After recently boarding an amazing airship, five boys (one of which actually being a girl) face many perilous trials and daring adventures. In this strange world among the clouds, the boys' friendship is their most precious possession.
"Name?" asked the bleary-eyed man in front of me.
"Um, Orphos, Sir, Flint Orphos." I replied, hurriedly.
"Not much for full sentences, huh?" I observed. "I'm thirteen, Sir."
"Yes, Sir, right here." I handed him a crinkled piece of paper. On it was a simple note allowing me to board this ship and an extremely loopy signature.
Well, I'm fairly certain my parents would let me go. If they were still alive, that is. They died when I was only three years old. They left me in a fancy school. Right, school. More like prison, really. Well, as soon as the Master got word of my parents' death, he put me to work in exchange for stale food and a leaky attic.
I went about my work on a routine. I feel like I've cleaned those cursed floors so much that they should shine like the stars. But no, I don't know how they do it, but despite hardly ever being allowed out of the school, the students track mud through the halls everyday. I organized the teachers' cabinets during their classes so I always got to listen in on their lessons. I'd eat regularly, and sometimes the school's chef, Maggy, would make me something that actually tasted good. Ah Mags, you were the only one that was good to me. She's the reason I'm standing here now, and the reason I have "permission" to board. On weekends, she'd let me leave through the back door, and let me back in whenever I came back. Last time I was out, I saw this piece of paper hanging from a wall.
ATTENTION YOUNG MEN
The Lord's Airship Voyage is taking on five ship's boys into her crew.
The first boys to apply will be the first to be accepted.
These young men will be required to have a form of consent from their parents.
It was as if an angel had posted the advertisement. Mags was more than happy to help me, she knew how much of a hellhole the boilers of the school were. But at the same time, she seemed sad to see me go. After signing the paper, she embraced me for what she was sure was the last time, and saw me off.
"Very well, Mr. Orphos. On you go." the man sighed as he waved me aboard. I saw by the top of his ledger that his name was James Simmons.
I stepped aboard the glorious deck of the airship and sighed in ecstasy. A real airship. The kind I've watched from the ground my whole life, and now I'm part of her crew.
I looked back at the shore. I had been the first boy to arrive, and now it looked like a couple others were approaching Mr. Simmons. Will they be friends? Will they be enemies? What about all the older men? What if-
"Oi, You there." I heard a rough voice from behind me.
"Who, me, Sir?"
"No, me mum back in Irelocke. 'Course I mean you! What's your name, boy?"
"Flint Orphos, Sir."
"Well, Orphos, take this and don't make a fuss."
"Aww, just when I thought I had escaped, there's more."
He had tossed me a mop.