“Engine room ready for launch, captain.”
“Thank you, Miss Pilgrim  Notify the signalers.”  Isaac threw the second lever and waited.  There was a slight shudder as the pullers unlocked their guidelines.  The Indomitable rose almost imperceptibly under the buoyancy of the hydrogen in the envelope.  The captain nodded, satisfied.
“Mister Thomas, take us up to five hundred feet.”
“Aye,”  The pilot muttered.
“What was that, Pilot?”
“Aye aye, Captain!”  He repeated.
“Excellent.”  He angled the propellers downward and the watched the altitude gage, trying not to think about the sailors’ tales about ships with female captains, and their cursed fates.

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