Frozen Sky Part 1
Our Role Play Group, the Airship's Messdeck, is on a bit of a hiatus while we try to sort out how our main story will carry on into the future.
I'm going to serialize three of the side stories that came up during this time to give you a bit of a feel for the World in which we are playing. The parts of the story are presented here pretty much as they appeared in our role play.
Note that Max (me) tends to talk to himself, which is useful in the RP as a way to give out some more info. Sections that begin and end with an '*' are descriptive. I'll try to clarify history and details from previous roleplay as footnotes when necessary.
A special thanks to my fellow shipmates and partners in adventure:
Thank you for your wit, your sense of fun, and your willingness to help create this wonderful world.
I hope you enjoy it.
Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced
While our fine ship, the HMAS Velvet Brush, is in the Airdock for her much needed refit, the crew is dispersed to other duties. Her Chief Engineer Lt Cmdr(E) Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe aka Max, is ordered to take an old airship, HMAS Doris, up to the Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow. He is to begin testing a new device known as the Chirper, that can determine elevations and depths, much like a modern sonar depth scan.
With him he has several members of the Velvet Brush's crew. Two members of his Black Gang, John Watkins and Philip Simpson who invented the Chirper, the Navigator Lt Iveta Baleva, the communications officer Lt Beulah Bueckert, aka Miss BB, and two of the Marine contingent, Sgt Kade Fraser and Cpl Ellis Cooke.
It is winter and the old Doris has seen better days.
Airdock 6 at the Experimental Airship Division yard near London
*Max is standing at the side of the airdock surveying his new command. Having received her from the hands of the Airdock Boffins only a few minutes before, he now watches as the last of the dockyard workers file away and his ship sits alone with her new crew*
Well Max me lad, she's all yours now. This will be an interesting junket and no mistake.
*HMAS Doris is a smallish, hydrogen filled, cargo carrying airship. Until recently she was a commercial tramp carrier called "The Matilda" on contract to the Navy supplying remote light houses along the Northern coasts of Scotland. The Doris is small, she could fit entirely inside the Velvet Brush between the forward accommodation and engineering, with room to spare! The outer cover of her hull is dirty grey and streaked with coal dust. Bright white squares show where her old threadbare cover has been repaired.*
Well yer no stranger to the North at least.
Max spots the bright crimson uniform of Sgt Fraser approaching "Ah Sergeant, all secure?"
Sgt Fraser snaps to attention and salutes sharply "Aye Sir, ship is cleared of all dock workers Sir!"
"Very good, please maintain ship watch. I expect the last of our supplies will be arriving shortly, make sure they get squared away as soon as possible."
"Aye aye Sir!" Another quick salute and Fraser turns and takes up his post beside the entrance to the control car of the airship.
Well, no luxury on this trip Max, be nice to sleep in a hammock again while aloft though, like sleeping on a cloud, if a bit noisy and breezy.
*Max walks aft past the control car under the belly of the airship his cane making tapping sounds that seem oddly loud in the cavernous space of the airdock. He walks past the cargo car in which the Chirper is safely installed, to the third car that houses the engine. There is an open triangular keelwalk connecting the three cars that hang below the hull like rowboats suspended from a bridge. Using the keelwalk while in flight will be an adventure in itself. As he approaches the third car he sees Watkins climbing down from it, he is covered in soot and his coveralls are all greasy.*
"Well Watkins, will she fly?"
"Aye Sir she will, but not fast. She'll be lucky to make 20 knots and against any kind of wind we'll be sitting still. Don't know how them fellows kept station in the North Sea Sir."
"Well if they could do it we can. Were you able to get something setup for Comms and the Navigator in the control car?"
"Aye Sir, we took that little box they called your cabin and set it up for them, at least they won't have the wind whistling past 'em."
*The control car and the engine car are open with no glass in the windows to save weight.*
"Well we best make sure they have some warm woolies just in case eh?"
Watkins smiles "Aye Sir, but I think Miss BB has that handled Sir."
"Well Sir, she arrived this morning with a Jessus big trunk and had a couple of the dock yard blokes stash it in the back of the cabin Sir. When I asked her about it she said it were warm rough weather clothes for all of us Sir."
"Hah! Well she is resourceful that one, probably won it all off the Quartermaster at poker if I know her!"
Watkins laughs, "Aye Sir, probably Sir."
"Well I'm off for my final report to Admiral Wilcox, get her ready to go as best you can I don't want anything left adrift when we leave."
"Aye aye Sir!" and with the touch of his cap Watkins heads back up the ladder.
*Max heads toward the gate, past the control car returning Sgt Fraser's salute as he passes.*
Well now maybe I can find out more about what we are supposed to be doing all the way up in Scapa Flow...
But Mary will be there too and I don't dare even say hello, blast and damn!
*At the gate of the airdock, Max turns and looks at his new command one more time trying to imagine here puffing her way through the winter skies on her way to Scotland.*
Well you're no beauty, but I'll wager yer a tough old girl and all.