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Author Topic: Ace of The Duck Pond The Good Doctor.  (Read 5420 times)
Stella Gaslight
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« on: October 30, 2015, 02:17:12 am »

It had stared with a miracle.  Troops worn by war bonding over the smallest things from home that meant so very much.  It started small and grew until not a single man was willing to pick up arms.  It was not all roses and for a time were were more solders court marshalled than in most of the standing armies of the world but an unexpected peace came.  Young men came home in droves many with friends from countries they had never expected to visit.  In the tenuous early days of the piece when nothing was certain in a show of good will Germany sent Manfred von Richthofen along with a few other pilots in a flying circus to show off amazing stunts.  It was exactly the symbol of the new world that was needed.  A flying craze swept the world as every county vied to have the latest and greatest tech pushing the boundaries of flight farther and farther. Zeppelins, biplanes even autogiros became a huge fad adoring everything from stationary to clothing.  The sweeping sleek lines of all things aerodynamic became the most popular design elements of the day.  A culture grew around flyboys much like the one that was developing with cars in America.  Romance was in the perfect blue sky.

Someone had to fuel and take care of these birds on their trips around the world so fuelling stations started popping up on any bit of land that was on a trade route.  The duck pond so called because in the early days it exclusively catered to sea planes was one of these.  As air traffic boomed so did the station outgrowing the tiny island and spilling out in to the sea until today where it stand three times larger than the original space.  It was built up in random spurts with things tacked on in a jumble of warehouses and runways because it has no real government other than a few companies that have holdings. It is a glorified shanty town on the untamed edges of the world but there is no place like home.  It is here one bright sunny morning where we find Jace's aces a rag tag bunch of mercenaries to be sure but if you are in trouble there is no one better to have at your back.

Jacinda was currently the only one awake and manning the radio room. Even just after 6 am the shipping lanes were jumping with traffic.  Voices called out in every language the world had to offer but most spoke the universal pilot jargon that made it easy for her to pick out the arrivals and departures.  "Gotcha!" She exclaimed as the Zeppelin she had been waiting for called in permission to dock at the far tower. It was time to wake the crew there was money to be had.
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 07:35:28 am »

Several Days before...

The young operator left manning the control tower was so engrossed in his book that he didn't see the clouds appearing in the east. He was getting to the good bit when the radio crackled with static causing him to jump. He was on his feet in seconds looking around the large windows and it took him a while to take in gathered clouds in the middle of a clear blue sky. The radio crackled again and he looked at it with suspicion. Looking back at the clouds, he thought he spotted an airplane in the middle. He reached for the microphone and hit the transmit button, "Unidentified aircraft approaching from the east, identify yourself and reason for your approach." He released the button and was assaulted with static. Hitting the button he tried again, "I repeat, unidentified aircraft approaching from the east, identify yourself and reason for your approach!" This time he was nearly able to hear a voice over the noise, "This is Captain Ferdanand of the blue fang, are you receiving me?"
The operator hit the button again, "This is the control tower to the Blue Fang, if you are the aircraft in the clouds then I am receiving you."
"Control tower this is the Blue Fang. I am low on fuel and land landing clearance and direction."
"This is the control tower Blue Fang, I have you on approach. Drop 200 feet to clear the clouds and slip south by 30 meters to start your approach."
"Roger that control."
The aircraft dropped out of the clouds and with a sideways slide, lined himself up and came into land. He watched the aircraft come to a halt before going back to his book. He didn't look back to see the clouds rapidly vanishing.

Present Day...

Wilfried Oliver Lewis Ferdanand Sat on the concrete floor of the hanger he had hired leaning against the landing gear of his MK XXX Supermarine Spitfire looking out over the water.
The Mechanics had lived up to their claim of being able to fix anything and his aircraft now sat fully fuelled, armed and now had its engine fully tuned to perfection. He had been on the run ever since he had taken this strange machine and it was nice to be able to take a break even if this island was a nest of criminals and mercenaries. Near the back in the office he had set up a bunk and outside was sat on a bench was some weapon he was in the process of dissembling and studying. He took a swig of the bottle of beer and went back to watching the birds and aircraft swirling around the skys that surrounded this island.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 07:44:05 am by CPT_J_Percell » Logged

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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2015, 02:40:32 pm »

Liam paced the hanger expectantly.  He had done his best to repair the spitfire without anyone watching.  So far, everyone thought him just a young man gifted as a mechanic.

He looked back at the ruined parts he had pulled off.  It was obvious to his eyes that the damage was not natural.  The powers unleashed years before simply continued to wreak havoc randomly.  Getting pandora's box closed would be a second priority to stopping the immediate threats from what was already loose.

"Now," thought Liam, "to see if fixing that bird earned me a job.  Everyone says to find the lady in charge....."


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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2015, 03:53:08 pm »

Donna was seriously considering throwing her shoe at the captain.  Yes they did have a client coming in but that was no excuse for crowing outside her door in the middle of the night and inspiring Henrietta to fly up out of her pen and attack. Jace just laughingly told her there were donuts in the ready room and wandered off.  Donna let out a long string of cursing and clawed her way out of bed and in to the showers.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2015, 06:35:23 pm »

"Where's Heiricht?" The zeppelin's first officer inquired of the Bosun. "we need him up in the nose to help handle the mooring cables."

"dunno, sir, I ain't seen him since last night, he was pesterin' that jap beauty for a kiss and all. Maybe he and her..."

"If he's tomcatting with the passengers again I'll have him up on charges with the cap'n!" The first officer fumed. Heiricht had been a problem in that respect ever since the ship had started frequenting Asian ports. But...

"Wait a moment, Chappy," the First said. "There weren't any female passengers from Japan this time out, me and the Cap'n were talking about how odd that seemed; Yokohama's usually all et up with women wanting to escape to Europe or the americas. Only thing we got from them this time was a meatbox headin' for burial at sea here on the Station." he frowned. Now that he stopped to think, two other crewmen had come up missing as well, thouh they had never been found.

"Ah." The Bosun sucked his teeth for a moment. "Well, then, maybe she's a stowaway, and He's missing 'cause he got too close and she whacked 'im?"

"Could be," the First said thoughtfully. In any case, we need to use teh Station's telegraph to send word back about the people who've come up missing."

A shadow that belonged to nothing in sight detached itself from the shadows of the girders of the mooring tower cast upon the debarkation stage by the early morning sun. it slid back among those other shadows as a knot of paassengers from Manchuria and Russia strolled past on their way to the Customs desk below, then slipped down among the girders below, and slipped into teh deep shadows at teh tower's base. Unnoticed,and melded with this darjker shadows, the shapoe disappeared until it coalesced in anothe rpool of shadow just on thwe other side of the terminal fence. The strikingly beautiful form, of the Eurasian girl who emerged wore a close-fitting bodystocking-like outfit that covered all, but suggested much, a balaclava-like hood covering her face. Wen she she removed teh hood, and it's integral veil, she revealed a face that could have passed for Chinese or Japanese, her slanting almond-shaped eyes and perfect skin completing the picture. In teh blink of an eye, she t=stood wearing not teh skintight coverall, but a sheath-like dress and high heels. where the katana or other accoutrements had gone was impossible to determine; perhaps they were in her tiny clutch purse? She looked as unarmed and beautifully defenseless as a debutante  out slumming for the first time. She deftly adjusted her hair and dress, and then set off in search of her contact, for she, Merovingia Harper-Chen, though a supernatural creature, was also an agent iof teh Imperial Japanese Army.

As for Heiricht and teh two crewmen, they soon turned up in different crates in teh hold, all within feet of teh coffin that was marked for delivery to teh Imperial palace, The Swing club in the Pond's Chinatown. The other two crewmnen were dead as doorposts, but no mark onbe them save two punctures in teh neck; Heiricht was apparently driunk - but also bore teh two -puncture mark. In sickbay later, he was found to be anemic, and suffering from horrific delusions of a beautiful monster who drank his blood even as she had her way with him...

Beautiful and seemingly innocent, With a walk that would make a dead man drool, Merovingia set off for Little Peking and teh Imperial Paqlace Club, and was soon indistinguishable in the early-morning swirl of commerce and skullduggery.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2015, 09:17:26 pm »

"Oi liam, did you forget something?" Wilfred asked asked as liam walked to the open hanger door. Light streamed in causing Liam to be nothing more then a black silhouette. Wilfred reached down to the crate beside him and pulled out a warm beer bottle.
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2015, 11:21:33 pm »

Liam blushed and looked at his feet.  He made an awkward wave and ducked out the door.

From the next building over he could hear female voices raised.  He crossed the compound and entered.   As his eyes adjusted he tried to find the source of the shouting.   Ahead, he could see a wild looking woman.  Her clothing was colorful and bright as her blonde hair.

Liam tried to speak to her, but his nerves conquered his voice, and all he got out was a high squeak "Mechanic"   

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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2015, 01:36:36 am »

Donna looked him up and down.  He was the same age  as some of her cousins and looked to be a wrench monkey as well.  "Follow me.  If the captain insists on having me up at this ungodly hour she might as well have to do something."
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2015, 01:43:51 am »

Liam blushed to his roots, but hurriedly followed.  He hoped they had need of a mechanic.  It had been a while since he had a paying job.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 02:16:26 am »

Al Clancy rolled over and sat up, rubbing his hair with his right hand and steadying himself on the edge of the bunk with his left. "Why the heck does she have to scream like- !' there was aloud squawking and clucking that sounded like a poultry version of doomsday. He had to laugh in spite of himself. "That chicken..."

After a shave and sticking his head under the cold water spigot, Al slicked back his wet hair and then wentback to the bunk, openbed his footlocker and got out his khakis and a flight suit. He was on Rescue Call today, he remembered. He was half shocked that nothing had crashed while he was sleeping; that was the usual way of things, he'd found. He wandered into the ready room, grabbed a donut, sloshed a cup of the wonderfully horrible coffee, and wandered out into the hangar.

As it turned out, he had after that point been one of the people who'd told the new guy to look for the boss lady. He'd shrugged after the newbie wandered off; the fellow'd either find her or not. It would be a good test of his abilities to follow his nose. If he survived and didn't get run over or sacked before he'd begun for ticking off one of the two Queen females, he'd probably do all right.

 A while later, as Al was prepping the Blue Duck for instant takeoff readiness (a job he usually insisted on doing himself, unless it had battle damage or the engine needed more specialized work than he was able to do himself), he heard familiar women's voices talking loudly and then a masculine squeak. He chuckled; that was about all anyone managed when they first  met Jace or Donna on the hangar floor. When he got to checking his ammo stores in the passenger compartment of the J2F Grumman, he found he was lacking the spare reload for the rear gun. He stuck his head out of the portside porthole, and shouted for one of the mechanics to help him. While he waited forthe fellow to get back with the crates, Clancy turned on his radio and called Jace for permission to spin up the Duck's engine "just in case." He had a feeling a call was about to come in...

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Stella Gaslight
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Looking for a few good lobsters.


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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2015, 03:18:50 am »

"Have you eaten? It is not a real breakfast but we have some of those sugar things."  Donna trailed off having forgotten the English word.

"Go ahead ducky then head up here. I have news."Jace was happily devouring a sprinkle encrusted donut as Donna appeared in the doorway.

"Oh captain I have something for you."  She said in a sing song voice.

"If it is more eggs from hen I told you I can't eat things I have looked in the eyes."  She turned gesturing with her much loved mug shaped like an elephant.  "Not eggs at all then. Hello there I am Jace. Sort of like ace with a j tacked on the front. How can I help you?"
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2015, 03:37:10 am »

Liam hated meeting new people.  He felt like new people would stare at his scars.   Usually he could hide his deformed ears in a pilots cap, but he had snatched it iff his head when he came in through the door.

The fact that he was starved actually helped him forget some of his shyness.

Looking at his feet and trying not to let his voice crack, Liam said "I am a good mechanic, and a decent gunner.  I need a job."  after a second he hastily added "ma'am."
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2015, 04:08:33 am »

"Roger that, Bosslady,"  Al responded, then turned teh radio off again. no sense wasting battery life.

The Blue Duck had begun life with a standard windup-and-contact type of starting system; mishaps in the Adriatic and in France with the old french Neuport fighters just before the end of the war had made Al leery of such a system. the previous owner of the  Grumman that would become the Blue Duck under Al's loving hands, purportedly the one who had flown her nearly to destruction, had refitted her with a somewhat dodgy shell-detonation starter, powered by 20 mm blank shells. He'd never seen one blow up an enigine, but it was a fear that he had; all that fire shooting out from the charged cylinder right next to the fuel line... It gave him nightmares, so he had refitted the ship with an electric spin-up motor setup early on, while still running cargo and fighting pirates in the Amazon goldfields. It had proven to be invaluable in restarting the diminutive flying boat after landing in remote backwaters or heavy seas.

So it was that, instead of having to wind up and kick the prop, or fire off what had always sounded to Al like a cannon shot, the sound of the Duck's startup motor preceded the chugging startup  and then the steady, powerful roar of teh ship's souped-up radial engine could be heard from the radio room as Al put it through it's paces, clearing out the rsidual muck that the inconstant fuel quality of teh station's stores tended to leavde in the carbs and exhaust manifold. The black cloud of it quickly cleared to grey, and then the near-invisible clean exhaust of a well-warmed engine as Al revved her up. He looked in the cockpit rearview and saw the mechanic give him a thumbs up as he closed the passenger compartment trapdoor and began to clamber out of the rear cockpit. The reload had been replaced. Al shut down the engine, climbed out, locked the canopy, and climbed down to the floor, and then walked to the radio room.

"Mkay, I'm here, Jacie, what's th' newsflash?"
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Stella Gaslight
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Looking for a few good lobsters.


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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2015, 04:57:37 am »

"Tell you what if you can get my dear Screaming Green from knocking on start up you are up with the aces.  Fuel here is a bit hit and miss with emphasis on the miss and my greenie is a lady of refined tastes.  I have had neither the time or inclination to deal with her hiccups because she plays fine in the air."  Jace saw his eyes trace the doughnut's trail from her hand to mouth.  "Don't be shy boyo eat up I won't have you work on an empty belly."

Donna had sat down with coffee almost as blond as she was when Al came in.  She waved her mug hello and smiled.  "Capitan has a playing job."

Jace gave her a writhing glance. "I always get us paying jobs it is just sometimes there are a few extra steps in there to make it stick.  Any way this time the bird prepaid. Wired the money this morning. Seems like a nice enough fellow.  An inventor\doctor that has some big meeting in America in a day or two but thinks thinks some order of the mystical waboose is after him from the old country. We babysit him over a night  or two and every one goes home happy."
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2015, 10:09:17 am »

Wilfred finished his beer and with a sigh stood up. The kid had done a great job, but he had forgotten the most important thing.
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a pouch filled with the islands currency and dropped it into the metal box under his pilot seat.
He didn't want the reputation as a non payer so would have to search for the boy later and pay him.

Throwing the empty bottle into a pile in the corner of the shed he walked back to his bench to continue stripping down the weapon. He had finally found its power source (a small white crystal wrapped in copper wire) when there was a knock on the door.
"Hello" he called out without looking from the weapon and his oil stained notes.
The silhouette walked in to the shed and as it approached, Wilfred could make out the mans appearance. "Do excuse me sir, but are you Wilfred of the Blue Fang?"
"Who wants to know?"
"I have something that needs looking at and I'm told you have experience in that side of things."
"What is this thing that you would like me to look at?"
The visitor opened his satchel and pulled out an item wrapped in velvet. "I have gone to great pains to find this, but my research has led me to a dead end." Wilfred took the object and started to unwrap it while the visitor pulled out a note book, This is all I have been able to discover," he said casting his eye over the half disassembled contraption on the bench, I hope you can fill in the gaps in my knowledge."
Wilfred turned the object about in his hand, wrapped it up and took the notebook flicking through the pages. "I don't know that I can be of much help, but if you willing to leave it with me for a week, I can give it a good examine."
The visitor smiled, "I trust it will be safe in your hands?"
Wilfred looked up at the visitor, I have a good strong safe in the back. If I'm not working on it, I will keep it in there."
"Good, good." the visitor said, I will return in seven day's"
"How do I contact you if I find out anything important?"
"Write it down and we can discuss it when I return." The visitor placed his panama hat back on his head, turned around and left.
Wilfred walked into his office and immediately placed the thing in his safe. He knew exactly what it was, but how it had ended up in this world and this island, he could not fathom. With the device secure he went back to working on the weapon.
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Ranger Reid
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2015, 03:12:34 pm »

Liam tried not to let his hands shake as he picked up two donuts.  Every instinct of his empty stomach said to take the entire plate, but he resisted.

While the discussion focused on other things, the young man slipped quietly out the door.   

It was easy to find the captain's plane, and Liam was quick to dive into troubleshooting the problem.  As he was considering the fuel issue, he thought back to the plane he had just fixed.   Inspired, the mechanic quickly closed the cover and ran out to the fuel tank.

Just as he expected the two thousand gallon tank had no filtration system at all.  It was no wonder everyone was having issues with water and debris. 

Liam hummed as he began to make a filter system out of scrap and junk laying around.  He never considered asking for permission to use the stuff.  He was inspired in the moment.

Fifteen minutes later, a very simple filter and drain system was attached to the main fuel tank for the site.

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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2015, 03:37:16 pm »

Al considered the Captain's announcement. "Huh. 'Mystical waboose,' is it? I wonder which waboose, from which Old Country? Some of those European secret societies are kinda nasty, and the asian ones get pretty bloodthirsty - and downright weird."

"Where do we pick this fare up? Or is he already here? Do we watch him here on the station, or fly him to his rendezvous? Blue Duck can fly him a fair way, but Donna's ship'll go farther on one fill-up."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2015, 03:58:15 pm »

"It was some alphabet soup of a name,Alpnerbee or some such thing, I could not understand with his accent I imagine we can ask him soon enough.  Sounded like he was hunting shadows to me. His name is Gerhard Vogel and he is coming off that big old zep that docked in the high tower.  i told the crew to have him wait in the security room until we could come to clam him. If that old dragon wagon is working I figure we can pick him up in that. Nothing says safe like a big metal box on wheels." Jace took another large swig from her mug and let out a satisfied sigh.
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2015, 06:44:52 pm »

"Well, let me see if I can flog it into submission," Al said. He usually had a knack for making things run; having had to "shadetree" almost everything on the farm where he'd grown up, he'd learned the basics of the shadetree mechanical arts.

Once out in the hangar and having propped up the left side of the engine cowling, Al did the usual jiggling of the plug wires and removal of the fuel filter, followed by dousing it in gasoline siphoned from the armored car's fuel tank, blowing the liquid through the filter and reattaching it to the fuel line, then scratching the points on the spark coil receiver, and finally adding water to the battery, and checking that the engine would crank. Then, he turned teh ignition switch to "on," and went to the frong=t of teh vehicle, unfolded teh crank, and gave it a good trio of rounds; the engine coughed, almost stopped, but then coughed again,  and yet again, black smoke shooting out of the high-water exhaust vent next to the machine gun turret with each ddetonation. the cylinder reports quickened, and soon the engine was idling along, the smoke slowly becoming cleaner as Al climbed in and began revving it slightly. "C'mon, old girl, you can do it!" he said, encouragingly. "Ladies and Gents!" he sang out,"I do believe we have ourselves a car!"
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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2015, 12:47:00 am »

Liam had finished the big solution to the fuel problem and had even surprisingly remembered to put in a similar filter on the plane.   As long as someone remembered to drain the water from the separater now and then the motor should run well.   As he was working on the plane, he went ahead and pressed some of his energy in to it.   The next time the captain tried to fire it uo, she would be very pleasantly surprized. 


As he finished his task, Liam heard a car fire up.  He looked over and saw a man tinkering on it.  "Oh.  I guess they already have a mechanic."  he thought.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2015, 02:47:26 am »

Jace tied her hair back in a scarf and tried to look professional.  Donna braided her hair and got in the drivers seat. "All aboard."  She started to pull out of the hanger only to have the dragon wagon spit fire out the tailpipe and smoke our the hood.  Cursing Donna saw Liam.  "Hey can you give me a hand with this monster?"
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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2015, 02:59:48 am »

Liam was torn.   It was a chance to prove himself, but he also didnt want to make any enemies.  He walked over to the huge car and lifted the cover.   Within seconds Liam found the source of the problem.  Bare wires were arcing and shorting out.  To the young man's eyes it was obvious the damage was not natural. 

"Shut it down please." he requested.    As the motor went still, Liam pulled his tools from his pouch.  "I need 5 minutes please."   With this, he dove to the task in earnest. 

True to his word, in five minutes the boy stepped back and began cleaning his tools. He nodded at the captain and she tried the motor.

It roared to life immediately.  Liam realized everyone was staring.    He flushed and said "I just rerouted a few wires."  As he spoke, his stammer returned.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2015, 03:07:39 am »

"Jace beckoned to him from what was once a gun turret that had been turned in to a spotters post.  "Looks like you turned up an ace all right.  What is your name.  I can't just keep going hay you all the time."
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2015, 03:10:00 am »

"L...L....Liam" he managed and stared at his feet. 
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2015, 03:15:05 am »

Al had noticed teh bare wires as well, but they'd been like that for a while, and the thing was so old they hadn't been able to get replacement parts.

"Y' might have a look at that radiator, too, kid," he said. "She shoots steam every now and then, like there's a flappitty hole in the manifold or somethin'. We keep fillin' up the rsrvoir, but she just keeps on using it up. She's a battlewagon, or was, so she's got a few bullet holes."
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