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It just goes to show that if you just put your mind to it and work hard, anybody can be the kingpin of a criminal empire.
Sure, this criminal empire only encompasses one, coconut palm filled island. But what better an empire than paradise?
Paradise for myself, Leroy, Burt, Scarred Lil, Jimmy the Put Up, Little Gnarls, and PJ that is. Poor Evenander the Psychic didn't make it. Never saw it coming, I'm afraid. Which may speak more to Evenander's shortcomings more than anything else.
But now we've got Coconutville in the palm of our hands. Nothing arrives or leaves the island without our say-so, and you can bet they're willing to say-so to me, when I fly out in my bulging ballonets and bandoliers and give them the heave-to. We pocket our share to offer our protection, and the citizens of Coconutville are the better for it. We run every racket, from fast food to insurance, banking to pharmaceuticals. We make sure everybody gets what they need, and take our fair share for doing the work.
Not sure how long I can take it till the boredom eats me alive.
Despite my best efforts, I have become a bit of a chuckwagon.
Awww, I'm not sore about it. The creek beds are swollen on account of the rain, and while the herd can swim though them alright, it was becoming problematic for the chuckwagon. And it's true I've got a might more room in my saddle bags than the average buckaroo. Not quite enough room to drive the chuckwagon in whole hog, but the cowpokes unloaded her into my cargo bay (such as it is), popped the wheels off the wagon, and fit it all in, snug as a bug in a rug,
It's a lot more weight than I'm used to carrying, but the cowboys gotta stay fed. Especially after slogging through the water and mud all day long.
Blimps making blimps. Out in the open! No more secret societies, hiding behind closed hangar doors. At least that's how the old timers tell it. I've never lived in a world where blimps didn't make blimps, but I guess not that long ago that wasn't how it was.
The Blueshard Shipyards are bustling with blimps and people alike, working together to create the best technology we can. The Shipyard doesn't compete for contracts--it creates designs everyone can use. Investment in it is purely for the science, and the lifting factor it provides all the other sectors of the economy.
I buzz up and down the airfields, delivering parts. I am just an apprentice after all.
I've left the nest and ready to pursue my dream of a life on the range. After traveling miles and miles over the inland Salty Sea and High Cactus Desert Range, I've hooked up with a pod of sturdy cowpokes who are happy to have my help with the herd.
When they first took a look at me they fancied I'd make a file chuckwagon, but I didn't come to this home on the range to be a glorified flying food truck. No! I came here to rope and drive those doggies like a pro. I buzz the bulls and get em' going where we need 'em, and have already pulled a buckaroo out of a tight spot with my rope ladder!
Big thanks to old Uncle El singing us those cowboy lullabies every night before bed.
A blimp nursery can seem pretty small, once you reach a certain age. Uncle Elvin was a great dad, and the Spatuloso taught us how to respect ourselves as blimps. But breaking through the outer leaves of the nursery and into the wild wide skies is something we all knew would have to happen sometime.
Soap Lotus was a rebel, a loner, and had to go his own way earlier than the rest of us. He was the oldest, and always had something to prove. He taught the rest of us a lot. We just wish we knew where he ended up.
Me, I've spent more time in the blimp barn than anybody else--tinkering, inventing, everything from simple repairs to designing whole new aerodynamic flows. Now I'm headed off to an apprenticeship, working at the mighty Blueshard Shipyards, home of the most advanced airship facilities in the hemisphere.
Sure, I'm young, but I just know I can show those crusty old Zeppelins a thing or two and truly make my mark!
I guess I’ve fallen in with a rough crowd here. Leroy, Burt, Evenander the Psychic, Scarred Lil, Jimmy the Put Up, Little Gnarls, and PJ. They do what it takes to extract a living off the streets here in Coconutville, and what they do isn’t always pretty. I thought by now I’d have a steady job, and an apartment, maybe with a view of the bay... instead we live in the abandoned warehouse district, Evenander pulling them in, Little Gnarls holding them up, PJ going in for the bag and tossing it up in the air to me on a flyby. We meet back at our latest flop and divvy it out, making a meal out of whatever Burt and Scarred Lil can scrape up and Leroy dishing it out.
It’s not the life I meant to choose, but at least I’ve got a posse.
You'd think that a young blimp in a coconut grove would have an easier time finding a job. My arms are too stubby to be a fast enough dishwasher, and I'm not big enough yet to carry a load that anybody will pay for. So I've made some friends in Coconutville and we hang out in the park a lot. They're looking for jobs too but can't find a proper one either. We play basketball and everybody wants me on their team because I get really good air.
Boy is it good to finally leave the nest and set off on my own. Our little cloud nest was built for babies, and I'm more than ready to start cruising on my own. I'd heading off to the islands where the coconuts grow--my father was a big Coconut Millionaire back in the Cocomania days, and we had a good life. But a blimp has to make it on their own, right? I figure I'll pick up some dish washing work, or something in the food industry, while I get the lay of the land.
Oh boy is it fun running with a wild pack of adolescent blimps! It wasn't so long ago, way before I had this strange medallion of mysterious origin sewn into my head, that I was a young pup myself, running wild in the streets of my home town, scrapping for a crust of stale bread, being beaten by passers-by, then having to give up the stale bread crust to Rumio, the head of the Street Urchin Union. Yes, those were the days.
But really this is way better. We swoop through the mountain valleys, chasing herds of deer and bunnies, then follow the rivers to the oceans, occasionally supping on a wild helium spring to refresh ourselves, then over the hills and far away to do it all again! And all the blimps are developing quite nicely, with shimmering sheens of opalescent pinks and purples on their bellies and fins. It's hard to believe that a time will soon come when they truly leave the nest and set off on their own.
Oh boy do blimps grow up fast! Seems like just the other day I was watching them take their first glides, cleaning up their little helium burps. But now they've grown into a small pack, with instincts as strong as any wolves or coyotes. They've got a ton of energy, so I take them out on runs in the Spatuloso to hone their skills, hurtling through the thunderheads, and finding scents in the clouds and chemtrails. I need to be sure they can control their impulses, or at least be sure that I can.