Reluctantly the vigilante warship rose into the air, it's size consuming the light below it, blotting out the sun like a puddle of ink swimming in the sky. Around it smaller airships hummed, flitting about it like flies to the dead. Some of the smallest ships were one man vehicles, they seemed to appear from nowhere. 

Maps clattered to the floor as the Belle Marie veered violently. The pilot had become anxious and had attempted to avoid a collision, forgetting that the smaller airships were more maneuverable. Cornelia was steady on her ship, she had been in worse positions. Far worse. 

"Keep us flying Johnson." Cornelia shouted through the speaker, her voice was harsh, but not anxiety-ridden. 

"You're going to keep going?" Ikonov raised his eyebrows in surprise. 

"You're going to tell me what on earth is going on, and we're going to chat to this Lord Alastair. They won't fire on us above the city, it'd risk them too much attention, we're safe for now."

Cornelia led the way through the small corridor and into the glass fronted control room. The room was a hive of activity, though as Cornelia entered, everyone seemed to make way for her. She was at the front of the ship in no time. 

A large bronze coloured dash-board sat at the front of the ship, almost framing the expansive glass windows that offered a cinematic view out of the ship. Dials and knobs seemed to haphazardly decorate the panels, controlling the ship were three young adults, two male one female. They pulled at levers and twisted knobs, trying to be as accurate as they could in their half-panic. 

"Why am I waiting? Get me on the line to this Alastair." Cornelia demanded, sweeping a strand of loose hair behind her ear. "Anything you want to tell me before I tell this chap to go pick on someone his own size?" Cornelia turned to Ikonov, he shook his head, almost sheepishly. 

The young woman at the panel offered her captain a mouth piece, retracting her hand quickly as Cornelia snatched it from her in a hurry. 

"This is Captain Harper speaking." Cornelia said, in a voice as upper class as she could muster.

"Ah, Ms Harper. How delightful that we finally have the pleasure of conversing. I've heard so much about you and your... ventures." The voice came through the speakers, smoothly arrogant. 

"Lord Alastair, I presume?"

"Correct. I think you'll find that you have something aboard your quaint little ship that belongs to me. I kindly request it's return, before something unfortunate happens to the precious thing and all of it's contents."

"I warn you, sir, I shan't be threatened. I happen to be on a private commission, and what is on board my ship is none of your concern, furthermore, should you decide to take any further action against us, I must inform you that we currently have a second channel open to military acquaintances that shall not hesitate to arrest your motley crew." Cornelia was bluffing, hoping that he would fall for it, because she had little other options if he didn't.

"My dear, don't you know who I am? I own the militia. They are, let's say, in my back pocket. Now, I suggest you heed my warnings." His voice had turned sour, he spat down the mouth piece through gritted teeth.

A flurry of small gun-ships flittered either side of the Belle Marie, the turbulence rocked the small ship from one side to another briefly. 

Cornelia placed a hand over the mouth piece and turned and shot a glance at Ikonov, "Something to tell me now?"

Ikonov stepped from one foot to another uneasily, he was hiding something, but he was reluctant to say. 

"Harold." Cornelia narrowed her eyes. 

"Ariadne's Thread." he said, coyly, "From myth, Ariadne gave Theseus a red ball of thread."

"You stole a ball of red thread?" Cornelia was stunned.

"Ariadne's Thread, wasn't thread at all... it says so in the book..." Ikonov smiled. "It's a map..." 

The End

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