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The Voyage 040: Francine

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Francine lay out her Mistress’s dinner dress while Lady Caroline Wentworth engaged in her toilet.  Normally, she would help with her bathing, but the cramped confines of the suite’s private bathroom made this impossible.  She just finished laying out the gown when she felt arms wrap around her and kisses on her neck.
“Your Lordship!  She will hear…”  She said to Lord Horace, her employer and lover.
“Let her,” he said.  Pressed against her, she felt the gun in his pocket.  She pulled away.
“You can’t mean to…”  She couldn’t finish the idea.
“Accidents happen over the Atlantic,” he said.

The Voyage 039: Malcolm

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Malcolm watched the massive airship pass from the observation platform at the top of the Star Building.  After verifying the ship’s flags, he rushed downstairs and back to his typewriter.
The HMS Indomitable, newest aeroship of the private Atlantic Steam line, left York today for its third trans-Atlantic flight.  Although some critics continue to raise questions of the craft’s safety, Lady Hamilton and her granddaughter and Lord and Lady Wentworth were on board, as was the ship’s prodigy designer Nelson Pembrooke  If they are not delayed by weather, the Indomitable will reach London in an incredibly fast three days.

The Voyage 038: Viola

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In the little shack next to the hangar, Viola swore and grumbled.  The little rat, Molly had disappeared after tea service, and she hadn’t returned.  Florence was in a right state looking for her.   That left her to do the dishes the brat had left behind.  It would probably be better for her not to return at all, she thought with a nasty little grin.
Above her there was a sharp crack, and she looked up just in time to see a pencil fall through the roof and plop into the sink, soaking her, but missing her head by inches.

The Voyage 037: Lewis

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Lewis stood with the noisy crowd as well, although he didn’t cheer along with them.  We simply watched The Indomitable rise in the morning sun, her filigreed envelope sparkling.  Occasionally, he would consult a small mechanical device on a chain, and make notes in a pocket notebook.  He stayed long after the crowd stopped cheering and drifted away, leaving only a few dedicated loved ones to watch the vessel’s slow rise over York.  As morning turned to afternoon, the propellers finally repositioned themselves, and the craft steamed east.  After one last check of his instruments, he disappeared like a shadow.

The Voyage 036: Erzabet

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The viewing stand was quite far from the airstrip, on the other side of the field.  Erzabet stood in the crowd, watching the massive lighter than air craft ignite her propellers and lift off from a safe distance.  She gripped her belly nervously, and watched the great ship rise into the sky like some fantastic beast.  She wished that her beloved Isaac was the engineer on a train instead.  It wasn’t that she feared for his safety more, but that she could have held him longer, stayed closer, and heard his voice calling to her rather than the cheering crowd.

The Voyage 035: Hattie

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Hattie was dying for a cigarette.  Unfortunately, there seemed to be no place on this accursed vessel for her to smoke.  They were barely off the ground but she had already been repeatedly harangued about the flammability, and the inflammability of the hydrogen gas that kept the airship aloft.  It seemed perfectly daft to her.  The rudeness was galling.  Eventually, she ventured out onto the rail.  The wind would do, she reasoned, to  hide the smoke.  She paused when she saw the young couple talking next to one of the roaring turbines.  With a faint smile, she withdrew back inside.

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The Voyage 034: Nelson

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A dozen meters below them, a young man lay on a railing, sketching a propeller.  He moved his pencil lightly but with precision, absorbed in his work.
“Aren’t you cold?”  A voice asked. making him jump and drop his tools.  He managed to grab the notebook, but the pencil slipped over the side and tumbled end over end to the ground far below.  He rose and turned to see a beautiful girl of his own age wrapped in  a shawl.  “Oh, dear.  I apologize,” she said.  He smiled.
“I have others.  I’m Nelson Pembrooke.”
“Penelope Hamilton.”  She smiled dazzlingly back.

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The Voyage 033: Hedwig

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“Well I will have you know that there is a,” Hedwig paused for effect.  “Resonance.  I felt it the moment I stepped on board.  There’s a doom about this ship.”  Arthur scoffed.
“I’ll have you know my cousin is a very talented medium.  We are traveling to London for the exhibition,” Lula said.
“As entertainers?”  He was a skeptic, a man of reason.  But they were the most fun to reel in, and she had a week.  Business was waiting for her in England, but this would be for pleasure. She dismissed the itch at the back of her skull.

The Voyage 032: Arthur

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Arthur shrugged.  “Stuff and nonsense,” he said, but Lula shook her head, vehemently.
“The stone has been nothing but trouble since it came out of the ground.  It was mined out west, and it left a trail of death and tragedy all the way to York!  Poor Lady Hamilton lost her son and daughter in a fire, and I heard the man who mined it out was crippled in a collapse!”
“I heard about the first.  They caught the fever as I recall.  Certainly tragic, but hardly supernatural.  As for mining, it’s a dangerous profession.”  He was a serious man.

The Voyage 031: Lula

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Lula watched the man get up, rattle the door, and pace the aisle of the windowless room. “Poor sod,” she whispered to her traveling companion, her cousin Hedwig  “Still I’d rather be locked safe in here than down at the bottom of the ship with that thing.”  Her mouth twisted like a corkscrew at the last word. “Whatever are you talking about?” she asked. “I saw her coming aboard.  The Lady Hamilton and her granddaughter.  I bet you anything they brought that cursed jewel of theirs with them!” “Cursed jewel?” A man behind them interrupted. “The Wendigo Diamond, of course!” Start from the beginning! Support Hugh on Patreon!

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