I’m writing to share something I haven’t been able to in so long…
First let me give you some background story to how this came to be.
Immediately my brain jumped at the idea of a floating world, and has since been completely immersed in what a Steampunk, post-apocalyptic floating society would be like.
And so what follows is my take. It is definitely a rough draft, and though the chapter is finished, I will not be posting it in its entirety here. Just a taste today…
Without further time wasting, I give you my newest story!
The Elders say we were chosen. The best and brightest of a failing planet. Overpopulated and out of resources the earth died. Societies crumbled to war as the plants withered to brown, and the world was declared lost.
Except for us.
While the rest of the planet fought over what little was left, a few wise men fought to save it. They gathered animals, plants, and like-minded people for one final attempt at life. With a technology the world had never seen the Iron Fleet rose into the heavens, taking with it any who could prove their value. Tradesmen, Smithies, Chemists, and Scientists, along with their families were invited on board.
This is what the Ark is made of. The Ark, that’s what we call it, though it’s been too many centuries to remember why. A flotilla of metal ships gliding between the clouds. The saving grace and final home of humanity.
At least, that’s what we’ve been taught.
Val stood on the rusted peak of Vessel Dorne. From this height the warm wind tore at her loose pants, though the sound was lost to the flap of the large sails just below her. Her short brown hair blew toward her face, but wasn’t quite long enough to obstruct her view. Half the fleet was visible from here, twenty ships of mismatched metal rusted from centuries of weather. Their sails, all varied shapes and colors, cradled the winds, keeping the flotilla together.
Val closed her eyes and breathed in deep, reveling in the heat of the sunshine on her bare arms. Her tank top fit her tighter than was proper, but for traveling the fleet it was perfect. She listened to the metal ships groan. Each had its own distinct sound, and seventeen years of Flight had taught her to recognize them all. A new groan told her that Vessel Haas had swung into position behind Vessel Dorne. She leaned to look directly down the mast at the women below. Vessel Dorne was the textile vessel. It provided fabrics for the entire fleet, and was run largely by women. For this reason the vessel was mostly ignored, save for trade, and for this reason Val spent much of her time there. Val smiled and turned to look at Vessel Haas, the smithing vessel. Haas was responsible for ship maintenance and repairs, as well as any other metalworks that could be of use to the Fleet.
Vessel Haas was one of the most important vessels in the Fleet, and as such had one of the tallest masts. It was this quality that Val liked most of the vessel. Traveling between ships was a difficult thing, and often took days to arrange. You didn’t leave your ship unless you were going to trade, and even then that happened on schedule.
Unless you were Val.
With a grin the girl pulled the leather goggles from around her neck and secured them on her face. She yanked on the ends of her leather gloves, ensuring they were secure and took a final look down. Far below her the women worked, oblivious to Val’s presence. And miles below that was the ground. Val had never stood upon it, none of the current fleet had. It was taught that the very ground was rotten, and if she were to stand upon it, light as she was, it would crumble beneath her. Some said you would fall into a sort of hell, or that you would die before ever reaching the planet’s core, but none of it mattered to Val. She had no intention of ever seeing it.
With a deep breath Val leapt from the highest mast of Vessel Dorne.