Steampunk Wenesday

I apologize for last week's irregularity. Hopefully the wait wil lbe worth it.

[6]


Edward's meditations were interrupted by the songs from a pod of krakken. Funny. They don't tend to range this far north. He doubted whoever was manning the ship's radio equipment, much less ordinary passengers, would have heard the 'singing'; too different a requency set from what was commonly used.

So far as he knew nobody else on board could hear radio traffic. For him it was like hearing, only unlike the sort of hearing done with ears he could filter out everything except what he wanted. This was handy considering there was frantic traffic between several neaby ships, as well as the one he was on, about the unfortunate vessle that had apparently been mistaken for lunch.

He pulled his attention from the krakken's songs and refocued on ship to ship chatter. The one ship that had spotted the pod had gone silent ten minutes before and their final broadcast was being repeated anddiscussed while everyone else stayed a mile away from both downed vessles. Krakken were uncommon this far north, but the lore surrounding these creatures had been circulating since before Man had taken back to the skies.






Jack pulled the telescope from his eye, "They have riders." Flat voice, overly deliberate body language as he handed the insturment off and stepped away from the window. "If they weren't at the heart this mess I'd admire their nerve."

Deets, thin dark skinned man that had probably seen a few too many years to serve his given post, raised an eyebrow at his commander. "We can't fly over 'em Sir, they'll just blow thier air sacs and be on top of us again." Of course having many years of service under one's belt did give experiance in enough 'once in a lifetime' situations to make one more less unsettling than it would be otherwise.

Jack glanced around the officer's lounge/ward room at everyone else. His navigator would be expected to know something, but the diminuative man only shook his head. "All I know is rumor and hearsay Sir." After a little non-verbal encouragment from Jack he went on. "Couple weeks after I'd signed on with you. You remember our little run to Havana?"

Jack nodded.

"Talked to a crew claimed to have just gotten out of Cortez. Story as I remember is that some group of dim sparks was trying to raise Krakken in captivity. Group claimed they were getting promising reactions from second generation offspring." The little man took a breath then let the rest of his story out in a rush. "Two months after that announcement the whole place was burned to the ground. All were reported dead, but they couldn't find several of the bodies. At the time everyone thought one of the beasts had gotten free, something ignighted it's gas bag and the rest escaped, taking a few of 'em as food."

Everyone else frowned at this. "Now you're not so sure are you Tim?" Julian's voice wavered slightly. The crew was full of intelligent people and the implications of these vast and terrible beasts directed by people was about eight steps past terrifying.

Deets glanced over at Tim grimly. "Still say the cannons were a waste of space?" With that everyone left for thier posts as there was little further need to frighten eachother with speculation. There were plans in place for Krakken attacks. There were plans in place for pirates. They had hoped to take a little from one with a lot from the other and hope they didn't get killed.






"Repeat: Krakken sighted around both downed ships bare riders and other signs that point to being human-controlled. Requesting any and all unarmed ships wishing to give aid stay a minimum of two miles away from current location and wait for all clear signal before approaching. All others are asked to watch the horizon in event of second group coming to reenforce first once we engadge."

Edward's implants translated morse, as well as the abbreviations commonly used, to something approximating human speech. This development was most certainly news. There had been long standing debates on if these creatures formed from the derranged, but brilliant, minds living in the final decades of pre-collapse civilization would ever be put to use by humans. If he survived and made it back to mars he'd collect on a fifty year old bet his father had made.
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