Texas Sized Trouble

With luck this will be the last part of this story and I can move onto November wit ha fres hstart all the way 'round. That's the plan anyway. Why do I want a fresh start to everything? Let's see. NaNoWriMo, therefor I want every word written to be about something new (even if it's a continuation of a theme.) Plus I'm going to attempt to get at least one short story finished per month now. Don't know if I can do that, so it's less a mandate and more 'would be nice to meet' goal.

Jets, Rockets, Ion Drives... sounds pretty unlikely when combined with what amounts to a fancy blimp yes? Can't speak for anyone else but my personal vision of such a combination, unless it were a ship built from scratch to deal with these problems, is of the thing tearing itself to pieces, the forward momentum forcing gondola and envelope apart.

Of course this did not happen when Jack gave the order for full speed. Edward might rightfully claim he was no engineer and that his being cut off from the marvels of Spacenoid technology prevented him from doing more than what he considered a slapdash patching of parts and technology that shouldn't exist with their ship. However even limited as he was Edward still was a valuable resource to the pencil pushers and metal workers that did the actual refitting. In fact everything went far better than any could have dared hope.

The ship not only jolted forward, but the ride was relatively smooth and they were, with a few experimental turns brought on by wanting to avoid potential artillery fire from their attacker, still capable of maneuvering. Their immediate goal was to get away from anything on the ground that might get hurt, which was easy enough since everyone on the ground had sense enough to take note of where everything hostile was and go in the opposite direction. Though I'm sure the trampling, screaming, and panic induced injuries while fleeing might have made them less than likely to call it anything resembling an orderly withdrawal.

For a moment let us look inside the belly of the metal monster that has bee nset against our crew. Five men, all veterans of the Plains War, operated with the smooth and quiet familiarity fitting their experience. They had no personal quarrel with Jack or his crew. Well OK they saw these men as thieves and in possession of State property and as such deserved no parlay or quarter. Do not mark them as evil, gentle reader. They are only doing what they see as right and proper to defend their homeland. Could you or I act any different? I leave that question hanging for any that wish to discuss at a later date.

Back on board the Lady Hawk a conference was called between officers, several of the journalists on board, and through a relay between the conference and radio rooms with the Texas 43rd Artillery.

"So there's nothing you can do?" Jack sounded, understandably, less than pleased.

The wall mounted speaker, tended to by a pair of Gholem, crackled. "It's just this one unit and by treaty they're allowed to apprehend with due cause."

"Which they would have in this case it seems." A low rumble came from Edward as he thought things over but added nothing further.

"Since they're the only thing perusing us I take it this treaty doesn’t include clauses to aid?" The speaker crackled but was cut off. "Sorry just thinking out loud Colonel." He scribbled a note before passing it to Edward, who nodded and passed it along to Deets, who eventually passed it along to the other officers present.

"We apologize for not letting you see the details of our writing." Edward addressed those members of the press that had wedged themselves in. "I'm sure all of you can appreciate the situation we've accidentally placed your government."

At that point Deets whispered something in Jack's ear, who nodded before speaking up. "Colonel, is there any way you could get in touch with our pursuers to arrange a ceasefire while we unload our passengers?"

"Passengers?" The agitation of the voice was clear even through the static and distortion.

"Aye," Jack motioned to those present that weren't part of the crew. "While me and my crew are more than happy to take our chances it would be more than a little unfair to expose them to this mess now would it?" I'm sure he was well aware that the person he was speaking with would be unaware, but those in the room would be, and they would be the ones to write whatever wound up in the papers. So showing a little concern with the odd gesture favoring the dramatic here and there would be expected.

"Quite." The speaker went silent save for the occasional pop and or hiss for a long while. Those that were there for a story took notes, or sketched, or whatever rather vigorously in that long silence.

Finally, "I believe we've made arrangements. You have an hour to return then time enough to get passengers disembarked and yourselves away again. Beyond that you are on your own."

Mentally Jack sighed with relief. Sure they might double cross us and risk starting a war, especially if the toys Edward found are as hopped up as he says they are. He kept an outward calm as he ordered up refreshments for his guests. Maybe the good press will help offset the mess this's made. Deus, The Dakks.. that's what. Seven.. Eight places we'll get shot down if we're spotted?

The rest was just a quick unload and a chase scene to freedom. Not even that really given that Jack's ship could stay well out of range of anything that lone war machine could deploy. Where does this intrepid and or probably insane crew go next? Ah. That's a story for another day now isn't it?
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