, on the way to their private cabin. Deryn noticed that all the rooms were decorated similarly: stained wood paneling up three quarters of the wall, white painted wood above that, and brass lighting fixtures everywhere. "Why go through all the trouble to dress up the innards of this ship if it still looks like a Clanker war machine on the outside?" Deryn couldn't help asking once they stopped at their cabin. Alek stopped and thought for a moment before giving a shrug. "It's a luxury ship." Was all he said before unlocking the cabin door and stepping inside.
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TractionEra

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Re: Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 02:30:20 PM »

Deryn looked glared at the inside of the cabin. "All this 'luxury' is dead weight. The ship'll have to work twice as hard to move with all this heavy wood and metal." Alek had to stifle a laugh. "The ship isn't alive, remember? There's a reason this beast is fitted with twelve engines." Deryn nodded, remembering that Clanker aeronautics and Darwinist aeronautics only shared a handful of mathematical equations she'd never bothered learning. "Engines are heavy too, not to mention all the fuel this thing must use." Again, Alek stifled a laugh, enjoying his superior knowledge of the ship. "Follow me, I'll show you how this ship works."

Deryn followed Alek to a ladder leading straight into the envelope. The ship had since take flight and when Alek opened a metal hatch on the side of the envelope, air rushed in. They quickly crossed the catwalk and entered the engine pod. Deryn was surprised to see a large electric motor, a Westinghouse design, in place of the large Daimler engine she'd expected. "How do you power all these? Generators would weigh more than the fuel would." Alek gestured towards the man watching a small bank of dials and gauges on the wall of the pod. "Could you explain how this ship is powered, please?" He spoke in Clanker, using his most feminine voice.

The man explained that the top of the ship was almost completely covered in solar cells that generate electricity for the entirety of the ship. He further explained that there were banks of batteries in the gondola in case they had to operate under cloud cover. Alek thanked the man, then led Deryn back into the envelope. "So, what do you think?" He asked. "What are solar cells?" Deryn asked, the devices being alien to her. "They're large panels that use sunlight to generate electricity. They're rare even in Germany where they're made, but a handful of ships like this have been made."
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TractionEra

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Re: Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 02:32:13 PM »

"Wouldn't it just be easier to use plants to do it?" Deryn's question was returned with a playful smack to her forehead. "Dummkopf, we're Clankers. We use machines not living creatures." Alek said, grabbing her around the wrist and leading her toward another ladder up. "Where are we going now?" He didn't answer. He just continued leading her up. Stopping on a catwalk halfway up and leading her to the back of the ship. Once there he paused and turned back to Deryn, "Ready?"

"Ready for what?" She retorted. "To fly. Didn't you listen to anything I told you on the way here?" Without waiting for a response he began scaling yet another ladder. Deryn hesitated briefly, unsure of what he meant by 'fly'. "Don't chicken out on me now!" He called from above. Deryn raced up the ladder, not wanting to let her nerves get the better of her.

She emerged into an aircraft hanger, blasted by the same cold wind she'd felt before. Alek stood a few yards off, smiling widely. "What're you so happy about?" She asked, giving him a cold stare. "That." Alek gestured toward something behind Deryn. When she turned she found herself facing a large, propeller-driven monoplane. "Are we going to be riding in that?" She asked, glancing nevrously back at Alek. He answered by tossing her a heavy , fleece-lined leather jacket, a scarf, and a pair of goggles. He was already wearing all of the things, which strangely didn't break the illusion that he was a girl. Deryn donned the gear herself and followed Alek to the aircraft. Despite being a monoplane, it still had the pilot and passenger in open-air, so the two had to climb onto the wing to enter the machine.
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TractionEra

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Re: Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 02:37:47 PM »

"Strap yourself in tightly! Don't want to fall out!" Alek yelled over the rushing wind, which had grown as the airship picked up speed. "How will we take off with this headwind?" Deryn strapped herself into the leather harness. "We're going out the back!" Alek yelled, turning on the Rolls Royce aero-engine. What he said next was drowned out by the noise of the aircraft as he made a u-turn in the hangar. Deryn found herself facing a short runway, ending in the massive fin of the airship. The aircraft, aided by the tail wind, began to pick up speed. It moved quickly toward the tail fin. With thrity yards to go, the aircraft began flying.

Deryn moved her hands away from her face, and saw Alek smiled in the rear-view mirrors. She glared at him, but that backfired. Alek pushed hard on the stick and the whole plane lurched forward into a vertical dive. Deryn's stomach dove. She let out a scream, which was rendered inaudible by the wind. They dove 200 yards before Alek leveled the aircraft. He turned back towards the SMS Ferdinand, but not how Deryn wished he would have. He pulled the stick back until they were in a steady climb, and kept doing so until the plane was upside-down. Deryn found herself staring at the ground below. They'd departed from Munich and were now somewhere outside Stuttgart. She stared for what felt like hours before the plane returned to an upright position.
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TractionEra

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Re: Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 02:39:36 PM »

They flew back towards the zeppelin, which had gained a fair amount of distance during their short flight. Deryn could see Alek smiling in the mirror, so she glared at him, not amused at all. They flew back to the zeppelin and Alek landed the plane on the thin airstrip between the giant solar cells. A feet that Deryn thought impossible with the glare from the cells. Deryn kept herself strapped tightly until the plane's engine was completely off. Then she couldn't get out fast enough.

Aleks laughs echoed in the cavernous hangar, and Deryn had to cover his mouth with her hand. "Alek, you Dummkopf! What if somebody heard you?" She screamed in a hushed whisper. He pushed her hand away. "Sorry, I've never seen you scared like that before." He said, struggling to keep his voice even and feminine. "I'll make you pay for that." She said, giving him a stern look. That shut him up. He took off his pilot's gear and stashed it in a locker against the wall. "Now hurry before the crew realize we took the plane!"

[-Fin! Sorry, I broke it up so I could edit it as I posted.-]
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SecretAgentCaboose

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Re: Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 02:43:17 PM »

Alek is a jerk, but he is just trying to be funny. and Deryn, youve hung from the underside of the Levi too many times to be scared by a little backflip in an aeroplane. i like it!
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JLIGHTNING

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Re: Flight of Fancy [-Fanfic-]
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 05:58:44 AM »

I believe "S.M.S." is a German Military acronym, not a Commercial one. Other that that, good job!
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