Author : Kate Runnels

Issa steered the wasp closer to the distant speck in the sky. A flash of light off metal had sparked her attention. It was an Airship, but whose?

Dodoma City hadn’t had a good haul in months. They wouldn’t tangle with a Royalty cruiser. But if it was an independent or one from an unaligned aircity, well, those cities left on the ocean surface like Dodoma would take their fair share.

Issa swooped closer on her one man wasp scout ship. She didn’t see any markings associated with the Royalty and grinned into the wind as she rocked the wasp first one way and then back, signalling to the other scouts she’d found something. She then radioed in to the city to send reinforcements and gave her coordinates and estimated speed.

Two others formed up with her and they buzzed the airship to gauge its response, but there was no one manning the guns. Which means they were caught woefully unprepared or were undermanned. All the better for us, Issa thought.

She signaled again and then the three landed near the engine room near the aft – on one of the landing decks, starboard side. Still no response. Good. if they took the engine room they had the captain by the balls and then their reinforcements could land unhindered. The ship would be there’s and more importantly, the cargo.

Each wasp settled lightly. They lashed them to the deck before entering into the engine room. Again, there was no one. Out of the wind, the room hummed pleasantly, smelling of oil and ozone. Knives in hand, they relaxed slightly when nothing happened.

Bay locked the hatches while Lekan studied the communications tubes near the front. Issa looked around the room. She peered down the crankshaft room into darkness, before turning back.

“What a haul,” said Lekan.

“How long until reinforcements?” she didn’t smile back.

“About five minutes.”

“I think we can hold off until then.” Suddenly an arm came around her neck from behind as the other arm grabbed her knife hand.”Ahk.”

Lekun and Bay turned at the noise. She struggled against the hand moving her knife upwards without her control. She fought the grip, but the knife moved closer to her face, then she realized why. It was a metallic arm. “Abomination,” she managed, still fighting with the hand to slow the knife’s advance. But it was like struggling against the tide, it came on inevitably.

“This abomination will kill you if you don’t tell the others to open the hatches, now!”

Issa nodded, the arm still around her throat. Bay released the lock and the hatch opened immediately with several of the crew entering and quickly disarming the three. Issa finally had a good look at her captor, the abomination of flesh and metal. Issa clenched her teeth. She couldn’t believe it, shame and anger filled her. To be captured by a young girl!

“Nicely done, Torque,” said the one with captains tabs on the collar. He was a good looking oriental, not much older than Issa. “you’ve saved us again. Mel, forty five degrees to port and max thrust. Let’s be away before more arrive.”

“Aye, Captain.”

But Issa only had eyes on the girl. She now had a name to go with the face. Torque.

Torque, you abomination, I will have my revenge.