The Nimble Shroudearliest post first | most recent post first
“Well, we can’t eat ‘em,” said Khlebnikov.
Dranitsyn looked at Khlebnikov, horrified.
“We most certainly can not,” I said.
What infernal powers were awake on this island? What could have transformed the crew of The Nimble Shroud into a herd of goats? And was likely the source of the permanent ghostlike chill on the ship itself.
And what defense could we have against it?
“Pack up your things,” I said. We’re heading back to the ship.”
It was most definitely a clue.
"It's a uniform from The Nimble Shroud," said Khlebnikov.
"With their captain's name on it," said Dranitsyn.
"Someone has dressed these goats in the uniforms of The Nimble Shroud?" I said. Looking over the flock of goats, a number of them were kitted out in the drab olive green of merchant airshipfolk.
"But it don't fit so well," said Khlebnikov.
"Actually it fits too well," said Dranitsyn.
Dranitsyn was right. A uniform jacket would fit slack on most any goat, but these were shrunken, and fit well. As if they were made for goats, or for dolls...
"These ARE the crew of The Nimble Shroud," I said.
The goats milled around in the light of the campfire.
Hospitality on Tingalayo is perfectly acceptable. There are two ramshackle cafes, one serving banana pancakes and coffee, the other serving the usual unremarkable local fare of fish stews and coconut fritters found on islands of this nature. There is also a food stall offering goat meat. The accommodations are without bedbugs, scorpions, lamia, or succubi, and the linen is clean. And absolutely warmer than the refrigerator of The Nimble Shroud.
Like the food, the fauna has been similarly overtaken by the ever extending empire of the colony of exploration. There are goats, and dogs, and cats, and more rats than apparently the dogs and cats can keep in check. Undoubtedly another island where the indigenous fauna has been entirely replaced by this cargo cult menagerie. Not unlike the cuisine.
And, at the edge of hearing, there's always the lilt of an eerie refrain:
Jawbone walk, jawbone talk
Jawbone eat with a knife and fork!
Were there donkeys on this island as well?
Sitting up at night with the crew around a campfire, we were approached by a herd of goats, apparently let wander at night by their shepherd.
"LT, check out this goat," Ensign Khlebnikov says.
There's a small goat at the head of the pack, attempting to rummage through Khlebnikov's rucksack. It appears to be wearing a tattered coat.
"Yeah, take a look," says Ensign Dranitsyn.
Dranitsyn scratches the goat kindly on its bony skull and feeds it a dried banana. I walk over to take a look.
"There, on its shoulder," Dranitsyn says.
There's a patch with the insignia of The Nimble Shroud, and an embroidered name.
Tingalayo -- one of the southernmost islands in the direction The Nimble Path came from.
It's only large enough for one port, and we've put down in it, alongside a few ramshackle transport ships that don't look like they've been off the island for quite awhile, and nor would I trust their air-worthiness.
In all my time with Captain @weiss on the Zeppelin Zoologica, we'd never made it to Tingalayo. Not only was it out of our way, but with no reports of cryptological flora or fauna, it was never a destination. I can only hope our hunt for clues as to the fate of the crew of The Nimble Shroud will be more successful.
I must say, however, that at least the crew is thrilled to leave the preternaturally chilly confines of our newly adopted ghost ship.
Continuing to head north, over the endless southern sea. The frosty nature of The Nimble Shroud has not abated, though we're still far from the tropical climes that should surely shake the eerie chill the ship seems to generate. So we continue to scrape the ice from the indicators and warm our fingers over kerosene heaters, and bundle up at night.
The fate of the missing crew remains a mystery. As there was no sign they abandoned ship in Antarctica, it must have happened earlier on route, so following their reported flight path is our only lead. Can we discover the fate of Captain @katelynn and her crew? And why The Nimble Shroud remains as chilly as an ice box? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, the Zeppelin Zoologica continues its mission cataloging cryptids, following the unerring instinct of Captain @weiss. I miss those days, making contact with eccentric life forms and collecting specimens, but feel a deep obligation to uncover the mystery of the ship that delivered our navigation system, without which the Zeppelin Zoologica could have never continued her important work.
Air trials for The Nimble Shroud are nearly complete. She flies well, and we performed a thorough local reconnaissance for any signs the crew had been forced off the ship (or left it on their own accord) within a day's flight.
The only recurrent problem is with the environmental system. We've got the thermostat turned way up but still can't shake that chill. We frequently need to scrape ice from the controls or from the inside of the portholes and wind shield. Soon we'll be leaving Capt.@weiss's Antarctic command post and heading north, which means it's bound to get warmer whichever way the wind takes us.
But what we're set on is discovering the mystery of this frosty ship--and the fate of her Captain @katelynn and crew.
The Nimble Shroud arrived recently hear near the South Pole with our new navigation system.
But the ship is empty! A GHOST SHIP!
Otherwise, The Nimble Shroud appears in perfect working order -- just a layer of frost on the controls. But what of the crew? And her captain, Capt. @katelynn?
I have been tasked with investigating while Capt. @weiss installs the navigation system onto the @Zeppelin Zoologica.
Job claimed by katelynn 2022-02-17 04:53:34
My new ship, the Zeppelin Zoologica, needs a new navigation system. The previous owner neglected the ship quite badly, so a lot of parts need replacing, but how am I going to get any of them without some form of navigation?
Whether it be digital, magical, or atlases, any will do! You can drop it off right by the South Pole, and I will pick it up sometime in the next week.