Steamship Billy

Let the games begin!

This is the official submission for The Dark Globe: Create a World Writing Contest (as you could have clearly read from the banner above). Read it, Enjoy it, Love it.

Jexis popped the cork from an old bottle of whiskey, wiping the rim to remove the dust that had accumulated for years. He tipped the bottle into his mouth and squinted with each swig. I couldn’t imagine what it could have tasted like; one-hundred years of fermented wheat and barley was far from what I deemed as refreshing. If being drunk was a hazard enough we were also thousands of feet in the air, piloting a Steamship of unsurpassed quality. Gears, wires, and pipes gave it it’s distinct design that kept the spirit of Gennua, the craft was the only personal property I had labored for solely from scraps of gold and metal–of course the life I cultivated in piracy pardoned me to “borrow” a few utilities I had no further access to. My status of Captain was self granted, there was only a few who possessed the bravery to soar alongside the birds and our reason in occupying the craft was to relocate to a remote, more edifying residence.

Jexis growled then gave the impression of one trying to beat his ribs into an altered form. The man was in his mid-forties, the appearance I was used to seeing consisted of ungroomed facial hair, an early case of balding, and wrinkled skin, but his wardrobe was of supreme condition; a brown coat, fresh black boots, a maroon vest and the several rings and watches lined across his arms was enough to deceive others as being considerably wealthy.
“We shoulda’ tapped into those provisions years ago.”
“You should know why we didn’t. The war would not grant us access.” I said before Jexis could guess incorrectly.
“I knew that.” Jexis laughed.
The war was a time of tribulation and misfortune for the multitude on the surface of Gennua, the soldiers of the neighboring world accused us for pillaging their lands and taking it as our own when it belonged to them. Their forces helped themselves to our nearly unlimited supply of gold which soon revealed the true objective; the initialization of war was to control our storages of the rare substance. We ultimately lost and now we are left to fight for what is left of our golden planet.

The Steamship crashed through the masses of clouds. It was the exhilaration of flying was what kept me from a more professional occupation, besides I had in mind that I could become the driving force behind the eventual repossession of our home, but I couldn’t do it alone. Jexis was the only other individual I trusted, he was once on the other side of the field, but was impelled to joined us when his inner conscience determined that he was among a perverse people. A man like that I honored, but sometimes worried about since he adopted the addiction to alcohol.

In the midst of my reminiscing I mistakenly altered the course of the Steamship and now we were exposed for the ground below to detect.
“What happened to the fog?” Said the drunken Jexis.
I bestowed a look of disapproval and rotated the wheel of the helm. As soon as the craft was almost turned to it’s port-side a massive object emerged from within the clouds. After the war they sent out mobile refineries what we titled them as “Sun Strippers”–created to capture vessels like mine and strip any remaining gold they didn’t retrieve the first time–and we were being followed by their flag ship.

I spun the wheel back to the right as hard as I could manage and pumped more coal into the engines, with a jolt a burst of blistering steam shot out of the exhaust vents and caused poor Jexis to fall to the cabin levels. The flag ship began it’s attack by penetrating our hull with small projectiles. I was content with that for I knew the integrity of my hand built creation.
“Jexis!” I called in urgency. “Take the wheel!”
“What? Me? Ya’ crazy!”
“I know.” I grabbed the turret at the stern and adjusted the gear-spring, with the push of a lever hot metal poured out and pelted the offender.
Jexis, who was ignorant to the functioning of piloting airships, harnessed the helm and steered erratically. It not only made my aiming a more tedious process, but it also flustered the accuracy of the flag ship. We took turns shooting at each other while spiraling in circles, almost a mechanical waltz of sorts. I could tell that the captain of the Sun Stripper was becoming increasingly aggravated and resorted to using a type of weapon I had only seen before in stolen diagrams.

A small canister attached to a wire launched from one of the hatches of the ship, sailing through the air until it hit the stern of my Steamship. It was a way for missiles to strike any viable target without a chance of failure, and now we were to await our impending fate. With a flash the missile fired from it’s dispatchment and guided itself on the wire. I estimated that I only had a small window of opportunity to devise a means of removing the harness, it was made of an exceptional fabric that didn’t get hot, however it was subjectable to sharp objects.
As absurd as it seemed I was prepared to jump off and slice the wire, taking a hold of a Grapple Sword.
“Steer toward the enemy!”
“Ya’ crazy, we’d get killed!” Said a perplexed Jexis.
“Just trust me.”
“Alright…”
I peered over the deck and saw the wire embedded deeply onto the craft.
With a running start I jumped off and the sword firmly at hand, slicing the wire cleanly. I flipped a latch on the side of the weapon and a wire of my own fastened to the side of the ship. Time seemed to slow down as I swung back aboard calling for Jexis to yaw upwards. He responded in the nick of time and the ship pitched up to the heavens just as the unguided missile traveled underneath the ship and impacted the Sun Stripper. An impressive explosion encompassed the enemy ship and devastated it enough to send it out of commission.

Jexis and I witnessed the burning machine plummet to the ground below, cheering for the victory we had claimed entirely by ourselves.
“I think I be givin’ up drinking.”
“I think that would be a fantastic doctrine to adopt.” I chuckled. For that moment I knew that our world of Gennua had a profitable future.

Surprisingly this is the very first short story have conceived successfully and I figured what better way to show it off than to send it in to contend other short stories.

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  1. April 26th, 2012
  2. July 2nd, 2012

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