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I never should have sent @Eve and her crew to chisel the syrup. I never should have taken my eyes off the horizon, searching for sandstorms. Instead of daydreaming about bees. I never should have taken the Albion into the Deep Dessert.
But if it wasn't for airshipmechanic apprentice @Eve, more lives may have been lost. More than just hers.
When @Eve saw the sandstorm approaching, she began sending her clean-up crew up the ropes. There they all were, dangling off the hull, hammers and chisels in hand, doing the important detail work of removing the encrusted imitation maple syrup from vital ship components. When young, plump Tommy Airfatz lost his grip and fell to the end of his safety rope, it was @Eve who made sure we was retrieved and pulled up to safety. But when we returned to pull @Eve up, she was gone. The force of the sand blast sheared straight through the rope.
The Albion pulled up, up, up to the limits of its pitch, out of the sandstorm, skimming its edge high into the sunset.
But @Eve is gone.
I never should have sent an apprentice on that job. It should have been me.
The Albion proceeds at speed across the desert. Nothing better than the lilting waves of ultraviolet energy from the sun to burn away the crusty vestiges of sugary crust from our hull. Well, that and a little elbow grease, as I've directed airshipmechanic apprentice @Eve to take a team outside to the hull and chip away at the sticky remnants. The sugary crystals catch the sunlight like snow as they puff away little clouds. It wouldn't hurt to drive us down low through a little dust storm to scrape away the rest.
But what I wouldn't give to have a few Giant Bees around. Drones I'm thinking. We paint up the hull gain in a striking black and yellow, command our own small swarm... we could have our way around these parts! Well, at least protect ourselves properly from the wrong kinda folk.
I was sure @Eva had her team under control, properly roped for safety as they repelled down the outer hull of the Albion, chisels in hand, but I felt like taking a look. As soon as I emerged from the hatch up top, Ensign Fleabauge reported.
"Sir. Sandstorm 9 degrees off starboard. Approaching fast. It's a big one."
Airshipmechanic apprentice @Eve is certainly a genius when it comes to hydraulics, and she certainly deserves all the attention she's been getting as the hero of Oak Cliff, the one who liberated the town from the giant White Crab spiders.
But her map reading skills could use some work! And how exactly she was able to confuse imitation maple syrup with artisanal foaming soap is hard to imagine. Still, her accidental solution to the spider problem exceeded the expectations of this captain, as well as the National Guard and the Weather Channel.
Syrup, as you know, hasn't been weaponized by airships since the days of Captain Chairbreaker in the War of Liberation against the Monkeypigs. But it remains as effective as ever at binding opponents, adhering them to their environment and effectively immobilizing them. And we have the thriving economy of the tri-city area to thank for such wonderful businesses as Pecos Pauline's Premium Syrup. It is every bit as thick, rich, and buttery as they say.
In between the parades and award ceremony, the city of Oak Cliff remains in mop-up. While much of the city was protected by the hastily erected dome of Texas Toast, the stale nature of the toast itself has proven the idea syrup remover for the outlying areas. Meanwhile, the sticky spider have been hoisted on to flatbeds where they will be returned to their secret military nursery facility and hosed down before returning to their packs.
As for me, well, with the entire population of Giant Bees having left Enormous Hives, LLC, I have little to return to. But now I have this ship, and a talented crew... perhaps it's time to explore the airshipman's life.
Full steam ahead!
The Albion has completed its reconnaissance over the spider-infested Texas Toast-domed city of Oak Cliff, and the picture isn't pretty. The White Crab Spiders do not lay webs to trap their prey, but have taken up camouflaged positions in every nook and cranny around the toast dome, and are no doubt working on the weak points of the dome's construction. The spiders themselves are massive, in some cases as large as a VW bus, but their markings make them hard to discern from the golden crusts protecting the city.
Airshipmechanic apprentice @Eve has done a wonderful job of cleaning the wax and honey from the engines and and riggings, and has suggested an ingenious offensive attack. Apparently, a local artisanal foaming soap production facility exists just outside the area of infestation. @Eve is presently working on a method to house this fluid in the Albion's ballast tanks, which we can then use to saturate the area, driving off the spiders long enough to evacuate the residents of Oak Cliff. It's not a permanent solution to the invasive White Crab Spider issue, but may allow us the time to save lives.
Our main hope now is that @Eve is successful in implementing her vision in time!!
Through the rather ornate Termination and Breach clause in our contract with the Albion, we, Enormous Hives, LLC, have assumed control of the ship. The original crew had abandoned ship as the Giant Bees began to build their hive around it on Storm Mountain, and the one good thing about the attack of the Giant Crab Spiders is that they left a hole in the hive big enough to fly the ship through to safety!
Which is why I, Magnus Arequebus, now stand at the rather sticky wheel of the airship Albion, ready to leave the hive and save the citizens of Oak Cliff! Though they are protected by the giant dome of the finest Texas Toast in the land, those spiders are insidious and I wouldn't put it past them to find their way through at any moment.
As we've had to start the crew from scratch, we've also taken on Airshipmechanic apprentice @Eve, who's working on getting the honey and beeswax out of the machinery. Just as soon as that's done, the remaining Giant Bees and the mighty black and yellow Albion will liberate the people and show those Giant Crab Spiders who's boss!
Hi there im Eve
Im 19 and a Airshipmechanic aprentist.
I would love do work on the Albion and learn more about Airship mechanics
Oh dear, the carnage was as bad as we'd feared.
After decimating the hive, the Giant Crab Spiders ballooned across the desert to Oak Cliff, attempting to prey on the human settlement, no doubt. However, perhaps directly related to the "HIDE! GIANT SPIDERS APPROACHING!" flyers that we had printed up and distributed by local residents we hired through Yelp, the citizens were ready. Through a tremendous private/public partnership, and the cooperation of the Kirby's Texas Toast production facility, a protective dome was raised over the city. The size of the Kirby's slices (roughly 10' x 10') made erecting the structure a relatively quick and simple process.
While the citizens remain safe, it's a waiting game now, as the Giant Crab Spiders lie in wait outside the dome.
I can understand the decision to go with the Giant Spiders, but, had Enormous Hives, LLC been consulted we would have pointed out that while they do lack the crushing weight of the Giant Toads and Giant Lizards, they are much harder to remove from the scene once their work is done. Not to mention the almost chthonic malevolence that they possess. Had they opted for the slow moving and frankly somewhat cute Giant Fuzzy Tarantulas this would have been less of an issue, but I think we can all admit that the Giant Crab Spiders are, in fact, terrifying.
Time will tell, I suppose!
The Albion has been completely obscured by the waxy combs constructed by the Giant Bee swarm. The top of Storm Mountain is now completely covered by their honeycomb, as the Giant Bees fly too and fro, raiding the local sugar factory and corn syrup production facilities.
We at Enormous Hives, LLC, have suggested setting the nearby prairie on fire, in order to produce the smoke necessary to shoo the Giant Bees away and let us take control of the Albion and remove it (and of course entirely repainting its black and yellow color pattern) but this way forward has been entirely discounted by the local authorities! But it is WE who are the authority on Giant Bees, aren't we now?
We just hope they will not go forward with the very bad plans utilized in the past concerning the introduction of Giant Toads and Giant Lizards into the area in an attempt to control them, because we all know how that turns out.
Job claimed by Eve 2019-03-26 10:38:19
It has come to my attention that my ten crates of sheep's wool yarn must be shipped immediately. Please, if you can, ship my crates from Rainbow Falls in Adirondack State Park (New York) to the Psarian region of Alternia. If I am correct, start in the direction of the 61 Cygni and keep going straight for exactly 86690 decades and you'll reach Alternia.
If you are interested in this request, please send a carrier owl to Maple Valley, Washington. My friend John will take the message. He does not get often company so excuse him if he offers you samples of his baked goods (he is not that good at baking but please do not hurt his feelings, thank you).