The Stranded Crew

The crew of the affectionately named Rustbucket, a short-haul airship, get caught up in a titanic storm and blown far into an apparently barren wasteland. This is the story of Captain Stanridge, Engineer Hesiu and friends' adventures as they attempt to find their way home.

"Well Hesiu, what's it look like?" said the captain, looking at the desolate scene surrounding the crash site, still covered with red sand which was slowly being blown away by an erratic wind, revealing hillocks of mostly bare stone. He heard Hesiu grunt as he banged his head on an engine cowling.

"Is bad." The hispanic mechanic replied, frowning at the sand-choked intakes. When nothing more was forthcoming Stanridge asked just how bad it was. Hesiu replied "Is going to be a lot of work", and climbed back under the engine. The captain dropped a cigarette into the sand and stubbed it out with the toe of his worn flying boots.

The Rustbucket, as Stanridge called it, had done very well not to have been torn to pieces. As it was, she lay injured on her side, the starboard engines still buried under a few metres of coarse red sand. The gasbag sagged, the skeleton beneath much in evidence. Stanridge and Hesiu  had repaired the gashes in the fabric as soon as they had dug themselves out, but even so the old ship wouldn't be able to lift it's own weight until they had sourced some more gas, even after using the emergency pressurized cans Stanridge had wisely taken along. The cabins were ankle deep in sand, and the engines clogged with it. The name painted along the side of the cabin was gone, paint stripped away, no longer would the ship be named "Roquelle" in official documents.

Stanridge gave the bleak landscape a last glance, then climbed back in through the hatch.

The End

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