The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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A hastily made shelter in the wreckage of many zeppelins

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A hastily made shelter in the wreckage of many zeppelins

Posted by Radek, 7:18am, 9 Mar, 2010

*Radek has worked painstickingly on the somewhat poorly designed building he darts into; no, building is the wrong word. It appears to be a hollowed out engine of some kind, possibly from one of the zeppelins up above- the roof is not a roof but a tarp, with pieces of scrap iron hashed into it, and the walls are stones and junk iron pressed against two-by-fours. In other words, an impenetrable fortress! He bows as elegantly as he can when the door opens, and quickly dusts off a somewhat smooth rock which has a men's undershirt thrown over it in a terrible attempt to make it more of a chair.*

Ah, hopefully this'll be all right for now, Alice. It's not quite where we left off - but then again, our adventures have rarely given us that luxury, now have we? Although I haven't suffered from any inconvenient and plot-related amnesia or other illnesses, this baron you've mentioned sounds quite menacing. *He narrows his eyes and leans back, half-expecting a chair to appear out of the air; instead, Radek falls back onto a sharp rock with a surprised whumpf.*

Gaaaah. It cut right into the back of my nice suit - and after all the trouble you went to finding something that made me look like less of a scarecrow. *Sighing melodramtically, he offers a quick wink* Nothing some patches won't fix, of course! Uh, where was I - you, actually. I wanted to ask about you. Has this baron been a problem? To you, our allies..? Especially you. Headhunters are quite dangerous, although I've found a supply of well-crafted ceramic heads and clockwork contraptions can be used to throw them off the trail.... But that doesn't answer the question of why these individuals are problematic in the first place. Consequences of our little arial escapades.. Or something else?

Tell me everything, Alice. Er, that you want of course. As you know, I have no problems operating on vague and chaotic orders, especially if you're involved somehow. Ah! And if you happen to have a kettle with you... I just might be able to start a fire and get us some -real- tea. That terrible strawberry stuff just doesn't cut it! *With a wry grin, he pulls what appears to be a very damp but serviceable book of matches from his pocket!* I bet you probably have a better device for starting fires on your person - not that I'm saying you like starting fires. Er, or that liking starting fires is a bad thing! I'm rather partial to them myself- Haaaa. You know, I should probably find those materials you needed, shouldn't I?" *Radek offers one of his self-deprecating smiles along with the book of matches, which has a lovely cover illustration of the pearlescent moon*
This message was last edited on 9 Mar 2010.

Posted by Alice belladora, 8:52am, 9 Mar, 2010

*She follows Radek into the amazingly quickly built fortress, marvelling at what appears to be an extremely twisted, broken, and slightly smoking birdcage sitting dejectedly in the corner. She sits down of the strangely smooth rock proffered to her, pulling her goggles onto her head and gazing in a interested fashion about her.*

Yes, quite alright, thank you. Hmm, if indeed i am suffering from some sort of badly timed submit button like you say, it certainly wouldn't be the first time!

*She watches Radek fall comically onto said inconveniently placed rock with a badly suppressed smile.*

Oh, don't be worrying about nice suits! I've always found a ripped suit much more full of character than a boring, nicely pressed one any day! *Returns the wink in a jovial manner.*

Yes, the baron has been giving me quite a bit of bother , though not nearly as much as some of the crafty sorts I've had the misfortune to meet. We go quite a way back, him and i. I thought he'd forgotten all about our little *cough* disagreement. As for marcus... well, I've heard many a gruesome tale about that particular gentleman. I doubt even the most well crafted clockwork contraption would be of use against that merciless fiend! For that reason, i believe it would be sensible to set off, and try to find some way of contacting my poor dear leticia. With her by our side, and her ship at our disposal... well, i think we may have a good chance of taking on that evil brigand! Unfortunately i somehow managed to lose that wonderful communications device of mine, so i suppose we'll have to try and hijack some sort of communications tower, and start randomly pressing buttons until we reach her across the airwaves! I simply cannot think of another way of doing things, possibly because I'm suffering from some sort of illness that shuts the sensible parts of my brain. If that be so, i hope i never find a cure! ah ha!

Oh, and you'll probably be glad to know these disgusting characters have no idea you even exist, and I'd like to keep it that way. I think, for your own safety you should put on some sort of disguise. I'll have to think of something unusual and ridiculous. If only i had my old leather trunk with me, I'm sure be able to find something to fit you!

And, no i don't happen to have a kettle, unfortunately. We'll have to find some other sort of unsuitable receptacle! Hm, yes, indeed. If i never see another strawberry tea-bag again, it'll be half a million years too soon. Though i am rather partial to a nice cup of chilled mint tea, with a dash of rum, of course!

*She takes the book of matches, admires them for a moment, and then pockets them, returning the smile with a familiar grin.*
This message was last edited on 9 Mar 2010.

Posted by Radek, 1:00am, 10 Mar, 2010

*Radek smiles warmly and starts to relax on the otherwise uncomfortable and jagged rock. Although the place is constructed out of junk, great care has been taken in terms of what has been used to build the place. A tiny mobile hangs from the roof swinging around pieces of brass, bike chains, and what appears to be a tiny and very inaccurate globe. he idly pokes a nearby portrait of an icon of a large octopus, then rests his chin on hands, grinning impishly* Don't worry - those submit buttons are foul creatures at the best of times. i hear that in some places, they're used as golems for labor and bounty hunting. *noticing her amusement as he tears the suit, he offers a half-hearted shrug, his eyes twinkling*

Thank you kindly, most intriguing madame. Might i mention (almost alliteratively, of course) that i have missed our wonderfully eccentric discourses and adventures? Well, i'm going to mention it again even if i have. what i am not quite of fond is how menacing this baron chap sounds; also, the fact you seem to have a... *he stops to waggle his eyebrows* disagreement with him. Stolen artifacts? A bounty out on your head? some sort of unlucky scuffle with high society that makes even enjoying a nice night out on the opera impossible? You certainly have a knack for making enemies with powerful people, Alice. not that i mind in anyway, o'course! And logic can go to hell and back, i'll take your senseless sensibility any day of the week *with a grin from ear to ear he hugs her tightly* storming a tower sounds like a grand idea!...

although... *Radek looks pensive, realizes that he's still embracing Alice and let's go with a quick blush and a very apologetic nod of his head* Sorry- distracted. Er, no! What i mean is that we'll have to be careful then. Extremely careful. About the tower, i mean -there are could be guards, and knowing your luck, friends or enemies right around the corner, with a half n' half chance of either. And this very recognizable mop of orange hair isn't going to help... Although i do rather like being your 'secret weapon' so to speak, ahaha!

Well, and since we don't have a kettle at the moment we shall just have to find one! Or something to use as a samovar; maybe we'll run into someone wearing an antiquated helmet? *with a chuckle, Radek's smile lightens as she takes the matches, warmly returning her grin* i plan to make finding you some chilled mint tea - dash of rum required - my personal mission. Although, i feel as if i could face anything right now.

This message was last edited on 10 Mar 2010.

Posted by Alice belladora, 5:40am, 10 Mar, 2010

Well! my mind has been made up! if i had any apprehensions about this endeavor, they certainly seem to have vanished. Anyone prepared to risk life or limb to get me some mint tea is alright by me and can make full use of my lucky blunderbuss any day!

Of course, if we're going to get started on this most splendid and incredibly dangerous adventure we'd better set off right away.

*She stands up, looking immensely determined, and begins to take stock of her possessions, by way of rummaging around i her pockets and looking mildly irritated.*

Damn. Not only have i misplaced my communications device, i seem to have lost my silver pistol, and that handy book of "dangerous creatures that are absolutely everywhere." Well, i suppose it can't be helped. The confounded things must have fallen out when i was insultingly left hanging by a thin rope under that criminal-infested vessel!

*She rummages around a bit more, and eventually pulls out a heavily tea-stained map of what looks like to be the area.*

Despite my bad luck, at least i can be thankful for the seemingly endless supply of tea-stained maps i possess! *She motions for Radek to come closer.*

Hmm, It looks like there's a small village on the outskirts of this wasteland, by a large, impenetrable forest, about 25 miles from here, across a large impassable ravine, and a wolverine enclosure. There always seems to be some kind of large, malevolent fairy hiding behind the furniture and waiting for an opportunity to jam a wrench in our adventures!
If only we had some form of transport, like a swift vessel manned by a kindly yet slightly grizzled young captain, who would be only too glad too help us find a place to buy food, and large leather bound books containing invaluable information. I fear this may be wishful thinking, however...

*Several seconds after this depressing statement is made, by way of much frowning and solemn shakes of the head, an explosion of some magnitude is heard not far away, sending vibrations through the rusty shelter, and sending alice flying into a conveniently placed mound of watch parts.*

This message was last edited on 10 Mar 2010.

Posted by Radek, 1:54am, 11 Mar, 2010

*Radek leaps to his feet enthusiastically* That's the spirit! With my complete lack of fear about looking like an idiot, excellent gun-slinging ability, and cast-iron stomach, and your - well, pretty much everything you do - we can't possibly fail! To succeed in our adventures, i mean. And your thirst-quenching shall be my top priority! Although i shall be sure treat your lucky blunderbuss with care, should i ever touch it. *pausing, he continues bemusedly* i did seem to lose most of my equipment as well- my favorite revolver, for example. how very peculiar!

i would say that we have no time to prepare and rush right off into the wilderness, but you seem to be looking for something. *Radek hovers over her shoulder, trying to figure out what she's looking for; his feet crunch as they step against a broken pane of glass.*

We could search the area for gear and clues of our surroundings; these strong bituminous coal deposits indicate that we might be near what was once an active volcano. *Pausing, he rubs the back of his neck in a familiar manner* All that adventuring in caves and my brief stint as a miner, you know. Geologically speaking, it's interesting stuff!... Although that map looks even more interesting and very tea-licious, ahahah! *he steps closer, peering attentively at it's surface; his eyes drift across it quickly as he listens to her increasingly drastic description of the local terrain. Folding his arms against his chest with a sigh, Radek shakes his head.*

That simply won't do. The inscrutable fairy of fate - i really like that metaphor, by the by - is trying to smother us in danger, when we prefer a light coating! Of danger, that is. *he sighs, shoving his hands into his suit pockets with a dejected look.* There is no way that a certain good captain could possibly find us here; the impassable terrain, life-threateningly stormy weather and lack of places to land... only a madman would risk anything by flying out here.... a-ah, i didn't mean that! i'm sure we'll find a way through the wolvering encasing. Somehow.

*Radek is about to place a comforting arm on Alice's shoulder when the whir of heavy machinery accompanied by a heavy floodlight sweeping over the area is followed by shockwaves that send her into a mound of clockwork gears and him facefaulting into the ground - landing safely on a piece of nearly harmless granite.*

Ouch. Damnable floor, always rising up to greet me... ah, my nose feels like it's just taken a punch from an incredibly strong bouncer of little morality- ALICE! Are you all right? *Rushing over, he looks her over with a brief moment of panic, followed by a quick smile* Good thing those clock parts were there when they were. And who could that be? There's only one captain i know of who is so careless, loud, and brash with enough concern for his friends to search in such a place. And i'm quite willing to be that he is in dire need of an assistant-mopper! Cap'n! Over here!

*Waving his gangly arms around like a windmill seems to be unnecessary as the source of the explosions move closer; Radek moves to help Alice to her feet, staring out the hastily constructed window of the shelter, trying to catch a glimpse of whatever is moving towards them.*
This message was last edited on 11 Mar 2010.

Posted by Alice belladora, 3:20am, 11 Mar, 2010

*.... Several moments after the explosion sent rocks bouncing down sharp inclines up to 10 miles away, Alice finds herself being dragged out of a mound of rather uncomfortably pointy watch parts, by an ungainly gunman. The crash has delivered her a considerable, yet not fatal blow to the head, by way of a particularly blunt piece of indiscriminate metal. She feels herself being dragged, with some difficulty, out of the impenetrable fortress of somewhat ill design.

Very distantly, she hears far-away noises. Explosions, more explosions, and someone shouting something unprintable not too far off. She mutters something incomprehensible, feeling her boots dragging through rough terrain. Bright flashes in the distance. A strange, soft sound, possibly a bird of some description. The industrial grinding sound of many gears working together with more than a little complaint. Before she succumbs to the oily dangers of a very large and rusty timepiece, she manages to get one word out, but is drowned out by the largest explosion she has heard (even in her present state) for quite some time. She slips into a strange, not quite lucid dream-world, white mountains rising up, and piercing the sky. A glittering tower. An old man with a beard so long it trails for some considerable distance behind him, and wraps around his head twice...*
This message was last edited on 11 Mar 2010.

Posted by Radek, 4:20am, 11 Mar, 2010

Don't worry Alice - we're almost there. Haha, we've been through worse than this before - you remember that gunnery duel, when we were escaping from that crazy witch together? And your sky-defying stunt that was so beautiful - even if was more then a little crazy? You got out of that without even a scratch. *Radek rambles on as he carries Alice away; he smiles brightly as he talks but the cold of his fingers and the fear dancing in and out of his eyes says enough.*

... You know, i was worried i wouldn't find you again. Silly of me to say so now, isn't it? Tsch. Skinner, you ass, can't even say something until the sky goes loud and you're practically shaking with worry - and, and anyway miss Belladora - Alice. We're almost there, Alice, although where exactly is hard for me to place. i'm sure this must be the good captain. He's the only person i know who'd come this far - Alice? ALICE! *Radek stops, listening intently as a single word escapes Alice's lips - but her words elude him, cut short by the mechanical thrum around them; outside the hovel is even more bleak than it's interior. the ground is a barren grey, and has been dead for sometime. a few tiny shrubs and trees poke their way out of the ground, but the only other color in the entire landscape is the endless yellow light illuminating from the ship the two slowly, painfully trudge towards. Radek stops to stare at her as another explosion rocks the ground, sending dust and earth flying into the air around them. A small, sad grin slips onto his face.*

Well, if you won't wake up, i'll just have to carry you myself. i already failed the Professor, and there's no way in hell that i'm leaving you behind here, Miss Belladora. *Lacing his boots to make sure he doesn't trip, Radek carefully slips her arms around his shoulders and hefts her up onto his back and then begins to walk forward slowly and carefully, leaving footprints in the sooty earth below.* Hahaha, normally you'd be doing something like this for me, after i'd done something stupid, right?... oh, please laugh, Alice. Say something. Please. *his voice barely a whisper, he stops to stare at the sky with a pleading look- the light settles on the two of them, so tiny from the sky. a booming, grizzled voice shouts through the aid of a megaphone.*

"Oooooooiiii! Skinner, izzat you? Thought you were half dead by now. Hadn't given up hope on Alice though, hahaha!... Good to see you alive and undamaged. i'm sending down a ladder, stay put. There's some sort of automated defense system around here taking potshots at my vessel, damnitall! When i find out who set the cursed thing up, i'll boot them out of the country myself. Ahahaha!" *Eckstein's boisterous laughter fades away as a steel chain-link ladder is slowly lowered from up above; the massive hulk of the airship is barely visible floating in the distance. Radek stops, wraps one hand around Alice's waist and with great care, effort, and patience begins to climb up the airship ladder. the sound of explosions is getting closer... but the two of them make it up to the top, where a familiar figure is waiting for them. Eckstein's expression slips from warm greeting to shock as he sees the two of them.*

"ALICE! How did you let this happen, Skinner?" *Eckstein looks as if he might fly into a rage, but quickly pulls himself under control.* "Nevermind. You'll both be safe here, but get her to a cabin, quick. She's been in worse shape before, and she's talking. Watch her lips, she's trying to say things even now. Dreams, maybe, or delusions." *Radek nods, and the two of them carefully help Alice towards one of the cabins, opening the wood and iron doors into the small but secure rooms that bring back memories of safety and long voyages through the endless blue sky. Radek helps Alice into the bed, then pulls a chair over and sits on it wordlessly for a few minutes before speaking.*

"Eckstein... Do you mind if i wait here for a bit? She did this for me, once. Haha, and then vice versa- guess we get into the strangest adventures. *A quick smile flitters across his face.* She'll be fine, i can already tell... But i'd like to make sure she's all right." *Eckstein nods, looking relieved but serious.* "Aye. i wouldn't have it any other way, as we're going to have to do some heavy evasive maneuvers to get out of here. i'd watch after her myself, but you don't have the chops to fly a machine of this caliber. You can thank me by making sure her floors are cleaned to a marble sheen later, Skinner." *Eckstein offers a rare smile of his own and darts out the door; the massive hum of the airship engine fills the room as it lifts off, Radek watching Alice tenderly and holding her hand as the sound of explosions dissipates against the red horizon...*

Posted by Alice belladora, 5:22am, 11 Mar, 2010

*Far off in the distance, a soft hum can be heard, the sound of an engine vibrating up through heavy, severely dented oak floorboards. It becomes more persistent, drawing Alice's attention away form the dream-world. The mountains begin to fade, and the old man vanishes. The familiar smell of dirty oil-stained pirate hammock fills her nostrils, not altogether unpleasantly. The ceiling begins to, slowly, reluctantly, come into focus. An uncomfortable feeling of what she recognizes to be cramp down her left foot jerks her into unwelcome lucidity once again. She sits up slowly, and looks around rather quizzically at her dim surroundings, not noticing the concerned gunman until a rather insulting 30 seconds later, and regards him with a suspicious eye.*

Uncle Fredregar! i didn't realize you were still alive! my word, you don't look a day over two-hundred!
Wait a moment, you're not uncle Fredregar! i remember, he was devoured almost ten years ago by that fiendish dragon, the dark ruler of the mountains of...

*She lets out a small yell, and pokes Radek in the forehead with a grubby index finger, before leaping from the severely distressed hammock and drawing her lucky blunderbuss, seemingly out of thin air. She grabs him in a strangely familiar manner by the lapels, and pulls him along up a flight of stairs, muttering under her breath in an angry fashion. She begins to shout at the poor gunman, in a manner that suggested their predicament was all his fault, and that he needs to polish his boots, right away, or else. She drags him up another flight of stairs, round a corner, takes a brief but exiting detour through the engine-room, and out onto the deck.*

Well, don't just stand there like a haddock in a bowl of gravy! we need to help the Captain as best we can! take my lucky blunderbuss, and don't slouch like that, it isn't becoming of an able gunman!

*She tosses him the weapon, and hurries off, ripping up a plank of wood and brandishing it with fury, not seeming to realize that a bit of the viewing deck is not likely to ward off an attack by machine-gun fire.

An owl-shaped shadow passes overhead. The ship rocks from side to side, the good captain laughing in a not altogether-sane manner at the rudder.
He hasn't noticed Alice, and as he sees her run by, his expression changes from "cheerfully manic" to "I've just seen a the ghost of my great-great grandmother Mildred sitting in my chair, eating my pie, and smoking my cigars."*
This message was last edited on 11 Mar 2010.

Posted by Radek, 6:01am, 11 Mar, 2010

*He had almost drifted off. Concern and worry had been the only two things keeping him awake and the sudden wave of exhaustion finally swept over him; the world grew bleary and red, and he could start to see quiet shadows peering over the edge of his vision, but something seemed to catch his eye. he didn't register it at first as he was so very tired, but then he heard the name uncle Fredregar and was brought back to reality through a mixture of confusion and astonishment. He spoke quietly, unsure of what to say-*

Alice! You're awake. You were dreamin-

*-Until he was quite emphatically interrupted with a quick jab of a finger into his face! The sound of his feeble, vaguely amused protests as she continues to berate him echo around the deck. Murmurs that his boots are actually rather fine, if she'd care to look, just a little muddy, and really that couldn't be helped- or that they wouldn't be in such and such a predicament if she hadn't needed to be carried along although he rather enjoyed it and is still glad to see her up about, but really why are we going through the engine room when there's a perfectly nice door over there? He shuts his mouth although he can't stop a small smirk from slipping into view as they catch sigh of the Captain wheeling the boat around as far-off turrets spray iron shells at the back of the hull.*

-Your- lucky blunderbuss? Why, i seem to remember you saying you wouldn't mind at all if i laid my hands on this fine piece of equipment some hours back thank you very much! And my slouch is a way of avoiding incoming fire, vital to my defense posture-

*His impassioned defense is cut short as a wayword bullet chops off a fine lock of red hair; Radek pauses, wheels around and fires a shot off into the murky gray sky. in the distance, there is the sound of more shells scraping against the bottom of the airship. Radek's eyes widen and he yells to Eckstein against the wind.*

Captain! there are more of them directly under us! i think that Spektor found us, though, and there shouldn't be that many of the turrets, right?! *his eyes survey the situation, growing even larger* Alice? Why are you carrying a bit of wood?! nevermind, i'm sure it's part of your plan and it's good to see you back in the land of the living!

*Eckstein throws the wheel to the right, and the airship careens around, pockmarked by some rounds but avoiding the rest as Radek drops to the ground and takes careful aim to the distance, eyes narrowing on a far-off heap of metal that looks like scrap. he closes one eye, and squeezes the trigger; in the distance, the tower of metal flares up, lighting the sky a vivid orange and exposing many other, smaller towers, each one wheeling to face the airship.*

Posted by Alice belladora, 7:22am, 11 Mar, 2010

*The cloudy, dull grey sky begins to darken as the arial dogfight rages far below. Soft white flakes begin to slowly drift downward. A small grey owl glides along with the ship, effortlessly deflecting the incoming fire. It turns, and lands in a rather ungainly manner on the shoulder of the gunman. It begins to peck at him furiously. A little further up the ship, Alice valiantly tries to defend herself against the bullets with her plank of wood, but to no avail. She glances over to the left, and sees her gunman about to become perforated. She runs, arms over her head, towards Radek, tackling him expertly.*

Ah ha ha! sorry about that! don't worry, I'm sure Spektor will help defend us! How the heck did you get here so quickly, you-

*These last words are drowned out by a loud explosion somewhere from the back of the ship. Plumes of black smoke rise alarmingly. Eckstein begins to swear loudly, and Alice is once again thrown back, this time landing against several large barrels. The Captain lands next to her with a loud crack of splintering wood, flung from his post by the force of the blast. The ship begins to spiral out of control, Eckstein lying unconscious on the deck. Alice picks herself up with some difficulty, and, realizing her utter defenselessness, removes with some difficulty the Captain's own twin barreled shotgun. She hurries over to Radek, and crouches down, weapon at the ready.*

You're going to have to man the rudder! It's the only way, with the Captain out for the count! I'm sure you can do it! *Having to practically scream over the noise of the incoming fire.* I'll stay here and watch your back! Don't worry, I'm sure I'll pick it up as i go along, and Spektor can help! You know, i kind of missed all this mayhem! And, i don't think we're entirely without backup!
*She gives him a crooked grin, a silver bullet missing her by inches. She glances to the right, her smile becoming even wider. Another, slightly smaller yet no less imposing ship begins to hove into view with a deep rumble, a familiar figure at the helm. Machine gun turrets are dotted along its deck, each with its own rather weathered gunman at the ready.*

This message was last edited on 11 Mar 2010.

Posted by Radek, 5:23pm, 11 Mar, 2010

*Only the faint crackle of muzzle flashes light up the darkness; the air is heavy and it feels as if rain or thunder could split the sky at any second. A blunderbuss is not primarily a long-range weapon, and Radek reflects upon this fact as it's report crackles through the pre-dawn air sending brittle iron pellets towards another one of the automated defense turrets. He takes a deep breath, and carefully adjusts his aim, completely oblivious to the ferocious pecking of the very worried owl upon his shoulder, the rapidly approaching machine gun fire... And quite thankfully, to the sudden and surprising thud of Alice tackling him.*

Belladora? What the- *he pauses, slowly staring at where he had been moments before, riddled with bulletholes. Surprise and gratitude flash across his face... quickly followed by a wry grin.* Hehe, looks like i owe you one again, Alice. i could get used to this- *his cheerfulness disappears instantly as the three of them are thrown about tumultuously. Radek grinds his boots into the wood and grabs onto the viewing deck railing. The ride is so rough that slivers of wood are ground into his hand, but he ignores them as Alice rushes over to him. He yells back, voice barely audible over the report of gunfire and the acrid smoke now drifting from the back of the hull. Nevertheless, Radek is grinning, an unphaseable smile in the face of all adversity.*

My pleasure, miss Belladora. Just like old times, isn't it? i'm trusting you with my life, so keep a close eye on me, ahahaha!... we'll get out of here none the worse the wear, i promise. *his last words fade into the noise as he straps the lucky blunderbuss to his back and dashes over to the rudder, stumbling as the ship sways from side to side, but quickly getting back up to his feet and occasionally casting a worried eye towards Alice... who nevertheless seems to be holding her own. He catches her crooked grin, completely fearless as she avoids bullets with a superhuman grace, and returns it with an endlessly confident smile of his own; he savors the moment for as long as he can before turning back to the rudder, just catching the sight of a very familiar craft and it's equally familiar helmsman as it lights up the sky with suppressive fire.

Radek arrives at the wheel, trying to recall everything he could of Eckstein's control of the ship. With a disparate glance he steers the airship around, occasionally glancing back at Alice to determine her location and give her and Spektor the best tactical space while rendesvouzing up with the rather familiar vessel. A cloud rain breaks though the clouds, each tiny droplet stinging but the peal of lightning being enough light to navigate by; the new craft drifts further into view, and Radek throws Alice a confident grin, although his hands remain firmly on the wheel. His voice cuts through the storm.*

We seem to be making it through this all right, Belladora! i'd even say you might be an excellent gunslinger yourself one day - and you have the most incredible luck, you know that? *he focuses on the helm again, trying to bring them within communicating distance of the other airship, although the gale winds and near-deafening sound of gunfire are everywhere.*

Posted by Alice belladora, 4:54am, 12 Mar, 2010

*Alice fires her weapon with a look of extreme concentration, everything else drowned out as she loses herself in her own thoughts, the main and most pressing one being: Don't get shot.
She dodges bullets, avoiding them seemingly effortlessly, but in her own mind rather thinking her impressive maneuvers down to luck more than skill. She spins around quickly, and runs to the other end of the ship, aiming at a distant target as she goes. She fires, her shot skewed by a particularly daring move by the gunman/pilot.
The shot misses, and bounces off a large wooden octopus triumphantly coming into view. The ship begins to line itself up skillfully with the other, rumbling softly, until a distance of a mere ten feet separates the two. An idea begins to march with ill disguised pride towards the direction of Alice's mind.
Another deafeningly loud explosion, and the crack of splintering wood manages to make itself heard against the other deafening sounds of battle, again sending an angry plume of black smoke billowing up, this time from the bottom of the ship, sending Alice yet again to the floor. Finding herself on her back, she rolls around quickly, to avoid the inevitable volley of bullets.*

Oh, well, there goes the engine room. Radek! *She screams in the general direction of the gunman, covered a combination of dirt, grit, sweat, and no small amount of blood from an unpleasant scratch running down her forehead, and looking frighteningly calm, considering the current situation.*

We're going down, Captain! we've been hit very badly! i think they got the engine room!
I need orders, Captain-

*The ship begins to lose height dramatically, its engine destroyed, the only thing keeping it airbourne seemingly being the combined might of Alice's will, and Spektor's magick. Resolve begins to spread across her face, and as the ship begins to lose all control, she acts out on her previous impulse, and takes hold of Radek, pulling him along the deck, and running towards the badly splintered wooden railing. She almost throws him across the gap, (actually, she does throw him.) letting out some kind of manic laugh. She backs up, taking the leap herself, but not before communicating something urgent to Spektor.

She flies across the railing, propelled by Spektor's wind magick, and only just manages to catch hold of the railing of the other ship. She pulls herself up with some difficulty, this time brandishing the rather more impressive twin-barrel shotgun of the good Captain.
She turns, and sees Eckstein's ship, battered and broken, take a final hit. The explosion lights up the sky, and almost blinds the figures on the deck.
The ship begins to plummet towards the ground far below, an enormous wound piercing its hull, ugly black smoke spiraling up towards the slowly darkening sky. Leticia's ship begins to move away, propelled quickly by a powerful new engine, powered by sky-crystals, built by the finest engineers. As a parting shot, another explosion can be heard, faintly, far down below. *
This message was last edited on 12 Mar 2010.

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