We're putting the ship in storage
Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Location: From the Plains to the Hangar
"You what?!" Brem exploded after Daenelia told him the good news.
"We're putting the ship in storage, Brem," the captain beamed. "The wagons are hired, some sailors even bought their own horses, we have 2 large carts for ... stuff. We're set to go. We just need to..."
"Put. The ship. In storage." Brem said through clenched teeth. He was seething.
"Captain, the engines won't take it. They need care and cleaning, protection from damp and dust. You need to leave me behind to care for them."
"Nonsense," Daenelia said. "I need you with me. When we get to Kanesville, there will be a need to buy new parts. And in Columbus City, I need you to hire some fine mechanics to come back with us to look the ship over." She leaned in close tothe Chief engineer. "You know about the sabotage. We can't be sure we fixed everything that was damaged."
"Can't be sure..??!?" Brem's honour was at stake now. "I can tell you that EVERY bolt, nut and piston has been checked. Twice! The engines are in peak condition. Which is why we can't leave the ship... in a barn!"
Daenelia sighed. "Brem, we need to. I need to get the Perry's full payment. I need to get the combat engineer to Kanesville or lose her money. We need to do this. Now," she felt it was settled, "How... do we move the ship to Murphy's Folly?" Murphy was the man who rented out his skyship hangar to her. He was cheap too. And he seemed to know a thing or two about ships.
"We... we can fly her... or if we put it on a large cart, maybe put wheels on it?" Brem mumbled. "You can't leave her alone though." After a few moments he said "What about if you won't let me stay, one of my crew?"
"No. Well, I can't pay anyone to stay behind," Daenelia said resolutely. "I mean, the one staying behind will miss out on the treasure, the loot, anything we get our hands on. If you can find someone prepared to stay and not get their fair share, then by all means."
Daenelia was acutely aware of the bottom of her coffers showing. She'd spent all the money she had on supplies. It was unlikely she'd be able to pay fair share of anything during the trip, not until she got more money out of the Perry's. She was counting on the crew being able to fend for themselves, somehow. And as long they were traveling, they wouldnt be spending any on saloons, companions and trinkets. She just hoped they wouldnt run out of supplies.
She turned her thoughts to moving the ship. "Allright. How far would we need to fly it? We can land pretty close to the hangar, like you said." She looked thoughtfull. "How long would it take to put wheels on her?" She mused. "I doubt there are carts big enough... but can we get away with wheels?"
Brem squinted. "Maybe not wheels. Does Murphy's Folly have any equipment for sky ship storage?"
"Yeah, I recon," Daenelia drawled. She was looking at Colton kicking a small rock about.
"Would be nice to have a sort of dock, so the ship won't keel over to one side," Brem muttered. "Put wheels on that, if it doesnt have them already."
Suddenly Daenelia conveniently remembered seeing something like that in the hangar. She grinned. "I think we have one at our disposal." She patted Brem on the back.
"You just get her fired up to fly to the field near the hangar," she said.
"That's easy, there is enough stuff around to get us where we need to go and it won't take too long to get ready." Brem rubbed a hand over his head as he shook it.
"I think I will need to put some sort of strong lock on the engine room door, just in case..." His eyes glazed over for a moment before coming back to focus, "I know exactly what we need to do. Give me ten minutes to warm her up and then five more or so before you really put some proper thrust."
As he ran down to the engine room he hollered instructions to hoist the sails and prepare for take off.
Brem was dependable. Even in the most desperate of times, he had always pulled through. She didn't question the how and the wherefor, she just trusted him. She did send Erm to go to Murphy's by horse, riding as fast as he could. She wanted Murphy to bring out the dry dock from the hangar, so she could land the ship in it.
It wasn't long before the engines were fired up with what was probably the last of the dextrocite coal. Most of the non-vital crew from the engine room stood around on deck, having been pushed out by Brem. Daenelia ran to the steering wheel and grabbed it, as the spikes were pulled loose from the ground and the ship lifted up and forwards.
Daenelia grinned as she steered towards Murphy's lands at the south side of Harling Pass. The ship flew low over Mainstreet, with locals looking up, their mouths open in admiration or fear. Close to the hangar, she saw Erm and Murphy, together with a few farmhands, pulling the dry dock out of the hangar, with some strong oxes in front of it. It seemed to be slow going and there was no way for Steamhawke to hover or slow down.
"Brace yourself!" Daenelia shouted down the communication pipes. The landings spikes would be no use, as Brem need time to recalibrate them for the next landing. She had only one shot to land the ship in the dry dock, or run it into the ground. Murphy was shouting and waving his hands, as Erm and a farmhand untied the oxes from the dock. The ship sunk lower and lower until it slid into the dock at the lowest possible speed. The captain cut the engines a little too late, and the ship was left almost teetering with the front hanging off the dock.
"Nobody move to the front!" Daenelia shouted again. "Secure the aft of the ship to the dock! Ready the gangplank! Lower the sails! And get that thingy, the rope thingy!" She pointed to a rope flapping in the wind.
The crew on board quickly excuted Daenelia's orders as best they could. As they laid down the long gangplank for disembarking to the dry dock balcony, Brem stood by her side.
He looked at her and said: "You did tell the crewmates who were not on board where you were gonna park the ship, right?"
Daenelia grinned at him and stepped onto the dock. "They'll find us. How hard can it be to find a skyship in a small town like this?"